By Josh Brown
URBANA — Of the two numbers next to its name, the Troy boys golf team was pretty happy with one but not so much the other.
“I think the place is something we like, but the score is something we want to get down,” Troy boys golf coach Mark Evilsizor said.
The Trojans finished second out of 12 teams at the season-opening Urbana Invitational Monday at Urbana Country Club, shooting 346 as a team and trailing only a stellar effort by Columbus Wellington’s 299, with Northmont rounding out the top three with a 350 on a hot day against a challenging course.
Still, Evilsizor knows his Trojans aren’t showing what they are capable of on the first official day of the season.
“Our first invitational, first match of the year, there was some jitters,” Evilsizor said. “We’re not peaking early, which is fine. I have no problem with that. We’ve just got to turn double bogeys into bogeys. A lot of these kids were missing a lot of putts within eight feet, and we should start making those here soon. I think the scores will progressively get lower.”
Holden Scribner led the Trojans, shooting 83 — the 11th-best score on the day. Ryan Dowling added an 87, Zac Collin and Travis Bertram both shot 88 to round out the scoring and Nathan Henderson added a 93.
The Trojans played in the same group as Wellington, as well, so they got a first-hand look at the Jaguars’ impressive day. Carsten Judge was medalist with a 73, the Jaguars posted three more scores below 77 and their highest round was an 82.
“The team we played with, Wellington, that’s a team that looks like it could make it to state,” Evilsizor said. “All five of their kids outscored our top man. I’ll be honest — I’m glad we played with them. It gives us a goal that the kids know they need to get to.
“Again, the place is fine. We have high expectations — when we come to these things, we try to do as best we can and win. Score-wise, it’s just something we’ve got to get down. We wasted a lot of shots out there, missing a lot of putts that, as the year goes on, we will make.”
Tippecanoe finished fifth with a 358, one stroke behind fourth-place Bellefontaine’s 357. Nathan Gagnon led the way with an 81 — tied for seventh individually on the day — Matt Salmon shot 89, Braydon Bottles shot 91, Nolan Mader shot 97 and Joey Pleiman shot 108.
Miami East finished eighth with a 395. Sam Zapadka led the Vikings with an 89, Cooper Elleman shot 100, Andy Beven shot 102, Keegan Mahaney shot 104 and Tyler Fetters shot 107.
It was the beginning of a big opening week for the area teams, too. Troy and Tippecanoe both played in the Miamisburg Invitational on Tuesday, then on Wednesday Tippecanoe travels to Xenia while Miami East plays in the Kendig Memorial tournament at Echo Hills. And on Thursday, the Trojans play in the Greenville Invitational and then have one final tune-up before hosting the Troy Invitational Monday at Troy Country Club.
“We’re trying to defend our title at Miamisburg Tuesday, so there’s a little bit of pressure to go down there and perform well,” Evilsizor said. “And then the last couple years we’ve done well at Turtle Creek — we finally got over that hump from a couple years ago, so I expect us to play really well (at Greenville). And Friday we go to Beechwood for an 18-hole scrimmage, and then finally the Troy Invitational on Monday. So we get five 18-hole rounds in the first week and start easing into the season a little bit after that.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.