Published: Mar 27, 2007 10:38 AM
Modified: Mar 27, 2007 10:47 AM
Entering the season, Middle Creek golf coach Doug Poppe thought this would be the year the Mustangs might get whatÂ’s been eluding them since 2002 Â— a Tri-Eight Conference win.
With all four scorers from last yearÂ’s team that placed fourth at the NCHSAA 4-A tournament back, and six players on the team capable of breaking par, everything seemed in place in 2007.
On the par 36 front nine at Bentwinds Golf & Country Club on March 20, everything came together.
Jake Colley shot a 5-under 31, Alex Blazewicz shot a 3-under 33 and Warren Straub and Nick Troxell shot a pair of 1-over 37s to lead the Mustangs to a nine-stroke win over Green Hope.
Â“We were just waiting for it to happen,Â” Poppe said. Â“It just all came together. We knew it was coming, it was just getting them to believe it.Â”
The Mustangs team score of 138 is the lowest this season for any Tri-Eight team through three conference matches. They broke 140 in large part because of ColleyÂ’s finish.
The Middle Creek junior was 1-under par with three holes to play. He finished his round with a birdie on the par 3, 156-yard third hole, birdie on the par 4, 330-yard fourth hole and eagle on the par 5, 489-yard fifth hole.
On No. 5, Colley shanked his drive onto the first holeÂ’s fairway. From about 230 yards, he hit a high hook over the trees and the ball landed within five feet of the cup.
Â“I made some putts,Â” Colley said of his finish. Â“IÂ’d been putting good all day. I had a couple lip out. And then on [No. 3], I made a 20-footer, and then four, I hit it within a foot and tapped in, and five, I had the five-footer.Â”
Blazewicz had already completed his round and expected that his 33 would hold up as the dayÂ’s best round.
Then ColleyÂ’s score was posted.
Â“I was in there thinking 33 would be the best score out there, and then Jake comes in the last group and shoots 31,Â” Blazewicz said. Â“I couldnÂ’t be upset about that. HeÂ’s my teammate, and thatÂ’s a good job.Â”
The result allowed Middle Creek to climb into second place in the Tri-Eight with 18.5 points. The Mustangs are 4.5 points behind leader Green Hope, which has 23 points, and .5 points ahead of third-place Athens Drive with 18 points. The Tri-EightÂ’s standings are kept based on a point system where the winner receives eight points, the runner-up seven, third place six and so on.
While it took four years to get the first win, Middle Creek is chasing No. 2 this afternoon, Wednesday, when the Tri-Eight converges on Prestonwood Country Club, which is Green HopeÂ’s home course, at 3:30.
Â“We all played to our potential. ThatÂ’s why we won [last week],Â” Troxell said. Â“ThatÂ’s all we need to win.Â”