Senior staff writer
A closing surge on the back nine by Center Grove’s boys golf team earned the Trojans second place in the state finals last week at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
Ranked No. 1 in the final state coaches poll, the Trojans finished with a 36-hole total of 588, four strokes behind state champion Westfield. The Trojans were sixth last year and second in 2003.
Senior Austin Crowder led the Trojans with a 2-over par 70-74 – 144, one stroke behind medalist Cole Bradley of West Lafayette Harrison.
Center Grove was third after shooting an opening-round 298, trailing Zionsville by one stroke and Westfield by three. The Trojans had the most birdies (19) of any team on opening day (June 16).
The Trojans fired a 290 during the final round with 13 birdies, but the Westfield fired a 289. Center Grove had 42 pars both days.
The Trojans started slowly each day on the front nine. On the second day they trimmed eight strokes off their first-day score by closing with two birdies and three pars on the final hole. They had nine birdies on the back nine but only three on the front nine.
Individual scores of the Trojans on the par-71 course were: Crowder 144; freshman Noah Gillard 74-71 – 145; senior Zack Carrabine 75-71 – 146; sophomore Ethan Shepherd 79-74 – 153; and senior Christopher Heck 85-75 – 160.
Several of the Trojans’ top players are expected to return next year for veteran coach Jim Williams, who anticipates fielding a talented team.