By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Here’s the long and the short of it: Golf has become enamored, fascinated and dominated by length. But it’s the short game – saving strokes around the greens with chipping, pitching and putting accuracy – that counts the most.
The fastest way to lower scores? Turn three shots into two. That’s an ancient cliche of the grand old game, and it’s still true. Bedford North Lawrence learned that lesson in its home opener on Thursday afternoon.
Bloomington South, with four scores in the 70s, posted a skillful team total of 297 to tame the Stars and Otis Park. BNL posted 337, a solid improvement from the opener at Seymour but also a testament to the work ahead.
“The positive is we knocked 20 shots off our score from Saturday,” BNL coach Mike Wright said. “Granted it was at home, but you still have to play the course.”
And the negative?
“We lose a lot of shots with the short game,” Wright said. “And with inexperienced golfers, that‘s where you lose shots. It’s hard to believe how many shots are thrown away, so we will spend some practice time on it. We have to worry about knocking off scores as individuals before we can worry about the team score.”
The Panthers had no worries. Drew Todd fired a 1-under 71 to lead South, while Jacob Paine fired an even-par 72. Happy Gilmore – and no golfer has ever been more aptly named – posted 75, and Nick Bellush (of the famous Bellush family in BNL golf history) capped the scoring with 79.
BNL’s best came from Colten Girgis as the lefty overcome a double bogey on his opening hole (the par-3 third) to fire 79. He recovered with three birdies (holes 5, 6 and 13) and stumbled once with a triple bogey.
Trevin Hutchinson (82), Ramzi Girgis (87), Jackson Jones (89) and Jett Jones (89) completed the scoring for the Stars.
“I do like the competition,” Wright said. “We have guys who will be competing all year long for spots. If they want to get a spot or keep a spot, they might want to focus on the short games.
“Right now we are our own rival. We have to get better before we start thinking about other schools.”
BNL will visit Valley View for the Floyd Central Invitational on Saturday.
Bloomington South 297, BNL 337
South – Drew Todd 71, Happy Gilmore 75, Nick Bellush 79, Jacob Paine 72, Ethan Kopp 90, Connor Byon 81 Noah Spicer 93, Jack Boyle 124, John Biggs 116
BNL – Colten Girgis 79, Ramzi Girgis 87, Jackson Jones 89, Dylan Endris 92, Trevin Hutchinson 82, Ryan Cobb 92, Jett Jones 89, Klayton Brown 100, Camden Andrick 95