No.4 South tames back nine en route to victory over BNL

BNL’s Colton Staggs launches a tee shot on the ninth hole during Thursday’s match at Otis Park. Staggs shot a 76, but No.4 Bloomington South conquered the Stars 299-314 during the 18-hole clash.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – The back nine at Otis Park has been a boneyard for many great rounds. It’s target golf, more mentally demanding when compared to the relative openness of the first side. Bloomington South hit the bull’s-eye.

The fourth-ranked Panthers pulled away from Bedford North Lawrence with a sensational second-nine score while posting a 299-314 win over the Stars during a rare 18-hole midweek match on Thursday. Nick Bellush fired a brilliant 4-under 68, leading the charge as South surged with a back-nine 140.

BNL kept pace for most of the day, carding a trio of 76s. But Bellush – whose father J.T. was a key member of BNL state finalists in the late 1980s – recorded four birdies on the back while firing a 3-under 32 on that half of the course. Happy Gilmore added an even-par 72 with a back-nine 34.

“Overall it was a good showing today against a quality opponent with two really nice high school golfers,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “We had a great front nine and trailed by only a shot, but their back nine did us in.”

BNL’s Tyler Bellush follows the fate of his ball after cracking a tee shot. Bellush carded a 76.

Against most opponents, BNL would have been good enough. Jett Jones, Tyler Bellush and Colton Staggs all carded solid 76s. Jones was consistent (with a birdie on 17), Bellush had three birdies (holes 2, 5 and 14), and Staggs had consecutive birdies on holes 15-16.

“Our top three kids played really well,” Hein said. “Those are good scores this time of the year. All three of them putted well today. As we stated in the preseason, we have two packs and really need a player or two from the second pack to become more consistent for us to compete as a team.”

Houston Corbin completed the BNL scoring with an 86.

Nick Bellush had a birdie on the par-five 5th on the front, but he erupted with three straight birdies on holes 11-13. His lone bogey came on the 15th.

The Stars will compete in the Floyd Central Invitational on Saturday.

BNL’s Houston Corbin eyes his target while lofting an approach shot to the 8th green.


South – Nick Bellush 68, Happy Gilmore 72, Connor Byon 78, Colton Watson 82, Noah Spicer 81, Harrison Bomba 81

BNL – Jett Jones 76, Tyler Bellush 76, Colton Staggs 76, Houston Corbin 86, Carson Root 90, Dillon Lewis 90