Fast-maturing Hutchinson takes one-shot lead after two rounds of City tournament

Trevin Hutchinson tracks the path of an iron shot during Sunday’s second round of the City Tournament. Hutchinson fired a 1-under 71 to take a one-shot lead after 36 holes.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Maturity and consistency are basic elements for winning. Trevin Hutchinson is proving that.

Colleges, institutions of higher learning, exist to teach. Hutchinson has absorbed more knowledge about himself in his two years since high school graduation than any facts or information from a professor’s lecture. He put his recent grasp of self-concept into practice to earn the lead at the midpoint of the Bedford Men’s City Golf Tournament.

In this instant-gratification world, Hutchinson was patient and wise while firing a 1-under 71 in the second round on Sunday at Otis Park, finishing 36 holes with a 4-under 140 total and a one-shot advantage as the event pauses until its second weekend. He was not the birdie machine of the first day, but he refused to become his own worst enemy, thus earning the leader’s mantle.

The top of the leaderboard includes some other worthy challengers. Four-time champion and first-round leader Aaron Harrell settled into a tie for second with defending champion Korey Smith, and Colten Girgis – another former Bedford North Lawrence standout – lurks within striking range. But for the moment, the spotlight shines on Hutchinson, who has earned the applause with his improvement, in both his physical and mental approach.

Four-time champion Aaron Harrell carded a second-round 73 with five birdies on Sunday.

“Growing up, it was hard not to get mad at myself for bad shots or bad holes,” Hutchinson said. “Ever since I started college, I’ve learned so much about myself. I couldn’t be more proud of how put-together I’ve stayed. My Dad always told me to keep it between my ears, golf is 90 percent mental. So I couldn’t be happier with the position I’m in now.”

Those lessons are usually learned much later in life. Hutchinson proved a quick student. He bogeyed his opening hole, made only one birdie on the front nine, then played the back nine in two-under 33 to take command of this historic event. First-time winners, especially the next generation, have always struggled to break through. He is halfway home, with a lot of ground to cover but with a headstart in his head.

Hutchinson carded six birdies during his opening 69. In the past, he would not have been satisfied with any slippage. But that’s not golf. It rewards and punishes with both fierce indiscrimination and fast retribution. So Hutchinson gladly accepted his birdies on the 11th and 15th holes, and didn’t drop any shots because of relentlessness.

“I knew I had to be pretty patient with myself on the back,” he said. “There are a lot of scoring opportunities back there. It feels pretty good. Today’s round was definitely the opposite, on the greens, from yesterday. The putter was pretty good yesterday and I dropped some birdies. Unfortunately putts weren’t dropping and I was on the edges all day, but that’s golf. You can be on one day and off the next, and that’s why I love the game so much.“

Defending champion Korey Smith sprays grass while firing a shot toward the green.

Harrell was also equally hot and cold, all within one round. He suffered six bogeys, blaming most on a balking putter, and could have cracked after a front-nine 40. He came roaring back with four birdies in a five-hole stretch (from 13-17), although a last three-putt on the 18th cost him the share of the second-week lead. His rounds of 68-73 were a microcosm in what happens when the clubs get seldom used.

“That was today,” Harrell said. “The feel is not there. It’s not the full shots that get you, it’s the half shots and feel shots, the putting. That’s where you struggle when you don’t play often. I’m very happy with how I played, I’m happy with how I battled back.“

Smith had five birdies, but a double bogey on the 13th cost him. He posted birdies on 2, 5 and 9 during a front-side 36, then countered the mistake with back-nine birdies on 16 and 17, finishing with rounds of 70-71 for his 141 total. Girgis carded his second straight 72 with four birdies.

Austin Proffitt authored the shot of the tournament, recording an ace on the 18th while making the cut for the Championship Flight. That number was 150 for the top 10 in the field.

Hutchinson will now work on his game to compete in the Indiana Open at French Lick this week, but the chance to win the City will not be far from his mind.

“It’s time to turn the focus to the Open for the next three days,” he said. “This is the tournament I’ve looked to. Everyone who had grown up here has watched people play, so it’s a pretty cool spot I’m in. I will just stay patient.”

Colten Girgis posted a second 72 to finish four shots off the pace after 36 holes.