Senior Tommy Meier of Warsaw pops his ball out of the sand trap on the first hole. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Senior Tommy Meier of Warsaw pops his ball out of the sand trap on the first hole. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
In terms of local high school golfers, Manchester sophomore Harley Kruschwitz is the last man standing.

Kruschwitz, who won medalist honors with a 73 in last week's sectional at Rozella Ford, fired a 1-over 72 Thursday and finished third individually in the regional at Stonehenge.

Of the seven local golfers in the regional field, which included Warsaw's five-man team and Triton's Beau Hepler, only Kruschwitz advanced to the state finals, which will consist of 36 holes played at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The top three teams from Thursday' 18-team field, as well as the top five individuals not on an advancing team, qualified for the two-day state finals.

After winning a second consecutive sectional title last week, the host Warsaw Tigers saw their season end after finishing seventh with a four-man score of 324.

The Tigers' Luke Delp and Chase Byron both shot 78 and missed advancing to state individually by three strokes.

Hepler finished the day with a 79.

“We didn't have a great day today,” said Warsaw coach Rich Haddad. “Everybody had to play their best, and we didn't.”

To go with the 78s from Delp and Byron, the Tigers got an 81 out of Sam Yeager, an 87 from Tommy Meier, and an 89 from Jacob LaLonde.

“Chase, once it warmed up, he's had a really good run these last couple months,” said Haddad. “He was our No. 5 or 6 earlier in the year, sometimes varsity, sometimes not. He really steadied out his game and got consistent.

“He just gained a lot of confidence. He was our low man (in a tournament) at Brownsburg. He's been low a couple times, and for him to play out of the No. 4 spot and shoot a 78 today that's what we needed him to do. That's good stuff.

“On the flip side, Luke and Sam being our No. 1 and 2, needing them to be 75 or better, they both had tough front nines. They both came back with 2-over back nines, 38s. I told them both how proud I was. They didn't have their best game, but they absolutely fought, all 18 holes, which is what I asked of those guys. They really grinded out a decent back nine. It just wasn't enough today.”

Warsaw's best 18-hole score of the year was a 306.

Had the Tigers shot that Thursday, they still would have missed the cut by a stroke.

With the sun beating down and the temperature rising, fifth-ranked Penn blistered the course with a 297, winning the regional title by seven strokes.

Culver Academies, the sectional runner-up to Warsaw last week, finished second with a 304, while No. 7 Dwenger shot 305 to punch its ticket to state.

No. 15 Canterbury and No. 17 Homestead narrowly missed a berth in the state finals after shooting 306s.

Concord finished sixth at 323, followed in the top 10 by Warsaw (324), St. Joe (324), NorthWood (325) and Carroll (337).

“That’s a really impressive day for those guys,” Haddad said of the five teams that shot 306 or better. “Hats off to Culver (Academies) ... we’ve been in some invites with them, we were in the sectional with them, and we’ve always beaten them. For them to turn around and shoot a 304 today is really impressive. They shot lights out on the front nine.

“The other guys, we knew they were the ones we needed to beat, we just didn’t have our day today. Penn and Dwenger are top 10 teams in the state. It would have to be our best day to have a shot at them. You give them the front runner status, and then there was five or six other teams that have the capability, and to have Homestead and Canterbury shoot 306 and Culver 304, those are really good scores.

“A 306 is our best round of the year, so that’s just some great shooting by those teams.”

Of Warsaw’s five-man lineup Thursday, four were seniors. Byron is the only Tiger who played in the postseason this year that returns.

Penn’s Ben Szlarek captured medalist honors after beating Homestead’s Garrett Willis in a playoff. Both shot 1-under 70.

Willis advanced to state as an individual, as did Kruschwitz, St. Joe’s Michael Anthony (73), Bishop Luers’ Stephan Bolen (74) and Homestead’s Bradan Kattman (75).



WARSAW REGIONAL

Stonehenge, par 71

Note – top 3 teams, as well as top 5 individuals not on an advancing team, qualify for the state finals.

Team Scores – Penn 297, Culver Academies 304, Bishop Dwenger 305, Homestead 306, Canterbury 306, Concord 323, Warsaw 324, St. Joe 324, NorthWood 325, Carroll 337, Peru 341, Western 344, Columbia City 345, DeKalb 350, Angola 352, SB Adams 353, Fairfield 360, Northwestern 397

Medalist – Ben Szlarek (Penn) 70 * won playoff with Homestead’s Garrett Willis

Advancing Individuals – Garrett Willis (Homestead) 70, Harley Kruschwitz (Manchester) 72, Michael Anthony (St. Joe) 73, Stephan Bolen (Bishop Luers) 74, Bradan Kattman (Homestead) 75

(Locals)

Warsaw ­– Luke Delp 78, Chase Byron 78, Sam Yeager 81, Tommy Meier 87, Jacob LaLonde 89

Manchester – Harley Kruschwitz 72

Triton – Beau Hepler 79