DeMotte - It just wasn’t meant to be for the Zionsville boys golf team Thursday afternoon at the IHSAA Regional at Sandy Pines.
The Eagles shot a 326 for their round and ended five shots out of the final spot in the State Finals.
"It didn't work out today," Zionsville head coach Steve Simmons said. "We had a good game plan today, and we tried to execute it, but we didn't hit it or putt it well. We had way too many penalty shots today. This is a great, great golf course and it identified the three best teams today, and were weren't one of those teams today."
Coming into the round, the Eagles were playing well and were confident.
They played their best round of the year in shooting a 299 to win the sectional and had a good practice round at Sandy Pines on Tuesday.
They had also won a tournament on the course earlier in the year and were used to the layout of the course.
"I'll be honest, it surprised me we didn't advance and I think it surprised the guys as well," Simmons said. "On paper, I felt like we were the third best team here. We hadn't had a bad day all year, we have been very consistent, and we just happened to have our worst day at the worst time. It wasn't for a lack of effort and we kept trying to build momentum, we just couldn't sustain it."
But it just didn’t click for them Thursday.
The bad breaks came in the opening holes for the Eagles.
MacLean Dudasko, who had been solid in the Eagles last few tournaments and was great in the sectionals was forced to withdraw on the seventh hole with a back injury.
Simmons said it was tough to see the talented freshman end the season like that.
With only four players left, every score counted and the margin for error was smaller.
But the Eagles could never find sustained momentum.
"He said he felt a little twinge in his back warming up, and it just got worse," Simmons said. "Mac has been such a solid player the last three weeks and done so many good things for us. I saw the way he was swinging the club, then he started holding his back and was laboring to walk. He didn't play golf last summer because of the injury, so we had to stop him. He has had a great freshman year, and hopefully he has three more opportunities to get there."
Reid VonDielingen battled on the back nine and led the Eagles with a 77. He misses qualifying as an individual by a shot.
Eric Herbst shot a 78 and missed qualifying by two shots.
Colin Nasser shoe an 82 and Jack Hidde had an 89.
It was the final round at Zionsville for Herbst, Hidde and VonDielingen.
"Jack Hidde had a tough day today but he battled and grinded for every shot," Simmons said. "He has been such a wonderful teammate and a great guy to have on the squad, the guys all love him. Eric Herbst hit the ball so beautifully today, he just had a couple of bad swings that cost him. He hit the ball close a lot, just couldn't get any putts to drop. Reid has been in our line-up for three years, and I can literally leave him alone out there, because I know he is going to make great decisions. It was great to see him end his career with a birdie."
Simmons said while it was tough to see the season end, he is proud of everything the team accomplished this season.
"I am going to remember that nobody expected anything out of us, and we won a sectional title and two team events," Simmons said. "I will remember that Reid VonDielingen set a goal to win an individual medalist title and did it at the first tournament. I will remember that Jack Hidde was a kid we cut as a freshman, and he battles his way back and earns a spot in the line-up as a senior, and that is great resiliency. I will remember Eric Herbst and I having a discussion last year, and his career has changed after that discussion and he has been an unbelievable teammate and player ever since. Those are the things I am going to remember about this year, that no one expected us to do anything and we did a lot. Overall, it was a really good year for Zionsville golf.'