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  • Val T.

Riffle shoots 36, Renie adds 38 as Rochester downs defending TRC champ Northfield


Sports Editor, RTC

Davis Renie

Noah Riffle shot a 36 to share medalist honors, and Davis Renie added a career-low 38 for nine holes as the Rochester boys golf team beat Northfield 157-168 over the back nine at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek Thursday.

Northfield is the two-time defending Three Rivers Conference champion, and their No. 1 player Tyson Baer is both the reigning conference medalist and the reigning Warsaw sectional medalist, but Riffle played him to a standoff as Baer also shot a 36.

Rochester’s score was a season-low for nine holes.

Riffle’s round included back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 before a double bogey on No. 17.

Renie’s 38 was a personal best for nine holes and included a birdie on the par-3 16th hole.

J.R. McLochlin added a 41, Isaac Heishman had a 42, and Ashton Musselman had a 48.

Northfield was coming off a 161-176 win over Lewis Cass on Wednesday, which is noteworthy because Lewis Cass has already beaten Rochester at 18-hole tournaments at Stonehenge Golf Club in Winona Lake and at Logansport the last two Saturdays.

Players “played the ball down,” according to Rochester coach Mason Heyde. In other words, the course was dry enough and not so muddy that players were not allowed to lift, clean and place.

“I knew they were a good team,” Heyde said. “I just found out today they beat Lewis Cass last night. … We played well tonight. This was Northfield's first time playing the ball down this year as well too, so I think that threw them off a little bit. But I think we lost to them just by a couple strokes last year at Honeywell, so it was nice to get the revenge on that.”

Riffle knows that this will not be the last showdown the Zebras have with Northfield. The Three Rivers Conference tournament will be at Rock Hollow Golf Club in Peru on May 11.

“It feels good, but you’ve got to realize that in three weeks, that’s what really matters,” Riffle said. “Really, it’s going to be a team effort to beat them. It’s going to take me keeping up with Tyson because he’s one heck of a golfer, and then, really Davis and J.R. and all of them doing their jobs just to stay in the fight because it’s going to be tough because they’re an outstanding team.”

Renie said he only started golfing avidly while on spring break in March 2023. His brother Reece was an all-conference player and the 2021 Logansport sectional medalist, but Davis came to the sport at a later age. 

“I used to go out and play three holes with my dad, and then I would get bored,” Renie said. “But I really started last spring break in Florida. … I fell in love with it right away. I played all summer and then until about November.”

Asked if it was the best nine holes he had ever played, Renie said he shot a 37 over nine holes at Mill Creek while practicing on Sunday. He said his brother is better at “shot shaping” and can hit “crazy” shots that he cannot hit yet.

“I played really well,” Renie said. “I misread a couple putts, but I put myself in a place where I could two-putt every single time, so I was fine.”

The Rochester JV shot a 196. Enrique Navarro was the low scorer with a 45.

at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek (back nine, par 36)

ROCHESTER (157): Noah Riffle 36, Davis Renie 38, J.R. McLochlin 41, Isaac Heishman 42, (Ashton Musselman 48)

NORTHFIELD (168): Tyson Baer 36, Easton Shaw 40, Gavin Brainard 46, Ryder Schram 46, (Tristan Hoffman 50), (Hank Gray 54)

ROCHESTER JV (196): Enrique Navarro 45, Robert Bozzo 48, Brady Morgan 50, Adam Reinhold 53, (Jack Reffett 55), (Brevin Nicholson 58)

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