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  • Val T.

Riffle shoots 81, but Rochester settles for 19th at windy Hall of Fame Invite

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Isaac Heishman

PERU — Rock Hollow Golf Club might be the Rochester boys golf team’s home away from home this season, but the wind did not allow the Zebras to get comfortable at the Hall of Fame Invitational Saturday.

Playing against perhaps the best field they will see all year, Rochester shot a 352 to finish 19th out of 21 teams.

Noah Riffle led Rochester with an 81, J.R. McLochlin and Isaac Heishman each had an 89, Davis Renie had a 93, and Ashton Musselman had a 99.

“It’s alright,” Heishman, a freshman, said of his score. “It’s not great for me, but we were playing in some tough conditions today, so I’ll take it.”

Homestead won with a 298, topping runner-up Hamilton Southeastern by five strokes.

Twin Lakes, the only other team from the Logansport sectional in the field, was 12th with a 329. Peru, the only other Three Rivers Conference team in the field, was 21st with a 410.

Rochester coach Mason Heyde said the wind direction varied depending on what hole one was playing and affected club selection drastically.

“The wind was brutal,” Heyde said. “There were some huge gusts. Holes that were 160 (yards) were playing over 200. Holes that were 173 were playing 155. So those were ones that were either downwind right at you and crosswinds especially with fairly tight fairways, trying to be able to start it left if the wind’s moving right but keep it in the fairway, not catching the trees on the left, it definitely got to them today.”

Heyde also said that the fast, undulating greens complicated matters further.

“Any three-putt is too many,” Heyde said. “Out here, the greens are fast. Downhill putts just keep going. I saw a few three-putts. I’m not sure how many yet. They struggle on these greens.”

Rochester will return to Rock Hollow for the TRC tournament on May 11 and again for the Rock Hollow Invitational on May 18. They had played the front nine in a three-way match against Peru and Wabash on April 17.

“A few of them I don’t think had even played the back nine until today,” Heyde said. “So at least they’ve seen the course now. Honestly, in two weeks I bet this course plays a lot different. So it will be hard to judge. Since that’s TRC, I bet we come do a practice round here the night before and get a feel for those course conditions because it will probably firm up a little bit. Where our greens (at Round Barn Golf Club at Mill Creek) hold a little more, these run out a little more, so I hope we can get a practice round.”

Isaac Heishman

Heishman said he played golf “off and on” since he was a kid, but he said he has “been going hard at it” for two years.

He said his father Travis convinced him to go to a clinic at Rochester Elks Golf Course.

“After that, I fell in love with it ever since,” Heishman said.

He cites Mike Nixon, his middle school coach, as someone who has helped him.

“He really got me into golf,” Heishman said. “He gave me a good work ethic to how to get good at golf.”

Heishman said that his short game – chipping and putting – is his favorite part of golf.

“I can pretty much consistently get up and down from just about anywhere,” Heishman said. “That’s probably my favorite part.”

Heishman has looked up to seniors like Riffle and McLochlin, the varsity team’s two seniors.

“I learn a lot, and it also challenges me to be better,” Heishman said. “Because obviously, they’re a lot better than me, so it makes me want to get better.”

Renie helped off course

Rochester athletic director Kevin Renie had to be driven off the course after a stray shot from a Brownstown Central golfer hit him in the head on the front nine. Kevin Renie is Davis Renie’s father, and the Brownstown Central golfer was one of Davis’ playing partners.

Witnesses reported the Brownstown Central player yelling “fore.”

Kevin Renie later showed off the head wound in a photo on social media.

“Who says golf is not a contact sport?” Kevin Renie said. “Plunk.”

HALL OF FAME INVITATIONAL

at Rock Hollow Golf Club, Peru, Saturday (par 72)

Homestead 298, Hamilton Southeastern 303, Bloomington South 309, Center Grove 313, Floyd Central 315, Gibson Southern 316, Fishers 324, Chesterton 325, Castle 326, Valparaiso 326, West Lafayette 328, Twin Lakes 329, Leo 334, Tipton 335, Northridge 336, Franklin 336, Brownstown Central 341, Warsaw 342, Rochester 352, Fort Wayne Dwenger 370, Peru 410

ROCHESTER (352): Noah Riffle 81, J.R. McLochlin 89, Isaac Heishman 89, Davis Renie 93, (Ashton Musselman 99)


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