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  • Val T.

Strasser leads with 84, helps Rochester take 7th at Warsaw Invite

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

WARSAW — The Rochester boys golf team shot a 362 and finished seventh out of 11 teams at the Warsaw Invitational at Rozella Ford Golf Club Tuesday.

Drew Strasser led Rochester with an 84, J.R. McLochlin had a 90, Dryden Vance and Noah Riffle each shot 94, and Wesley Meadows shot 101.

Weather conditions were damp, breezy and cool, and players weren’t notified until about 1 p.m., or a little over three hours before tee time, that they would be playing as scheduled.

Still, Rochester was able to shoot a season-best for 18 holes.

“The greens were OK,” Rochester coach Dan Bailey said. “They’re all mostly elevated, so I would say they drain pretty well. The course overall is super wet, but for what we had for the eight hours before we played, I thought it was pretty good.”

Bailey also said the team is “making steps in the right direction.”

Strasser, a junior, had struggled on the greens in recent rounds and was experimenting with a new putter.

“He finished the year last year feeling really good on the greens, and this year, it’s been the thing that has caused him frustration,” Bailey said. “We just made a pretty drastic change, and he got a different putter in his hand, and today was his first competitive round with a completely different set-up of putter. I think he had 25 putts in 18 holes, so he feels pretty good about how he putted it today. One of the things we talked about was sometimes with putters, you just need to put one in time out for awhile and you’ve got to get something different in your hand.”

McLochlin, Riffle and Meadows are part of a sophomore class gaining a reputation for their work ethic.

“These guys spend a lot of time out on the course,” Bailey said. “Not just practice, but we’ve had a lot of days where we’ve had to cut practice short, and a lot of them will stay after and they’ll go play some extra holes by themselves. We talked earlier about how a couple of the guys will go out after matches and go work on something that didn’t feel great in matches. I feel like we’ve got some guys that really do want to get better, so that’s an easy group to work with when you have that.”

Warsaw, playing on a course barely a mile down the road from their school, won with a 302. Warsaw represented four of the 11 teams.

This is Rochester’s only 18-hole tournament on a school night. The Zebras will return to Rozella Ford for the Three Rivers Conference tournament on May 14.

Rochester’s next match is a three-way home dual against Southwood and Manchester on May 11.

at Rozella Ford Golf Club, Warsaw, Tuesday

Warsaw (Black) 302, Warsaw 318, NorthWood (Black) 323, Maconaquah 333, Triton 341, Plymouth 358, Rochester 362, Fort Wayne Canterbury 373, Warsaw (Orange) 377, NorthWood (Red) 380, Warsaw (White) 405

ROCHESTER (362): Drew Strasser 84, J.R. McLochlin 90, Dryden Vance 94, Noah Riffle 94, (Wesley Meadows 101)


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