Southwestern's Hunter Mefford reacts to a shot during his round Thursday at the IHSAA Providence Regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club near Henryville. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Southwestern's Hunter Mefford reacts to a shot during his round Thursday at the IHSAA Providence Regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club near Henryville. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
HENRYVILLE — Champions Pointe Golf Club was not kind to either of the boys golf teams from Madison and Southwestern, holding each team to their worst 18-hole scoring of the season at the IHSAA Regional Tournament on Thursday.

Madison, which shot a 319 en route to its eighth-straight sectional title on Monday, managed only a 346 to finish 10th overall. Southwestern fared even worse, finishing with a 367 to place 18th out of 18 teams.

Of the local golfers, only Southwestern senior Hunter Mefford broke 80, finishing with a 78 that still missed the state finals cut by four strokes.

“Champions Pointe is not a course that has been very good to us,” Madison coach Chris Conner said. “I’m not sure what it is, but we don’t play very well here. Maybe it’s the tall rough. We just don’t handle it well.”

The high scores by both Madison and Southwestern stood in stark contrast to the top scores in what is considered by many to be the toughest regional in the state.

Center Grove, ranked No. 4 in Indiana, won the regional title with a 291 while eighth-ranked Floyd Central fired a 301 and No. 10 Columbus North had a 303 as all three teams earned berths to the state finals.

Center Grove’s Alex Heck was the low medalist with a three-under 69 while Franklin’s Damon Dickey shot a 71. They were the only individuals to shoot below par on a hot and humid day in Henryville.

Dickey was the top individual to qualify for the state finals and was joined by Bedford North Lawrence’s Ethan Stanley and Corydon’s Joey Wiseman, who both shot even-par 72s, Bloomington South’s Drew Todd with a 73 and Bloomington North’s Evan Todd with a 74.

Mefford, who shot a 72 at sectional, was well on his way to a return trip to the state finals before a double bogey on his ninth hole — hole No. 18 on the course — sent him into a downward spiral.

Playing with a bad back that only got worse during the round, Mefford fell to as far as seven-over before collecting a birdie on his next-to-last hole to stop the bleeding.

Mefford’s round was indicative over nearly every local player. Teammate Austin Kramer was one under through seven holes but took a bogey on the eighth and a triple on the ninth and never recovered, finishing with an 80. Drew Barron, Madison’s No. 1, collected bogeys four of his first five holes and finished with a 15-over 87.

Luke Ommen and Trent Jameison each led Madison with 82s, Barron had an 87 and Landon McDowell shot a 95 to round out the Cubs’ scoring. Dylan Eblen had a non-scoring 100.

“Everybody struggled. We just didn’t play well,” Conner said. “There were a lot of nerves early on and everybody was anxious. And then when you get off to a rough start, you start to think about it more and it just snowballs.”

After Mefford and Kramer, Trenton Hadley shot an 87 for Southwestern, Camden Ashby carded a 122 and Billy Tingle had a non-scoring 146.

Southwestern brings back most of its team with Mefford the only senior. The Purdue Fort Wayne signee will get a chance to rest his back over the next week before playing in the Indiana Amateur Championship starting on June 16 at Purgatory Golf Club in Noblesville.

Madison graduates both Barron and Jameison and will look to reload next season as it seeks its 25th sectional crown overall and ninth-straight.

“Drew and Trent have been a part of some really good teams and I was hoping either or both could get out and continue their season but it wasn’t meant to be,” Conner said. “We’re going to miss those guys.”