FRANKLIN — In each of the first two rounds of the IHSAA boys golf state tournament, Evan Perdiew’s score proved pivotal.
Terre Haute North needed fifth-score tiebreakers to win the sectional title and to finish in third place at the regional. The regional finish qualified the Patriots for the state finals for the first time since 2000.
Perdiew had the team’s highest score at sectional and regional, but each time it was enough to help his team advance. After the first day of the state finals, it will be up to someone else to play tiebreaker for the Patriots.
Perdiew bounced back after bogeying the first two holes to make 13 straight pars and finish with a 4-over 76 at the Legends of Indiana Course. He shared team scoring honors with fellow senior Sam Pollock, who opened his round with an eagle on the par-5, 501-yard No. 10 and added birdies on No. 6 and No. 7 on the backside.
Their play helped the Patriots finish the first day of the state finals ahead of the only other unranked team in the 15-team field, Triton. North is at 311 as a team after the opening round, 21 shots back of first-round leader Columbus North.
Greencastle’s Luke Brotherton, competing as an individual, also shot a 76 Tuesday.
Perdiew played a practice round with North coach Abe Nasser on Monday.
“He beat me,” Nasser said. “It was a good time.
“I think maybe he got something out of that, got a little confidence. He went out there and made 13 straight pars after bogeying the first two holes and finished pretty strong today.”
Perdiew said the key to his success Tuesday was hitting a lot of greens.
“I didn’t make many putts, but I got close and made a lot of two-putts,” Perdiew said.
Pollock said Perdiew, North’s No. 3 golfer, played “phenomenal” on Tuesday.
“When you have a three or even a five-man shoot a low number, you’re going to come in with a low score,” Pollock said.
“We didn’t do horrible,” he added. “We left some shots out there for sure. I did that myself.”
Pollock’s hot start was undone by a string of four straight bogeys, including a double-bogey on the par-4 No. 1. But he’s approaching today’s second round with a “clean slate.”
Teammate Adam LaGrange shot 78 and Andrew Behnke was at 81 after the first day. Ryan Baker shot 85 on Tuesday.
Nasser’s plan for his team Tuesday night was to rest and relax, especially with temperatures in the low 90s expected for today.
“It is kind of a marathon with this two-day new format,” Nasser said, referring to the IHSAA’s format change which brought fewer teams to the state finals and with no cuts after the first round.
“It’s tough for these guys to get out there and not wear down after that many holes. Even today toward the end of it, I saw them wearing down. And we kind of talked to them after No. 6 there and we had some good strong finishes.
“Going into tomorrow is just strategy and endurance. Like I always say, every shot counts. We know we’re not going to win this thing. Every day we want to leave today feeling respectable. … It’s a good score for us. Hopefully we can come back and do the same thing tomorrow and go home feeling proud of what we did.”