WINONA LAKE, IN. – Last year, LaVille golfer Nathan Nichols-Petersen missed the cut to play in the Indiana High School Athletic Association regional by just a couple strokes.
That’s not the case in 2018 as Nichols-Petersen carded a 81 to earn one of three individual spots on a non-advancing team from the IHSAA South Bend Sectional last Friday.
“I was super excited when I found out that I made it out (to the regional),” said Nichols-Petersen. “Last year I was 1-2 strokes away from qualifying which was disappointing, but it feels great to make it out this year.”
Nichols-Petersen led the three individuals to advance to the regional round. Matt Hawkins of Elkhart Central scored a 82 and Nick Stewart of South Bend Riley a 83.
“Nathan played exceptionally well at Erskine,” said Carver of Nichols-Petersen in the sectional. “He drove the ball very well, and was able to manage the speed of the greens nicely. This is the best I have seen him play this season. He is really on his game.”
The next challenge will be the Warsaw Boys Golf Regional on Thursday, June 7th, at Stonehenge Golf Club in Winona Lake, IN.
Nathan Nichols-Petersen will tee off #1 at 8:20 a.m. with Westview’s Carter Giggy, Leo’s Reid Zimmerman, and Manchester’s Harley Kruschwitz.
Advancing teams and individuals from East Noble, Fort Wayne Canterbury, Northridge, Peru, South Bend Riley, and Warsaw will challenge the Stonehenge Golf Course for the right to advance to the state finals at Prairie View Golf Club, 7000 Longest Drive, Carmel, IN 46033. The two-day state finals will be Tuesday June 12 and Wednesday June 13.
The Top 3 teams who post a team score (Ties for top (3) teams must be resolved in order to
advance) plus Top 5 low individuals, excluding those individuals who advance with a team. Ties for 5th place must be played off in order to advance.
“I was hitting the ball really well, especially off of the tee,” recalled Nichols-Petersen of the sectional performance. “I put myself in a good position for solid 2nd shots on a lot of holes, and was able to make some key putts when it mattered.”
Nichols-Petersen knows there is a challenge ahead, but is ready for the opportunity.
“Stonehenge is a very challenging layout with think rough that can put you in a lot of trouble,” he said. “I’m just going to play my game and keep a level head throughout the day, hopefully I can go low!
“It means a great deal to represent LaVille in this regional especially when there are so many good teams that are going to be out there,” continued Nichols-Petersen. “It’ll be really special if I am able to shoot a good round there around all of that competition.”
The Lancers were able to get in a tournament played at Stonehenge Golf Club earlier this season, so that gives Nichols-Petersen an up close perspective.
“Nathan really has his work cut out for him,” said Carver. “We played Stonehenge as a team two weeks ago and Nathan shot 89. He struggled keeping he ball in play and out of the rough. We played Stonehenge on Monday for our practice round, and that should give us a good idea of how the course is going to play Thursday.
“In order to advance Nathan will have to play a mistake free round, and make putts,” continued Carver. “It is a tall task, but I am confident in him. He is a great player and has such a positive attitude, I think he has an great opportunity to be the first state qualifier for LaVille since Zach Gurtner did it in 2012.”