Eagles place fourth in loaded field

May 5—CARMEL — Saturday's Spring Preview Tournament at Prairie View was an excellent chance for the Zionsville boys golf team to gauge itself against the other top programs in the state on the championship course.

Fourteen of the top-20 teams in the state were in the field, including nine of the top-10 and 13 of the top-16.

And while it wasn't a perfect day, the Eagles placed fourth with a 306, showing they are in a good spot for this point of the season.

"Today was a great, great gauge for us," Zionsville head coach Adam Wood said. "It's a post-season golf course and our guys were really looking forward to today. I don't think any of them are overly pleased with how they played, and I give them credit because they're very competitive and I enjoy that. That's necessary if you want to compete for any kind of trophies in events like this."

Guerin Catholic won the event with a 296, with Evansville North second with a 304 and Hamilton Southeastern third with a 305.

After the Eagles, three other teams shot 310 or better, making the gap between the top-7 teams just 14 strokes.

"We were just a little off in some places," Wood said. "Our ball striking probably wasn't at the level that we saw the last couple of weeks, which is OK, you are going to have days like that. We stuck with it until the end, Gavin (Poole) ended with a birdie and so did (Max) Steiner and there were some good finishing stretches. It's a new opportunity for us to improve and learn from."

Saturday was the second time in less than a week that Zionsville was able to get a competitive match at Prairie View, shooting a 292 on Thursday in a three-way match with Westfield and Noblesville.

Being able to see the course multiple times with different conditions and different size fields is only going to benefit the Eagles at the end of the year, Wood said.

"It's very important to see a course as many times as you can, especially in competition," Wood said. "That makes the comfort level and confidence level go up — you are used to seeing the sightlines off the tee that you need to see and seeing pin locations. That makes it that much easier at the end of the year if we achieve what we want to."

Brycen Tisch and Andrew Wall led the Eagles with 75s on the day.

Gavin Poole had a 76, Max Steiner had an 80 and Bryce Conlee shot an 86.

Zionsville has a match with Noblesville on Wednesday, then the Brownsburg Invite at Trophy Club on Saturday.

They will then quickly turn around to play in the HCC Tournament on Monday afternoon at Monday.

Wood said the Eagles are in a good spot, posting good scores with things they can improve on.

"I don't think anyone played particularly great, those are their words when they finished, but we are still right there in (fourth)," Wood said. "I think it's encouraging that even on one of our not better days we are still competitive."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.