Strong finish lifts Elkhart's Webb to state

Elkhart High School's Steven Webb made school history on Thursday.

Webb became the first Elkhart Lion to qualify for the boys golf state finals. He shot a 77 at the Lake Central Regional at Sandy Pines Golf Course. Webb finished two strokes behind medalist Colin Kaleth from Valparaiso.

Webb will compete next Tuesday and Wednesday in Carmel at the Prairie View Golf Course.

"I'm very happy about representing Elkhart," said Webb. "I hope to inspire people to play golf at Elkhart High School.

"I'm going to be aggressive (at state) and try to get low scores. I think I have that in me."

A late push on Thursday helped Webb advance to state.

"I bogeyed the 10th hole and was seven over going into the last eight," Webb said. "Coach (Todd King) told me to get aggressive and go after it and see where it takes me. I shot a birdie on the 11th hole."

Webb, who compiled a 42 over the first nine holes, totaled a 30 over the last eight holes.

"I'm really proud of him," said King. "He got off to a shaky start. On the back nine it was really windy with 30 to 40 mile per hour wind gusts. He stayed mentally tough and shot a 35 on the back nine. You saw the mental toughness in him. He didn't fold, kept after it and took it one shot at a time. Together, we decided to get aggressive and it worked out."

When he finished golfing, Webb kept checking the leaderboard to see where he stood.

"I was on edge," Webb admitted. "Every 30 minutes I kept checking the leaderboard. I was nervous about it. I was part of the third group that finished golfing. I was tied for first among the individuals. After I got done, I ate some lunch and tried to calm down."

Steven's parents (Steve Webb and Brenda McGuire) were in DeMotte to support their son.

"My mom was almost in tears at the end," Steven Webb said. "My dad almost cried too."

As a sophomore, Webb totaled an 82 at the regional and seven strokes away from making to state. Two years ago, Webb finished with a 76 and a stroke short of making it to state.

"Steven started out good this year, but he wasn't playing his best golf," King said. "Adjustments were made with his putting and wedges. His stance was a little off and simple ball positioning needed to improve. We made those adjustments and things started clicking for him.

"He earned medalist honors at the South Bend Invitational at Morris Park Country Club and he was a medalist recently at the Warsaw Invitational at Stonehenge. That gave him confidence that he could do well at the regional."

Also at that regional, Penn's Yewchuk qualified for the state finals. He also finished with a 77.

Valparaiso won the regional with a 314.

At the Warsaw Regional at Stonehenge, Fairfield's Brayden Miller shot a 72 and qualified for the state finals for the third straight year.

Leo's Caden Matthias was the medalist after winning a playoff tie-breaker over Westview's Luke Haarer. Both shot a 71 after 18 holes.

Homestead won the regional title with a 300 total. Fairfield finished fifth with a 326.



At Stonehenge

Team scores: Homestead 300, Leo 309, Warsaw 310, FW Dwenger 326, Fairfield 326, FW Carroll 329, Northridge 329, Westview 331, Huntington North 338, Northwestern 339, Fremont 345, Plymouth 356, Western 361, FW Blackhawk Christian 363, Lewis Cass 383.

Northridge: Coby Hochstetler 76, Vadim Kidun 81, Conner Hochstetler 83, Kaden Miller 89, Isaiah Lehman 91.

Fairfield: Brayden Miller 72 (advancing to state), Miles Nine 79, Jake Elliott 87, Benjamin Kio 88, Jasper Carl 92.

Medalist: Caden Matthias (Leo) 71 (beat Westview's Luke Haarer in a playoff).

Area golfers: Aiden Hibbard (Elkhart Christian) 78, Todd Kauffman (Goshen) 84, Myles McLaughlin 88.


At Sandy Pines

Team scores: Valparaiso 314, Trinity Greenlawn 322, Chesterton 329, Munster 330, Crown Point 331, Twin Lakes 340, SB St. Joseph 341, Marian 346, LaPorte 351, Andrean 351, Logansport 361, Rochester 371, New Prairie 374, Portage 388, South Central 391.

Medalist: Colin Kaleth (Valparaiso) 75.

Area golfers advancing to state: Steven Webb (Elkhart) 77, Jack Yewchuk (Penn) 77.