Monday at the NCC Championship Richmond surprised some people, but not themselves. This team has been working hard all year to improve and their efforts continue to show.
Richmond had three personal best scores, an NCC Champion, and a team score that beat their previous best by 14 strokes.
There are certain scores or milestones in golf that are hard to break; breaking 100 for the first time is hard, breaking 90 for the first time is hard. However, Richmond had two golfers do just that.
Nathan Steele, in only his third 18-hole round ever, broke 100 with a 99. Nathan is a natural athlete, loves competition, and has a drive to get better that is hard for his competitors to match. Nathan started this season with a 130, and is aiming to shoot in the low 90s before season’s end. With his focus and determination, no one on the team would tell him that isn’t possible because dropping over 30 strokes from your score this fast isn’t supposed to be possible to begin with.
Andrew Click is one of only two returning golfers from last season. He often played as 6th and had the opportunity to play 5th at the end of the year. This season, he was put in position to be a leader on the team as the #2 golfer. All season Andrew has finished better and better until he finally broke 90. Andrew shot a personal best of 89 on Monday, and had the opportunity to shoot much lower but endured a rough stretch. Showing tremendous signs of growth, Click fired a par on his last hole to finish on a positive note.
The third personal best came from a freshman that struggled through his prior match. Dylan Eastridge had a rough go at Forrest Hills in Richmond’s last match, but showed great determination by shooting a strong 93 on Monday. The ability to bounce back is perhaps the most important attribute of a good golfer, and Eastridge has shown that ability all season.
Speaking of bouncing back, Jack Weber came in with a strong 94 in his first NCC Championship. Weber started off with several bad holes, but was able to pull himself back into things and finish with one of his best string of holes on the year.
Then there is Jake Miller. If you watched Miller off the tee on Monday, you would think he did not play well. If you watched Miller on the greens you would have thought he was struggling, having six putts either lip out or come just short and stop a half rotation from falling into the cup. However, if you watched Miller scramble, recover, and control the course you would have also seen someone that is, without a doubt, one of the top golfers in the state of Indiana. Miller fired a low medalist’s score of even par 70, which lead the field by three shots.
Miller only hit one fairway all day, but he finished with a low 26 putts. This marked the 8th straight event that Miller has won, and he looks to continue that streak.
There is something to be said for a team that most thought wouldn’t break 380 on their best day this year but has shot three consecutive rounds below that score, including their season best of 346. However, these young gentleman are still not satisfied and will continue to work hard and compete everyday. On Wednesday Richmond travels to face Centerville in a head-to-head, then faces a very strong Heritage Christian team Thursday at Forrest Hills.