FRANKLIN | Tuesday's opening round of the IHSAA boys golf finals definitely caught Valparaiso coach Wayne Litchenberger by surprise.
"That's probably the worst round we've shot in the last three years," said Lichtenberger, whose team carded a 329 and finished 19th overall. "You have those days where you don't play well. Unfortunately, it chose us today."
The Vikings carded a 305 last Friday in the LaPorte Regional at Beechwood, a course Lichtenberer believes is tougher than the Legends of Indiana, the site of the state finals.
"I was very pleased at Beechwood," Lichtenberger said. "We had a great practice round, we practiced well (Tuesday). The players seemed confident."
Last year, the Vikings struggled over the final three holes and missed the final round with a 310. Things were even worse this time around.
"(It) seemed like the problems were all day long," Lichtenberger said. "Everybody had bad holes."
Junior Andrew Gariup finished with an 89, which include a quintuple-bogey 9 on No. 9.
"I hit my drive into the water, hit a drop shot in the water and put another shot in the water,"Gariup said. "You've got to try to keep your head up, but it's kind of hard to do after that.
"Not a good day."
Senior Logan Bertalan took a snowman (8) on No. 4. Bertalan hooked his tee shot left, landing out of bounds by a foot. He then hit a shot over the green and couldn't complete the up and down.
"I didn't play that bad, but I had one bad shot," said Bertalan, who will play golf at DePauw next season. "The wind was the worst in the three years I've been down there."
Junior Bobby Jacobs finished with an 82. After he finished his round, he still sported the remnants of his his double-bogey on No. 15 with mud-spotted attire.
He was 100 yards from the green, but his ball was resting in mud. He had to take two swings to clear from the muck, but his second shot flew the green. He did get the up and down to survive a triple-bogey.
"We practiced well; that's golf," Jacobs said. "We all expected to play better."
Kyle Meihofer was low-man with a 78, and he ended up in the water on his final hole.
"I just didn't play well," he said. "I had a hard time judging the distances."