County Am golfers have eyes set on final round

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherlad.com

JASPER — The changing seasons bring different migration patterns throughout the year, and with the coming of mid July the gents of Dubois County have begun their own mass movement to the golf course. The clubs were in full effect this past weekend as a field of 53 golfers dusted off their bags and took their rounds at the Huntingburg and Buffalo Trace golf courses for the 50th iteration of the Dubois County men’s amateur golf tournament. When it was all said and done 40 golfers survived the sun beaming upon them and scores fuzzied up by trips through the rough to make the cut for next Sunday’s final round at Sultan’s Run. 

However, four men were able to go above and beyond in separating themselves from the pack and put themselves in prime position to take the winner’s trophy home next Sunday. Eleven-time tourney winner Derek Bolling earned the distinction of leading the field after Sunday’s play concluded as he finished shooting a total score of 138 through 36 holes.

“I’m really happy with where I’m at,” he said. “It was two totally different rounds. I cruised pretty much all day Saturday, but then (Sunday) I was over par for awhile. But I birdied three of my last four holes to muster an even par. That course is always tough. I’m happy and pleased to be where I’m at and give myself an opportunity to win another tournament.” 

Derek hit a 67 at Huntingburg on Saturday, and followed up with a 71 at Buffalo Trace on Sunday. He said he gave himself a chance mentally to compete in this year’s tournament, a natural feeling that comes from winning it eleven times already. But for the last several years Derek hasn’t seen himself rise to the top of the leaderboard, as other obligations such as his family and career keep him away from the golf course most days. But coming into this year’s contest he managed his personal expectations, which allowed him to go out and swing his iron free and loose on the way to finishing this first round. 

But Derek isn’t the only one who reaped positive benefits from mentally unburdening himself as his father Brad Bolling was able to take the same approach to shooting a 141, which was good enough for third place overall. Brad, who will turn 62 in the coming weeks, simply wanted to come out and maybe finish in the top ten among the senior players in this year’s field. So how did he feel about finding out he would finish top three in the overall standings? 

“Tickled to death,” he said. “When I got in and saw the scoring I thought ‘Well, I’m in there with a chance.’ Pretty excited about that, but really didn’t have any expectations of that to occur.”

But the Bollings aren’t the only gentlemen who will be sharing a family connection among the tournament’s top four as Cam and Ian Weyer find themselves once again in the hunt for tournament glory going into the final round. Cam finished second overall with a score of 139, which matches his exact stroke after thirty-six holes mark from last year’s tournament. Ian took the fourth spot with a 142.

“Going into the tournament I felt good about my game,” said Cam, who struggled with his ball placement on Saturday before ironing out his mistakes on Sunday. “(Saturday) I didn’t hit the ball good at all, only hit a couple of fairways and was lucky to scrap out a 71. (Sunday) I wanted to come out and make a mark. I had pretty decent front nine, could have been a little lower. My strategy into the back nine was make nine pars. I was able to shoot three under (par) on the front and even on the back. So (Sunday) was a much better day. I’m happy with where I’m at after two days.”

“Huntingburg I played really well, I just had one bad hole,” said Ian, who kind of went in the opposite direction in terms of his play through the first two days. “(Sunday) was more of a grind, I didn’t hit the ball as well. But overall I’m pretty satisfied with my week. My expectations were to shoot about even par at Huntingburg and about two to four over at Buffalo Trace. I exceeded my expectations by a couple of shots so overall I’m pretty happy.”

But all that matters now is the four strokes that separates fourth place from first as the tournament moves into its final phase next Sunday. Sultan’s Run is a course that all of the guys are familiar with, and each player has their own thoughts on how to best approach the course for their best score. 

Derek thinks there’s no point in playing in being conservative, and is aiming to let it rip off the tee when play resumes next weekend. He reasons that there’s no defense in golf, and with the top players being so close in score no one does themselves any favors trying to be safe. It’s either play to win or don’t play at all for him.

“You got to worry about the one ahead of you,” he said. “One stroke in golf is nothing, so you have to go into the final round thinking you’re all even, and you can’t worry about what the other guy does. I just have to go out and be confident. Just hit it and see where you stack up.”

Brad said he’s going to use the coming week to play a few rounds at Sultan’s, but he doesn’t see himself changing too much before the final round. 

“The main thing at Sultan’s Run is you want to make sure you keep your tee shot in play,” he said. “As you get older you just try to make sure you’re keeping it in front of you and out of trouble. Keep it on the fairways, get it on the greens, do the best you can from there.”

Cam and Ian Weyer aren’t taking the field lightly, but each of them has their reasons for being confident going into the final round. For Cam, he’ll only have a one-stroke lead to overcome as he hunts for his third tournament win. Ian has a little more work to do, but believes that his driving range will see him to the winner’s circle when it’s all said and done. 

“Brad, Derek, and Ian are all very good golfers. On any given day they could play very well, so I’m not going to take anything lightly,” said Cam. “I’m just going to do what I normally do and focus on what I can control. If you told me I was one shot back going into Sultan’s, there’s not a time I don’t think I have a really good shot at winning.”

“I’m just going to have to be extremely aggressive,” said Ian. “I’ve got nothing to lose being four back, I just have to play as aggressive as possible. I hit the ball longer than all of them, so I just have to be accurate with that length.”




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