It was a weekend that will likely go down as his breakthrough in his golf career to date. Highland junior Evan Sutton did not make the sectional cut to advance to the state tournament last year.
This time around, Sutton finished his season at the Class 2A Tournament at Weibring Hill Golf Club in Bloomington on Saturday and for Sutton, it was a really good end to a breakthrough season on the links.
Sutton finished 28th out of the 112 golfer field in the individual portion of the tournament with a final-round score of 77.
“I wasn’t playing as best I could, but I did my best I felt the scores were pretty good,” Sutton said. “Overall, for the first time up there, it was alright.”
Highland coach Thomas James agreed.
“We were definitely happy,” James said. “You go up there now, it’s a pressure cooker, but we had great weather which helped. And I think at the end of the day finishing 28th out of 112 golfers at the start of the tournament, we’re both pretty happy with that.”
Sutton said the two things for him in the tournament were keeping his nerves in check and trying to adjust to shot-making and putting on the fast greens of the course.
A late charge on the first day allowed Sutton to advance to the final round, as he shot par on each of his final six holes of the round.
“I had no clue where the cut would be, so I thought at the end of my round I was just about out of it, but the last six holes I parred out and that really helped,” Sutton said.
“On the first day I wished I had been a little more aggressive ... not knowing I was behind I just went after the course a little better the second day and it worked out well,” Sutton said.
On the second day in the final round, Sutton relaxed and played his game with less stress.
The course played out pretty well for him.
“I think the course was a good course for me,” Sutton said. “The greens were a little hard and that got me because my putting wasn’t all that great but I really liked the distances and the holes. I really liked the course.”
Fellow Bulldog Jaxton Black shot an 82 on the first day and narrowly missed the first day cut into the final round.
Sutton said he feels now that he and Black made it to state, next year they hope to return — and bring the rest of the team with them.
“Next year, we’re hoping to go as a team because we’ll have all of our players back with five of our six varsity players being seniors, so we’ll have experience,” Sutton said. “I think after having the experience of state for the first time, we’ll be able to control the nerves and everything.”
“It’s definitely a goal (for them),” James said. “They both want to get back (to state). We’re looking at it as if we can get the rest of the team on board and working hard for these next 12 months, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to send the whole team up.”