EMAIL FROM A FOLLOWER OF SVC GOLF…With Unioto winning the first two matches (by a bunch of strokes), do you think the title is staying with the purple and gold for sure?
FOLLOWER OF SVC GOLF, I still believe the same as I did in the preseason that Unioto will win this year’s league, but to say it is over would be a bit premature. When I analyze this year’s league, the depth of Unioto is just going to be too much to overcome over the course of eight matches. The Shermans have only counted two scores outside of the 30s in the first two combined SVC matches. Unioto’s extended scoring was a little higher at Big Beaver, but in most cases, Unioto is even dropping scores that would allow them to still win the match.
Even though Unioto is very good, Southeastern has still done what they need to do to hang in the race. A third-place finish in these matches would have ended the race before it started. Southeastern’s ability to score well enough in the bottom half of their line-up has allowed them to hold off Piketon and Adena. I still think Southeastern has a few low rounds in them, but it is just a matter of their entire lineup playing well on the same night.
As far as a team sneaking up one night and really shaking up the standings, it is possible. Adena seems to have a little more depth than I originally thought, and Piketon is very capable if they can get a fourth guy to play bogey golf or better one night. Even Zane Trace has four guys that are capable of combining for a low 170s round.
I really think Southeastern is going to have to make its move now before the golf courses get tougher. Courses like Running Fox seem to usually allow for better scoring. I believe the tougher the golf course, the better the best players are going to play. Example of this happened at Big Beaver. Notice how high the scoring was in SVC Match #2 (bogey golf nearly finishing in top-10), and notice Unioto won by 20 shots. On an easier golf course, Unioto is going to shoot a good score, but it gives more teams a chance to play well. The other reason it is important for Southeastern to make a move now is in order to put pressure on the defending champs. If Unioto wins one or two more, it really gives them a cushion in the standings.
The race that is going to get really interesting down the stretch is the final few all-league spots. With Unioto and Southeastern most likely making up over half the all-league team, spots are going to be tough to come by this year. Piketon looks like they have one or two that have a chance as does Adena. Each of the bottom four teams all have one, maybe two, that look like they have a chance to compete for a spot. One big story from SVC Match #2 was Paint Valley’s Tyler Thompson missing the round due to an ankle injury. This means the sophomore, who shot a 41 in the first league match, will not be able to drop a score at the end of the year. There is also three guys in the current top-13 who have already posted a score of 49 or higher in one round. This leaves little room for error the rest of the way out.