By Josh Brown
TROY — Coming into Thursday’s Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division championship matchup, Troy boys golf coach Mark Evilsizor had his team aiming at a specific number, one where he thought the team needed to be to dethrone the reigning champion Butler Aviators.
Butler made even that number not matter.
“They came in here and shot 148. Even if we’d hit my target number, that was below it,” Evilsizor said. “As a team, they just came in here and beat us today. There’s just no other way to put it.”
Butler’s Zach Crawford was medalist with a 34, the Aviators’ fifth man made his score count with a 40 and the Trojans struggled to keep the ball in play on holes No. 7 and 9 as Troy (6-1, 1-1 GWOC North) fell to the Aviators 148-161 Thursday at Miami Shores Golf Course, with the Aviators taking a firm lead in the division title race with the head-to-head win.
“That’s the best Vandalia team in my three years as coach here,” Evilsizor said. “Their fifth man came in with a 40 today, Crawford can play and they had two guys shoot 37. They’ve got a heck of a team going right now.”
Troy’s top score on the day came from its second group, as Nate Uhlenbrock came in with a 37, while freshman Holden Scribner turned a rocky start into a solid day with a 39.
But the Trojans’ leader all season, senior Troy Moore, had two rough holes. A lost tee shot on hole No. 7, with the wind blowing directly into the woods, and an out-of-bounds tee shot on No. 9 led to a triple and double bogey, and he finished the day with a 42. Tyler Lambert, who also found the woods on No. 7, capped off Troy’s scoring with a 43, Austin Rank shot a 44 and Ryan McClurg shot a 46.
“We had some bounces that didn’t go our way,” Evilsizor said. “Troy had a couple of lost balls — and things like that are going to happen on the golf course. It’s just unfortunate that they happened against Butler.”
Crawford led the Aviators (8-0, 3-0 GWOC North) with his 34, then A.J. Lawrence and Austin Greaser, both of Butler’s second-group players, came in with 37s. With the first two groups in, Butler led 149-161, until Jack Herbst turned in a 40 in the final group to shave one more stroke off. Butler’s No. 2 golfer, Gannon Godsey, finished with a 41 and Dalton Gaskins shot a 48.
The Aviators also defeated the Trojans at the preseason GWOC Tournament at Beechwood Golf Course to start the season. Butler still must play Piqua in regular-season play before the postseason GWOC Tournament on Sept. 24, while Troy still has division matches against Piqua and Sidney remaining.
“They just came in and beat us,” Evilsizor said. “Now we’ve just got to regroup and keep the kids motivated. It all comes down to getting better we’ve got to continue to do that.”
And with the Trojans’ next stop being the Firebird Invitational Tuesday at NCR, he feels like that’s exactly what his Trojans will do — regardless of Thursday’s result.
“We’re not peaking yet,” Evilsizor said. “We still haven’t played our best golf of the season yet as a team, and that’s good. We want to be peaking come the postseason.”
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.