MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Orange team, led by golfers Charlie Phillips (68) and T.T. Crouch (69) put on an outstanding performance to best a field of 13 other schools and win the Kent Miller Colonial Fall Invitational at Hiawatha Golf Course on Saturday.
The Jackets’ Orange team scored a 291 on a day when no other team broke 300. They easily outdistanced second-place Watkins Memorial (310) and third-place New Albany (312.)
Of course, when you have the two best individual golfers out on their home course as Phillips and Crouch were on Saturday, it makes life easier.
“Charlie and T.T. know they are three- and four-year lettermen (respectively),” said Mount Vernon coach Mike Fuller. “They both play this course all the time and they are very confident. They both have a lot of ability so it doesn’t surprise me that they would come out here and shoot a 68 and 69 and it doesn’t surprise me that they are one and two in the tournament.”
Phillips was incredibly relaxed all day, and so was Crouch.
“My goal was to come out here and have fun today,” said Phillips. “I just tried to have fun, hit some shots and that was it. I play here all the time so, I know what to do.”
“We played okay today,” said Crouch. “I had a double bogey on four and a bogey on eight, but I played well.”
“(Phillips and Crouch) have a lot of confidence in themselves and they have prepared themselves so well,” said Fuller. “They don’t try to outplay each other, but if one is ahead the other tries to catch up and vice versa. We’ve got great team chemistry and those two are very great teammates.”
Despite the rain, the course was in great shape. In fact, the rain actually helped a bit.
“The greens were soft,” said Crouch. “People were able to go after the flags without worrying about the ball rolling past the cup and that’s why the scores were pretty low. It was easy to hit the fairways and easy to hit the greens. If you hit the greens, they were going to stick.”
Centerburg’s Garrison Myles was third individually, shooting a 71 to lead his team to a total score of 337. He is also quite familiar with Hiawatha.
“It’s my second home course,” said Myles. “I played really well the course played really easy. Everything was soft so the greens held really well. I putted okay.”
For the host Jackets, whose black team finished fifth (320.) This is a good sign of things to come this season.
“(Mount Vernon golfer) Aaron O’Hara came in today and he’s been struggling a little bit,” said Fuller. “He shot a nice 80 and (teammate) Brody Harwell came down with a 74. Zach Harris (who led the Mount Vernon black team) shot a 77 so it was good to see those guys play well on their home course.”
“T.T. and I started out pretty good,” said Phillips. “Hopefully, as the other guys play, we’ll peak at the end of the season.”
Notes: A senior, Crouch finished first or second in each of the four Invitationals he has played. Crouch was the medalist in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and finished runner-up medalist to junior Phillips this year.