Drew Rowen and Ian Reed tee off nearly two hours apart and on different holes this morning at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
Whether they meet near the top of the leaderboard remains to be seen.
Rowen, who recently graduated from Center Grove, and Reed, a junior at Greenwood Christian, are Johnson County’s representatives at the boys state finals today and Wednesday.
Rowen and Reed qualified by carding respective scores of 72 and 75 at last week’s Providence Regional at Champions Pointe Golf Club in Henryville. Defending state team champion Center Grove finished fourth, missing a return to Prairie View by a single shot; the Cougars, making their second consecutive regional appearance, were seventh and only 13 strokes behind third-place Jasper.
Both Rowen and Reed would prefer to have had their teams qualified. The upside is that they’ll have plenty of support while making their way around the 18-hole layout.
“As of right now, it’s a lot different feeling,” said Rowen, a University of Indianapolis recruit who was part of last year’s lineup as the Trojans held off Guerin Catholic and Carmel in dramatic fashion. “As a team, you’re all celebrating together, but right now it’s about preparing with coach (Matt) Rodman and coach (Cale) Hoover.
“I’m really playing well right now, so a top-10 finish would be a good goal.”
Reed has made history even before lining up his first putt this morning.
By being one of two golfers emerging from a regional playoff, Reed is the answer to any future trivia quetion as to who is the first athlete in Greenwood Christian history to advance to a state championship.
To this point, no Cougars team, female or male, has ventured this deep into the postseason.
In 2021, Reed was part of the GCA lineup that qualified for regional for the first time in school history. The Cougars placed eighth of 18 teams there, with Reed shooting a team-best 78.
That experience benefited him this season.
“It’s really awesome, especially after making it to regionals last year, too,” Reed said. “Being (at Champions Pointe) last year, it calmed me down. Last year, I birdied the first hole and then bogeyed four straight.
“This time, I birdied the first hole and followed with six straight pars.”
Rowen and Reed have been grouped together a time or two in the past. Both thought it would be good to do so again today, but it wasn’t to be.
“I understand it’s my first time going to state, but I’m going to give it my best shot,” Reed said. “I’m not trying to put any numbers on it. I just want to hit the next best shot.”
Rowen’s career began at Triton Central, where he qualified for the Muncie Central regional as a freshman, shooting a 78 at the Players Club Golf Course in Yorktown.
The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.
“It hasn’t really set in that I only have 36 holes left in my high school career. It’s gone by in a blink of an eye,” Rowen said. “The last two years, we’ve been a very close-knit group. Even though I’ll have that in college, it won’t be the same.”