Curtis Salmans wasn't impressed with his performance in the Division I boys golf state tournament, but the Thomas Worthington High School freshman hopes the experience on Ohio State's Scarlet Course will pay dividends in future seasons.
Salmans shot 177 (88-89) in the two-day tournament that concluded Oct. 20. He tied three others for 57th and finished 32 strokes behind medalist Nick Sparling of Dublin Coffman as 72 golfers competed.
"I had a couple of bad days, and sometimes you have bad days, especially on a course like that," Salmans said. "I really didn't know what to expect after the first day. My drives were off and my irons weren't working."
According to coach Jay Addy, it was the first appearance for Thomas at state since 1997, when the Cardinals qualified as a team. They also qualified as a team in 1990.
"The experience of being (at state) is huge," Addy said. "So many kids commented on how different it is to play at state when you get back there a second time.
"There is a 'shock and awe' experience the first time. As a freshman, getting that experience under your belt right off the bat is a great thing. Hopefully this will be the first of his trips there."
Salmans shot 43 on the front nine and 45 on the back nine in the first round. He carded a 49 on the front nine on the second day and 40 on the final nine.
"It was pretty neat that Curtis made it there as a freshman," Addy said. "He was the only individual player of the 12 in the Division I tournament who was a freshman. He was a little bummed at the way he played, but it's something to build on."
Salmans shot 73 in the district tournament Oct. 9 at Apple Valley, where the top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.
On Oct. 2, Salmans shot 77 and won a two-hole playoff with Andrew Bailey of Licking Heights for the fourth-and-final individual district-qualifying spot from the sectional at Granville Golf Course.
"Curtis has had that potential to shoot really low scores all season," Addy said. "He had a few good rounds, but I wasn't sure he would get things clicking all in one day like he did at Apple Valley. It was really unreal to watch him play that day on that tough course and under those conditions when he kept shooting par after par."
Salmans expects to build on his experience and work toward returning to the state tournament.
"It definitely was a good experience and it was good to have been the only freshman (individual in the Division I state tournament)," he said. "If I were to get back here, I would have to figure out how to keep my drives straighter and to make the ball stop when it hits the greens. I had problems with that."