Plainfield’s Rylan Porter and Johnny Gulley each went into Tuesday’s golf state championship at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin with one goal; make it through to the second day. Porter carded a 1-over-par 73 while Gulley shot a 4-over-par 76.
The pair are on different ends of the high school spectrum as Porter is a senior competing in his second state championship and Gulley is a freshman.
Porter came into Tuesday on a hot streak after carding a 4-under-par 67 last week at the Center Grove regional. The senior got off to a shaky start on the front nine with two double-bogey’s and two bogey’s, but did record a birdie.
However, the senior rallied with an eagle and three birdies on the back, coming into the clubhouse within striking distance of the lead.
“It was an extremely slow start,” Porter said. “I just couldn’t really get anything going and wasn’t hitting the ball really well. I rallied on the back nine and was five under through the first five holes and that helps.”
Gulley, who shot a blistering 31 on the front at Hickory Stick Golf Club at last week’s regional started with three par’s and a birdie, but followed that up with two bogey’s and a double on the front nine. The freshman settled down on the back nine and played steady, consistent golf with eight pars and a bogey.
“I got off to a good start, but I just threw too many shots away,” Gulley said. “I didn’t take advantage of any opportunities today.”
Porter made the cut and sits four strokes off of the leader.
After seeing how the course played, Porter is ready to get in attack mode on Wednesday.
“The ability to go low on the second day is huge confidence booster ,” Porter said. “If I can get it squared away on the front nine... I might be able to post a good number tomorrow.”
For Gulley, although there was certain disappointment for not making the cut, he understands what a great learning experience this opportunity was and is hungry to get back working on his game.
“It was a good experience and I enjoyed being there,” Gulley said. “I have to do a better job of finishing next year. Missing by such a small margin makes you just want it that much more for next year.”