Tuesday, June 14, Delta High School Boys Golf junior Riley Bratton competed in day one of the Indiana Boys’ Golf State Finals at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana. Bratton shot a 88, with seven pars, eight bogeys, one double bogey and two triple bogeys or worse.
Bratton may have begun around 10 a.m., however, the heat reached a reported high of 98 degrees Fahrenheit while he was on the course. Bratton said he felt like he played solid on the day, but the heat undoubtedly affected him.
“It was definitely one of the hottest days I've ever played golf,” Bratton said. “I mean, I thought I didn't do too bad, but it got off to a little rocky start.”
Bratton said he wasn't able to practice June 13 (the day prior) due to rain but he prepared for the heat by drinking plenty of fluids, although he drank even more than he anticipated on the course.
“The last few days I've been drinking a lot of water and Gatorade, just getting ready for it, but once I got out there, it was just a different animal,” Bratton said. “I think I drank at least 10 waters and about four Gatorades.”
Bratton said he was able to keep his composure and deliver a stronger back nine than his “rocky start”, due to him paying attention to who was around him and calming/slowing down accordingly. Bratton anticipates a better round tomorrow because he said he will have a more secure plan of how to approach the day, whether that be heat (expected to reach a high of 98) or the course itself
Bratton said he was shocked when he first figured out he had advanced from Regionals to the State Finals and recalled one of his teammates, Wyatt Bilby, telling him he “picked a good day to play good”. He said the support he has received from his family, teammates, coaches and friends has been “insane”.
“I actually had about four or five buddies come out and watch me today and it was just kind of nice,” Bratton said. “That took a lot of the pressure off just seeing familiar faces… My phone was blowing up a lot for the two days after Regionals, which was nice talking to a lot of people I haven't talked to in a while.”
Bratton is scheduled to tee off at approximately 10:06 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, for round two of the State Finals. Visit here for live updates.