DEMOTTE — Experience is always the best teacher.
It's no different for Michigan City's Nick Gushrowski, who will try to make good on last year's rounds at the boys golf state finals as he returns to Prairie View Country Club in Carmel for his second go-round.
"It'll be a lot different," Gushrowski said after qualifying in Thursday's Lake Central Regional with a 76. "My strategy on the course will be a lot better than last time. I really didn't know the course that well. I didn't really know where to miss it. Hopefully, I'll use it basically like those were just practice rounds."
After laboring to an 87 in his opening 18 in Carmel last spring, Gushrowski bounced back nicely on day two, carding a 77. His 10-stroke turnaround was bettered by only three players in the field of 100.
"He had a rough first round, but now he knows the course," Wolves coach Jeff Edinger said. "He might've tried to force it, do a little too much. He's letting the game come to him (now), trusting our plan and sticking with it. He'll get everything more together mentally. I'm expecting him to have a really good state appearance. I think he'll have a really good couple rounds. He's got all the shots. We're really pumped for it."
Gushrowski had a state precursor of sorts in the regional, playing his round with Carmel No. 1 Nick Dentino. He will tee off on hole 10 at 9:06 a.m. Tuesday in a threesome that also includes Evan Todd of Bloomington North and Drew Pickering of Heritage Christian. Valpo's Mark Civanich and Crown Point's team are also in the field.
"It's always nice to play with people as good or better than you," Gushrowski said. "Last year, the way I was treating it, it was just nice to make it. (Now) I'd like to play well, I'd like to place well."