Humid weather and tough conditions played havoc with the 50 participants in the Junior Open championships.
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The major winners were recent Margaretta graduate Tyler Smith in the boys’ 17-to-19 age group with a 76, Port Clinton junior Shane Meek, who won his first LEJGA title with an 80 in the boys’ 14-16 (Division C) group.
In addition, Ari Tomasula of Rocky River edged out Maddie Kreidler of Sandusky for the girls’ 15-to-19 age bracket Division G) with an 87.
Others crowned champions for the day were Jack Hanus of Bowling Green in the boys’ 12-13 (Class B) age bracket with a sizzling 37-39—76 from the gold tees; Nolan Haynes (Barberton) in a scorecard playoff with Carson Kennedy of Castalia in the boys 10-11 pairing (Division A) after both wound up with 43s and Julia Hippely (Huron), who bested Jordan Pruitt (Milan) in another scorecard playoff after both finished with 45 in the girls’ 10-to-14 class (E).
Smith picked up his third title of the season and second in four days.
He also grabbed honors at Maumee Bay Friday in a scorecard playoff with Chris Stang of Norwalk and Garret Rupert of Clyde after all three carded rounds of 78.
Smith prevailed despite a triple bogey seven on the 420-yard dogleg right fourth hole which started with his first shot into the trees, blocking his path to the green.
“I don’t know if it was the heat or the course. Maybe is was my bad playing,” Smith said when asked why the scores were higher than usual. “I had a lot of par-saving putts today from the 15-20-foot range and added a couple of birdies (Nos. 3 and 6).”
The 2012 LEJGA Player of the Year in the 17-to-19 age group continues to lead the pack in an effort for a repeat crown.
Mitchell Rice of Sandusky was runner-up to Smith with 42-36—78 and overcame putting problems with an even par back nine. He has four three-putt green on the front side. He is in college and plays on the Ohio Wesleyan University golf team.
As for other area scores, Stang finished with 81, Tanner Trent (Sandusky) 85, Thomas Pressler (Bellevue) 89 and Ryan Wilburn (Bellevue) 91.
“I didn’t think 80 would be good enough to win, but its nice to get that first win, especially in this heat. I kept taking baths in the water coolers by soaking my head every time I saw one,” Meek said.
“I believe the key today was I played smart golf, knowing it was not a day for scoring low. I also kept the ball in play," said Meek who had just one birdie (No. 3).
Meek also won by two strokes. Dylan DeWitt (Bellevue) fired an 82 and Noah Sampson (Clarkston, Mich) 83. Nick Kinzel (Sandusky) carded an 84, Bo Pettegrew (Huron) added 87 and Collin Crooks (Sandusky) an 89.
Cameron Foss (Sandusky) was runner-up to Hanus with a fine round of 41-44—85. Ian Hilliker (Clyde) was next at 86.
“I’m happy. I shot 99 in my last tournament and he (Hanus) had a really good score,” Foss said.
Kreidler continued her fine play. She was also runner-up at Mamee Bay and her 88 was one of the lowest 18-hole rounds she's posted, and easily the low score at Sawmill.
Huron's Rafaella Gioffre was third at 90 and Hayley Roll (Perkins) added 92.
Gioffre collected her first title Friday with a solid round of 82 at Maumee Bay.
Just two more official rounds remain — Thursday at Oak Harbor Golf Club and Tuesday the rescheduled tournament at Sleepy Hollow.