AVON – Beau Titsworth proved he was human but is still playing the role of Rory McIlroy, who ran away with the U.S. Open title last weekend by a whopping score.
On Tuesday, Titsworth, a senior to be at St. Ignatius who hails from Avon, shot an American Junior Golf Association Cleveland Open first-round record 8-under-par 64 for a McIlroy-like 5-stroke lead. But in Wednesday’s second round he shot “only” a 2-under 70 for a two-day total of 134. The Day 2 performance still extended his lead to 10 strokes over Will Seger of Jasper, Ind. The final round is today.
Last year Titsworth was runner-up at 225 behind winner Franceesco Ruffino’s 223.
The tournament drew 96 golfers from all over America and a number of foreign countries.
Mika Liv of Bradenton, Fla., shot a 72 after a first-round 71 to share the girls’ lead at 143 with Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, who hit a 1-under 70 on Wednesday after a 73 in the first round.
There was sunshine for Wednesday’s round, but there were also winds gusting around 30 mph.
“The wind didn’t bother me that badly,” Titsworth said. “I didn’t push the ball too much. My putting (29) was OK and my ball striking was decent.”
He had only one bogey, after having none Tuesday, after an errant shot from the sand trap on the 10th hole. His shot of the round was a 50-foot putt on the 17th to save par. He had three birdies – on holes 4, 7 and 13.
Will the big lead make him overconfident during today’s final round?
“No, I don’t think it will bother me,” he said. “I just wish I could finish like I did yesterday.”
Titsworth finished second in last year’s Division I state tournament but might not get a chance to go for the title this fall because of an Ohio High School Athletic Association ruling that no prep golfer can play high school golf until he is finished with individual tournament play. He plans to play in a U.S. Amateur qualifier in late August. That might not give him enough time to play half a season in high school matches to qualify for playoff competition.
On the girls’ side, Liv, only 12, was not available for comment after leaving the course immediately after she finished her round.
Co-leader Henderson, just 13, did talk.
She started playing golf at an early age and began tourney play at 9. On Wednesday she had four birdies, on two, five, seven and sixteen.
“My short game was pretty good,” she said. “And my drives were in the fairway most of the time. My best shots were approach shots on holes 2 and 9. On the second hole I shot a 7-iron from 135 feet out to within a few feet of the hole. And on No. 9 I hit a 9-iron from 120 out to tape in range.”
Nikolette Schroeder of Avon Lake shot 85-74 for a 159 total going into today’s final.
Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beau Titsworth 64-70-134; Will Seger 70-74-144; P.J. Collier 69-76-147; Jake McBride 71-76-147; Tom Nettles 73-75-148; Alex Andrews 75-73-148.