Even without any of its top players, Avon Lake captured the inaugural Lorain County Golf Coaches Association tournament at Columbia Hills Country Club, firing a 323 to best runner-up Amherst by eight shots.
The Shoremen even had the medalist as junior Hunter Tharp produced a stellar 3-over-par 74.
“I was chipping the ball well and my putter was really working for me,” Tharp said. “To come in here and beat some of the best golfers in the county is a real confidence boost for me.”
Tharp’s 74 tied a career best that he set earlier this season at Sweetbriar, the Shoremen’s home course.
“Columbia Hills is one of the nicest courses we’ve played on all season,” Tharp said. “The greens weren’t as fast as I thought they would be and that helped me with my putting.”
Tharp was eight shots better than any of his Shoremen teammates. Grant Hurley (82), Nate Venesile (83) and Josh Currie (84) rounded out the Avon Lake scorers.
Amherst was the most consistent team in the field with all six golfers shooting between 82 and 89. Mike Campana and Matt Dadas led the way with 82s, while Bob Greuter added an 83 and David Bartizal 84.
Midview (334), Elyria (337) and Keystone (338) rounded out the top five. Scott Wolfe shot his season-best 79 to lead the ’Cats.
“I started off with a couple of bogeys early on but then I settled down and started making my putts,” Wolfe said. “I love these greens. It was tough to read them at first, but they’re some of the best greens we’ve seen.”
Players and coaches from many of the teams commented on how impressed they were with the condition of the course, which dates back to 1929.
One golfer who can usually be counted on to put up low scores is Wellington senior Freddie Senghas, and he didn’t disappoint with a 5-over 76.
“I had a pretty consistent round today,” Senghas said. “I was driving the ball well.”
Senghas 14 greens in regulation and had a pair of birdies.
With conference tournaments coming up in less than three weeks and sectionals less than a month away, Senghas is confident he has his game where he needs it to be.
“I’m pleased with the way I’ve been playing,” he said. “I know I can shoot a 73 or 74, but anytime I can be in the mid-70s I’m pretty happy with that.”
Team Scores: Avon Lake 323, Amherst 331, Midview 334, Elyria 337, Keystone 338, Wellington 348, Firelands 349, Columbia 353.
Top Indivduals: Hunter Tharp (Avon Lake) 74, Freddie Senghas (Wellington) 76, Ethan Large (Midview) 78, Ryan Messer (Elyria) 79, Scott Wolfe (Keystone) 79, Eric Lawson (Firelands) 81, Matt Baker (Firelands) 81.
Avon Lake (323): Luke Latsko 95, Nate Venesile 83, Hunter Tharp 74, Grant Hurley 82, Blake Taylor 93, Josh Currie 84
Amherst (331): Mike Campana 82, Bob Greuter 83, Connor Morris 85, Matt Dadas 82, Matt Andrews 89, David Bartizal 84
Midview (334): Dominic Szpak 87, Zach Johnson 85, Taylor Stephens 84, Jason Pickering 91, Brett Gerbec 98, Ethan Large 78
Elyria (337): Ryan Messer 79, Kevin Koepp 83, Roman King 87, Ryan Haddox 88, Billy Yrad 95, Brad Fairbanks 92
Keystone (338): Brandon Osborne 87, Scott Wolfe 79, Jake Bowers 97, Caleb Schillace 92, Ryan Voelker 89, Bradey Clanin 83
Wellington (348): Freddy Senghas 76, Dylan Barris 83, Kyler David 105, Christian Toth 97, Andrew Fahler 105, Kevin Scott 92
Firelands (349): Eric Lawson 81, Matt Baker 81, Caleb Peterson 109, Mitch Hildebrandt 99, Nick Gulish 129, Dylan Newman 88
Columbia (353): Zach Stopper 83, Mike Hershey 88, Jacob Miller 97, Matt Schofield 89, Jacob Simon 93, Chris Metz 95
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.