AVON — Making one eagle in a round of golf is an accomplishment. Making eagles on back-to-back holes is just being Aussem.
Brendan Aussem, that is.
The Avon Lake senior had eagles on the 18th and first holes Thursday on his way to a 3-under-par 69 at the North Ridgeville Ranger Invitational at Avon Oaks Country Club.
Aussem was low individual and led the way for the Shoremen to win the team title, as well.
Avon Lake shot a 307, five strokes better than second-place Rocky River (312) and well ahead of third-place Olmsted Falls (324).
“Recently I’ve been having trouble with my swing, my driver really hasn’t been going where I need it to,” Aussem said. “But today I was hitting the green with my irons and putting well, and put together a good round.”
The 14-team event used a shotgun start so Aussem, who started the day on the 14th hole, had the rare opportunity to play consecutive par-5s. After making eagle on No, 18, he chipped in from the fringe on the first hole to make it two eagles in a row.
“It’s a great accomplishment to get two eagles in one round,” Avon Lake coach Amy Manco said. “Earlier in the week, Brendan’s teammates were joking with him that they were counting on him to shoot a 68 or 69 so we could start winning tournaments, and today he went out and did it.”
The Shoremen needed a boost of confidence going into next Monday’s Southwestern Conference preview after losing earlier this week to Brecksville on a fifth-card tie-breaker at the North Olmsted Invitational.
“We have kind of a rivalry going now with Brecksville,” Ausssem said. “It’s important that we can go there and shoot another low score to put us in position to win the SWC.”
Grant Hartley (77), Zach Sharb (79) and Clay Sharb (82) rounded out the scoring for the Shoremen.
Yet, despite the Shoremen’s success Thursday, Manco knows her team still has room for improvement.
“Today was good for the kids, a real boost of confidence,” she said. “All of these kids played really well in the summer and put up scores, but team golf is different and we talk about that a lot. You really have to think about every shot you take because you’re taking it for the entire team.”
Avon’s Danny Kelley and Alex Torres of Olmsted Falls both shot 1-over 73, with Torres taking second-place honors based on a better score on the back nine.
“I felt good out there today,” Torres said. “I made three birdies but I know there’s always room for improvement. It’s not just about what I’m shooting now, it’s about where I want to be by the time we get to sectionals.”
Rocky River’s Jackson Farling had the next best score with a 3-over 75, while his teammate Tom Garibaldi and Strongsville’s Justin Hill were next with 76.
It was the second consecutive year the Shoremen won the event and both times Aussem shot 69.
“I love playing at Avon Oaks,” Aussem said. “The crew here does an outstanding job of getting the course ready. The greens are always in great shape.”
Team Scores: Avon Lake 307, Rocky River 312, Olmsted Falls 324, Strongsville 325, Avon 326, Amherst 336, Elyria 339, North Ridgeville 345, Midview 347, North Olmsted 357, Lakewood 358, Northwestern 359, Keystone 367, Elyria Catholic 383.
Top individuals: Brendan Aussem (Avon Lake) 69; Alex Torres (Olmsted Falls) 73; Danny Kelley (Avon) 73; Jackson Farling (Rocky River) 75; Tom Garibaldi (Rocky River) 76; Justin Hill (Strongsville) 76; Mike Campana (Amherst) 77; Grant Hartley (Avon Lake) 77; Tom Robenalt (Rocky River) 78; Matt Krause (Strongsville) 78.
- Amherst (336): Mike Campana 77, Connor Morris 81, Matt Dadas 85, Chris Majzun 93
- Avon (326): Ryan Sikora 80, Preston Olson 81, Danny Kelley 73, Sammy Stepchuk 92
- Avon Lake (307): Brendan Aussem 69, Zach Sharb 79, Clay Sharb 82, Grant Hartley 77
- Elyria (339): Kevin Koepf 83, Ryan Messer 87, Billy Yrad 80, Benny Haywood 89
- Elyria Catholic (383): Tyler Riddell 100, Devin Tanner 94, Brian Duffield 93, Angelo Cruz 96
- Keystone (367): Bradley Clanin 80, Ryan Voelker 99, Jacob Bowers 95, Zach Vince 93
- Midview (347): Brett Gerbec 84, Taylor Spephens 85, Kyle Warner 89, Ryan Cicone 89
- North Ridgeville (345): Matt Findlay 85, Dennis Millgard 79, Austin Rolfe 81, Dan Musci 100
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsportschroniclet.com.