HURON — Another day, another tournament and another chance for Avon Lake senior Brendan Aussem to show why he’s one of the best high school golfers in the area.
Aussem didn’t disappoint, either, shooting a 1-under-par 71 to pace the field at Tuesday’s Division I sectional tournament at Thunderbird South and lead the Shoremen to a spot in next week’s district tournament at Mohawk Country Club.
The Shoremen tied Bowling Green for first with a score of 314, but the Bobcats got the title based on the score of their fifth golfer.
Still, it was a good day for the Shoremen, especially after they had no one break 80 and had to settle for second in the Southwestern Conference Tournament on Sept. 20.
“I’m very excited about the way we played today,” Avon Lake coach Amy Manco said. “Brendan played so well it allowed everyone else on the team to relax and focus on their own games. And in team golf it’s so important for everyone to try to take the pressure off their teammates.”
Austin Kryc shot a 5-over 77 while Hunter Tharp (82) and Clay Sharb (84) rounded out the scoring for the Shoremen.
They weren’t the only local team or individual feeling good Tuesday, however. Elyria shot a 320 to take fourth, earning one of the five team spots available to districts, while Midview senior shot a 10over 73 and Amherst junior Mike Campana had a 3-over 75 to snag two of the five district spots available for individuals not on qualifying teams.
“I’m ecstatic with the way we performed today,” Pioneers coach Jim Kistler said. “Everyone executed the game plan to perfection. We talked about how to play every hole on this course and everyone played their best golf today.
“I knew all season that this team had the potential of doing this. We’ve actually posted lower scores, but I also realized that with the level of competition we were somewhat of a dark horse.”
Senior Kevin Koepp led the Pioneers with a 6-over 78, just ahead of teammates Ryan Messer (79), Billy Yrad (81) and Mat McFredrick (82).
“Today showed what we can do if we all work together as a team,” Koepp said. “If we would have had one bad score it would have knocked us out. The past three years I’ve been on this team the seniors always choked at sectionals, so we just came out here determined to play our best golf.”
As was Aussem, who had four birdies on the day.
“I finally got my putting down today,” the three-time state qualifier said. “I’ve been driving the ball well for a few weeks now so I just have to concentrate on my chipping and the rest of my short game. “It helps my confidence going into next week to know that I had the best score here today, but I also think the entire team should have a lot of confidence now.”
When asked what advice he will have for his teammates next week when a trip to the state tournament is on the line Aussem said: “I’ll just remind them 80 is not a bad score. If we all just stay on our game and avoid careless mistakes we’ll stay away from big numbers and we can make it to states.”
It was a bittersweet day for Gerbec even though he had the second-best round of the tournament. That’s because the Middies fell one stroke short of the final team qualifying spot as Perkins edged them out 323-324.
“I knew 81 was the last qualifying score last year so I figured I was in good shape as soon as I came in,” Gerbec said. “The rough was high today and the pin placements were tough so I was rather surprised to see as many low scores as we had today. I was kind of upset for my team that we didn’t make it out. Now I just have to keep practicing and try to have another round like this next week.”
Campana, one of the hottest and steadiest golfers in the area all year, was solid again Tuesday, opening with a 40 on the back nine before turning it around and shooting a 1-under 35 on the front.
It was a disappointing day for West Shore Conference champion Avon, which had to figure it had a good chance to make districts. Instead the eagles finished 10th (335) as none of their golfers broke 80.
TEAM STANDINGS (top five advance to district): 1. Bowling Green 314*, 2. Avon lake 314, 3. Ashland 318, 4. Elyria 320, 5. Perkins 323, 6. Midview 324, 7. Westlake 328, 8. Amherst 331, 9. Olmsted Falls 333, 10. Avon 335, 11. Madison Comprehensive 338, 12. Lexington 340, 13. Norwalk 353, 14. North Olmsted 354, 15. North Ridgeville 359, 16. Sandusky 381, 17. Marion Harding 397, 18. Mansfield, no team score.
* won fifth-score tiebreaker.
- BOWLING GREEN (314): Nolan Dill 78, Trey Walker 78, Andrew Herrington 77, Phil Rich 81, Tyler Remis 81
- AVON LAKE (314): Brendan Aussem 71, Austin Kryc 77, Zach Sharb 88, Clay Sharb 84, Hunter Tharp 82
- ASHLAND (318): Gabe Reynolds 76, Michael Woode 78, Charles Swan 83, Davis Garrison 81, Michael Breed 91
- ELYRIA (320): Kevin Koepf 78, Ryan Messer 79, Billy Yrad 81, Mat McFredrick 82, Ben Haywood 88
- PERKINS (323): Nate Foss 75, Mason Gerold 77, Maxx Tamburrino 80, Tyler Puckrin 91, Tanner Trent 96
INDIVIDUALS (top five golfers not on qualifying teams advance to district): Brett Gerbec (Midview), 73; Mike Campana (Amherst), 75; Connor Evans (Westlake), 76; Alex Torres (Olmsted Falls), 78; Matt Leonard (Westlake), 78.
- MIDVIEW (324): Brett Gerbec 73, Taylor Stephens 82, Ethan Large 82, Ryan Miller 93, Kyle Warner 88
- WESTLAKE (328): Conner Evans 76, Matt Leonard 78, Matt Hooper 88, Corbin Dunlap 86, Trevor Walling 100
- AMHERST (331): Mike Campana 75, Connor Morris 82, Matt Dadas 86, Matt Andrews 88, Kyle Tucker 94
- OLMSTED FALLS (333): Alexander Torres 78, Scott Lemin 86, Brian Jones 80, Alexander Mitchell 99, Cameron Winkel 89
- AVON (335): Preston Olson 86, Ryan Sikora 85, Danny Kelley 88, Alex Tomko 80, Joe Clifton 84
- MADISON COMPREHENSIVE (338): Cory Peterson 85, Adam Sayre 82, Blaine Smith 83, Jacob Seamans 88
- LEXINGTON (340): Charles Mikelait 89, Matt Backett 88, Kaleb Smith 93, Dylan Seymour 83, Joey Zahn 80
- NORWALK (353): Jacob Gilson 81, Mason Berry 85, Thomas Smith 91, Zack McGuckin 97, Trenton Sheldon 96
- NORTH OLMSTED (354): Jonathan Nola 86, Alexander Arendec 85, David Brunner 92, Brandon Fatsie 91, James Clark 93
- NORTH RIDGEVILLE (359): Dennis Millgard 85, Matt Findley 89, Aushun Rolfe 85, Dan Musci 100, Gorden Goodmen 102
- SANDUSKY (381): Kyle Dickman 97, Keith Finlay 94, Martin Stevenson 95, Dalton Schenk 95, Davin Jacobs 101
- MARION HARDING (397): Kyle Fulton 81, Ty Endsley 94, Wes Gherman 109, Nate Sperling 113, Aiden Flowers 117
- MANSFIELD (no team score): Dylan Dudley 106, Aubrey Rosser 97
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.