TIFFIN — A stiff wind and stingy greens spelled disaster for Lorain County’s contingent of golfers at the Division I district golf tournament Thursday at Mohawk Country Club.
An Avon Lake team that was expected by many to be making the trip to Columbus next week finished a disappointing seventh and senior Brendan Aussem, who was looking to earn his fourth trip to the state tournament, shot a 16-over 88.
“It’s disappointing, it was a good run with five seniors,” Avon Lake coach Amy Manco said. “It was fun working with Brendan, I know it’s got to be really tough for him right now. He really wanted to make it to state four years in a row.”
Austin Kryc led the Shoremen with a 10-over 82.
Toledo St. Francis took the team title with a score of 328, led by Josh Williams who shot an 8-over 80. Consistency was the key for the Knights, with all five golfers shooting between 80 and 85. The other qualifying team was Findley, which shot a 338 and was led by Mason McCool’s 80.
The wind proved fatal to Elyria’s hope. The Pioneers struggled all day, finishing in last place with a 389. In his final high school match, Kevin Koepp led Elyria with a 92.
“It was just an all-around difficult day, the wind was unbelievable, the greens were very fast … you put that all together and you see a lot of high scores,” Pioneers coach Jim Kistler said. “When we establish the schedule I try to give the kids a taste of tougher courses where you have to use all of the clubs in your bag, but nothing can prepare you for 40 degrees and 40-mph winds.
“I’m still proud of this team and their effort all year. Just to get here made it a good year.”
The start of the tournament was delayed by 30 minutes due to frost on the course. Although the sun came out and made for warmer conditions the wind never let up at any time during the day.
Amherst’s Matt Campana posted the best score of any Lorain County golfer with a 9-over 81. But it was two strokes short of the score needed to advance to Columbus.
“The wind was a big factor, whoever had the best short game won the tournament today,” Campana said. “You had to keep the ball low and play a punch-around game today. I thought it would take about a 78 to make it out today.”
Campana’s score was good enough to earn him All-district honors, awarded to the top six golfers in the event.
Clyde senior Garrett Rupert was the medalist, earning his first trip to the state tournament with a 6-over 78.
Midview’s Brett Gerbec, the only other Lorain County golfer in the event, won’t soon forget his time at hole No. 7 on Thursday.
Gerbec’s tee shot landed in the branches of a tall pine tree. He was finally able to spot his ball with the help of binoculars, but could not properly identify the ball to course officials. With Midview teammate Ethan Large climbing up the tree trying to retrieve the errant shot course officials informed Gerbec that he had run out of time to find his ball and had to take a two-stroke penalty and hit another tee shot.
Gerbec eventually triple-bogeyed the hole.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.