September 17, 2014

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Avon grad Kaitlin Neumann stays hot in the heat, shoots 77 to win Ohio Girls Golf Foundation tournament by seven shots

AVON — Kaitlin Neumann was hot.

Actually, everyone was Monday during a sweltering day at the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation’s 12th annual tournament at Avon Oaks Country Club. It’s just that Neumann, a recent Avon High grad, had a game to match the weather, taking first place with a 5-over-par 77.

“Yes, it was hot,” Neumann said, “but it really didn’t bother me.”

Why should it? The win continued a hot spell for Neumann, who shot a 76 last week in winning a tournament at Wallendale Golf Course in Sugar Creek.

“My chipping was definitely on today,” said Neumann, who will be a freshman on the Ashland University golf team in the fall. “I had a few bad drives but recovered well.”

Neumann had nines of 37-38 to finish seven strokes ahead of runners-up Amanda Rom of team-champion Medina and Corynn Kreig of Avon Lake.

While Neumann didn’t make a birdie, she was consistent, making just five bogeys to go with 13 pars.
Her best hole was the par-4 14th, a dogleg right, where she drove over a creek to within 77 yards of the green, then hit a pitching wedge to within 20 feet of the pin. She two-putted for one of her many pars.

Medina High was fortunate Rom got her act together quickly after taking triple bogey on her first hole, which was the sixth in the shotgun start. She rebounded in a big way, shooting 83 to spark the bees to the team championship with a 359, six strokes ahead of runner-up Avon.

“I was nervous at the start,” Rom said, “and lost two balls on that first hole. But then I got my driver together and my putting was really good.”

Her lone birdie of the day came at No. 8, just two holes after her shaky start, when she rolled a 40-foot putt. The senior had nines of 43-40.

MacKenzie Debnar shot 90, Nikki Sherman 91, Madison Loftis 95, Morganne Turk 101 and Angie Dick 102 to round out Medina’s scoring. Turk and Dick’s scores did not count toward the team total.

Led by Neumann’s 77, Avon had 364 with Anna Schatschneider shooting 91, Annika Neumann 98, Hannah Starck 98 and Casey Bauers 124.

Cleveland St. Joseph Academy was next at 371 followed by Copley at 442.

Rocky River High’s Julia Gentner, who finished in fourth with an 84, had the worst start among golfers playing as individuals and not on teams, taking an eight. Her drive wasn’t good. Then she hit her second shot into a pond. After that she hit a sand trap before two-putting for a quadruple bogey.

“It was first-hole jitters,” she said. “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”

After a 47 on the first nine she really found her game, firing a 1-over 37 on the second.

“I had some really good drives and my second shots were always straight,” she said. “I had one birdie on the second nine.”

Gentner, a junior, was medalist in the Ohio high school sectional last year.

The OGGF, headed by Teen Burke, promotes girls golf and encourages girls to go to college and play the sport. At the awards ceremony, the group awarded six college scholarships to girls who played in the tournament.

The day started out with a skills clinic with professional golfers Barb Mucha, now on the LPGA Legends Tour, and Janice Moodie.

“I’ve been doing this for 12 years,” Mucha said of the clinics. “It’s my way of giving back to women’s golf.”

Mucha has finished in the top five in two of the Legends’ four tournaments this summer.

Contact Jerry Rombach at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.