April 21, 2014

Elyria
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Boys golf: North Ridgeville’s Orseno shoots career low to win host tourney

AVON — A career low golf score won Garrett Orseno the fifth annual Ranger Invitational on Thursday, but as big a thrill, if not bigger, came on the final three holes when his father, Tony, watched.

“It was awesome, it made my day,” said Orseno, a North Ridgeville senior who shot a 5-under 67 at the fifth annual North Ridgeville High-hosted event at Avon Oaks Country Club.

“I was so happy he was there for my best round ever, I immediately walked off the final green and gave him a big hug,” Orseno said.

While Orseno took medalist honors, Avon broke Westlake’s three-tournament winning streak with a score of 315 to take the team championship. Westlake, which won two tournaments this week and one last week — the first with a 294 at the North Olmsted Invitational, took third Thursday at 328, well above the 304 that won the Pioneer Invitational title Wednesday.

Westlake’s Patrick Steffen — medalist at 71 on Wednesday — shot an 82 at Avon Oaks.
Patrick’s brother, Frank Steffen, who shot 75 the day before, shot 82 on Thursday.
Jules Blakely, who shot 76 at Forest Hills, had a 96 at Avon Oaks. The only Demons golfer who shot better Thursday than Wednesday was Nick Wilson, who finished at 78 after an 82 at the Pioneer Invitational.

North Ridgeville, which had a 320 on Wednesday for fourth place, used Orseno’s hot score to finish as team runner-up Thursday with a 321.

The Rangers senior had nines of 33 and 34 with seven birdies, including four straight
birdies — also a personal best — on his home course. Orseno works at Avon Oaks as a caddy and in the bag room.

“My irons were the biggest part of my game today,” he said. “I hit a lot of greens. On five of my birdies my iron shot put the ball within 5 feet of the cup.”

On No. 16 — a par 4, 400-yard hole — he placed his 131-yard gap wedge approach shot to within 3 inches of the flag.

“I was excited because I thought it was going in,” he said. “But it rolled just left of the pin. Still, I can’t complain.

“I got into a zone today with my irons as my longest putt was only 4 feet. I’ve been playing well lately (he had a 1-over 73 Wednesday at Forest Hills) because I’ve had confidence and patience — both keys to the game.”

Orseno didn’t play his junior year due to academic issues but took steps in the offseason to get back to competition by hiring a tutor for grade improvement, lifting weights and practicing hard all winter.

He shot over 300 practice balls daily at the Bob-O-Link driving range, except when it was snowing. He was also very busy during the summer tournament season, averaging three tourneys a week. His lowest score was a 73 for second place.

“With a tutor I plan on making A’s this coming school year so I can play college golf,” Orseno said.

Avon’s Ryan Sikora was runner-up with a 40-34—74, fresh off his 78 on Wednesday in the Pioneer Invitational.

“It was really nice to shoot 315 at a tough course like Avon Oaks,” Avon coach Jeff Stevens said. “You’ve got to shoot the ball straight on this course to score well. My top three guys have been consistent so far this season.”

After Sikora’s 74, Avon’s other scores were Vince Mingo with 78, Alex Timko with 79 and Nick DiFillippo with 84.

Following North Ridgeville and Westlake, Avon Lake was fourth at 329 and Olmsted Falls was fifth at 337.

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

TEAM SCORES

Avon 315, North Ridgeville 321, Westlake 328, Avon Lake 329, Olmsted Falls 337, Strongsville 339, Amherst 346, Elyria 348, Midview 350, Rocky River 350, North Olmsted 354, Lutheran West 363, Keystone 366, Lakewood 370, Brooklyn 406.

TOP INDIVIDUALS

Garrett Orseno (North Ridgeville), 67; Ryan Sikora (Avon), 74; Jackson Farling (Rocky River), 77; Dennis Millgard (North Ridgeville), 77; Alex Torress (Olmsted Falls), 78; Mike Campana (Amherst), 78; Nick Wilson (Westlake), 78; Vince Mingo (Avon), 78; Robert Konstan (Lutheran West), 79; Alex Tomko (Avon), 79.