LAGRANGE — Depending who you ask, the midday rain delay at the Grey Hawk Invitational was either a good thing or a bad thing.
Black River sophomore Luke Tanner was happy for softer greens and fairways that allowed him to shoot 1-over par in his final nine holes on his way to taking medalist honors with a 5-over 77 at Grey Hawk Golf Club.
Avon junior Mike Raicevich had the opposite feeling, saying the course got tougher as the day progressed. Raicevich still managed to shoot a 7-over 79 to lead the Eagles to a convincing team win in the event hosted by Keystone High School.
Avon won its first tournament of the season with a score of 322, 24 strokes better than second-place Holy Name (346).
“I think we did as well as we could today,” Avon coach Jeff Stevens said. “We played in worse weather conditions yesterday so I think they were ready for today. This is hopefully going to be a big confidence booster for the team.”
Raicevich came into the day as Avon’s No. 5 golfer but despite the weather he outperformed all of his teammates.
“I chipped really well today. I hit a lot of fairways and greens,” Raicevich said. “The conditions got worse as the day went on. The greens got softer and the fairways didn’t roll as much.
“When we came back (from the rain delay) I made two straight bogeys but then I settled down and adjusted.”
The Eagles posted consistent scores up-and-down the lineup. Seniors Matt Jones (80), Ryan Sikora (81) and Nick DiFilippo (82) rounded out Avon’s four scorers.
“We have a lot of seniors and they’ve played this course before and that will give them confidence,” Stevens said. “This is our final year in the (West Shore) conference and we want to build on this to win the league.”
Raicevich knows consistency will be the key to Avon’s success this season.
“We really cut it up as a team out there today,” he said. “We have two more big tournaments coming up this week before we get into conference. If we keep playing consistently like we did today it will be fun.”
While the softer greens might have been a hindrance to some, they played right into Tanner’s game.
“The conditions were tough this morning and I didn’t play well on the first nine,” said Tanner, who shot a 73 earlier this season at Walden Country Club.
“When the rain softened the golf course up a little bit it allowed all of us to be more aggressive and go for the pins. When I went back out on the course I was really able to turn it on.”
“I didn’t come in expecting to win. It really feels great. I was just trying to play a really solid round. My goal coming in was I was hoping to make top five.”
Wellington’s Kevin Scott was the only other golfer to break 80 on the par-72 course, firing a 78.
The host Wildcats had a strong showing with a 354, good for a fifth place. Aaron Brodnik led the way with a 9-over 81, an 18-shot improvement over his score at the event a year ago.
Ravenna’s Morgan Mcintyre shot a 7-over 79 for the second year in a row.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team Scores: Avon 322, Holy Name 346, Buckeye 348, Lutheran West 351, Keystone 354, Vermilion 358, Ravenna 359, Amherst 361, Midview 362, Elyria 376, Fairview 376, Wellington 382, Brooklyn 383, Black River 385, Lakewood 403, North Ridgeville 407, Firelands 434,
Medalist: Luke Tanner (Black River), 77
Other Top Scores: Kevin Scott (Wellington), 78; Mike Raicevich (Avon), 79; Morgan McIntyre (Ravenna), 79; Matt Jones (Avon), 80.
Avon (322): Ryan Sikora 81, Matt Jones 80, Nick DiFilippo 82, Mike Collins 91, Mike Raicevich 79.
Midview (362): Justin Quarm 87, Adam Morris 100, Nick Matcham 87, Aaron Mitchell 91, Brett Ward 97.
Black River (385): Luke Tanner 77, Tanner Hawley 88, Logan Streter 105, Ethan Brenner 115, Tyler Emmert 127.
Firelands (434): Mitchell Hildebrandt 93, Brandon Palmer 89, Conor Price 128, Kyle Hieb 128, Evan Lacey 124.
Amherst (361): Matt Nickoloff 94, Cory Habecker 93, Jacob Humphrey 87, Adam Cook 87, Alex Paalson 95.
Keystone (354): Jacob Bowers 89, Aaron Brodnik 81, Blake Benko 99, Cody Wilson 95, Trent Porter 89.
Vermilion (358): Tom Pena 86, Patrick Sexton 86, John Pfiel 105, Connor Maticio 93, Andrew Volzer 93.
Elyria (376): Dylan Edgell 99, Zack Demarco 86, Alex Csizmadia 96, Zack Schuster 109, Nate Hensley 95.
North Ridgeville (407): Tyler Gannon 110, Russell Justiniani DQ, Mikey Williams 102, Scott Millgard 90, Josh Bowden 105.
Lutheran West (351): Eric Myers 86, Jacob Brady 87, Sean Goll 87, Keaton Grossman 94, Sam Everson 91.
Wellington (382): Kevin Scott 78, Andrew Fahler 99, Zach Songer 109, Alex Fehlan 96, Jeremy Alspach 109.