By DAVE HANNEMAN
Even with golfers still on the course, Spencer Shoemaker knew he wouldn’t be taking home the trophy for winning the 2014 Ohio Junior Golf Championship.
Inside, though, Shoemaker knew he’d be taking home a lot more than some hardware to put on the mantel.
“I played a little shaky today. My ball striking wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be and I missed some putts here and there,” Shoemaker said after Wednesday’s rain-delayed second round at the Findlay Country Club.
“But I hung in there, I scrambled around the course and I shot 1-over (73) today and 1-under (143) for the tournament. Either way this turns out, I’m going to be tied for second or probably among the top five or six and I’m pretty happy with that.”
Shoemaker carded a 2-under 70 on Tuesday and was in a three-way tie atop the leader board with Bowling Green’s Paul Walker and Rocky River’s Kevin Duncan.
Because of rain delays, not all golfers had completed the first round, however. Among those who finished up Wednesday morning was Beavercreek’s Ryan Flick, who bogied the first hole, but played 4-under golf the rest of the way for an opening 69.
Shoemaker followed Tuesday’s 70 with a 73 on Wednesday. As he was rolling in a birdie putt on No. 18, though, some golfers were just teeing off on No. 1 following a 90-minute rain delay.
Among those who, like Shoemaker, had already finished their second round, was Liberty Township’s Ben Sattler, who fired a 67 on Wednesday to shoot to the top of the leader-board at 73-67–140.
Duncan (70-72) had also finished and was second at 142. Shoemaker and Bellevue’s Isaac Hartley, an alternate who got into the field when another golfer withdrew, were tied for third.
Flick was still on the course, along with six other golfers who ended the first round within four strokes of the lead.
Tournament officials were checking weather apps and radar scans. If another band of rain showers halted play, the tournament would revert to a one-round format, Flick’s 69 would be the winning total and Shoemaker would finish in a tie for second.
If the second round was completed, Shoemaker knew he’d finish no higher than third. In the final standings, he actually ended up in a tie for sixth with Hartley after Springboro’s Jake Gilkison, thanks to a 66 in the final round, grabbed second (141), and Medina’s Spencer Koch used a 72-70–142 tournament to tie Flick and Duncan for third.
Still, it was a finish of note for Shoemaker, a three-time state qualifier with Findlay High’s golf team who credits former Findlay Country Club Director of Golf Tom Herzan, who has competed in a number of PGA Senior events, and current FCC head pro Jordan Schroeder, with helping him hone his game for the next step in his career.
“I’m really looking forward to my senior season at Findlay, but tournaments like this one and the Hudson Junior Golf Invitational are very important because this is where college coaches can see a lot of good young golfers. They base their decisions off tournaments like this more than high school (play),” Shoemaker said.
“This is an extremely strong field. There are 148 kids here, some of the best junior golfers in the state. Fifteen to 20 have already committed to college programs, so to do well here is a great feeling.
“I’ve not made anything official yet, but this is going to be a huge help in helping me make that decision.”
Bryce Gorrell, a Division III state qualifier for Hopewell-Loudon last fall, tied for 42nd in the Ohio Junior Championship with a 74-76–150. Van Buren’s Sawyer Junge went 89-83–172 and was 130th. Hunter Foltz, also of Van Buren, carded an 86-83–169 and was 27th in the 15-under flight of the tournament.
2014 Ohio Junior Championship
AT FINDLAY COUNTRY CLUB
1, Ben Sattler, Liberty Township 73-67–140
2, Jake Gilkinson, Springboro 75-66–141
3, Spencer Koch, Medina 72-70–142
3, Kevin Duncan, Rockey River 70-72–142
3, Ryan Flick, Beavercreek 69-73–142
6, Spencer Shoemaker, Findlay 70-73–143
6, Isaac Hartley, Bellevue 72-71–143
8, Seth Brenneman, Columbus 74-70–144
8, Ben Silverman, Toledo 74-70–144
8, Alex Weiss, Pickerington 73-71–144
8, Mitchell Kontak, Toledo 71-73–144
12, Justin Perdue, Dublin 77-68–145
12, Scot Sapp, Pickerington 73-72–145
12, Jeg Coughlin III, Fublin 72-73–145
12, Avery Schneider, New Albany 71-74–145
OTHER AREA SCORES
40, Bryce Gorrell, Hopewell-Loudon 74-76–150
130, Sawyer Junge, Van Buren 89-83–172
27, Hunter Foltz, Van Buren 86-83–169
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