FROM STAFF & WIRE REPORTS
CINCINNATI — Much like he did against an elite field in U.S. Open qualifying, high school senior-to-be Will Grimmer is proving at the Ohio Amateur that he’s skilled beyond his years.
Grimmer, a 17-year-old Mariemont High School student who played in the U.S. Open last month, shot a 5-under 66 in Wednesday’s second round of the Ohio Amateur to take a one-stroke lead over two-time winner Robert Gerwin.
An Ohio State verbal commitment who missed the cut at Pinehurst as one of the youngest Open qualifiers ever, Grimmer birdied four of the last five holes on the front side and then played the back in 1-under to stand at 4-under 138 at the tournament’s midpoint.
Fellow Cincinnati native Gerwin matched Grimmer’s 66 — the best rounds of the day at Coldstream Country Club.
Grimmer had opened with a 72 that included a double-bogey at the par-4 sixth hole and three other bogeys. In the second round, he birdied the sixth and played those same four holes in 3 under, an improvement of eight strokes.
Grimmer shocked many when he put up rounds of 70 and 65 at Springfield Country Club on June 2 to earn one of just three qualifying spots in a field of 63.
He might not have conquered Pinehurst’s famed No. 2 course, but he earlier had left his mark on the multi-course complex. In 2013, he shot a 59 at Pinehurst’s No. 1 course during the North-South Junior Amateur.
Gerwin is one of the most decorated amateurs in the state. He won the Ohio Amateur in 1996 at Miami Valley and again in 2001 at The Heritage Club.
Tied for third and another shot back at 2-under 140 were Mount Vernon’s Tim Crouch, a former player at Florida Southern, and Wright State golf coach Peter Samborsky II. Crouch shot a second consecutive 70, while Samborsky had a 71.
Defending champion Andrew Dorn, a former Coastal Carolina player from West Chester, led the pack at 1-under 141 after carding a 69. He is joined at that number by Jack Sparling of Dublin, who will be a junior at Miami (Ohio), and Springfield’s Clark Engle, a rising sophomore on the Ohio State team. Sparling shot a 70 and Engle a 72 in the second round.
At even-par 142 were Cincinnati’s David Wetterich (69) and Dover’s Ryan Troyer (72). Wetterich is a former Wittenberg player. Troyer will be a junior at Kent State.
The other two past winners in the field remained in contention. Alan Fadel, who won the last time Coldstream hosted the Ohio Am in 1995, shot his second 73 in a row.
Peter Hammar, the 1987 winner at Canton Brookside, followed a 72 with a 78.
The field of 144 was cut to the low 60 players and ties. There will be another cut, to the low 40 and ties, after Thursday’s third round.
Making the cut were Marcus Hunt, a recent graduate of the University of Findlay and Findlay’s John Zitkovoc.
Hunt, a Port Clinton native, overcame a 41 on Tuesday’s front nine, was 3-under over his last 27 holes, and is at 75-70–145 heading into today’s third round. Zitkovic, a 1975 Findlay High graduate and a veteran Ohio Amateur qualifier, was right on the bubble with a 76-75–151 total.
A number of local and area golfers did not advance.
Findlay’s Eli Stacy, who just just completed his freshman year as a member the Bowling Green State University men’s golf team, carded a second straight 78 and finished with a 156 total. Tiffin’s Mark Akers, Seneca County’s coroner, (75-81) was also at 156.
Bryce Gorrell, a 2013 state qualifier who will be a senior at Hopewell-Loudon this fall, finished 79-82–161 after the first two rounds. Arlington graduate Dexter Wilson. The 2013 Blanchard Valley Conference Player of the Year who has committed to play golf at Wayne State University, shot 85-81–166.
Also among those missing the cut was former Cincinnati Reds third baseman Chris Sabo (77-77–154).