And the Windham resident wasn't disappointed. He hit

By Persh Rohrer Record-Courier golf writer Published:

And the Windham resident wasn't disappointed.

He hit 17 of 18 greens and didn't make any mistakes in a 1-under-par 71 round to cart home his second victory in four years in the County Division of the Portage County Amateur golf tournament. His margin was three strokes over Kent's Dan Metzendorf, who finished at 2-under-par 70 for the day.

In the Senior Division, Mantua's Nick Butcher, survived a 9 on the first hole to edge Garrettsville's Bob Mishler by one stroke and earn his first win in the long history of the event.

Capping the day, Akron's Dean Cutlip ran away from the field in the Open Division by registering the lowest score of the day, a 4-under 68, to win his second title. In 1993, Cutlip won the County Division but has since moved to Akron. He becomes one of several players to claim championships in two divisions.

COUNTY DIVISION

The one green that Schustrich missed didn't hurt him because he still was able to putt, but he three-putted Nos. 15 and 17.

"It was sort of boring out there. I kept the ball in play all day," assessed Schustrich, who had his own cheering section of his wife and two sons following his play in a golf cart.

Schustrich, who totaled 138 for the two days, had a birdie putt lip out on the first hole while Doug Hauenstein, the defending champion from Aurora, birdied to move within one shot. But Schustrich was unnerved.

"I've played against him before in match play at Fowler's Mill so I knew what I had to do," Schustrich said. "Doug didn't have his 'A' game today and was struggling. His putter failed and he hit some bad wedges. He also bogeyed No. 4."

Last month, Hauenstein won the NEO Amateur Invitational tournament by shooting 6-under par in the final round at Avon Oaks. It was his fifth victory in the tournament.

Schustrich birdied No. 14 by hitting to within three feet, then he tapped in for a birdie on the 15th.

Kent's Randy Dietz, the 1997 county champion, played in the same group with Schustrich and Hauenstein but never reached serious contention and finished in a tie for third (142) with Hauenstein, who posted a 73 Sunday.

Meanwhile, somewhat unheralded Dan Metzendorf quietly stayed in the hunt, moving up from fifth on Saturday, with a 2-under 70 and a 141 final. The Warren Howland graduate now resides in Kent and attends Kent State University. He was a member of the Kent State golf team but quit to concentrate on his education. He and Dietz have played together in some summer tournaments.

"I needed some good things to happen to me today because I was four shots back," Metzendorf offered. "(Saturday) I hit some poor drives. Today, I did make five birdies, including a 20-footer on No. 9."

Garrettsville's Mark Rado finished fifth (144) after carding a 74 Sunday, while Kent's Jeff Bentley was seven shots behind him at 151.

"I felt I played real good today," Bentley noted.

SENIOR DIVISION

Butcher's six-shot advantage he gained at Kent State (72) melted on the first hole when he hit into the trees and finally settled for a 9. Mishler took a 6 on the opening hole that quickly cut Butcher's advantage to three. At the turn, they were even, then dueled down the stretch until the 18th. Butcher totaled 158 while Mishler posted a 159.

"I played steady but missed a chip on the 16th that certainly would have helped me," Mishler said. He was in par position on the 18th green when Butcher sank an 8-foot downhill putt to win.

"It broke just right and went in," said Butcher, a bowling Hall of Famer, who has several 300 games to his credit. "Making that putt was tougher than throwing the 12th shot for a 300."

OPEN DIVISION

Cutlip went into the final round tied with Rokki Rogan, the 1999 champion, after both registered par 70s at Kent State, while George Kondzich lurked behind with a 71.

If he hadn't three-putted Nos. 17 and 18, Cutlip may have scored even lower.

"I birdied the first two holes and really played well," Cutlip said. "I recovered from a couple bad swings and was 2-up at the turn. I love to play this course."

Cutlip's winning margin was six shots (138-144) over Kondzich, the defending division champion, who couldn't seem to make up any ground. "He (Cutlip) played well, but bad holes early put me way behind," Kondzich commented.

"He birdied and I took a five on one hole that put him four ahead quickly. Then on a par 3, I lost my ball and was minus seven. After that, I played 3-under par."

Rogan doubled bogeyed the second hole and said "that was it for me. I couldn't do anything after that." He tied for third with Joe Holcomb at 150.

Following the tournament, the annual championship and runnerup trophies

were presented by Record-Courier publisher David Dix. The Angelo Sicuro

Award goes to the County Division winner and the Robert C. Dix Award is

earmarked for the Senior Division champion.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.