By Susan Jenior | Correspondent
The home course advantage in golf is huge.
Different fairways, varying hazards and undulating greens give the home team an opportunity to score very well on familiar territory.
Mogadore took the home course advantage, Paradise Lake Country Club in Randolph, and posted an impressive victory over Woodridge in a PTC County Division matchup on Wednesday.
For the Wildcats, Eddie Pearce fired a 36 and Collin Whitmyer a 39 to lead the improving Mogadore team. Coach Chris Mossa expected his golfers to be among the top in the County Division and his team is proving him right.
For Woodridge, it was a difficult loss, even though they were beaten by 13 strokes.
The Bulldogs have been atop the County Division as the champions for three straight seasons. During those past three years, Woodridge lost a total of two matches: one to Rootstown in 2010 and one to Southeast in 2012.
This season, their won-loss record stands at 4-2 after losing to Southeast at the Pirates' home course and then firing inconsistently at Paradise Lake.
For the Wildcats, it was a total team effort. Ryan Hostetler fired a 40, Brandon Hall a 42 and Casey Ruppel a 41.
Pearce has been an important addition to the team. Playing in only his second contest for Mogadore, the transfer student has had an impressive start, also winning the Windmill Classic last week.
But Pearce wasn't the difference. Even without his 36, Mogadore would have won on the strength of the team that started the season.
For Woodridge, coach Dave Krusinski knows they have had an amazing run and doesn't expect it to stop just because the Bulldogs have had two losses this season.
Mogadore still has to travel to the fairways Woodridge calls home. While Woodridge usually plays the front nine, golf teams never know when Krusinski could shake things up and play the back.
Golfers in Northeast Ohio have T-shirts that brag about surviving the back nine at Brandywine Golf Course in Peninsula, home of the Bulldogs.
Stay tuned ... the Portage Trail Conference County Division season is heating up and the championship will still be up for grabs at the PTC Tournament in September.