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NORTHEAST OHIO AMATEUR
Rob Schustrich's come-from-behind victory
The prestigious Northeast Ohio Amateur had a different format this season, bringing the golfers together for three consecutive days of competition instead of spreading the event over a week.
Held at Stonewater Golf Club in Cleveland, the Championship Division saw two days of competition among some of the best golfers in Northeast Ohio before the field was cut to the top 30 for the final day.
On Saturday, Rob Schustrich of Windham, coach of the Hiram College men's golf team and holder of numerous Portage County Amateur championships, was in the lead after his initial round of 2-over-par 73.
On Sunday, still making the cut, Schustrich struggled, at least by his standards. His round of eight bogey or better holes led him to an 80 and a tie for 10th place.
While many golfers might consider the climb back to the top of the leaderboard an impossibility, Schustrich accepted the challenge to make it back to first place.
That was proven over the 18 holes on Monday ,when only one double-bogey marred his 18-hole round that included two birdies -- one coming on the par-5 18th.
His round of even-par 71 gave him the lead in the championship division by one stroke over Zach Mandry of Solon, who tied with Matt McAddo of Twinsburg and Tim Skufca of Avon for second place.
The outstanding scoring also put Schustrich in first place for the Mid-Amateur Division.
Larry Lahnan of Aurora, also a former Portage County Amateur champion, earned a tie for third place in the Senior Division following rounds of 77-75-72.
Schustrich was aware that the Northeast Ohio Amateur was also won by Arnold Palmer. David Benjamin, Schustrich's partner in the Wednesday Men's Golf League at Sugar Bush Golf Club in Garrettsville and local golf historian, said that his partner wanted on that trophy.
"It is why Rob played the Northeast Ohio Amateur, to have his name etched on the same trophy as Arnold Palmer," said Benjamin.
NOPGA DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT
Local qualifier results
The first two local qualifiers for the national Drive, Chip and Putt that ultimately competes at Augusta National prior to the Masters Tournament in 2018 competed at Lake Forest Country Club in Hudson and Mill Creek Golf Course in Canfield.
Among the youths advancing to Westfield Country Club for the regional qualifier were: Ellie Ryan of Stow, Annabel Fauver of Hudson, Sarah Vojtko of Stow, Ben Fauver and Adam Ruffer of Hudson, and Jack Vojtko of Stow.
Local qualifiers for the Northern Ohio PGA are still set for Inverness Club in Toledo on June 27, Wllandale Golf Course in Sugarceek on July 7, Windmill Golf Center in Macedonia on July 22, and Mallard Creek Golf Course in Columbia Station on July 30.
Register at www.drivechipandputt.com
NOPGA JUNIOR PGA SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Shady Hollow Country Club, Massillon
The opportunity to advance to the National Jr. PGA Championship will be on the line when junior golfers play 36 holes at Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon on Monday and Tuesday.
The event features an elite field that includes local golfers Luke Radis of Aurora, Alex Anderson and Joseph Evans of Hartville, Will Kurtz of Hudson, Kory Nielsen of Kent, Austin Goodwill of Mogadore, Adam Filo of Norton, Daniel Page of Munroe Falls and Darin Hudak of Tallmadge among the 80-plus competitors.
Juniors will compete in four age divisions, boys and girls age 16 to 19 and 13 to 15.
The girls champions will compete July 18-20 and the boys winners Aug. 3-5 at The Country Club of St. Albans in Missouri.
RECORD-COURIER ON THE COURSE
Look for the Record-Courier to cover these events on Northeast Ohio fairways.
MONDAY -- Northern Ohio PGA Jr. PGA Qualifier, Shady Hollow Country Club, Massillon.
TUESDAY -- Northern Ohio PGA Jr. PGA Qualifier, Shady Hollow Country Club, Massillon.
THURSDAY -- USGA Girls Qualifier, Silver Lake Country Club, Silver Lake.
FRIDAY -- Mickey Marozzi Fore Golf, Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna.
Tannenhauf Golf Club, Alliance
Adam Filo, who will be a senior on the Norton Panthers varsity golf team next fall, had the best finish among local competitors at the NOPGA Junior series held at Tannenhauf on Friday.
Filo tied for first place, carding an outstanding 1-under-par 71 to share the top spot with James Graham of Warren.
Paul Harris of Ravenna tied for 18th (80), Derek Miller of Garrettsville landed in 24th (81), Austin Goodwill of Suffield in 32nd (84) and Bailey Campbell took 35th (86).
While the youths 11 to 19 were competing in the Kenny Novak qualifier, the Pups Tour for youths ages 8 to 15 took part in a nine-hole competition.
Parker Barrett of Aurora took home fourth place, scoring a nine-hole 50. Fletcher Clark of Canton was first with a 43.
WATCHING THE U.S. OPEN
Erin Hills, Hartford Wisconsin
The U.S. Open is just that, an open tournament that provides many opportunities for people to advance to a national tournament through local qualifiers.
This column was compiled prior to the completion of the third round on Saturday, but if fans are looking for players with a Northeast Ohio or local connection, be sure to watch the progress of Tyler Light -- a former standout player for the University of Malone; and Jason Kokrak, originally from Warren, who competed for Xavier University.
Kent State grad Corey Connors was in good company, missing the cut along with Columbus-based Jason Day.
Outstanding rounds and league leaders
KSU WOMEN'S (Sunny Hill): Cathy Lisic and Betsy Mako were on target, as each fired 56 to earn low gross honors in the KSU Golf League. Lisic also had the fewest putts with 14 over the nine holes.
Margie Bryte compiled the low net score, a 26.
Mary Tassone golfed alone because her partner Terry Adolph was unable to make it, but that didn't hamper Tassone. She increased the team's lead over Suzanne Cherry and Lisic to 10.5 points.
SUNDOWNERS (Raccoon Hill): Michele Jaros chipped in on the 10th hole, but it was Lois Schlademan who earned the accolades of the league with her low gross score of 50 and low net score of 36. Carol McCauley scored the most points (9) and Pat Helsel had the fest putts (15).
Lois Schlademan, Kate Schlademan and Helsel each had one par during the round.
PORTAGE COUNTY LEAGUE (Sunny Hill): Bob Bel and Bob Largent lead by four points in the league over second-place Roger Black and Ken Stoner.
Tom Giovangnoli scored back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes at Sunny Hill, but it was Mike Leindecker who had the low gross score of 41.
Giovangnoli did finish with the low net score of 31, and also earned closest-to-the-pin honors, putting his ball near the pin on the downhill fourth hole.
THURSDAY NIGHT LADIES (Paradise Lake): In Flight A, Ali Thomas was the best on the nine holes of Paradise Lake, scoring a low gross of 39. Barb Keener earned low net honors with her 33 effort.
The B Flight was led by Patti Buchanan (low net - 50) and Cheryl Hunt (low gross - 35).
Friday: Mickey Marozzi "Fore" Engineer Outing, Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna.
June 25-26: Ben Curtis Family Foundation 3rd Golf Scramble, Firestone Country Club, Akron.
June 30: 4th Frieda Dalrymple Memorial Golf Scramble, Sunny Hill, Brimfield.
July 15: 4th LINC For the Kids Golf Outing, Paradise Lake, Suffield.
July 17: Immaculate Conception Parish Annual Golf Outing, Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna.
July 22: Roosevelt Rough Riders Football Golf Classic, Sunny Hill Golf Course, Brimfield.
Note To be added to this calendar of events, email email@example.com or call 330 206-9083.
IT REALLY HAPPENED
It's Father's Day
It's a given my husband and I plus extended family are playing golf on Father's Day as long as the rainstorms hold off until the afternoon as promised.
As you read this, we are either on the course or already done since our tee time was 5:30 a.m. at Suffield Springs to begin play before another outing.
It gives us time to still head to the Dusty Armadillo for the afternoon, then have a cook-out (or in depending on the weather) with our adult-age children who are working at golf courses and do not have the luxury of golfing for fun this morning.
It's a full weekend.
Our family teases all the time about birthday celebrations lasting for a week.
My birthday always fell on or near Father's Day, making the events surrounding the two that much more special. My birthday also was on the half birthday for my mom (or mine on her half birthday, however you want to look at it). So, we had much to celebrate.
Lest you think we only spend our time on the golf course, our celebrations include field trips with our grandchildren, campfires with extended family and rousing card games. This week alone we went to the Akron Art Museum (the elevator was the best part for the four-year-old) and the Akron Children's Museum.
I write all of this because those of us who play golf have a tendency to romanticize the sport.
It's easy to do: at the course to watch the sunrise; waiting for the sun to burn off the dew, or sometimes frost, on the green; spending several hours with good friends and family while heckling poor shots and praising good ones; and eating popcorn for breakfast in the clubhouse.
But golf accomplishes the same things that other sports do like playing a pick-up game of basketball, bringing everyone together at a picnic to play slow-pitch softball or watching a football game together while cheering for different teams. It's simply the joy of being together.
I love watching our adult-children as parents, whether their responsibilities are pets or their own children. I hope they have learned the value of family and having fun, whether it is a quick bike ride in the park, a swim at the lake or a hike in the woods.
So, this Father's Day, whatever sport you enjoy with your family, either as a competitor or a spectator, I hope you experience the closeness and fun of the people around you and an extended family that makes you smile.
SAVE THE DATES
Record-Courier Portage County Amateurs
Registration online is available at www.recordpub.com for the series of four Amateur tournaments hosted by the Record-Courier.
For questions email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 330 306-9083 or log onto the Facebook page Golf in the Record-Courier Potage County Amateurs.
Registration forms are also available at host golf courses. Payment may be made in person for the Amateurs at Sunny Hill Golf Course in Brimfield, Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna and Sugar Bush Golf Course in Garrettsville.
87th Portage County Amateur -- July 29-30, Windmill Lakes and Sugar Bush golf courses.
47th Portage County Senior Amateur -- Aug. 26-27, Windmill Lakes and Sugar Bush golf courses.
10th Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur -- July 24-25, Windmill Lakes and Sunny Hill golf courses.
3rd Kids Amateur -- June 23, Sunny Hill Golf Course.
Register online at www.recordpub.com (submissions), on-site at host courses or on the Facebook page "Golf In the Record-Courier Portage County Amateurs."