Silver Lake: Stow junior Ian Holt tied the tournament record to win individually and Medina played consistently enough to bring home first place as a team at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Invitational at Silver Lake Country Club on Monday.
Holt shot a four-under 68, beating his personal best in the tournament by 2 strokes and tying the tournament low set by Lake’s Jake McBride in 2010. Holt was beaten by a 68 at Silver Lake that year as a freshman and on Monday returned the favor by winning with that score as a junior.
Holt played a clean round, hitting every fairway and not making a bogey.
“It was good, felt like a nice, steady round,” Holt said. “It was fairway, green, two-putt for most of the round. My driver was the strongest part of my game today and my irons could have been a little better, but we’ll work on that. I feel confident heading into the season.”
Walsh Jesuit junior Chase Johnson came in second with a 71 but was frustrated with his putting and thought he could have done much more with his round.
“I had four three-putts and missed four-footers, so it was a struggle,” Johnson said. “I’m still happy with it — anything under par is good. But I was hitting the ball so well today. I was throwing darts at flags and sticking them [close]. When you miss so many birdie putts and three-putt par the last hole, it’s a little much.”
Medina was the only team with four players to shoot in the 70s, which was enough to overtake Canton Central Catholic by 5 strokes. Medina’s final team score of 305 was one stroke off the team record of 304, set by Lake in 2010.
“They played well,” Medina coach Jeanne Pritchard said. “We had a crappy weekend because of the weather but I’m happy with it. We have half our team back and half of a new team, so it was an experience. Our four and five guys were nervous but they settled down.”
Pritchard attributed Monday’s victory to stability, not precision.
“We kept the ball in play,” she said. “The thing that hurt us was the greens [were a little slower] and we didn’t putt as well. But we didn’t make any mistakes in hitting the ball a mile away.”
Senior Patrick Luth led the Bees with a 72, the third-best individual score of the day. Luth overcame a rough start to string together a few birdies and get back to even par.
“It was definitely a slow start but in the end, I started making putts and hitting the ball well,” he said. “I wasn’t hitting the driver very good in the beginning and figured it out through the round.”
Luth echoed Pritchard’s concerns over the speed of the greens, saying it took some time to get used to them.
Medina’s score was rounded out with Sean Sherman (76), Spencer Koch (78) and Evan Schmerk (79). Luth thinks they can be even stronger.
“I think our team is looking pretty good right now,” he said. “A 305, and I know not all of us played up to our capabilities, so there’s room for improvement. We can go low with this team.”
Central Catholic was led with strong scores from Andrew Booth and Adam Mallette, who shot 74 and 75, respectively.
Chagrin Falls took third place at 314 and Lakewood St. Edward took fourth with a 316.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.