PARKERSBURG - Career day at Worthington Golf Club on Thursday had nothing to do with a job fair. Instead, it dealt with golfers from the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association series putting forth their best rounds.
In the 16-18 age division, the grouping of Austin Root, Zach McKenna and Mac McCormick combined for 14 birdies and all three individuals turned in their best 18-hole round at the course.
Some putting issues were the only part of the game preventing Root from scoring lower than 5-under par 66. The 18-year-old from Williamstown finished with five birdies and 13 pars, and cut three strokes off from his previous best performance at Worthington which occurred at a MOVJGA event last year.
KERRY PATRICK Special to The Times
Caleb Scharff watches as his ball approaches the cup which eventually dropped for a birdie ‘3’ on the 10th hole at Worthington Golf Club during Thursday’s Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association event.
"It's driver-wedge every hole here at this course, and I'm a good wedge player," Root said.
Root managed to take medalist honors by a two-stroke margin over runner-up Zach McKenna - a 17-year-old from Vincent who also finished with five birdies, but also had two bogeys compared to none for Root.
McKenna, who eclipsed his personal best at Worthington by three shots, enjoyed the pace of play the trio set. They made the turn after nine holes in exactly 1 1/2 hours.
Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association
At Worthington Golf Club
9 holes (par 37)
Carson Okraska 37
Caleb Scharff 52
Hunter Hutchison 59
Blake Snyder 63
18 holes (par 71)
Coleman Lamp 38-40-78
Trevor Gorrell 40-47-87
Whitney Milhoan 40-47-87
Alex Easthom 45-43-88
Max Fitzgerald 41-50-91
Matt Fitzgerald 46-47-93
Dalton Smith 57-57-114
Andrew McGuffey 59-77-136
Alex Perry WD
18 holes (par 71)
Austin Root 34-32-66
Zach McKenna 34-34-68
Mac McCormick 36-36-72
Steve Farley 38-38-76
McCaul Schilling 45-45-90
Brennan Schilling 43-50-93
"When Austin put a shot close, I tried to up it and hit a good shot," said McKenna, who admitted keeping one eye on the leaderboard situation unlike the 16-year-old McCormick from Williamstown who took third with a 72.
"Playing with guys like Austin and Zach helped keep me focused," said McCormick after slicing six strokes from his previous best effort at the course.
The next MOVJGA stop is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start Monday at Mingo Bottom Golf Course in Elizabeth. McKenna plans on competing, while Root and McCormick are undecided since they have to prepare for the West Virginia Junior Amateur at the Pines Country Club in Morgantown slated to run next Thursday and Friday.
"This will be my first time playing the Junior Amateur, so I am going there to get the experience," McCormick added.
Carson Okraska didn't exactly follow suit in terms of producing a career round at Worthington. but the 11-year-old from Vienna did play the back nine at even par 37 and won the 12-under division by 15 strokes over playing partner and runner-up Caleb Scharff. Okraska, who played a practice round at Worthington on Tuesday and finished with a 2-over 36 on the front side, finished with two birdies.
A total of 20 golfers entered yesterday's tournament, including 15-year-old Coleman Lamp wearing his familiar St. Marys High School ballcap. Lamp turned in a birdie '2' on the eighth hole and closed with a 78 to claim first place in the 13-15 age division. Trevor Gorrell and Whitney Milhoan tied for second place at 87.