By Kerry Patrick
Special to The Times
WAVERLY, W.Va. - Ordinarily, Garrett Bertram struggles with the short game.
KERRY PATRICK Special to The Times
Noah Smith, left, and Garrett Bertram watch Smith's approach shot on the 13th hole during a Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association event Wednesday at Golf Club of West Virginia.
However, Wednesday's Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association event at Golf Club of West Virginia was not any ordinary day for the golfer who will be entering his senior year at Marietta High School.
Bertram had his putter working and that enabled him to pull off a four-stroke margin of victory for medalist honors in the 16-18 age division after turning in a 3-over par 73.
"My tee shots weren't very good, but what saved me was my putting," Bertram said. "My short game is usually iffy."
Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association
At Golf Club of West Virginia
Garrett Bertram 36-37-73
Alex Easthom 42-35-77
Noah Smith 39-39-78
Dylan Cress 39-41-80
Cameron Bosner 44-37-85
Trevor Gorrell 46-40-86
Mac McCormick 43-43-86
Drew Simms 44-45-89
Mitchell Eddleblute 48-42-90
Alex Branham 53-44-97
Isaac Trader 49-49-98
Turner Schilling 51-50-101
Logan Clegg 40-44-84
Max Hughes 44-44-88
Heath Hill 46-45-91
Caleb Scharff 43-50-93
Lake Satterfield 52-42-94
Cody Greathouse 51-45-96
Kenzie Dietz 51-51-102
Evan Seevers 55-52-107
Brianna Hart 60-58-118
Corben Brooker 64-58-122
Jared Miller 60-62-122
Bailey Gloobwski 63-63-126
Nick Ward WD
Todd Burner WD
(9 holes, par 34)
TJ Davidson 50
Daniel Wharton 62
Ben Trader 65
Next MOVJGA event: 8 a.m. today at Worthington GC in Parkersburg
Just past the halfway mark, Parkersburg South graduate Noah Smith appeared to be the favorite and led the field by one stroke with six holes remaining. Smith then hit a speedbump and bogeyed five of his remaining six holes to fall out of contention.
"I thought Noah's putts were going in - he would barely miss them," Bertram said. "And luckily mine went in."
Bertram, who won twice on the MOVJGA tour last year and has one runner-up finish to his credit this year, admitted he was scoreboard watching with Smith a member of his foursome. Bertram broke the tie when he parred the 14th hole and Smith took a bogey.
The victory was secured on the next hole when Bertram left his approach shot within 6 feet of the hole and sank the putt for birdie. Smith, meanwhile, put himself in jail with his tee shot and settled for yet another bogey for a two-stroke swing. Slipping past Smith (39-39-78) for second place was Ravenswood 14-year-old Alex Easthom (42-35-77), who played the back nine at 1-over par despite taking a bogey on his final two holes.
"On the front nine, I played really well," Smith said. "On the back nine, I was hitting the ball well but I just didn't put myself in good position to score. I usually chip better than that, but the greens were really quick and kept releasing a lot, so I was surprised.
"I was trying to keep up with Garrett, but he rolled in so many putts today. He rolled in a ton."
The MOVJGA tour continues today with an 8 a.m. tee time at Worthington Golf Course. Bertram, Easthom and Smith gave a resounding 'yes' when asked if they would be part of the field.
"I like Worthington a lot -it's not too long and pretty scorable," Smith said.
In the 13-15 age division, two golfers broke 90. Logan Clegg recorded nine pars and six bogeys while shooting an 84. Max Hughes' round of 88 consisted of three pars and 12 bogeys.
Three individuals competed in the 12-under division. For nine holes, TJ Davidson carded a 50 and won by 12 strokes over runner-up Daniel Wharton.