HARRISVILLE, W.Va. - While several of the more veteran golfers on the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf Association tour were toying with red numbers midway through their round Friday at North Bend Golf Course, it was Logan Clegg out of the one of the younger age divisions stealing the show and taking medalist honors.
Clegg, who will be a freshman this fall at Parkersburg South, birdied the same hole twice on the nine-hole course and finished at 5-over par 77 to claim first place by a one-stroke margin.
Despite finding the water on his drive at No. 4 on back-to-back trips, Noah Smith overcame a seven-stroke deficit in the final nine holes and captured the 16-18 age division with a 78. Smith won his age group last year at the North Bend stop for the MOVJGA.
Smith, who has been invited to play for the West Virginia University club team in the fall, closed out his last nine holes at 1-over 37.
"I three-putted for bogey on my ninth hole, so I was 5-over and Dylan was 2-under - at that point I was just thinking top 3," Smith said. "I was hoping not to press too hard and keep my game in check. I didn't want to put up any big numbers."
At the midway point, it appeared as if medalist honors would boil down to two individuals - Dylan Cress and Alex Easthom. Playing in the lead group, Easthom birdied two holes before the turn and sat at 1-under 35 at the halfway mark.
Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Golf
At North Bend Golf Course
Noah Smith 41-37-78
Dylan Cress 34-45-79
Alex Easthom 35-44-79
Mac McCormick 43-38-81
Garrett Bertram 43-38-81
Trevor Gorrell 40-45-85
Andrew Simms 45-42-87
Isaac Trader 49-46-95
Logan Clegg 40-37-77
Chance Shears 42-38-80
Todd Burner 45-41-86
Heath Hill 48-47-95
Cody Greathouse 60-57-117
12-under (9 holes)
Blake Snyder 55
Daniel Wharton 59
Mace Rusch 63
Tyler Bagley 64
Ben Trader 65
Next MOVJGA meet: 8 a.m. on Friday, July 18 at Oxbow Golf and Country Club in Belpre
Just as Easthom and his group were making their way down the No. 1 fairway, Cress chipped in for eagle at the ninth hole and closed out the first half of his round at 2-under 34.
"I was swinging the clubs smooth and everything felt right on my first nine," Easthom said.
Those same two golfers became a non-factor after a rough second nine. Easthom suffered back-to-back double-bogeys at the sixth and seventh before finally finding a morale victory with a par on No. 9 to close out with a 79.
"I played those last nine too relaxed," Easthom said. "After those double bogeys, I was thinking it was eBay time and time to get rid of the clubs. At least the ball and I became friends on that par on No. 9."
Cress couldn't get things turned around after taking a double-bogey on his 10th hole when his first shot attempt in a greenside bunker failed to clear the sandy surface. His drive into the trees lining the right side of the fairway on his 11th hole only complicated matters and the Parkersburg senior tied Easthom for second in the 16-18 age division with a 79.
A birdie on his 18th hole secured the age division win for Smith.
"Honestly, I didn't think a 78 would stand up for my age group," Smith said.
Capturing medalist honors for the 12-under age group was Blake Snyder with a 55 for nine holes.