Waterford girls golf team wraps up at state

Courtesy photo (Tami Dietz) The Waterford golf team featured, from left to right, Ashley Offenberger, Kenzie Dietz, Rachel Adams, Abby Eichmiller, Allie Leach, Liz Leach, Alicia Dickenson, and Bri Hart.

COLUMBUS — Waterford High had a subpar golf outing on an ideal day for the sport.

The Wildcats carded a team score of 709, good for an eighth-place Saturday in the OHSAA Girls Division II State Tournament at the Ohio State University Gray Course in Columbus.

“It was a beautiful day Saturday, but not a good one for us on the golf course,” said WHS girls’ golf coach Cris Baker, who has guided the Wildcat girls to three straight state tournament appearances. Last year, the Cats finished seventh with a score of 719. “We were hoping to finish in the top 3 or 4.”

The 18-hole Gray Course measures 5560 yards and is a Par 70. Sarah Willis of Eaton was the top individual with a one-under par 69. Taylor Thierry of Shaker Heights Laurel had an ace on hole 17.

Independence, which led from the get-go, claimed the team title with a total of 652.

After shooting an opening round score of 348 on Friday, Waterford finished with a 361 on the final day of the tourney.

“We shot 17 strokes better than the first day last year, but still ended up in seventh place, one stroke out of a tie for fifth and sixth place,” Baker said. “Today, everybody didn’t have a good day together.”

Senior Kenzie Dietz led the Cats with a two-day score of 164 (80 Friday, 84 Saturday); Junior Ashley Offenberger was next with 171 (87, 84); senior Abby Eichmiller finished with a 185 (88, 97); senior Bri Hart had a 196 (98, 98); and senior Liz Leach, a 189 (93, 96).

“We didn’t shoot as well as we would’ve liked to,” said Dietz, who finished in a tie for 18th place overall. “I know I missed a few putts that if I’d made would’ve helped us out a lot.”

Putting seemed to be a bugaboo for the Wildcats on the final day.

“I think we had about 15 putts that were just a few inches from the hole,” Baker said.

“The girls know that they could’ve golfed better.”

Offenberger agreed and added, “We just didn’t play to our full potential. We played good Friday, but then I don’t know what happened Saturday.

“I do know that we were one stroke out of being a little higher Friday, and we were kind of beating ourselves up — not literally — for that on Friday night. We wanted to be in the top 3 this year.”

Offenberger and Dietz each had a birdie in the first round but none in the second.

“It came on the 12th hole, a par 5,” Offenberger said. “My approach shot hit the green and was about three feet from the hole. That (birdie) was definitely a highlight for me in the tournament.”

Dietz’s birdie came on the third hole, a par 4.

“I had to make a nice, long putt,” she said.

Overall, Baker said that it had “been a good run” for the Waterford girls’ golf team.

“I feel bad for the girls, because they wanted to place higher,” the Waterford coach said. “Four of them (Dietz, Eichmiller, Leach, and Hart) will be graduating (in the spring of 2018). Ashley will be back, though.”

Dietz, who will be playing on Waterford’s basketball team this winter, said she “couldn’t ask for better teammates.”

“We had a lot of fun,” she said.