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Par for the Course: Morgan siblings represent Portage County at prestigious tournaments

Par for the Course: Morgan siblings represent Portage County at prestigious tournaments


By Susan Jenior

Staff Writer


Portage County is filled with talented golfers — from youth competing in their first tournaments to students playing for prep teams and adults qualifying for national tournaments.

It is no secret that this reporter loves the game and admires the successes of local golfers of all ages.

I look forward to sharing with readers, every Sunday, outstanding scores and efforts of all Portage County golfers in this column and in the Monday High School Golf Report that begins Aug. 7 in its new permanent home with Portage Sports.



James Morgan (left) and his sister Sammi Morgan at the U.S. Kids International Tournament.

James Morgan and Sammi Morgan, both of North Benton and playing for the Southeast High School and Middle School teams, are currently in the sunny south.

James qualified for the Optimist International Tournament, competed at Trump Doral Golf Club after advancing from Mill Creek Golf Club in Canfield.

James made it to the final round at Trump Doral, finishing 60th out of 171 from 20 different countries.

Dad, Josh Morgan, said, “James didn’t even have his best game on the course, but he fought the whole way.”

Morgan earned his way to First Team All-Portage Trail Conference honors in 2022 as a freshman and looks to be a force for the Pirates this season after also advancing to the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships at Pinehurst. The two tournaments were back-to-back for the rising sophomore.

The U.S. Kids World Championships included 694 players from 30 countries at the prestigious courses at Pinehurst.

Morgan’s sister, Sammi Morgan, a member of the Southeast Middle School team, also advanced to the U.S. Kids International event and is competing among 67 13-year-old golfers at Pinehurst.

Results were not available at the time this story published, but watch for a feature story on these two outstanding golfers in the near future on Portage Sports.




Kent’s Maddie Kost, who is a rising senior on the Kent Roosevelt Rough Riders team, also qualified for the Optimist International Golf Tournament at Trump Doral Golf Club in Florida.

Kost, along with James Morgan, represented Portage County well, with two golfers that live a half hour apart competing in the prestigious international tournament.

Kost has been making waves in tournaments, including the Northern Ohio PGA, as she earned the runner-up spot at the Ashland Country Club 36-hole championship and third place at the Gleneagles Golf Club 18-hole junior series championship this season.

Watch for final results from the Optimist Tournament in a future feature story on Portage Sports.



At the end of July, the Northern Ohio Golf Association hosted a U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier at Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon.

The top-three golfers earned an automatic spot at the 68th U.S. Senior Amateur to the Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.

Rob Schustrich, of Windham, earned the third and final-qualifying spot, claiming his spot at the national championship in one playoff hole with a birdie.

The U.S. Senior Amateur Championship is set to tee off Aug. 23-31 in California.




The 40th tour championship, sponsored by the Northern Ohio PGA, was hosted by Club Walden in Aurora, with juniors qualifying for the tournament following a summer of tournaments throughout northern Ohio.

Dillon Pendergast, of Mogadore, earned the runner-up spot in the 16-to-19-year-old boys division, firing 2-over-par on the tough fairways of Club Walden.

Pendergast, who was the Player of the Year in the PTC in 2022, advanced to the state tournament and will compete for the Cleveland State University men’s team in the fall.

Grace Vidovic, of Aurora, picked up a top-10 finish, firing a 36-hole total of 19-over-par. Vidovic is a rising junior at Aurora High School.


Adrienna Mineo, a member of the Rough Riders varsity girls golf team finished in the top 15 in the girls 13-15 age division.

Finally, Nick Pollak, of Aurora, a youth graduate from the Class of 2029, played his way to a second-place finish in the boys 11-to-13 age division, and taming the fairways for an 18-over-par over 36 holes.



(Please call 330-206-9083 or email golff2@gmail.com to add an event to the calendar.)



Register at host courses, online at pcagolf.net or via Venmo and Paypal. Call 330-206-9083 for information.


• When/Where:  Aug. 26 at Raccoon Hill, Kent; Aug. 27 at Windmill Lakes, Ravenna.

• Deadline/Cost: Aug. 6 at $90; Aug. 23 at $100.

• Divisions: Age 50-59, 60-69, 70 and older, women.



• Aug. 6: Rootstown Rovers Sports Booster Outing, Sunny Hill Golf Course, Brimfield. (Four person scramble, $400/foursome, call 216-410-4037).

• Aug. 12: 10th Danny Writtenberry Memorial Golf Outing, Olde Dutch Mill, Lake Milton. (Deadline July 10, call Bruce Leifeit 330-885-1327).

• Aug. 18:  37th Hattie Larlham Golf Classic, Sugar Bush Golf Classic. (Registration: $650/foursome; hattielarlham.org).



(The Northern Ohio PGA has a host of tournaments throughout northern Ohio for all ages and skills. Local tournaments are included here. For a complete list and to register online, visit www.thenorthernohiopga.com and click on the junior golf tab.)

• Aug. 14: 18-Hole Collegiate Series, Barrington Golf Club, Aurora.



(Visit www.NOGA.org for registration information.)

• Aug. 3: 42nd U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, Kirtland Country Club, Kirtland.

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