By Susan Jenior
The high school golf season has concluded, with the OHSAA’s Division I state championship providing the final competition in Columbus this past weekend.
Portage County was well represented this season at the state tournaments, with four golfers advancing to compete on the Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet and Gray Golf Courses.
Maddie Kost of Kent Roosevelt, Taylor Blazek of Southeast and Gracyn Vidovic of Aurora were profiled after their second round after their outstanding seasons.
The best finish among Portage County golfers was accomplished by Liam Curtis of Kent Roosevelt, a junior making a return trip to the state tournament this season.
Liam Curtis finished seventh in the state after back-to-back rounds of 73 on a tough Scarlet Golf Course.
The Ohio State University Golf Club is the home to the OSU varsity golf teams and host a prestigious NCAA Tournament each season in Columbus. To say the courses are set up difficult is an understatement.
Curtis’ rounds landed him on Second Team All-Ohio.
“Liam had a great tournament,” said Ben Curtis, coach of the Kent Rough Riders. “Even though he was focused on finishing in the top five, he played great.
“He had some great ups and downs on his finishing nine holes to give him the opportunity to achieve that, and I am extremely proud of him,” Curtis added. “He never gave up, grinding out good scores even though he was hitting the ball as good as he hoped to.”
The highlight of Liam’s round was a hole-out from 144 yards on the 15th hole for an eagle.
“The ball flew directly into the hole, so fun to watch,” said the coach. “Anytime you can shoot 73 without any birdies on that course (the Scarlet), it is impressive,” coach Curtis concluded.
It put an exclamation point on both Liam’s junior year as well as the end of the season for the Portage County golfers advancing to district and state competition.
There was discussion by some of the golf officials that the state tournament may be moved from the Ohio State University Golf Courses for the end-of-season championships in 2024.
Several possible golf courses were being discussed in the Northeast District.
It is a wonderful concept to move the state tournaments to different districts. Ohio has many outstanding and beautiful golf courses that provide challenges for any golfer.
To have the course in the high-school golfer’s own backyard is good for both spectators and the competitors.
More information will be shared when it is available.
Golf is our family sport.
We play together on Sunday mornings, in scrambles and in leagues at several golf courses in greater Portage County.
There is nothing better than following the high-school golfers as they work toward their goals of league championships and advancing through the OHSAA postseason tournaments.
While golfers can’t talk to reporters, parents or spectators during their round, the golfers often wave from the fairway or hold a shot just a little longer so a photo can be snapped.
Thank you to all golfers, their coaches and families who shared their stories with Portage Sports this season.