The annual First National Bank Junior Golf Tour is in high gear as it winds through an eight-tournament format on courses throughout the area, and a number of area golfers are excelling as they chase the overall championship.
At Edgewood Golf Course, where the tour kicked off, the Strasburg duo of Calvin Willis and Mitch Neidenthal went at it at the top of the leader board with Willis eventually pulling out a one-stroke victory by firing a 77 to Neidenthal’s 78. They were the only two golfers in the tournament to go sub-80.
In the girls 16-18 tournament, Jordan VanMeter’s 75 was an easy win. Garaway’s Jocelyn Troyer placed third with an 83, and her teammate Leigh Ann Williams was fifth with a 95.
On June 14 the tour went to Zoar Golf Club, where in the boys 16-18, Tuscarawas Central Catholic’s Cameron Henry blazed to victory with a 76, nipping Garaway’s Zehnder Gibson, Ian Smith of Cambridge and Crooksville’s Brock White, all of whom fired 78s. Gibson captured runner-up honors in a tiebreaker.
In the boys 13-15, Garaway’s Rendall Weaver fashioned a 74 to claim the victory. Hiland’s Carter Mishler placed third with a 77, and his teammate Brookston Hummel was fifth with a 79. Willis (85) and Garaway’s Ethan Miller (87) finished just outside the top 10.
In the girls 16-18, VanMeter was a runaway winner, firing off a 76 to win by a dozen strokes. In the girls 13-15, Dover’s Sydney DeVore and Garaway’s Mikayla Weaver both fired off 45s, but it would be DeVore who took home the win in the playoff.
The tour then shifted to River Greens Golf Course on June 21, where Tri-Valley’s Dalton Crowley and John Glenn’s Jack Williams matched 78s, Crowley claiming the win in a one-hole playoff.
Coshocton’s Clay Davis was among four players tied third with an 80 while Dover’s Gabe Miller and Willis tied for seventh at 81. Ethan Miller and Neidenthal were both just outside the top 10 with matching 87s.
Rendall Weaver again took home a victory in the boys 13-15 by carding a 74, one shot better than Hummel, while Mishler was sixth at 83.
In the girls 16-18, someone finally solved VanMeter, and it was Jocelyn Troyer, who hammered home an even-par 72 to claim the title. Dover’s Chloe Crone’s runner-up 76 also pushed ahead of VanMeter’s third-place score of 80.
In the girls 13-15, Crooksville’s Riley Mackenzie matched 48s with Mikayla Weaver, and Weaver eventually had to settle for second in a playoff.
June 25 saw the tour head to Willandale Golf Course in Sugarcreek, where a huge field battled at the top for the title in the boys 16-18. In the end Gabe Miller would emerge the victor, but it would come with plenty of drama. Miller, Strasburg’s Mike Neidenthal and Henry all fired off 75s to force a playoff, where Miller was able to come away with the win.
They had plenty of company atop the leader board. Crowley and Gibson each shot 76 to tie for fourth. Mitch Neidenthal fired a 77, and Strasburg teammate Dylan Tucker shot 79. Ethan Miller shot an 84 while Willis fashioned an 87.
Rendall Weaver enjoyed some home cooking and took home the boys 13-15 title with an even-par 72. Hummel and Mishler placed second and third with scores of 76 and 78, respectively, while Garaway’s Mikey Blauch tied for fifth at 85.
In the girls 16-18, Jocelyn Troyer also enjoyed her home course, firing a one-under 71 to claim the title. VanMeter was five shots back at 76 while Leigh Ann Williams tied for fifth at 83.
The July 2 tournament at Hickory Flats saw Mitch Neidenthal emerge the winner in a three-man playoff with Tucker and Brock White, all three carding 75s. Crowley, Smith and Willis were among a quartet of players one shot back at 76 while Henry shot 78. Dover’s Alex German fired a 79, and Mike Neidenthal carded an 82.
In the girls 16-18, Troyer maintained her dominating pace by matching her one-under par 71 that she shot at Willandale. Natasha Goins was second at 80 with Williams taking third with an 82.