Sometimes when every single aspect comes together, a golfer has one of those magical days when every shot is hit with the utmost confidence, and every swing feels picture-perfect.
Mitch Neidenthal has gone sub-70 before in his Strasburg Tigers golf career, having fashioned a 69 as a personal best.
However, the Tigers senior put up a crazy-ridiculous number at The Quarry Golf Club in Canton recently, carving out a round that he won’t ever forget.
On the strength of eight birdies and an eagle, Neidenthal fired off a six-under-par 66, setting the Strasburg school record for an 18-hole round. All of those birdies and the eagle meant that he was under par on exactly half of the holes he played at The Quarry.
“I was striking the ball really well, and every shot I hit went exactly where I wanted it to,” Neidenthal said. “It was like I was a professional. Every drive was going right down the middle, and every shot seemed to get within 10 feet of the pin.”
According to head coach Troy McClellan, it was one of those magical moments that everything that could go right did go right, and it was fun to watch his senior All-Ohioan have his way with The Quarry as he led the Tigers to a championship score of 315.
“He just couldn’t do anything wrong,” McClellan said of Neidenthal. “It seemed like every time he lined up a birdie putt, he drained it. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was making everything in sight, and his iron game was strong too.”
Neidenthal said at one point he made four or five birdies in a row, and once he caught fire, he knew it was going to be one of those types of days when he could charge hard and go after the pin.
“Shooting like that isn’t something that you think about doing,” Neidenthal said. “That really builds up your confidence. It definitely gives me something to shoot for, but I don’t want to think about shooting that number every time out. I just want to go out and play my game.”
About the only thing that went wrong was on the final hole where he bogeyed to end his day one shot shy of a 65. He said both of his playing partners hit their approach shot over water, and both found the drink. He therefore decided to club down and hit one more club, a decision that sent his shot over the back of the green, where he pitched it on and two-putted for the bogey.
“All of those birdies and an eagle, and the one hole he couldn’t stop talking about was that bogey on the last hole,” McClellan said with a laugh. “That just shows you what kind of competitor he is.”
Neidenthal said he hopes the 66 isn’t the peaking point of his senior campaign. As an All-Ohioan he certainly has the skill to get there again, but he isn’t going to let that dictate his overall goal of leading the Tigers back to state for a return to the big show.