Steubenville CC claims 1A/2A OVAC golf title
WHEELING — Wheeling Central’s Justin Doerr, only a sophomore, did not shy away from the moment on Tuesday afternoon at Oglebay’s Crispin Golf Course.
In a playoff hole for the 1A/2A OVAC title and going head-to-head with senior and last year’s defending champion Cole Tegano of Steubenville Catholic, Doerr stepped right up and drained a four-foot birdie putt to earn his own OVAC medalist award.
“It was just another hole of golf to me,” Doerr said of the playoff hole. “I just had to keep playing and keep hitting it.
“It’s an awesome feeling. Not a lot of people get a chance to compete as a sophomore so I’m excited to have a couple more years left to do it.”
Doerr and Tegano’s group finished long before the rest of the field and with a large lead, the two elected to go-ahead with the playoff hole instead of waiting until the end.
“I just wanted to go,” Tegano said. “I was loose and I felt good with my tee-shot on 1 because I could drive the green but I hit it a little left of the green and it was a bad spot to get up and down.
“I just couldn’t get it done.”
Doerr and Tegano each finished 18 holes tied at 70 after both shooting 35 on the front and back nines.
The two went back-and-forth all day atop the leaderboard.
On the front nine, Doerr and Tegano each surged out to two-stroke leads only to see the other rally from behind.
“That’s what you play for,” Doerr said. “Cole is an awesome player and he played terrific (Tuesday). To be able to compete with him is a lot of fun but it’s awesome to come away on top.
“My putter was big for me. I had at-least five 15-footers or more. If I don’t putt well, I’m not even close to Cole.”
An eagle on 12 gave another two-stroke lead to Doerr but the veteran Tegano used back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to pull even and force a thrilling playoff hole.
“It was a battle all day for sure,” Tegano said. “I was just trying to do what I did last year. It was kind of the same situation last year. I went eagle and birdie to win but this year I was trying to hit 16, 17 and 18 and make eagles if possible. I almost had it but not quite.
“(Doerr) is a great player and he made a bunch of putts. He probably made a 70-footer off the green on 7 and a 20-footer off the green on 2. He was just making putts all day.”
Tegano didn’t leave empty-handed, however. After five straight team championship victories by Wheeling Central, it was Steubenville Catholic emerging from the field to capture its first OVAC title since 2011 and its 11th overall.
Along with Tegano’s runner-up performance, the Crusaders received an All-OVAC showing from Brendan Schaefer, who carded a 77 to finish third overall.
Vince Barcalow turned in an 84, Johnny O’Karma tallied an 87 and Jacquelyn Bensur added a 117 in the triumph.
“This is truly a testament to the kids,” Steubenville Catholic coach Pete Lancia said. “They played well all day — all five of them. We put in a lot of work and you can see the result. The reality is that we wanted this one really bad. Last year we fell six strokes short and it stung. This was a big one on the calendar.
“I would liked to have seen Cole win and get a medalist and a champion but you can’t have everything. That’s life.”
Frontier finished second with a 326, behind an All-OVAC effort from Karter Satterfield, who finished fifth overall with an 80 and Toronto used an All-OVAC finish from Hunter Keenan, who turned in a 79, to grab third place in the team standings.
Last year’s defending champion Maroon Knights placed fourth with a 354.