By Rob Kiser
There were some anxious moments along the way Sunday.
But, Justin Weber is still Miami County’s champion golfer — three years running.
Weber had a share of the lead with Brian Deal after an opening round 75 on Saturday at Echo Hills and followed it with a 78 at Homestead on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Alex Garman and Brian Robbins.
Robbins defeated Garman in a playoff for second.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Weber said. “It is impressive (winning three years in a row). You just have to keep fighting with every shot.”
That was especially true Sunday for Weber, who was hoping for a better score.
In fact, when he walked into the scoring area after his round, he wasn’t sure he was going to be the winner.
But, he was able to breathe a sigh of relief after seeing the other scores.
“To be honest, I didn’t (think he had done enough),” Weber said. “I was hoping to birdie 18 (a par-5). I had a seven foot putt birdie — I came close.”
Weber felt he was in good position after his opening round at Echo, which included an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole.
“I was pretty happy with it,” he said. “I was able to throw that eagle in on nine to keep myself in it. But, everybody was pretty bunched up (going into the final round).”
Weber had gotten off to a good start with a par on one and a birdie on the par-3 second hole.
“That’s what always seems to happen here,” he said. “But, I seem to start to struggle in the middle of the round.”
Garman was in the first group off on Sunday, coming all the way back from 10th place to finish one shot behind Weber.
He followed an 81 at Echo Hills with a two-over par 73 at Homestead Sunday.
He posted his score early and waited to see the outcome.
“Shoot no…shoot no,” Garman said when asked if he thought he had any chance of winning when he was done. “I was just trying to get back into it and play as well as I could. I played pretty well. I left a few shots out there.”
Meanwhile, Weber, Deal and Robbins — who had opened with 76, were battling all day.
“I don’t think there was ever more than two shots between us,” Robbins said. “It was back-and-forth the whole round. After 16, we were all square (all three were tied).”
But, Robbins and Deal both double bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, while Weber managed a bogey to take the lead.
Robbins, who shot 78 Sunday to finish tied with Garman, needed a birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
“I was chipping from just off the green,” Robbins said about his birdie attempt. “I chipped it to two feet. It went right over the lip of the hole.”
Deal would tie Marc Allen for fourth, with rounds of 75 and 80 for a 155 total. Allen had rounds of 79 ad 76.
In the Super Seniors, Roger Luring edged Jack Holtel by one shot for the title.
Luring followed a 70 at Echo Hills, with an 83 at Homestead for a 153 total.
Holtel had rounds of 71 and 83 for 154.
Dave Westfall held off a strong challenge from Matt Olden for the first flight title.
Westfall had rounds of 77 and 82 for a 159 total and two-shot victory.
Olden shot rounds of 81 and 80 for a 161 total, while Jim Howard was third after rounds of 81 and 82 for a 163 total.
Rob Kiser won the second flight, shooting 83 at Echo Hills and 90 at Homestead for a 173 total.
Doug Jennings finished second with rounds of 90 and 93 for a 183 total.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.