By Rob Kiser
Andrew Slusher defended his Echo Hill Junior Club Championship, but Nate Uhlenbrock and Kyle Ingle didn’t make it easy.
Cassidy Kraft played her best round to take the girls title and both hope to use the victories as springboards into the high school golf season that begins next week.
In the boys competition it was a three-way battle for the title.
Slusher, Uhlenbrock and Ingle all carded 39s on the front nine, with Uhlenbrock overcoming two double bogeys on the first three holes.
Slusher, a Covington High School golfer, and Uhlenbrock, who plays for Troy, came to the par-5 18th hole tied.
“It went back and forth,” Slusher said. “It just came down to who didn’t make a mistake. It is the third time I have won and I won last year, so I was a little nervous.”
Slusher finished with a par, while Uhlenbrock had a three-putt bogey to finish one stroke back.
Slusher shot a 41 on the back for a winning total of eight-over par 80, while Uhlenbrock carded a 42 for an 81.
“I thought I hit the ball pretty well,” Slusher said. “I am hoping to have a good year this season (for Covington).
While Piqua High School golfers Ingle and Derek Jennings tied for third with 86, that is a little deceiving.
Ingle, playing in the group behind Slusher and Uhlenbrock, stood on the 17th tee with the lead and was just five-over par through 16 holes.
But, he took an eight on the uphill par-3 17th and added a nine on the closing hole.
Aaron Davis took fifth with a 107 total, while Jon Irvin carded a 114 and Christian Starrett had a 125.
In the girls competition, PHS golfer Cassidy Kraft got off to a fast start and never trailed against Sarah Ganger.
Kraft carded a 45 on the front nine and followed with a 49 on the back for a 94 total, while Ganger finished second with nines of 61 and 58 for 119.
“I was hitting the ball pretty well,” Kraft said. “Obviously, I got off to a good start. So, I knew I could have a good day,”
In fact, it was Kraft’s best score for 18 holes.
“I am really happy about that,” she said. “I like playing in tournaments like this and it makes me feel like I can have a pretty good (high school) season.”
And use it as a springboard to success.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.