By Rob Kiser
Darrin Grove may have never played golf with the late Gene Bayman.
But, he is well aware of Bayman’s accomplishments on the golf course.
And Grove turned in a performance Sunday at Piqua Country Club worthy of being the first player to hold the Bayman Cup — the new championship trophy for the Piqua City Golf Championships — honoring the 12-time City champion, who also won the President’s Cup (the Piqua Country Club Club Championship) and equal amount of times.
“I was pretty young, so I never got to play golf with him,” Grove, a PCC member said. “But, I heard all about him. I remember hearing his name was my stepdad (Tom Christy) won the City and his name is all over the place on the wall out here and just from playing at Echo Hills and Piqua Country Club, you always hear people talking abut him.”
Grove started four shots back after Saturday’s 75 at Echo Hills, before carding a four-under par 68 Sunday to win by four shots.
There were still three groups playing when Grove finished.
“I thought it would take a couple shots more,” Grove said. “Really, it was just a hot back nine.”
Grove’s round included six birdies and two bogeys.
But, he really heated up on the back nine.
On the front, he shot a one-under par 35, with birdies on the par-5 fifth hole, and par-3 seventh, with a bogey on the par-4 sixth hole.
But, Grove started the back with birdies on the par-four 10th hole and par-5 11th hole.
After pars on 12, 13 and 14, Grove birdied the par-4 15th, then went to 5-under on the day with another birdie on the par-5 16th.
“I had about 220 in (on his second shot on 16),” Grove said. “I just hit a nice 4-iron in there. I had about 16-feet for eagle and two putted. That made me five-under for the day. At that point, I was think a 3 and a 4 (pars on 17 and 18), would be really good.”
Grove lost a shot with bogey on 17, before parring 18 to finish off the winning effort.
“The putt I had on 17 was just a really tough putt,” he said. “At that point I was hoping to make a three (birdie) on 18.”
Christy and Brian Deal tied for second with a 152 total, with Deal winning the playoff with a birdie on the first hole.
Scott Bradley, first-round leader Chad Sherrill and Justin Weber all tied for fourth with a 153 total.
Sherill had a 75 in the opening round at Echo Hills Saturday to lead, with Dave Larger one shot back after a 76, before Grove’s hot round Sunday that was worthy of the Bayman Cup that he earned with the win.
Lloyd Shoemaker won the Super Seniors.
Shoemaker had a three-shot lead after an opening round 80 at Echo Hills and followed it with a 79 Sunday at PCC for a 12-shot victory.
Marty Jackson finished second, with rounds of 83 and 88 for a 171 total.
Creg Rietz followed up his Echo Hills club championship from a year ago by winning the first flight of the City.
Rietz had matching rounds of 88 for a 176 total and an 11-shot victory.
Doug Jennings finished second with rounds of 94 and 93 for a 187 total.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.