By Rob Kiser
Editor’s Note: This story will appear in Wednesday’s Daily Call.
TROY — Brian Robbins picked up a tip last weekend, used that for a fast start and road that to his second Miami County Golf Championship over the weekend.
After shooting an impressive two-under par 70 in difficult conditions Saturday at Echo Hills Saturday to open a five-shot lead, he followed with with a 77 in cold, rainy conditions Sunday for a 147 total and a two-stroke victory over Ben Gover.
Gover shot rounds of 76 and 73, while Ray Stuchell was two more shots back, taking third after rounds of 75 and 76 for a 151 total.
“Actually, I got a tip last week from Cale Green,” Robbins said about his former high school teammate.
The two teamed up to win the Walker Cup last weekend.
“He told me to just swing,” Robbins said. “Sometimes, it is that simple.”
The tournament was delayed from the second weekend in September, when it was rained out — which didn’t bother Robbins much.
“Actually, I have been playing pretty well,” he said.
And he got off to a blistering start Saturday.
He birdied three of the first four holes of the tournament, settling for a par on the par-3 third hole.
“Actually, I could have birdied all four,” Robbins said. “I missed about a six-and-a half footer for birdie on three. I hit it to a foot and a half on one. It was a great start. I pretty much made pars from there. I think I had one bogey.”
That left him with a five-shot lead over Stuchell and a six-shot lead over Gover.
“Par was my friend,” Robbins said with a smile about his final round.
Playing with Robbins, both Gover and Stuchell got close at times.
“Ray (Stuchell) got close about the ninth or 10th hole,” Robbins said. “I think the way it ended was as close as either one got. They both made runs, but I was able to make pars and they had a few bogeys.”
Justin Weber finished third with a 153 total (77-76), while tying for fifth with 159 were Matt Mauer and Jason Thompson.
Rick Szabo overcome a triple-bogey start on Sunday to hold for a two-shot victory over Jim Sass.
Szabo had a one-shot lead after a 77 Saturday at Echo Hills and quickly recovered with an 82 Sunday for a 159 total.
Sass had rounds of 78 and 83 for a 161 total.
Mike Bosse finished third with matching rounds of 83 for a 166 total.
Doug Harter came from behind for a five-stroke victory and it could have been one-shot better.
Harter trailed Brad Varth by three after the opening round when Varth shot 77 and Harter had an 80.
Harter came back with a 75 Sunday for a 155 total and a five-shot win after Varth shot 83.
It could have been one stroke better. Harter was assessed a penalty stroke when one of his playing partners shanked a shot off his cart.
Andrew Lindeman finished third after rounds of 86 and 76 for a 162 total.
MIAMI COUNTY OPEN SCORES
Brian Robbins 70-77—147
Ben Gover 76-73—149
Ray Stuchell 75-76—151
Justin Weber 77-76—153
Matt Mauer 81-78—159
Jason Thompson 82-77—159
Jeff Jennings 88-81—169
Dan Sutherly 83-87—170
Brad Reese 89-83—172
Rick Szabo 77-82—159
Jim Sass 78-83—161
Mike Bosse 83-83—166
Doug Harter 80-75—155
Brad Varth 77-83—160
Andrew Lindeman 86-76—162
Ryan Ormberg 83-81—164
Dave Westfall 82-83—165
JayDee Denson 79-87—166
Jim Howard 85-82—167
Ron Moore 86-85—171