By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
TROY — Ryan Groff won his third straight Miami Shores Club Championship Saturday and Sunday, but it didn’t come easy.
Groff had to rally from three shots back on Sunday, after opening with a 75, while Matt Maurer carded a 72,
And it came down to the final hole — and took a birdie for 69 from Groff and even-par 144 for the 36 holes to overcome Maurer and claim a one-shot victory.
“I felt like I was playing well on the front nine Sunday and I wasn’t gaining anything,” Groff said. “Give Matt (Maurer) credit. He really played well. We battled the whole back nine.
After Groff parred the par-4 17th and Maurer bogeyed, they were tied going to the par-5 18th.
“I was just trying to focus on my game,” Groff said. “Matt (Maurer) mention something about us being tied on the tee.”
While they hit similar drives, Groff ended up in a better situation.
“He was more behind a tree than I was,” Groff said. “So, he had to layup. I was able to go for the green and hit a 3-wood to the back of the green.”
Groff had a 20-foot eagle putt, while Maurer had nearly the same distance for birdie.
Groff rolled his eagle putt five-feet past the whole.
“I was just trying to nestle it up to the hole,” Groff said.
When, Maurer missed his birdie putt, Groff calmly stroked his five-footer into the hole for the win.
“It was a good putt,” Groff said. “I putted really well all weekend for the most part.”
Maurer felt good about his weekend.
He shot rounds of 72 and 73 for a 145 total.
“I am proud of the way I played this weekend,” Maurer said. “I had a triple-bogey (on the par-3 seventh). That hurt me but I was able to come back from that and we really battled on the back nine.”
Groff was one shot back going to the back nine.
He birdied 10 to even things, but Maurer took a one-shot lead back on 11 with a par and it stayed that way until they got to the 16th hole.
“We were pushing each other the whole back nine,” Groff said. “I birdied 15 and so did he.”
On the par-4 17th, Maurer got into trouble off the tee,
“I could have hit an 8-iron over the tree, but I wouldn’t have been able to hit the green,” Maurer said. “I chose 7-iron and went for the green and just hit the tree. On 18, I missed my birdie putt and he knocked his in after running his eagle putt past and that was pretty much it. Ryan (Groff) just played a great round today.”
Groff achieved his goal on Sunday.
“I wanted to get back to even par (for the tournament),” Groff said. “That was the goal and I knew it would take a round in the 60s to get it. So, I was happy with that.”
Alex Garman and Jeff Peottinger tied for third with a 153 total.
Garman had rounds of 78 and 75, while Poettinger had rounds of 79 and 74.
Justin Weber finished fifth with a 155 total after rounds of 77 and 78.
Only one shot separated the three competitors.
Rick Szabo defeated Jim Sarich in a playoff after both finished with a 147 total.
Szabo had rounds of 74 and 73, while Sarich had rounds of 75 and 72.
Sarich had pulled even with a par on 18, before Szabo won in a playoff.
First-round leader Don Wogoman finished one shot back after rounds of 73 and 75 for a 148 title.
Super Duper Seniors
Tom Stickrod recorded a three-shot victory.
He had rounds of 75 and 71 for a 146 total.
Ron Kress had rounds of 75 and 74 for a 149 total to take second, while Roger Luring finished third after rounds of 76 and 74 for a 150 total.
John Mutschler recorded a one-shot victory over Andrew Lindeman.
The two were tied going to 18, but Mutschler made a par and Lindeman bogeyed.
Mutschler had rounds of 79 and 76 for a 155 total, while Lindeman had rounds of 81 and 75 for a 156 total.
Bob Rohr was third, with rounds of 82 and 76 for a 158 total.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com
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