by Susan Jenior | Reporter
Kent -- The seventh Matt Mishler Junior Portage County Amateur had everything to make a golf tournament exciting: a sudden death playoff; a championship golfer who knew how to get out of trouble; 12-year-old golfers earning their first championship and repeat champions coming back to move up a division and win again.
The tournament concluded July 22 at Oak Knolls Golf Club in Kent.
The day started out with a three-way tie between Chris Sloe of Aurora, Greenmen teammate Conor O'Callaghan and Michael Furey of Twinsburg in the boys' 16-to-18 age group. Each started out with 74s after the first day of competition.
Ultimate champion Chris Sloe of Aurora, had a solid, even-par round (146) on his way to the one-stroke victory.
While the boys in the oldest division were giving a clinic on how to play golf, the girls in the 16-to-19 age division had to play more than 36 holes.
Kent residents Coreena Wise and Jocelyn Kohl had a two-day total of 190 to top Maria Aslanis of Hinckley, by two strokes.
Wise was in third place in the division after a disappointing 103 the first day, but she came back at Oak Knolls to card an 87.
Meanwhile, Kohl was steady on the links, firing a 96 and improving two strokes on the second day with a 94 for an identical 190.
Wise ultimately earned the championship trophy.
In the boys 12-and-younger age division in 2013, Warren resident Joey Vitali ran away from the field to capture the championship.
In the boys 13-to-15 age division, Vitali found himself in unfamiliar territory -- in a tie for third place after the first day's score of 89.
But July 22 brought a different approach and a solid game for Vitali as he fired an 81, the lowest in the boys 13-to-15 age division to win the championship with a final score of 170, which was 10 strokes better than the rest of the field.
Hudson resident Jake Marous placed fourth with a 182 (86 and 96) and Nick Fisher of Hudson captured seventh with a 195 (99 and 96).
Abbie Pierce held onto her first day lead adding an 81 to her Windmill score of 82 for a final round of 163. She won the girls 13-to-15 age group by 16 strokes.
Kent residents Charlie Huscroft and Gavin Markham battled it out in the boys 12-and-younger division.
On the first day, Gavin led after firing a 42. He added a 55 for a final score of 97.
Huscroft had the best round among his competitors, carding a 50 to help him earn the championship with a three-stroke cushion (94).
Lauren Garner of Kent won the girls 12-and-younger division with a score of 102 (53 and 49). She won by seven strokes over Louisville's Katie Bice.
With golfers from all over Northeast Ohio, the Junior Amateur was one of the largest fields in history.
Next year's edition is scheduled to return to Oak Knolls Golf Club in Kent and Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna July 20 and 21.