PATASKALA — Watkins Memorial’s Matt Fisher and Lakewood’s Cole Guyer each had top-five finishes Monday, but both were left regretting a couple shots.
Such is the battle between golfer and course. Fisher finished with a 74, one shot out of the playoff in the Watkins Invitational at High Lands Golf Club.
“It could have been a lot better,” Fisher said. “I got her in the hole somehow.”
Guyer improved five shots from Friday’s season-opening round at Granville, shooting a 76 and tying for fifth. Guyer shared a bit of a home-course advantage with Fisher. Guyer had played High Lands several times with a friend.
Guyer had an impressive putting day, with the exception of two that lipped out. The improvement from day one left him bittersweet, however.
“That is always on my mind,” Guyer said. “Whenever you know you can do better, that is what you strive for to eventually perfect that part of your game.”
Lancaster’s Trevor Cohen beat Reynoldsburg’s Darnell Ellis on the third playoff hole to take medalist honors after shooting 73. Bexley won the 24-team event with a 318, and New Albany’s 320 and Lancaster’s 321 followed.
Fisher started on No. 10 and played Nos. 12 through 16 at 2-under par. He, however, could not duplicate that stretch on the front nine.
“I feel the pressure to play well, but knowing the course real well helps me relax and know that I can hit good shots,” Fisher said. “I didn’t play super great, but I am happy with how I’ve started. I have two solid rounds in the books.”
Watkins and Lakewood each finished at 345. For Watkins, Jared Worcester followed at 81, and other scorers were Drew Dixon (94) and David Dotty (96). Lakewood’s other scorers were Michael Wells (86), Reed Moran (89) and Nate Nicholson (94).
The Lancers stepped into a treacherous schedule, playing with the state’s best at Granville and against a field loaded with Division I schools Monday. Guyer said blocking out the competition has been his key.
The strong day, however, did give him momentum heading into today’s Mid-State League-Ohio Division preseason meet.
“It helps me set a goal for myself, but you never worry about anyone else’s game except for your own,” Guyer said. “It gets you nervous. If the guy just made a hole-in-one and you got a bogey, shake it off and beat him on the next hole.”
Johnstown shot 351 and was led by John Carlisle’s 82. Other scorers were Kaden Welch (84), Dalton Hastings (90) and Steven Thiel (95).
Newark’s Nick Shipley just missed a top-10 finish, shooting a 78. Ben Sanders added an 82, and Quentin Richards’ 96 and Nicole Mercer’s 98 followed to total a 354.