Golf is a fickle game. Even something you expect to happen sometimes doesn’t.
Such was the case for John Glenn on Monday during the Division II district tournament at River Greens.
Leading with nine holes to go — and well on their way to the state tournament — the Muskies shot 177 as a team on the final nine, giving them a 330 overall and missing a fifth-score playoff for the state tournament by six shots.
“This hurts,” head coach Chad Orecchio said. “We picked the wrong time to shoot our worst scores of the year.”
Dylan Van Fossen led the Muskies with 78, Jordan Wheeler had 79, Nate Terry shot 85, and Nathaniel Bennett finished with 88. Derek Crum’s 96 was not counted in the team’s scoring.
Philo’s Logan Kirkbride shot 81 and also missed qualifying for the state tournament.
Three teams qualified for the state tournament, led by East Liverpool with 313. Columbus DeSales shot 321 to make it, while Bloom-Carroll and Columbus Bexley shot 324, with the Bulldogs advancing because of their fifth-man score.
Three golfers not on a qualifying team also made it: Heath’s Derek Hamm, who shot even-par 72, Bexley’s Matt Abramson (74) and Cambridge’s Skyler Roederer (75).
Starting their round on the Greens nine, the Muskies shot 153. But scores rose after winds increased and a light mist fell.
On the Pines nine, John Glenn’s five players combined for 23 bogeys, five double bogeys, two triple bogeys and a six-over.
“I think after the front nine, they seemed a little panicked,” Orrecchio said. “We took some big numbers and that wound up hurting us.”
Kirkbride also was derailed by a big number. Starting on the Pines side, he was even after a birdie on the par-3 No. 4.
However, a triple bogey on the par-4 No. 5 stalled his momentum, and he made six more bogeys in his final 13 holes.
John Glenn had arguably one of the best seasons in Muskingum Valley League history, winning the league title in runaway fashion.
Despite the sting of their final tournament, everyone returns next season. Orrecchio hopes his players learned from the experience.
“I’m proud of our kids for what they accomplished, but I want them to be angry with how things finished,” he said.
“We’ve got the talent to make it to state, but we got to actually get it done.”
Wheeler agreed with his head coach.
“We felt like we let it get away,” he said. “But I think us losing like this will make us better next year.”
Terry sees a bright future for this group as well.
“We worked so hard in the summer and when things don’t go the way you want them to, it’s kind of disappointing,” he said.
“But sometimes you have to fail to succeed and we are hoping to have another shot at it next year.”