OAK HARBOR – The boys team at Oak Harbor is playing boring golf.
But the current group of Rockets has never had so much to be excited about.
Travis Focht and Ryan Pavlica each carded a career best 37 for nine holes Wednesday as the Rockets (156) topped Port Clinton (162), Clyde (163) and Margaretta (173) at Oak Harbor Golf Club.
“Hitting the greens and hitting the fairways,” Focht said. “Playing boring golf.”
Oak Harbor’s seniors won three matches the previous three years – combined. The Rockets (5-2, 4-2), who graduated three seniors from last year’s team, have improved by about 10 strokes in each of their matches compared to last season’s results.
“The young kids wanted to get better and put in work to be more competitive,” Focht said.
Clyde’s Dalton Florence and Ian Hiliker each carded a 39 on Wednesday. Toby Miller, Dominick Muratore and Gage Byington each shot a 43 for Margaretta.
Port Clinton’s Anthony Paradiso earned medalist honors at even-par 36.
Focht had an eagle on No. 3. He drove to about 130 yards out and hit a wedge within 13 feet.
“My short game,” Focht said. “My putting was atrocious all summer. Three-putting greens needed to be fixed and I haven’t three-putted nearly as many since I adjusted my putting.”
Focht has worked to shift weight to the balls of his feet and square his shoulders.
“You hit the ball smoother and you get more feel,” he said. “I’m not pulling putts. They’re more on line.”
Focht is pleased with the start to his season.
“Trying to hit greens in regulation has been key,” he said.
Pavlica was long off the tee Wednesday. He hit about 35 balls on the range before the match.
Pavlica bogeyed the first two holes but recovered on No. 4, which is usually a nemesis. Pavlica carded a 47 in his last home match, including a 10 on No. 4.
“My first hole has always been an issue on this nine,” he said. “The fourth hole is my worst hole but I birdied it and that gave me a boost.”
Pavlica hit a pitching wedge to within 120 feet after a solid drive and birdied No. 6. He was almost on the green with a 310-yard drive on No. 8.
“The last round previous I kept slicing it,” he said. “I rolled my top hand over a little bit and they went far (Wednesday).”
Oak Harbor’s Tristan Varga added a 38 and Jake St. Clair a 44.
“Our six guys last year showed me they’re pretty good ball strikers and this year they’re showing me they can manage the golf course,” Rockets coach Rob Schimmoeller said.
Florence birdied No. 6. He hit his driver about 250 yards, rolled his next shot over the green and was on in three for a one-putt.
“That really helped,” he said. “I played pretty well. I started out three-over and after the first par-5 I switched it around and played even to finish. No three-putts. My iron play was strong. My driver worked well.
“For the most part, I stayed straight and didn’t really get in any trouble.”
That’s been a theme as Florence has started the season playing well overall.
“My irons,” he said. “It’s probably the most solid I’ve hit them. I worked on my putting in the off season and that’s helped tremendously. I’m not trying to take risks and do too much.
“I’m just playing my game.”
Eli Hillman shot a 42 and Lucas Preston-Colvin a 43 for the Fliers. Adam Rooker added a 44 for the Polar Bears.