SYCAMORE TWP. – Despite a record-setting day on the Scarlet Course at Ohio State, Moeller High School’s Jake Fox had to settle for second-place among Division I boys.
Among 72 golfers, second place is still an incredible accomplishment.
After day one Oct. 23, Fox was just a stroke behind Will Kurtz of Hudson with a 74. However, day two belonged to Kurtz with a 69 as Fox repeated with a 74. Though he lost by six strokes, Fox still set a Moeller state record of 148 for two days tying the score former Crusader Neil Lykins had in 1998 in winning the individual championship.
“He had the putter rolling,” Fox said of Hudson’s Kurtz. “He was making pretty much anything. Anything he looked at between the eighth hole and 14th, he made. That’s where he really separated himself. When someone does something like that, at the end of the round you just shake their hand.”
The 148 by Fox was 11 strokes better than last year when he shot 80 and 79 as part of Moeller’s Division I state championship team. As a sophomore, he shot 85 and 80, so the three-time state participant made dramatic strides to reach the podium individually.
Though disappointed his Moeller team didn’t qualify, the residual effect of that was having individually coaching and advice from Moeller coach Rick Bohne.
“It was really cool to have Coach Bohne there for every shot,” Fox said. “Usually I only see him every few holes as he looks after the team. It was cool just to have him as my caddy almost.”
Most of the Crusaders golf squad did make the trip north, along with a number of parents who have followed Fox through his Moeller career. Bohne’s family even came along.
Along with the luxury of having the veteran coach’s wisdom, Fox had prowled the Scarlet Course a time or two. The familiarity played a role in his year-by-year improvement.
“I played it in tournaments over the summer, plus all the times at State and the practice rounds,” Fox said. “I played it about 11 times coming into the event.”
A commit for the University of Cincinnati, Fox will now take a month or so off. At some point, he’ll hit the gym to work on his strength and flexibility. He also belongs to Maketewah Country Club, which has a winter indoor facility he can use to work on his swing and short game.
Once the weather breaks in early 2016, the state runner-up will be back on the circuit.
“My first tournament will be in March or so,” Fox said. “After winning the Ohio Junior, I got exempt in some tournaments. I’ll probably be heading down to Pinehurst (North Carolina) or some tournaments in Florida or Texas in the spring and summer.”
Fox finished his career at Moeller by being named first-team All-State a second time, making him the second Crusader golfer to win All-State multiple times. Andrew Dorn had the honor three times for Moeller.