Ohio's Golf Magazine — July 2009
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Mid-Ohio Invitational

Hickory Flat Greens G.C. Coshocton, OH June 26 - 27

University of Findlay golfer Michael Schmitmeyer attracted little attention when he shot a one-over-par 73 to finish in a nine-way tie for thirty-third, six shots back, in the first round of the Mid-Ohio Invitational golf championship on June 27. Even after a finish of five under par over the last four holes the next day for a 65 to post the clubhouse lead at six-under-par 138, his chances looked only fair.

But afternoon winds at the Hickory Flat Greens golf course in West Lafayette picked up and one by one players with par of better scores in the open round on Saturday failed in their opportunities to better the St. Marys, OH golfer’s early lead. A full two hours after he completed his round, Schmitmeyer found himself in a five-way tie at the top, a tie he broke with an eagle on the second hole of a play-off to win tournament’s 45th annual championship.

Joining Schmitmeyer in the five-way play-off were Wittenberg University golfer Ricky Boerner of Hilliard, Youngstown State player Ryan Stocke of Elida, LaGrange College (GA) player Anthony Yacovazzi of Hudson and former Kent State player Tom Ballinger of Mansfield.

Boerner, Stocke and Yacovazzi dropped out with bogies on the first hole of the play-off. Ballinger made a tap-in birdie at the second, but fell short when Schmitmeyer stroked in his eagle putt from only three feet.

Stocke and Ballinger had passed up chances to win the title outright when Stocke missed two five-foot putts---one for a birdie and one for an eagle---on the last two holes and Ballinger failed to birdie the short eighteenth hole.

Finishing one stroke back at 139 were Cleveland State’s Patrick Elber of Mentor, Ohio University’s Paul Grauer of Dublin and recent Upper Arlington High School graduate Jason Lantz. Rounding out the top ten at 140 were Caine Bricker of Newcomerstown, Craig Osterbrock of Wilmington and Malone University golfer Ben Smith of Carrollton.

It was the tenth consecutive victory in the tournament by a college golfer and the second in a row for a small college player. Last year’s champion, Justin Lower of Malone University, shot 142 to tie for thirteenth. The previous six tournaments had been won by Big Ten and Mid-American Conference golfers.

The championship is sponsored by the Mid-Ohio Golf Association of Coshocton.

Top 15 Results:

1. Michael Schmitmeyer, St. Marys 138

2. Tom Ballenger, Mansfield 138 Ricky Boerner, Hilliard 138 Ryan Stocke, Elida 138 Anthony Yacovazzi, Hudson 138

6. Patrick Elber, Mentor 139 Paul Grauer, Dublin 139 Jason Lantz, Columbus 139

9. Caine Bricker, Newcomerstown 140 Craig Osterbrock 140 Ben Smith, Carrollton 140

12. David Becher, Dublin 140 Mike Grasso, Chagrin Falls 140 Justin Lower, Canal Fulton 140

15. Ryan Cahill, Hilliard 140 Vin Cahill, Hilliard 140 Kevin Miller, Dover 140 Doug Underwood, Stow 140