November 27, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
31°F

Ohio Open: Rain prevents some golfers from completing round

WESTFIELD CENTER — More than half of the field at the 90th Ohio Open Championship Monday afternoon finished their opening rounds.

The rest of the competition will have to wait until this morning to wrap up their round.

Medina’s Bob Koch, right, watches his tee shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Ohio Open at Westfield Country Club’s North Course. Below, Medina’s William McKinley hits a tee shot on the eighth hole. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY AARON JOSEFCZYK)

A rain delay of two hours made the North Course of Westfield Group Country Club unplayable forcing 129 players to finish their first round today at 7:30 a.m. before second round action starts at approximately 8:30.

“We deemed that the North Course is not playable enough to get it ready for tonight,” Northern Ohio PGA Tournament Director Dave Griffith said. “With the first groups on the last hole, we figure (the 8:30 start) would give them enough time to turn around.”

Torrential rain hit at 4:15 pm and continued for over 20 minutes leading into a delay that lasted until 6:30 before players were called into the clubhouse and the postponement was officially announced.

The downpour left the majority of greens with standing water and made the already-soft fairways — that soaked up over five inches of rain leading into Monday’s round — more saturated.

According to tournament and Westfield officials, the North Course got hit the hardest, with that area of the club getting nailed with an additional ½-inch of rain.

“By the time we would’ve gotten it cleaned up and got them out there, it just wasn’t doable,” Griffith said, “And to be honest, for them to come back in the morning really isn’t a big thing for us, because we can still preserve the second-round times by 30 minutes. So it wasn’t a pressing thing for us to get finished tonight and in that regard, it worked out great.”

When play was suspended, 13 Medina County residents were among the 135 golfers that finished their opening rounds.

Medina residents Bob Koch and Chris Wollmann are tied for 15th after firing even-par 70s on the South Course. Koch, who has placed in the last six Ohio Opens, had three birdies, while Wollmann finished his day strong by birdieing three out of his last nine holes.

Daniel Terry of Wadsworth hoped for a better start but had five straight bogeys at the outset. He did manage to have four birdies in his final 13 holes to finish with a 2-over 74 on the North Course.

“It was terrible,” Terry said. “I had three 3-putts and just got off to a bad start. The greens were good, it was just me. If I can shoot 3-under (today) I can still make the cut, which is my goal.”

Spencer Koch of Medina matched Terry’s round with a 74, followed by Medina residents Greg Woodard and Mike King with 75s.

Medina’s Austin Schreiber and Hinckley Township’s George Pappas carded 77s, followed by rounds of 79 each from former Medina standouts Patrick Luth and Mike Bishop.

Jim Kerrigan (Medina, 81), Chad Wilson (Brunswick, 82) and Aaron Alspach (Medina, 84) rounded out the area residents to finish on Monday.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.