September 22, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
51°F

Ohio Open: Henighan has cool experience at home

WESTFIELD CENTER — For as good as the first two rounds were to Bob Henighan, Wednesday’s final round of the 90th Ohio Open Championship went about the same when it came to hitting off the tee.

His putting game was the only blemish on the scorecard.

Despite hitting 17 greens in regulation, the Medina resident couldn’t find key putts on a handful of holes and finished tied for 10th at Westfield Group Country Club.

“I just didn’t make any putts,” Henighan said. “I hit it good and the only green I missed was 18. I had some looks at birdies all day and didn’t make a single one of them.

“I was inside 10 feet all day and just couldn’t make any.”

The 1988 Gazette MVP came into the day 6-under par on the course he has called home since his high school career at Medina.

Henighan opened the round playing even through six holes, with the only rough patch coming on the 211-yard, par-3 seventh hole, where he took bogey.

Making the turn at 1 over, Henighan then gained a little momentum by playing 1 under through the first six holes of the back nine. He birdied the 411-yard 11th before three-putting 16 and taking another bogey on 18 to close his round.

The scholar All-American at Michigan finished 2 over on the day and 6 under for the tournament and watched as Upper Arlington’s Colin Biles put together an eye-popping 5-under 65 to rally and win the title.

“It’s tough, especially when you have a guy here making birdie after birdie,” Henighan joked as he gestured toward Biles. “He played great, but I just couldn’t make any birdies. Overall I’m happy, but I wish I could’ve done better on the last 18.”

No matter the result, Henighan was still pleased with the three days.

“It’s been cool,” he said of his first Open appearance. “Playing on your home course and having people out watching you and stuff, it’s really neat.”

While Henighan couldn’t match the rounds he put together earlier in the week, Westfield Center’s Parker Hewit strung together his best 18-hole performance of the event.

Hewit overcame four bogeys by recording five birdies en route to firing a 2-under 68 and finishing tied for 21st with 210 strokes.

“It was a really boring round of golf,” he said with a laugh. “A couple birdies here and there and a couple of three-putt bogeys, but that’s good. The boring rounds are the good ones.

“I got off to a little bit better of a start, and other than a couple of 3-putts here and there, I didn’t put myself in bad places. Most of the time I’m swinging from the fairway, which is obviously good, made a couple of dumb wedge shots, but was able to rely on the short game.”

It may be boring to some, but it put the 2007 Gazette MVP under 70 on his home course and included a birdie for the second straight day on the 532-yard, par-5 No. 15.

While the round wasn’t flashy, it also put the former Cloverleaf and Bowling Green standout among the final-round leaders.

“It’s bittersweet,” Hewit said. “I’m glad I could get a decent round for my final round, but if I could’ve gotten off to a better start, stuck in there on the front nine (Tuesday), it could’ve been a different story.

“But I was really happy to make the cut. At the turn (Tuesday), I was at 5 over and 3 over made it, so I was two shots out, so I was fortunate to be playing today.”

Note

Tournament officials announced the Ohio Open will return to Westfield’s North and South Courses next July. Specific dates are yet to be announced.

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