July 24, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Golf: County trio at prestigious event

Getting a chance to golf at a national resort in Florida is a good way to end the summer.

That opportunity for three locals will also include a little international bragging rights.

Medina residents Pat Luth and Evan Schreck and Brunswick’s Justin Roth will be traveling to Palm Beach Gardens next week to take part in The Optimist International Junior Golf Championships.

Pat Luth

Evan Schreck

Justin Roth

Roth had been trying to qualify for the event since 2010 and is ready to experience everything the PGA National Resort & Spa has to offer.

“It’s going to be awesome,” the Brunswick senior said. “I’ve never played in an event of this stature and I’m looking forward to the experience.

“Not a lot of people get to do this. I’m going to get down there and enjoy the resort a little bit, but once I get on the course, it’ll kick in and I’m going to take full advantage of it and see what happens.”

The three locals punched their tickets last month in the Optimist Ohio District event at Tam O’Shanter Golf Course in Canton.

Roth fired a 3-under-par 73 to finish in a tie for fifth in the 16-18 division, while Luth carded a 75.

Schreck, who shot a 76, was originally an alternate but accepted one of the remaining open Ohio spots to participate. He will be looking to keep fine-tuning his game before the start of the high school season when the 16-18 bracket starts Tuesday.

“It’s definitely a big experience for me,” said Schreck, an incoming junior at Medina. “It will help me learn and get better as a golfer. I’m going to enjoy the resort, but I’m going to take it seriously and try to do my best.”

This year marks the 18th straight summer that PGA National has hosted the Optimist event, which features more than 500 players from 42 states, four Canadian provinces and 20 countries.

Previous competitors have included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Nancy Lopez.

Luth is the oldest of the area participants and will use the trip as a mix of business and recreation as he prepares for his first season at Cleveland State. He will join guys like Sean Sherman and Mike Bishop as Medina golfers who have taken part in the tourney.

“This is more of a fun tournament,” said Luth, who had tournaments for six straight weeks this summer but hasn’t played competitively since the Ohio Amateur earlier this month. “There’s a father-son event that my dad and I are going to play and I’m going to stay out by the pool.

“It should be a nice way to end the summer. I had a lot of pressure to play well (this summer) and this is more relaxed. I’m looking to play some good golf.”

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