WESTFIELD CENTER — One shot.
That was all that separated Austin Schreiber from the final round of the Ohio Open Championship last summer.
After firing his lowest round of the event, the Medina graduate fell just short of his goal of making the final-day cut. He is hoping to erase those bitter memories when the 93rd edition of the Ohio Open begins today at Westfield Group Country Club.
“It’s fueled me big time,” Schreiber said. “I was really disappointed, especially after playing really well in the second round. Both courses fit me well, and I’m excited to get another crack at it.”
The Ashland University standout is one of 20 Medina County residents that will take part in the three-day Northern Ohio PGA event on Westfield’s North and South courses.
None of them will have a bigger chip on their shoulder than Schreiber.
A four-time All-Gazette selection, Schreiber carded a 4-under-par 66 in his second round on the South Course and looked primed for a spot in the finals, only to see his 146 total leave him on the outside looking in.
One stroke kept him from competing for the top prize captured by Upper Arlington’s Colin Biles, and Schreiber is hoping those bad feelings pace him to a good start today when he takes to the same South Course.
“I played a lot better on the South last year, and I want to post a nice score because I want to compete this year,” Schreiber said. “The South is a lot shorter, and I love using my 3-iron and 3-wood off the tee. The North is a little longer and wide open, so you just need to grip it and rip it. With it being wet, the ball is not going too far, but the course is always in good condition, especially the greens.
“I expect to not only make the cut, but I want a chance to win it.”
Schreiber wasn’t the only county native that came up short, as fellow Medina resident William McKinley was a shot off the cut a year ago, while Spencer Koch was two.
The only difference for McKinley was he had to golf 23 holes on the second day due to his first round being cut short due to a late-afternoon thunderstorm. That could be a factor today, as storms could hit the area as 272 players take part in one of the state’s most prestigious events.
Two area players did make the cut last summer, however, and made plenty of noise.
Medina’s Bob Henighan tied for 10th with a 6-under 206, just eight shots behind Biles. It was the first Ohio Open for the longtime Westfield member.
The other finalist also is no stranger to the course, as Westfield Center’s Parker Hewit tied for 21st at 210.
Other members at Westfield are Akron’s David Dinan and Westfield Center’s Jason Martin and Cody Geisler, a newcomer in the field.
Schreiber, Henighan and Geisler are among 140 amateurs competing, joining fellow county residents Mike Bishop (Medina), Howard Clendenin (Seville), Mike King (Medina), Spencer Koch (Medina), Patrick Luth (Medina), Nick Musgrave (Wadsworth), George Papas (Hinckley Township), Michael Ross (Hinckley Township), Nick Schley (Brunswick) and Jimmy Szpak (Hinckley Township).
The area professionals are Hewit, Bob Koch (Medina), Josh Koch (Medina), Jason Martin (Westfield Center), William McKinley (Medina), Pete Skirpstas and Daniel Terry (Wadsworth).
Katie Jenior and Melissa Yeazel will be the first two female players in Ohio Open history. Jenior is a PGA Apprentice at Barrington Golf Club in Aurora, while PGA professional Yeazel is from West Chester’s Eagle Tee Golf Center.
• Along with reigning champion Colin Biles, former medalists Rob Moss, Chris Black, Dennis Miller, Mitch Camp, Gary Robison and Gary Trivisonno are in the field.
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.