4th Place Finish in Opener

Golden Eagles fight through weather mess at OU Chillicothe

P. Wedge 4/8/16

Neither rain, high winds, nor freezing temperatures could keep the Kent State Tuscarawas golf team from its appointed rounds in the Hilltopper Invitational on Friday! The Golden Eagles team score of 326 was just 15 strokes behind champion and NAIA member Shawnee State who won by tie breaker shooting 311, but good enough to place KSU Tuscarawas ahead of all the Ohio Regional Campus Conference member schools.

With a constant wind and strong wind gusts the wind chill temperature at Chillicothe Jaycees Golf Course was in the low 20s. And, even though they played without the services of their one- man, the Golden Eagles were a factor on the leaderboard.

Junior two-man Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia HS/New Philadelphia,OH) played in the second spot and recorded the lowest Golden Eagle round in the tournament. Enama shot 38/39/77 with 11 pars and a birdie, parring the seven hardest handicapped holes on the course. Meanwhile, three-man Bradley Miller (United Local HS/Hanoverton,OH) carded a 39/41/80 with seven pars on his outward nine.

"Taylor and Bradley were special today," said Coach Rob Brindley. "Those two guys were just a combined five-over par in their first nine holes after a two and one-half hour van ride and little time to stretch. They set the pace early and it's a good thing, because the day got damper and more windy during the afternoon. Collectively they parred 22 holes---11each---with Taylor recording six on the inward nine," Brindley added.

Luke Williams (Firestone HS/Massillon,OH) added six pars and a birdie coming home in 38 after a tough outward nine and finished 46/38/84, while one-man Doug Ross (Tuscarawas Central Catholic HS/Dennison,OH) shot 42/43/85 to round out the team scoring.

"At the end of the day, I think we judged the winds very well and dealt solidly with the weather," said Brindley. "People don't realize how difficult and grinding it can be in the wind and biting cold. Deep in the round, guys just had to force themselves to be patient and relax despite the adverse conditions. It's hard to slow yourself down and maintain position when you are judging how much to club up or down while the wind whistles in your ears, balls are plugging and then the you get sprinkled on. And for Luke to grit it out with six pars and a birdie on the way back to the clubhouse was huge for us. He could have simply managed to maintain instead of being the team player that he is," Brindley added.

Up next for the Golden Eagles is Miami Hamilton's Harrier Invitational next Friday and then the Thunderhawk Invitational at Miami Middletown on Saturday.

Standings---Shawnee State University 311, Ohio Christian 311, Cincinnati State 313, KSU Tuscarawas 326, OU Eastern 330, OU Lancaster 334, OSU Lima 335, Miami Hamilton 336, OU Chillicothe 353, Miami Middletown 385, Akron Wayne 434.

Ross Is Medalist

Golden Eagles take Harrier Invitational by 10 strokes

P. Wedge 4/15/16

The Kent State Tuscarawas Golf Team was a true two-headed monster on Friday as they won their first tournament in two years and owned the top two spots on the All-Tournament Team.  The Golden Eagles shot a team total 330 at Hamilton Elks Golf Club, while teammates Doug Ross and Bradley Miller tied for medalist honors and had to face one another in a playoff to take home top honors.

Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) won the playoff with Miller (Hanoverton, OH, United Local) after the pair set the pace for the field with rounds of 79.  It was the first time in school history that KSU teammates tied for the low round of the day.  The Golden Eagles outdistanced second place finished Ohio University Chillicothe by 10 strokes and perennial conference power Ohio University Eastern by 16.  The Hilltoppers and Panthers finished the day with 340 and 346 team totals respectively.

“In the end it was a great finish to a perfect weather day,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  “I wasn’t sure what to expect until I looked at the leaderboard, but when I saw some of the other teams were struggling as we were, I knew we had a chance.  Especially when Doug turned at even par 36,” Brindley added.

Ross recorded three birdies and three pars on the outward nine, but ran into a little trouble on the back coming home in 43.  Meanwhile, Miller, who turned in 40 with five pars proceeded to light up the inward nine with three pars and two birdies of his own to complete at round of 39 which shot the Golden Eagles up the leaderboard.

“I was so happy for Brad’s finish because he was striking the ball so well,” Brindley said.  “His irons were extra long today despite the soft fairways.  And Doug was at even par though the first 11 holes of the day.  When you get production like that from two players you definitely improve your chances of winning,” he said.

Cameron Mazziotta (Malvern, OH/Malvern) shot 41/45/86 and Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) went 44/42/86.  Mazziotta had four pars while Enama carded five.

Standings---KSU Tuscarawas 330, OU Chillicothe 340, OU Eastern 346, Miami Hamilton 350, OSU Lima 360, OU Lancaster 374, Miami Middletown 434, Akron Wayne 523.

Miller TakeS Sole Medalist Honors

Second straight title makes for productive Golden Eagle weekend

P. Wedge 4/16/2016

For the second time in as many days, the KSU Tuscarawas Golden Eagles won an invitational tournament in southwestern Ohio as they captured the Miami Middletown Thunderhawk Invitational at Wildwood Golf Club by 17 strokes with an aggregate score of 317.  And this time there was no playoff as Bradley Miller took home sole medalist honors with a round of 73, completing a Golden Eagle sweep of top honors for the weekend.

Wildwood GC features a rolling layout with undulating greens and the Golden Eagles nearly brought the course to its’ knees firing four rounds in the 30s.  Collectively the team recorded 30 pars and 10 birdies on the day, as Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) recorded seven pars and five birdies on his own.

“Indescribable and simply surreal,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  “I was all over the course today and thought we have a chance for a second straight title.  Doug (Ross) made it through the front nine with a 39, Bradley (Miller) did two better with a 37 and Taylor (Taylor) had a 40.  We were looking pretty good at that point, but nothing is a given with a second nine left to play.  Doug’s scrambling ability is really good but he was really hitting greens today, while Brad was just magnificent with his driver and Taylor was solid as usual.  Luke (Williams) had a really tough day yesterday, but he slowed his game way down today and was more methodical as he bettered his front nine by six strokes coming after in 39 after opening with a 45,” Brindley added.

Miller was very long off the tee and just as accurate as he carded a two-over par round of 73 for the day going out in 37 and coming home in 36.  He bounced back with a birdie on the ninth after hitting a ball out of bounds on the eighth hole and rode the momentum on the back nine shooting even par.  Meanwhile Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) picked up where he started on Friday and carded a 39/41/80, Enama was steady with a 40/40/80 and Williams (Massillon, OH/Firestone) cemented the win with a 45/39/84.

“We were very good again and that’s not a fluke,” Brindley said.  “These guys are players and wonderful to work with at practice and in making mid-round adjustments.  They know how to stay in the moment and take the game one hole at a time.  This is the first-time that we’ve won back-to-back tournaments since I’ve been coaching and I don’t think we are finished just yet,” Brindley said.

Next Friday, the Golden Eagles travel to Orrville for the Akron Wayne Warrior Invitational and then host their own Golden Eagle Invitational on Saturday.

Standings---KSU Tuscarawas 317, OU Chillicothe 334, OU Eastern 334, OSU Lima 336, Miami Hamilton 337, OU Lancaster 352, Miami Middletown 364, Akron Wayne 386

Golden Eagles Grind in Rain

KSU Tuscarawas Golf notches 3rd straight tournament victory

P. Wedge 4/22/16

The Kent State Tuscarawas Golden Eagles trudged through rain showers and captured their third consecutive victory of the season winning the Akron Wayne Warrior Invitational.  This time the margin of victory was just two strokes as they shot a team total of 334 and had to wait in the relentless rain near the scorer’s table as later flights reported their scores.

“This one was more nerve wracking than the last two,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  “We struggled though the day and I had to remind the guys that everybody was mired in the same rain and nagging drizzle.  To a man, everyone on the team bettered their front nine scores which made the difference,” he added.

Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) had another strong showing with a 39/39/78, recording five pars and a birdie on each nine.  Miller started fast on both sides shooting a one under par on the outward side and even par on the first three holes on the inward side.

“He (Miller) was just three-over par through his first 12 holes,” Brindley said.  “That is really getting after it.  He was so focused on a fast start in case there was a rain out.  His game is very tidy and he’s just one of those guys that does not give up and wills himself to win,” he added.

Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) continued his steady play as well with nine pars and birdie finishing even par on the last five holes of the day for a round of 43/41/84.  Tyler Shuman (Carrollton, OH/Carrollton) collected eight pars and carded a birdie going 43/42/85, while Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) had two birdies, including driving the par-four ninth hole for a round of 45/42/87.

“We were still pretty solid despite the rain and a couple of balls hit out-of-bounds off the tee,” Brindley said.  'The guys did a good job of toughing it out and just competing.  In the end, we won no matter how narrow the margin.  I hope this contagion we’ve caught does not have an antidote.  These guys have shown their moxie in freezing temps, sun and now rain.  The U.S. Post Office has nothing on them,” he added.

The Golden Eagles host the Golden Eagle Invitational on Saturday and the State Tournament is just two weeks away.

Standings—KSU Tuscarawas 334, OU Eastern 336, OU Chillicothe 336, OSU Lima 339, Miami Hamilton 349, OU Lancaster 354, UA Wayne 396, Miami Middletown 438.

Fourth Consecutive Championship

KSU Tuscarawas grinds out win in own invitational

P. Wedge 4/23/16

It was a labored start, but the Golden Eagles finished 10 strokes ahead of the nearest competitor as they defended their home turf in winning their own invitational at Oak Shadows Golf Club in New Philadelphia, OH on Saturday.  KSU Tuscarawas posted a team score of 333 which was well ahead of Ohio University Eastern’s 343.

“For the second straight day we did not play our best but managed to come out on top,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  It was a very difficult day with the wind, and the midmorning dampness had everybody struggling to post a low number before the weather broke. These kind of elements put a premium on focus and we had it today. You just have to commit to your round regardless of outside forces,” he added.

For the fourth straight round freshman Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) shot a round in the 70s and this time he had to overcome an opening round of 43.  Miller’s final nine resulted in a one-under par 35 as he carded four pars and three birdies.  He opened the inward nine posting three pars and three birdies and was three-under par with three holes left to play and finished with a 78.

“Sometimes it’s hard to ride that wave once you are on it and a little bobble here or there can be disappointing,” Brindley said.  “Brad however, did a masterful job of bouncing back after two late bogies and parred the 18th but missed third straight medalist honors by one stroke.  He managed to do that with his parents watching and I know he was really working himself over after a disappointing opening nine, but he’s a real street fighter and bounced back hard.  I am very proud of and for him,” Brindley added.

Meanwhile, Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) carded six pars and three birdies for a round of 41/41/82.  Enama has been a model of consistency this season and Brindley calls him “Mr. Dependable.”  Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) went 42/44/86 and Luke Williams (Massillon, OH/Firestone) bounced back strongly after opening with a 50, just missing a birdie put on the final hole of the day finishing with a 37 for a round of 87.

“These guys showed once again they can work it out on course,” Brindley said.  "Since I was hosting the tournament it was important that they work on their own today.  I despise not being able to be out on the course with them all day, but I trust them to make their own judgments and have that never-say-die attitude.  Just look at the consistency and work they put in,” Brindley added.

The fourth straight victory is a school record and the most victories in one season by a Golden Eagle golf team.

They return to action next Friday at the OU Eastern Panther Invitational to be held at Cadiz Country Club, followed by the rescheduled OU Lancaster Cougar Invitational at Valley View Golf Club in Lancaster on Saturday.

Standings—KSU Tuscarawas 333, OU Eastern 343, OSU Lima 346, OU Chillicothe 357, Miami Hamilton 360, OU Lancaster 368, Akron Wayne 422, Miami Middletown 432.

Ross is Runnerup Medalist

Golden Eagles streak of success continues with runnerup finish

P. Wedge 4/29/16

It wasn't a win, but the Kent State Tuscarawas Golf Team shot a season second-best team total of 324 as they captured second place in the Ohio University Eastern Panther Invitational at Cadiz Country Club on Friday.  The Panthers were six strokes better on the day with a score of 318. Two Golden Eagles shot rounds in the 70s and for the fifth time on the season a Golden Eagle captured medalist or runnerup medalist honors.

Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) carded 11 pars and three birdies on his round to finish 38/38/76 just one stroke off the medalist winning score of 75 on the day.  Using a borrowed putter along with hitting a high percentage of fairways, Ross made up for not converting on approach shots to put together a string of successful holes as he vied for low round honors.  Meanwhile, teammate Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) hit a high percentage of greens while he earned eight pars and two birdies to close with a round of 37 after opening with a 42 and finish with a 79.  It was Miller's fifth straight tournament round in the 70s on the season.

"Those guys did some major scrambling today after having no difficulty finding the short grass off the tee," said Coach Rob Brindley.  "The insert fell out of Doug's putter earlier in the week and he never got to practice with his brother's stick before he used it today.  But, Doug found his touch and so did Brad who struggled with greens speed on his front nine.  They are so willing to hang in there and take a lead role and are a good example for the younger guys," Brindley said.

Four-man Tyler Shuman (Carrollton, OH/Carrollton) put together two solid rounds of 42 for a score of 84 and had 4 pars and two birdies on the day.  Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) overcame a rough start after a thumb injury on his first hole of the day to shoot 43/42/85 with five pars, a birdie and a late eagle, while Luke Williams matched that with a 43/42/85 of his own.

"We are so consistent in the middle and bottom of our lineup which makes a huge difference," Brindley said.  "While most teams depend on one or two players to place them on the leaderboard, we have a pretty steady group of scorers that has helped us remain competitive week in and week out.  We have one more tournament and then we set our sights on winning the state tournament," he added.

On the day, the Golden Eagles recorded 36 pars 17 birdies and an eagle.  

On Saturday the Golden Eagles travel to Ohio Univeristy Lancaster's Cougar Invitational at Valley View Golf Club for a rescheduled tournament that was cancelled due to snow earlier in the year.

Standings---OU Eastern 318, KSU Tuscarawas 324, OU Chillicothe 330, OU Lancaster 350, OSU Lima 353, MU Hamilton 357, MU Middletown 360, UA Wayne 400.

Golden Eagles Take OUL Title

Two-hole playoff puts team back in tourney winning style

P. Wedge 4/30/16

After 72 holes and a fifth-man tiebreaker could not decide the outcome of the Ohio Univeristy Lancaster Cougar Invitational, the Golden Eagles won the event after two extra holes defeating the Ohio State University Lima Barons.  Freshman Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) parred the par-3 second hole with a two-putt par after hitting the green on his first shot at Valley View Golf Club in Lancaster for victory.

Miller had lots of momentum going into the playoff after closing the day with four straight pars.  He did however, have to wait a little more than an hour before the playoff begun.  Miller and his opponent both hit the first fairway and green in regulation and he nearly ended it but left a 15-foot putt on the lip of the hole.  The OSU Lima player missed the second green to the left and Miller attacked the open green putting his tee shot about 20 feet past the flag on the putting service.  Miller's downhill putt would fall just short leaving himself a short tap-in.  He would win the hole as the OSU player failed to convert on an uphill six-footer after chipping back onto the green and the celebration was on as MIller was mobbed by his teammates on the putting surface.

"Brad had a tough back nine today but ended his day beautifully and I knew it was his chance to get even with Doug," Coach Rob Brindley quipped.  "Brad lost to his own teammate a couple of weeks ago in a one-hole playoff for medalist, but he evened the score today with a tournament winner.  It really put a lot of bounce in his step and a smile back on his face for sure," he added.

The day started fast for Miller who was three under par through the first six holes on his opening nine, finishing with a one-under par 35.  Several errant shots cost him at the outset of his inward nine, but he righted the ship closing with four pars and birdie to salvage a 35/44/79.  Miller finished with seven pars and four birdies on the day.  Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) rolled up seven pars on each nine for a season high of 14 pars on his round and finished 39/41/80.  Tyler Shuman (Carrollton, OH/Carrollton) had another great outing as he continued to sharpen his scoring ability and ended the day with six pars and two birdies as he carded a round of 40/41/81.  Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) converted on eight pars during his round and overcame an inconsistent ball striking day to round out the scoring with a 43/40/83.

"I love to see those guys earn their keep," Brindley said.  "We had 37 pars and six birdies on the day which shows how hard we worked to score in the cold and drizzle.  It's a testament to their staying power and you can never count them out.  I always feel we have a chance and the excitement of the playoff and picking up another outright win is huge going into the final weekend of golf," Brindley added.

The Golden Eagles will vie for the Ohio Regional Campus Conference State Tournament title in a two-day event next weekend.  On Friday, the Golden Eagles will travel to Lima for first round action at Colonial Hills Golf Club, while on Saturday, they will play the final round at Lost Creek Golf Club.

"We are certainly in it to win it," Brindley said.

Standings---KSU Tuscarawas 323, OSU Lima 323, OU Eastern 329, OU Lancaster 339, Miami Hamilton 339, Miami Middletown 359, OU Chillicothe 367, UA Wayne DNP

Enama’s 77 Leads Balanced Scoring

Golden Eagles share lead after first round of ORCC State Tourney

P. Wedge 5/6/16

The Kent State Tuscarawas golf team is tied after the opening round of the two-day Ohio Regional Campus Conference State Tournament held at Colonial Golfer’s Club in Lima Ohio.  The Golden Eagles shot a team total of 325 and shared the lead with upstart OU Chillicothe.

Three-man Taylor Enama (New Philadelphia, OH/New Philadelphia) led the way for the Eagles with a fine round of 77 to finish just 4 strokes off the pace for medalist on the day.  Enama parred eight holes on the outward nine making the turn with a two-over par 38, and continued he hot hand on the inward nine converting on five pars and birdie at the 18th to keep KSU Tuscarawas near the top of the leaderboard.

“Taylor’s ball-striking was superb today,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  “He was really dialed in off the tee and there was no need for me to say much to him, except to lend some encouragement as he head to the tight back nine.  That 25 foot bender at the last was huge, because it put us into a tie for the lead instead of having to play from behind on the second day,” Brindley added.

Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) carded four pars and birdie on each nine and finished 41/40/81 fighting through a low percentage of hit fairways.  After and opening round of 44 and just two pars, Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) hit a high percentage of greens in regulation on his second nine collecting six pars heading home to finish 44/42/86.

The big difference on day one for the Golden Eagles was the play of four-man Tyler Shuman (Carrollton, OH/Carrollton) and five-man Luke Williams (Massillon,OH/Firestone).  Shuman was solid in a 41/41/82 round while making 10 pars on the day---five on each nine, while Williams, after opening with a 45 made six pars on the homeward bound side to card a 40 and an 18-hole total of 85.

“I really don’t think of those two guys as the end of the lineup, because we get so much production out of them,” Brindley said.  Tyler is so steady and has the ability to hit a low stinger to the greens that get him into scoring position, because his is also a very reliable putter.  Luke on the other hand brings his hard hat and lunch pail to the course every day.  His rounds are very controlled and workman-like.  Today he made eight pars with six coming on the final nine.  He managed to par five of the last six holes when most guys are just trying to get off the course, but he is still paying attention to the matter at hand,” Brindley said.

In the opening round the Golden Eagles converted on 47 pars and three birdies.  That stat would indicate that they had some really good looks at birdie and Brindley indicated that he was not worried about their position heading into the final day.

Standings—KSU Tuscarawas 325, OU Chillicothe 325, OU Eastern 328, OSU Lima 339, MU Hamilton 345, MU Middletown 378, OU Lancaster 388, UA Wayne 407.

Golden Eagles Win by 8 Strokes

Lowest round of the year propels KSU Tuscarawas to first state-championship

P. Wedge 5/7/16

The Kent State Tuscarwas Golden Eagles won the championship of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference State Tournament on Saturday with a final round 314 and two-day total of 639—8 strokes ahead of second place OU Eastern.  The Golden Eagles stretched their lead on the second day of the tournament as they led the Panthers by only three strokes after day one.

The Golden Eagles won six of eight tournaments on the season, once winning four straight tournaments, then placing runners-up in another before finishing off the season with two consecutive wins and leading in their final three rounds of the season.

“I couldn’t be any happier than a coach can be,” said Coach Rob Brindley.  “These guys are so worthy of the title because of the consistency and hard work they showed this season.  While most of the other teams seemed to be wading through the intensity the final round, I thought we were focused but loose at the same time. You could really feel the tension out there with the big galleries.  I don’t like to put any undo pressure on the guys.  They do enough of that themselves, so I just offer some encouragement and will joke with them about a missed putt or errant shot to make them relax," he added.

One-man Bradley Miller (Hanoverton, OH/United Local) had a career-day at Lost Creek Golfers Club, as he opened with a round of 37 carding five pars and a birdie. On the inward nine Miller really got things clicking, as he closed the last eight holes with pars on holes 11 and 12, an eagle on 13 and then five straight pars for a round of one-under par 35 and a total of 72.  Two-man Doug Ross (Dennison, OH/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) had six pars on his opening nine and carded five pars and a birdie as he headed home with with an inward nine of 38 for a round of 40/38/78.

“Having those fantastic first two rounds in the clubhouse helped me breathe a little easier,” Brindley said. “And listening to Brad and Doug recount their rounds, you can appreciate how hard they worked and although they were high on the leaderboard, both said they left some strokes out there.  That kind of attitude makes them not only good leaders, but great teammates because their caring and work ethic is infectious,” he added.

The Golden Eagles finished the second day with a team high 48 pars on the day to compliment four birdies and an eagle.  Those kind of numbers illustrate that the team was putting themselves into scoring position even when not converting.

Five-man Luke Williams (Massillon, OH/Firestone) had four pars and birdie on the outward nine, turning in 39, the second lowest Golden Eagle round at the turn. Williams closed with a round of 42 for a round of 81 on the day with four pars as he headed toward the scoring area with seven pars and a birdie on his card. Meanwhile, four-man Tyler Shuman (Carrollton, OH/Carrollton) sandwiched six straight pars in the middle of his outward nine and carded five more on the back nine to finish 42/41/83.  Shuman parred 11 of 18 holes on the day.

“Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but we are never out of it when Luke and Tyler aren’t in,” Brindley said.  “I am never surprised by them.  Most teams would love to have a whole roster full of Lukes and Tylers.  I am so happy for Tyler because he is the golfer I knew he could be coming out of high school and since this is Luke’s last season, it’s so awesome to have him go out as a champion.  There are no words to express how close we are as a team and how proud I am of these guys,” he added.

The Golden Eagles hard work led them to the pinnacle this season, which was illustrated by the cart Brindley toured around the course in.

“I chose cart number one on purpose,” Brindley said.  “And, as I made my way around the course and met with the guys, I pointed out the number on the cart.  It was kind of my way of showing them I was paying homage to them and expected nothing less since we have been at the top all season long,” he added.

Standings—KSU Tuscarawas 314/639, OU Eastern 319/647, OU Chillicothe 322/647, OSU Lima 324/663, MU Hamilton 318/663, OU Lancaster 333/721, MU Middletown 352/730, UA Wayne 381/788.