Big Walnut wins team title at Mike Nesselroad Invitational

Big Walnut took home the team title and Hayes’ Jake Ross nabbed medalist honors at Friday’s (Aug. 4) season opening Mike Nesselroad Invitational at Oakhaven Golf Course.

Big Walnut led the way with a nine-hole total of 162. Michael Ford, who finished second among individuals, closed with a 39 while Michael Ruark and Zack Herbert, who tied for fourth overall, carded 40s.

Kenny Schneider smoothed out the Golden Eagles’ top four with a 43.

Jonathan Alder, boosted by Hayden Mitchell’s team-low 39, finished second with a combined 164. Hayes also had a nine-hole total of 164, but had a worse fifth-man score and had to settle for third.

Ross, a sophomore, fired a field-low 38 to finish as the top individual.

“Jake is great,” Hayes coach Andy Graham said. “He’s a tough competitor and hard worker. He can often be found up at the course working on some part of his game.”

The teams got through anywhere between 14 and 16 holes before afternoon storms forced them off the course.

“We were about 30 minutes from beating the rains,” Graham said. “Coaches collectively decided to end the tournament early and only count the front nine since all the teams finished those holes.”

Luke Gazarek (41), Ben Madden (42) and Logan Keeder (43) joined Ross in the Pacers’ top four.

“Overall, the team is young, but hungry to get better,” Graham said. “Jake shot in the 70s both days at tryouts. Luke, Ben and Hunter (Piroska) were in the low 80s. And our one senior, Logan, is a great role model for the young talent coming through.”

Marysville and Buckeye Valley finished fourth and fifth with respective rounds of 174 and 180.

The Barons were led by Carter Stried, who had a 41, while Mitch Lucas and Reese Cramer each fired 44s. Logan Erwin rounded out the team’s top four with a 51.

Fidelity Federal Savings and Loans sponsored the event.

“A big thank you to Fidelity Federal Savings and Loan’s Rick Van Houten and Jeff Pettit for coming out to the course for support,” Graham said.

Thomas Worthington Preview

Olentangy won the season opening Thomas Worthington preview Friday at Delaware Golf Club, firing a combined 303 to edge out runner-up Worthington Christian and third-place St. Charles.

The Braves, who were tied with Worthington Christian when things wrapped up, took the team title thanks to a better fifth-man score. St. Charles was two strokes behind with a 305.

Cameron Casto led the way with a 71 — the second-lowest score among individuals — while Luke Boerner had a 74, Trey Wilson carded a 78, Garrett Leckrone finished with an 80 and Bennett Zeitner had an 83 to smooth out the team’s scoring summary.

Olentangy’s Ben Nash, who competed as an individual, finished 12th overall with a 76.

Pickerington Central Invitational

Cameron Casto carded a 73 and Trey Wilson fired a 74 to lead Olentangy to runner-up honors at Monday’s (Aug. 7) Pickerington Central Invitational at Turnberry Golf Course.

Casto’s 73 was good enough to tie for medalist honors while Wilson was third among individuals just one stroke off the pace.

The Braves, who also got a 77 from Luke Boerner, 84 from Bennett Zeitner and 85 from Garrett Leckrone, tied Dublin Jerome Gold for first-place honors with a combined 308, but settled for second place due to the fifth-man tiebreaker.

Gahanna finished third with a 315, Thomas Worthington closed fourth with a 319 and Big Walnut smoothed out the top five with a 325.

Lexington Invitational

Liberty was sharp Monday, winning the Lexington Invitational at Westbrook Country Club with a combined 305.

Cole Corder led the Patriots, and everyone else, with a 70. Other Liberty scorers included Trey Rath (75), Grant Smeltzer (77) and Jacob Hickman (83).

Lakota East finished second with a combined 309 and Mason rounded out the top three with a 320.


Orange, boosted by the trio of Ashley Au, Riley Dean and Natalia Sompolvorachai, won Monday’s Gahanna Invitational in impressive fashion.

Au led the way with a 66 while Dean and Sompolvorachai finished with respective rounds of 72 and 73. All three finished in the top six among individuals.

Alyssa Kim also contributed to the Pioneers’ combined 295, carding an 84.

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Mike Nesselroad Invitational

By Ben Stroup

Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.