WESTFIELD CENTER — Happy where he stood after one round of play, Patrick Luth liked his position after the second round even better.
The Medina resident finished the second day of the Ohio Open tied for ninth place, shooting a 64 Wednesday at Westfield Group Country Club. At 5 under after two rounds, Luth made the cut with ease.
While Luth played a steady game Tuesday with 15 pars but attacked the South Course on Wednesday. Luth scored seven birdies, including a stretch of four from holes 10 to 14.
“I’m pretty happy,” Luth said. “I mean, a 64 is a solid round. It’s what I needed, for sure. I cleaned up what I needed to from my round (Tuesday). I took advantage of the wedges and knocked my wedges close then made the putts I needed to make.”
Playing alongside Luth, Montville Township’s Pete Skirpstas also made the cut. Skirpstas notched a 1-under 69. He balanced his round with four birdies and three bogeys for a share of 35th.
Three birdies helped Parker Hewit (Westfield Center) secure his spot. Hewit finished at 70 on the North Course for a 141.
“I hadn’t had a whole lot of player practice beforehand,” Hewit said. “The last time I played was a week and a half before this tournament. Not the preparation I would’ve hoped to have before this. All in all, it was OK. A couple bad breaks, a couple good breaks. I hit the ball well. I had a lot of putts that lipped out.”
Those near-misses on the green kept Hewit from shaving strokes. Despite the putts that did not drop, Hewitt remained optimistic.
“You start to notice it after you hit two or three that lip out, it starts to get to you,” Hewit said. “My caddie talked about it last year. He’s always positive. When I get a little down on myself, he says, ‘It’s over, don’t think about it.’ He’s helped a lot in that regard, but I think he had a tally of how many I had today and it was, like, six. A couple of those, you get a bad putt and you know it’s going to be left or right and it lips out. About half of those were you’re taking a step to pick it out of the hole and then it lips out.
“You got to take the positives. You know you’re hitting good putts and you just got to tell yourself eventually they’re going to go in. Hopefully that’s (today).”
After opening with a 68, Spencer Koch (Montville Township) struggled. Koch shot a 75 with three bogeys and a double on 17. His first round did enough and Koch will play in today’s final round.
“I didn’t get anything going,” Koch said. “I actually chipped in to barely just squeak by the cut. I didn’t get anything going with the putter.
(Tuesday) I got hot with the putter to start the day. Just going to try to fire a low one tomorrow. I’d rather be in it, I’d rather be trying to win and I’m still going to try to fire as low a score as possible, but I made the cut for a second year in a row. Not bad.”
For Koch, making the cut will serve as some bragging rights. His father, Bob, also played in the tournament, finishing at 156 and missing the cut.
“We chat about it,” Koch said. “(There’s) little competitiveness at home, for sure. A lot of jokes that go on at dinner. I actually wish he would’ve made the cut. We’ve never made the cut at the same time, but I’m definitely going to give him some when I get home, for sure.”
West Chester’s Andrew Dorn continued to build on his lead. Dorn started right with an eagle on 2 followed by a birdie on 3. He scored a 67 on the South Course to move to 11 under.
The Ohio Open concludes today, with 66 players making the cut of 144. The first group tees off at 7:30 a.m.
Contact Jonathan Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org.