MEDINA — The Ohio Open Championship is back at Weymouth and Fox Meadow Country Clubs and no one is happier than Patrick Luth.
The former Medina standout has played both courses throughout his career and, after his sixth-place tie at the event a year ago, Luth is hoping that familiarity will pay off.
“Every time I go out to Fox, I’m really comfortable, if it’s in a tournament or if I’m just out there having fun,” he said of the two courses, who are hosting the Open for the first time since 2012. “I know where to hit it and I know most of the greens and how they break.
“Just being comfortable out there is a big help, especially in a tournament like this.”
Last summer, Luth put together two of the best rounds at the Ohio Open to finish three shots off the pace of eventual medalist Tim Crouch of Mount Vernon.
While Luth’s three-day total of 203 came at Westfield Group Country Club, the 21-year-old is hoping to build upon that impressive finish at his former home course. Luth played at Weymouth and Fox Meadow in his prep career, while Luth and his best friend Spencer Koch — who is also playing in the Open — also have spent their share of summer days on the two courses.
Luth is hoping that he won’t have to put together rounds of 6-under and 4-under, respectively, like he did on the final two days last July to get into the hunt.
“I’ve put together a game plan for both courses,” he said. “I’m going to stick to that plan and play my own game. I had a little bit of success last year (at the Open), but that was at a different course, so it’s a totally different tournament.
“Getting off to a good start is key and being comfortable out there is going to help, but other than that it’s executing golf shots and making a few putts here and there,” Luth continued. “I’m not really sure what’s going to win or what the courses will be playing like, because we had some rain. I’m just going to stick to my plan and play the best I can and see where that puts me at the end of the tournament.”
The top-10 finish among the best the state has to offer last year did propel Luth into an dominant senior season at Cleveland State, where the All-Horizon League pick became the first player in program history to play in the NCAA D-I Regionals four times and ended his collegiate career second in school history for a season (72.7) and sixth all-time for his career (75.1).
Now Luth, who turned professional in June and will finish up his business degree at CSU in the fall and serve as an assistant on the Vikings staff during the upcoming season, knows he can do more.
“I practice and play at Medina Country Club and I sometimes play well, but that was the first time I did it in a tournament,” said Luth, who plans on attending Q-School after he gets his degree to try and make the PGA Tour. “And for it to be in the Ohio Open, it really got my confidence going. It showed me what I’m capable of and propelled me into my final senior season.
“It proved to me that professional golf, which was a dream at that point, that maybe it might happen. But when that happened I knew I could do this and that’s what convinced me that I can play at the next level.”
A pair of other former Medina players, Pete Skirpstas and Koch, also made the cut last summer at the Open, finishing in a tie for 26th and 60th overall, and are among 16 area residents that will take part in the event.
Luth’s collegiate coach at CSU, Brunswick graduate Steve Weir, is also among the locals participating, along with Medina resident Bob Henighan, who missed last year’s cut by one stroke.
For a guy like Brunswick’s Justin Roth, it’s just about staying consistent.
“I haven’t played a tournament since back in May (Ohio Am Qualifier), but my game feels really good,” the current University of Findlay player said. “I shot 18 at Fox (Sunday) and my goal is to try and make the cut. It usually hovers around even-par, so if I can make the cut that would be great.”
WHAT: 97th Ohio Open Championship
WHEN: Today through Wednesday. First tee-time scheduled for 8 a.m.
WHERE: Weymouth Country Club (7,007 yards, par 72); Fox Meadow Country Club (6,917 yards, par 72).
AREA PARTICIPANTS: Cody Geisler (Westfield Center), Evan Gray (Brunswick), Bob Henighan (Medina), Kyle Johnson (Medina), Spencer Koch (Medina), Patrick Luth (Medina), Cameron MacLellan (Medina), George Papas (Hinckley Twp.), Kyle Richardson (Medina), Michael Ross (Hinckley Twp.), Justin Roth (Brunswick), Evan Schreck (Medina), Pete Skirpstas (Medina), Ben Smith (Westfield Center), Daniel Terry (Wadsworth), Steve Weir (Brunswick).
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.