Terrible Trees of Tannenhauf
College Prep Series @ Mount Union
Alliance, Ohio — July 27th, 2020 — Buckeye Junior Golf Tour held its 3rd Annual College Golf Prep Series @ Mount Union this weekend at the tree-lined Tannenhauf Golf Course. As our Director of Operations Dan Schwenkel would say, “You can’t get much more Americana than this golf course.” Almost every hole out at Tannenhauf is littered with Ash, Oak, Maple and Sycamore Trees and those that aren’t, have small water-hazards. Let’s see who was able to keep it straight off the tee this weekend.
Round 1 – Saturday, July 25th — It was a beautiful Summer Day in Alliance with the start of Round 1 out at Tannenhauf. The Summer heat started sweltering at the end of Round 1 making for a tough last couple of holes for the Boys 15-19 Division. Hole-17 was the toughest for them in Round 1. Hole-17’s main defense is the length for a Par-4, over 400 yards. The aforementioned trees line the fairway on this hole, playing the ball straight on each of your shots up to the green is key. The difficulty of doing this and the fatigue of a late Summer Round produced no Pars from the Boys. Right before the daunting 17th was the easiest Hole in Round 1. Hole-16 is listed as the second hardest hole on the golf course, so naturally, the older boys would play it the best on the day. A funky hole to say the least; the tee box is nestled back behind a creek and an uphill dogleg right tree-lined fairway, hopefully you can fade the ball! Seth Callaway, a BJGT staple, punched his ticket into the final pairing with the only Birdie from the field on the hole. Jacob Beaschler from Nevada, Ohio, Ohio (as he listed in his membership registration form) was our Round 1 Leader with a solid 80. Jacob was followed closely behind by Blake White from Crooksville, Ohio with an 81.
The Girls 14-19 Division had must have been watching the older boys because they too found Hole-17 to be playing the toughest in Round 1. The hole only produced 1 Par for the tournament. This came from hard-hitting Victoria Witouski from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. The well-played hole allowed Victoria to finish 2nd for Round 1 and gave her a shot at the Champion Flag. The easiest hole for the Girls in Round 1 is the super-short, 110-yard, Par-3 15th-hole. It is the 3rd easiest hole on the course but can be tricky. The tee box sits at an awkward angle and the extreme change in elevation requires great finesse with a wedge or iron. Toni Blackwell all the way from Fayatteville, North Carolina and Rhianna Firmstone from Moon Township, Pennsylvania both birdied the hole. All 3 of the Girls mentioned above made statements on the holes they needed most which propelled them into the final pairing for Sunday. Toni with an 80, Victoria with an 81 and Rhianna with an 81. We knew it was going to be a great finish from these Girls and they delivered!
Round 2 – Sunday, July 26th – Everyone was excited for Round 2 with our lead groups in both divisions having every player within reach of the Champion Flag. Hole-17 was once again using its trees and small green to put up a formidable defense. It was the toughest hole for Round 2 and did not allow any Pars for the entire Division in both Rounds. Hole-10 on the other hand, played under-par for Round 2. It is always amazing to see a Hole play under-par in Round from an entire division. After countless tournaments, we have noticed that if a hole plays under-par, you are going to see a great score by at least one player. Blake White started his big push to win the tournament on this hole. He pulled out an Eagle while most of the other players were able to grab some Pars. Blake’s two-stroke gain was the beginning of the end for the rest of the Division. Blake, with probably the coolest golf bag (other than the one’s we handed out at our Tour Championship) in tow finished RD 2 as the Division Champion! Blake grabbed a stat the almost all of our Champions end up having at the end of a tournament. He led the Par-4 Leaderboard by 4 strokes against his closest opponent. Blake was also using his skill to find Birdies or that elusive Eagle where most of his competitors were only able to pick up a Par. It was a well-deserved victory for Blake and was fun to watch. Congratulations on your first Tour Win Blake! Gavin Batdorff from Berlin Center, Ohio and tour phenom Seth Callaway were our Runner-Ups. Gavin tied with 4 other competitors with 16 pars for the tournament. Gavin also played the Par-5’s tremendously and even though Blake had an Eagle on one of the Par-5’s, Gavin used his distance hitting to tie Blake for Par-5 Scoring. It was great to see Gavin climb the Leaderboard on Sunday and we congratulate him on making a fantastic comeback! Seth Callaway almost always puts himself into contention to grab a Champion flag. Everybody loves Seth from his player partners to our Tour staff. It is always easy to spot him on the course because when he smacks a good drive the “POW” off the driver head can be heard around the course. Seth put it to Blake on the Front-9 this weekend, they both tied for scoring on the harder Front-9. This was Seth’s first Trophy Flag of the 2020 Season but we think there will be many more to come! Great job boys!
As the Girls started their tough race to the Top of the Leaderboard on Sunday, the hardest hole on the course was going to make them work for it. Hole-3, a 500-yard, Par-5 and one of the hardest holes that we have ever seen on a golf course played to almost a double bogey average for the Girls. The hole’s difficulty comes from the major dog-leg that sits between 236 to 295 yards off the tee. A 236-yard drive might give you an extremely slim chance being able to get on the green. You would need to destroy a shot to hit it 260-yards up there. The real spot you want to land is the very far edge of the dog-leg and at 295-yards, only the furthest drivers would be able to reach that spot. Rhianna Firmstone in our lead group gained at least 1 stroke on the rest of the Girls in the final pairing by picking up a Par on this hole. Another Par came from local Jayden Mitchell from Louisville, Ohio. Jayden was able to use her course knowledge to know that Par was probably going to be the best score on the hole for the Round. Once again, Hole-15 was a cake walk for the Girls. The distance was just too short for these dart throwers and 80% of the field was able to pick up a Par. The final pairing was so close all day with each girl taking their turn to jockey into position. It was an amazing finish as Toni Blackwell and Victoria Witouski came in with 163 totals for the tournament and Rhianna Firmstone just barely missed out on the playoff with a 164 total. Playoff! We replayed Hole-1 as our playoff hole and this tough 3rd-handicap hole was set on breaking the tie early. Victoria outdrove Toni on the tee box but Victoria’s ball ricocheted off the cart path giving her a much worse lie for her 2nd shot. Toni Blackwell put a beautiful 2nd-shot right down the fairway. Victoria unfortunately was standing on a hill and did not get much distance on her 2nd. Toni’s 3rd shot and Victoria’s 4th shot were both taken from around the same spot. Victoria landed on the Green and Toni landed just off the left side. Toni put a great chip up right next to the hole to give herself the chance for Par. Victoria just barely missed a really long putt and it was Toni’s match to Win. Toni sinks the Putt and breaks the Tie earning herself the Champion Flag! It was a great first win on Tour for Toni coming all the way from North Carolina. Toni is continuing her playing career at The University of North Carolina-Pembroke and we wish her all the best of luck! Victoria Witouski always earns herself a trophy flag. She now has 3 of them in 4 tournaments this year and we can picture many more coming her way in 2020. Congratulations on a great finish Victoria!
We want to thank everyone who came out and joined us at Tannenhauf Golf Course this weekend! We had some beautiful weather and even better play from all of our players. The 2020 Season is starting to wind down and chances to move up the Player of the Year Leaderboard are starting to dwindle. If you are looking for a chance to win the Short Par 4 Fairway Membership for Year by becoming a Player of the Year check out our upcoming event below!