It’s quite interesting how good golfers celebrate great rounds by playing more golf. This past weekend the #1 golfer in the world Jordan Spieth spun 4 birdies in the last 6 holes to force a playoff and win The John Deere Classic in Silvis, IL. Many critics thought this was an ill-advised round between Spieth's US Open victory (6/21) and The Open Championship this week at St. Andrews GC (Old Course) in Fife, Scotland. For the 21 year-old Spieth it was a chance to keep his word and return to the tournament where he picked up his first tour victory, and perhaps a tune-up prior to his bid for an historic third leg of the modern Grand Slam. When it was all said and done, one couldn’t help but think it was no more than a good stretch for Spieth, another win (5), and a lot of fun for a young man making his mark on a grand old game.
Meanwhile closer to home The Ohio Amateur Championship was played at Zanesville Country Club. The field started with 144 players, (105 of them under the age of 25) and was trimmed to a 40 golfers competing in the final round on Friday. Joo-Young Lee of Hilliard, OH birdied the first playoff hole to win the 109th event.
WMOA commentator Mark Bradley noticed the young man on Saturday playing at Marietta Country Club and had a few words with the 2015 Ohio Amateur Champion. Lee described the emotions of the final day, “it was very intense, kind of a grind fest out there, everybody was shooting good scores, it was a tough day and a tough round.” Lee is a junior to be at Northern Illinois and on the golf team with Marietta native Nick Huggins. They stayed at Huggins parent’s home in Marietta and traveled back and forth to Zanesville, “they were nice enough to let me stay at their house and I ate all their food and had fun, it was a good time”. As for the conditions at ZCC, Lee said, “tough conditions, really wet because of all the rain, the pins were pretty difficult for the most part, and the rough was thick, so it was pretty difficult.”
So after a big week of golf and rain and an Ohio Amateur Championship trophy, what’s a young man to do, but celebrate by playing a round of golf! Lee carded a (-1) 69 on Saturday at Marietta Country Club, “I played pretty well on the back 9, kind of struggled on the front 9, all in all not bad, and I really enjoyed the course, it was nice”, Lee said after his round at MCC.
Past competitors in the Ohio Amateur include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, John Cook and 2003 British Open winner Ben Curtis. Spieth won the US Junior Amateur in 2009 and 2011. I’d like to think following their rounds they grabbed a buddy or perhaps their dad and said, ‘you want to spin 18 tomorrow?’
photo taken by Greg Mullins