BATH TOWNSHIP – Michael Schmitmeyer likes Hawthorne Hills Golf Club and the East of Chicago Amateur Golf Championship, formerly the Dr Pepper.
Schmitmeyer, the 2008 and 2011 champion and 2012 runner-up, splashed seven birdies on his scorecard as he raced to a 4-and-2 semifinal win over Blaine Ricketts.
Ricketts, last years’ Lima Junior Golf Association Player of the Year, played well as he had four birdies and only two bogies in the 16 holes the match went. Ricketts recently graduated from Belle Center High School and will be attending, and playing golf, at Ohio Northern University next year.
Ricketts birdied the first two holes to grab a 1-up lead before Schmitmeyer responded with birdies at holes five, six and eight to more than offset his only bogey of the day, which came as the result of a three-putt on hole seven.
Schmitmeyer added birdies at 10, 11 and 14 to grab a 3-up lead. Both made par at number 15 before a Ricketts bogey at number 16 gave the match to Schmitmeyer.
“I played really good today, that 3-putt was my only hiccup,” Schmitmeyer said. “He hung in there, but I finally got a couple of putts to drop.”
Ricketts was realistic about how well Schmitmeyer played.
“It’s hard to compete with that,” Ricketts said. “You have to make birdies to stay up with him and you have to get the ball on the green to give yourself birdie chances.”
The other Regular First Flight semifinal saw Matt Smith best Josh Veith 6-and-4 and advance to the championship today against Schmitmeyer.
Smith, from Waynesfield-Goshen and currently playing at the University of Northwestern Ohio, raced to a 4-up lead after nine holes of play and went to close out the match with a par on the 14th hole.
“I drove the ball pretty well today,” Smith said. “I also was able to hit a lot of greens in regulation.”
In the Senior First Flight, Ronald Magee beat Chris Conley 5-and-4 and will meet Jerry Lambert, who won 1-up over Steve Schmitmeyer, Michael’s father.
Senior Second Flight action saw Brent Crone best Lynn Mohler 4-and-3. Crone meets Larry Lewis, who won 1-up over Steve Creps.
Regular Second Flight action had Scott Conrad winning 3-and-2 over Jake Schwartz and James Riepenhoff advancing to the championship match with a 5-and-4 win over Jeff Harris.
In Regular Third Flight play, Casey Collins won 7-and-5 over Shane Veith and Eric Worsham bested John Sizemore by a 4-and-3 margin.
Champions will be crowned in all flights today with tee times beginning at 8 a.m.
East of Chicago Amateur Tournament