BATH TOWNSHIP — East of Chicago Pizza stepped up to replace long time sponsor Dr Pepper and the results were outstanding.
Four days of wonderful weather, a perfectly manicured Hawthorne Hills Golf Club, and some fantastic golf added up to a spectacular weekend.
Four of the five flight matches ended with1-up finishes but none could surpass the scintillating golf played by Michael Schmitmeyer and Matt Smith in the Regular First Flight finals.
The duo produced 11 combined birdies, one eagle and no bogies before Schmitmeyer won his third title in six years with a 1-up win over Smith. Schmitmeyer carded a 65 for his round while Smith never backed down and fired a 66 of his own.
The long hitting Schmitmeyer began with an eagle on the first hole to grab a 1-up lead and led by as many 3-up before Smith answered.
Schmitmeyer routinely hit 290-yard drives and was able to reach back for more when playing the par fives. Smith was consistently in the fairway but 20 to 25 yards behind Schmitmeyer and hitting longer clubs to the greens.
After the first hole, the duo halved the next four holes with pars before both birdied the par-five sixth hole. A birdie at number seven by Schmitmeyer gave him a 2-up lead but Smith answered with a birdie at number nine to get back to only 1-down at the turn.
Both birdied the par-five 10th hole before Schmitmeyer made birdie at number 11 and grabbed a 2-up lead when Smith missed a 4-foot birdie attempt.
“When I missed that short putt I felt that might be the one that does me in,” Smith said.
Schmitmeyer would go on to make birdie at number 14 when he drove the 335-yard hole and two-putted to grab a 3-up lead but Smith answered again. A chip in for birdie at 16 got him back to 2-down and a wonderful birdie at the 460-yard 17th narrowed the match to only 1-down for Smith.
Both parred number 18 and Schmitmeyer claimed the title.
“I had a 10-foot putt to win the match on number 15 and then he made birdie at 16 and 17 and suddenly I was only 1-up,” Schmitmeyer said. “I didn’t think I would have to go to the 18th if I shot 7-under but he kept making pars and birdies.”
Smith certainly couldn’t be unhappy with the way he played despite the loss.
“I played well and he played phenomenal,” Smith said after the match. “I played real steady but you can’t do much when he is making all those birdies.”
In other flight championship action, Ronald Magee bested Jerry Lambert by a 1-up margin to grab the Senior First Flight title. The Senior Second Flight saw Brent Crone win 3-and-2 over Larry Lewis.
Regular Second Flight action saw 15-year old James Riepenhoff outlast Scott Conrad 1-up with a birdie at the 18th hole. Eric Worsham claimed the regular third flight crown when he bested Casey Collins 1-up in 19 holes.
NOTES: Schmitmeyer, who is enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Findlay, plans to play in a 36-hole qualifier today hoping to play in the U. S. Publinks championship. The winner of that event qualifies to play in the Masters.
Smith is currently enrolled at the University of Northwest Ohio where he is on the golf team. He also is on the coaching staff of the Perry High School men’s basketball program.