LIMA — Shawnee Country Club won’t recognize city golf tournament veteran Alan Patrick.
That’s because for 18 years of competing in the Lima City Men’s Golf Tournament, Patrick has never advanced past the second round of Open Flight match play.
On Thursday, he finally advanced out of the second round as the 10th seed in the Third Flight, beating Mark Tobias 5-and-4 to advance to today’s quarterfinals at Shawnee Country Club.
“It’s a great feeling,” Patrick said. “It’s not much of a goal to some people, but it is to me, partially because I’ve been so frustrated here in the past. Today, I was fortunate.”
Patrick held a seven-shot lead at one point during the day, but a couple of poor holes allowed his partner to come back into the match. He then was able to hold a four-shot lead for most of the rest of the day.
“I just got thinking about it too much,” Patrick said. “The anxiety of never making it (to Shawnee) kind of took over for a while. Once I got up by four, I really just tried to buckle down and hit the ball.”
Patrick wasn’t the only underdog to pull off a surprise, Thursday saw a pair of 16 seeds upset their opponents, while two 15s, a 14 and a 13 also advanced to the round of 32.
Steve Shutt was the first, defeating top seeded Michael Sarno 3-and-2 in their Second Flight match.
“(Sarno) was playing really well,” Shutt said. “He was four shots ahead of me early, but I just tried to keep fighting and made a couple of birdies to bring myself back. I’ve been playing in this tournament for a few years now, so I was pretty confident coming into today.”
The Second Flight is where the bulk of the upsets occurred. In fact, just one high seed in the flight advanced to the next round, while players like No. 15 John Huffman (1-up over Paul Volbert) and No. 14 Joel Long (6-and-4 over Randy Prince) won to earn a spot at Shawnee.
“I hit the ball long, about 50 or 60 yards past (Prince) on every hole,” Long said. “I got into some trouble with my putting, but my driving always made up for it. I knew the back end would favor me, and once I got through the turn with a lead I was feeling pretty good.”
No. 13 Jason Carpenter never had the luxury of a big lead, needing 19 holes to defeat Kevin Manley 1-up and reach the next round.
“I didn’t play the best, but you gotta scramble sometimes,” Carpenter said. “You really never know what people normally shoot when you get out here, and fortunately I’ve been pretty consistent throughout. If I can stay consistent, I should be O.K.”
In the First Flight, Steve Paul Creps won 2-up over Chris Lauck. Today, he will face Pat Pasion, who defeated Joshua Adams 7-and-5. Jeff Harris defeated Brian Joseph 3-and-2 and will face Josh Meihls, a 5-and-4 winner over Rob Fletcher. No. 15 seed Rich Dackin defeated No. 2 Shawn McGue 1-up and will take on Thomas Sims Jr., who defeated James Schipper 7-and-6. The final matchup of the First Flight today will be B.J. McPheron, a 5-and-3 winner over Nate Waleryszak, against Clay Plaugher, who beat Chris Inskeep 3-and-1.
In the Second Flight, Justin Hollar will take on Shutt. Hollar he defeated Scott Conrad 6-and-5. No. 12 seeded Casey Collins defeated Jim Sherrick 1-up, and will take on Carpenter in the next round. Huffman also won his matchup 1-up over Paul Volbert Jr., and will face Clint Sneary, a 5-and-4 winner over David Irwin. Finally, Tim Grigsby defeated Wes Burden 4-and-3 to advance to take on Long.
Steve Mefferd defeated Patrick Heffley 5-and-4 in their Third Flight match to advance to the next round. He will face No. 16 Chad Fast, who won his match 2-up yesterday. Ron Williams defeated Ryan Conaway 4-and-3 in his match, and will face Jeff Davis in the next round. Shane Gallmeier defeated Aric Thompson 3-and-1, while Chris Kelley defeated Matt Childers 1-up. Taking on Kelley in the next round will be Brian Hennon, who defeated David Kindle 6-and-4.
In the Senior Open, Jerry Kaufman beat Terry Pohlman 7-and-5. Kaufman will play Jim Troyer, who beat Tom Kottenbrock 3-and-2. Carl Neely beat Jeff Cary 6-and-4 and will play Keith Augustus, a 2-up winner over Bobby Kondas. Mike Ketcham beat Brad Pethtel 1-up after 21 holes. Ketcham will take on Mike Ulm, a 5-and-3 winner over Ed Nolte. Denny Thompson moved on with a 3-and-2 win over Ken Blanchard and will play Michael Walsh, a 2-up winner over Ed Hanson.