It was a good day for the low qualifiers and for most of the former city champions in the field in the championship flight of the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship on Thursday at Hidden Creek Golf Club.
It was not such a good day for staying dry, though, with rain falling throughout the afternoon.
Brian Kuhlman, the winner of the tournament the last two years, won 1-up over Michael Franks. Phil Trueblood, the 2011 and 2014 city champion, won 7-and-6 over Todd Bullinger, and Josh Hollar, the 2013 winner, defeated Eric Fischnich 5-and-4.
Scott Geier won 4-and-3 over Todd Burkholder, the 1996 and 2004 champion, in the other match involving a former winner.
Spencer Stubbs and Cole Thomas led the 18-hole qualifying round Thursday morning with 2-under 70s, with Stubbs taking medalist honors on a tie-breaker. Stubbs was a 1-up winner over Steve Miller in match play and Thomas won 6-and-5 over Chance Campbell.
Kuhlman and Franks were never separated by more than one hole in their match. Kuhlman won the 16th hole of their match which was at No. 2 because of a shotgun start, then he and Franks played the last two holes even.
“Overall, I played pretty solid tee to green. I didn’t putt that well in the morning but I seemed to putt better in the match play. Michael gave me all I could handle,” Kuhlman said. “Maybe I was a little bit more waterproof those last four holes. But just a little.”
Stubbs also had a close match in a No. 1 seed against No. 32 seed contest with Miller.
“I’m still adjusting to match play because I’ve never played match play in any college matches. I got off to a really rough start and had one of my worst nines,” said Stubbs, a Bath High School graduate who plays at Lourdes College. “But I hung in there and made some really clutch putts coming down the stretch and was able to get the win.”
Looking back at his 70 in the qualifying round, he said, “It kind of all started off the tee. I got off to a pretty good start with the driver, hitting it pretty long, hitting it pretty straight. The driver off the tee and then being able to get my approach shots close to the hole was the recipe for a good round.”
Thomas, a University of Northwestern Ohio golfer from Arlington, said, “A couple guys from the team told me about this tournament. I’m not playing a lot of tournaments this summer so I thought I might as well try something new. It’s been fun. It’s a great format. I love playing match play because you really don’t play match play in college. I enjoy it.”
The other winners in the first round of match play in the championship flight were: Brian Stevenson, B.J. McPheron, Gary Karch, Matt Metzger, Luke Young, Ian Friesner, Steve Creps Jr., Aaron Belcher, Joe Hobensack and Logan Dray.
All flights in the tournament are scheduled to play at Bluffton Golf Club today.