In a way they both started in the same place but only one of them will finish where they want to today.
Josh Hollar and Reece Blair, who both played college golf at the University of Northwestern Ohio, will face each other this afternoon in the title match of the championship flight of the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship at the Shawnee Country Club.
Hollar, the 2015 city champion, will be going for his second championship in this tournament. Blair will be seeking his first city title.
Hollar defeated Brian Stevenson 3-up and Blair won 7-and-5 over Todd Burkholder in the championship flight semifinals on Saturday.
Blair just completed his final season at UNOH, where Hollar played from 2010-2012, so they never were teammates. In fact, today will be the first time they’ve played against each other or in the same group.
Hollar and Stevenson were even after six holes on Saturday before Hollar won No. 6 and No. 7 to go two up in the match. He extended his lead to four holes after winning No. 13, then finished it at No. 16.
Blair took control of what was a close match early against Burkholder with birdies at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 in his first round ever at Shawnee.
“I can’t complain. Everything that I needed to happen was going on. I was putting well,” Blair said.
He called Saturday’s round probably his best of the tournament.
“Shawnee was just unbelievable. You have to think your way around this golf course. It’s not just take it out and hit driver. There are a lot more irons off tees. And those greens – if you get on the wrong side you’re in trouble. It was fun playing it. Hopefully I play tomorrow like I did today and get the job done,” he said.
Hollar said, “I’ve just got to bring it tomorrow. He’s a good player. You try to make par and make them make birdies to beat you.
“That’s what my game plan is for tomorrow – go out there and shoot 72 and maybe if I’m lucky shoot 70 or 71 and make him shoot 6 under like he did today. That’s my goal, just go out there and put a good number out there and see what he does.”
He also might rely a little on experience since he already has one championship.
“It’s there,” he said about the confidence that comes with having already won a championship.
“It’s a lot less nerve wracking. It’s always nerve wracking but it’s not as much this time because I got one. It will be a good test for both of us,” Hollar said.
Seven other champions will be determined today at Shawnee.
Clay Plaugher and Josh Gaines will play for the first flight championship. Michael Sarno and Ethan O’Connor will match up in the second flight. The third flight finalists are Abe Ambroza and Michael Borges.
Brian Norton and Dean Meyer will play for the senior championship flight trophy. Jim Sherrick and Jeff Harris are the finalists in the senior open flight. Mike Allen and Jim Troyer will play for the super senior first flight title and Steve Creps Sr. and Mike McGough will face each other in the super senior second flight match.