BRIMFIELD TWP. — Mckenna Jordan learned over the scorer’s table in the Sunny Hill Golf Course clubhouse with rainwater still dripping from her white hat. The senior carefully peeled apart her mushy scorecard like a grilled cheese sandwich and then copied her luckily-still-legible hole-by-hole scores onto a fresh, dry scorecard alongside her group partners.
Cloverleaf girls golf teammates Averi Hanna, Brynn Shetterly, Jill Donnelly, Ashley Kizzen and McKenna Fast had the same issues Monday but shrugged them off. Nothing was going to ruin the formality — not even the remnants of Hurricane Florence.
Really, multiple incorrect scorecards/disqualifications were the only things that could have stopped the Colts from crushing everyone at the Portage Trail Conference Tournament and winning the league for the third consecutive season.
“The scorecards didn’t exactly hold up,” Hanna said. “They probably needed their own little umbrella.”
Cloverleaf (351) was 68 strokes ahead of second-place Springfield, capping a season in which the Colts also won their 14 nine-hole matches by an average of 57.9 strokes.
Cloverleaf has won 45 straight in PTC play.
“It’s pretty exciting knowing that all that hard work we did over the years paid off,” Jordan said.
The only question heading into the brisk, rainy morning was who would emerge as PTC Player of the Year. Jordan and Hanna were tied with 126 points and well ahead of the field.
Jordan edged her friend 76-79 behind one birdie and 12 pars, handling the dogleg-heavy front nine with a 36 and fighting through the rain, which picked up about five holes in, to card a 40 on the back.
Of the 51 other players, only six broke 100 and only Field’s Gwyn Wilde (89) was under 90. Shetterly was fifth with a 97 en route joining Jordan and Hanna on the All-PTC first team, while Fast capped Cloverleaf’s scoring with a 99.
“Trying to work with the water, I’d say (was the most difficult aspect), and keeping it in play,” Jordan said. “Getting in that rough, it’s pretty thick and wet. It’s not a fun place to be.
“On the front nine, I just wanted to stay focused knowing there are awkward places and weird shots. I focused on placing (the ball) where it needed to be. On the back, there is a lot more space to put the ball and you can be a lot more aggressive.”
Hanna played better once the wet stuff came with a 38 on the back nine.
“It was a little rough out there,” she said. “The rain and everything, it was soaked and you just tried to keep things dry, but you knew it was impossible.
“I started out rough, but back nine was better. I parred the first seven holes and finished bogey-bogey, but still I did turn it around a lot.”
Longtime coach Adam Michel didn’t take the dominance for granted. He vividly remembered Aug. 6, 2015, when Hanna, Jordan and Shetterly debuted as freshmen at Candywood Golf Course. The Colts shot 504 that day but improved to 390 by sectionals and have been on fire since.
Now begins the challenge of qualifying for the state tournament for the first time as a Division I school.
“(The title) is exciting,” Hanna said. “We kind of expected it, but we still worked for it. It wasn’t handed to us. We still had to practice and do everything like that. It’s just exciting.”
Portage Trail Conference Tournament
at par-72 Sunny Hill G.C.
Tournament standings: 1. Cloverleaf 351, 2. Springfield 419, 3. Woodridge 430, 4. Ravenna Southeast 450, 5. Norton 479, 6. Garrettsville Garfield 481, 7. Lake Center Christian 521, 8. Crestwood 558, 9. Streetsboro 589.
Overall standings: 1. Cloverleaf (14-0), 2. Springfield (10-4), 3. Woodridge (8-6), 4. Norton (10-4), 5. Southeast (7-7), 6. Garfield (5-9), 7. Lake Center Christian (2-12), 8. Crestwood (0-14), 9. Streetsboro n/a.
Cloverleaf (351): Mckenna Jordan 76, Averi Hanna 79, Brynn Shetterly 97, McKenna Fast 99, Ashley Kizzen 102, Jill Donnelly 108.