Patrick Luth’s first two days at the 98th Ohio Open were anything but par for the course.
The 2013 Medina High graduate was one of three Medina County residents to make the 2-over-par cut for today’s final round — Westfield Center’s Ben Smith and Medina resident Kyle Richardson were the others — but the real story is how Luth compiled his two-day total of 1-under 143.
Despite recording just 12 pars over his first 36 holes, Luth shot 1-under 71 Monday at Fox Meadow Country Club and even-par 72 Tuesday at Weymouth Country Club, leaving him 13 shots behind tournament leader Stephen Gangluff, who sits at 14-under 130 after rounds of 64 and 66.
Delaware’s Gangluff will be paired with defending tournament champion Chase Wilson of Zanesville, who is three shots back after rounds of 65 and 68, and Akron’s Nathan Tarter, who is third at 9-under 135.
Luth, who finished sixth at the event two years ago at Westfield Group Country Club, would be right there with the leaders had he not faltered down the stretch each of the first two days. The former Cleveland State golfer was 4 under through 12 holes of each round, but played his final six holes Monday in 3 over and his last six Tuesday in 4 over.
“I should be shooting in the mid to low 60s,” Luth said. “With the way I’m playing, these are the two worst scores I could have shot. That leaves a sour taste in your mouth.”
For Luth, the good news is that he has 12 birdies and an eagle. The bad news is that he has two double bogeys and nine bogeys.
“It’s birdie or bogey,” he said. “It’s pretty wild when you stop and think about the numbers, but that’s how I’ve been playing this summer.
“I just made some poor golf swings coming in both days. My first 12 holes have been really solid. The scores I’m shooting don’t show how well I’m playing. I’m just not finishing. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Richardson, whose home is in the Fox Meadow development, can relate. After shooting 3-over 75 Monday at Weymouth, he came back with a 1-under 71 at Fox Meadow, but felt the latter should have been a 67 or 68.
Richardson had six birdies and three bogeys in his second round, but the hole he’d like to have back was the relatively easy par-5 15th, which he double bogeyed after recording eagles the previous two times he played it.
“That fairway is wide enough to land Air Force One on,” the 27-year-old Olentangy High graduate said. “I just yanked my drive. I feel like I left a lot out there today.”
A year ago, Richardson finished 13th at 5 under and was second-low amateur. The 2018 Ohio Open is his first tournament as a professional.
“I was not happy with my first round,” he said. “I couldn’t get anything to fall. Obviously, with six birdies today, I got the putter to roll a little bit. I just made one mistake on the par 5.”
Smith, who shot 1-over 73 Monday at Weymouth, bounced back with a 4-under 68 at Fox Meadow and leads the three remaining county players at 3-under 141.
- The 166-player field was split in half and alternated playing Weymouth and Fox Meadow over the first two days, with 52 players making the 2-over cut. The final round will be held today at Weymouth, with the first group going off at 8 a.m. and the leaders at 10:50.
- Warren’s Jon Jones aced the 220-yard 13th hole at Fox Meadow with a 5 iron.