ARCANUM — The Wayne boys golf team placed sixth in the Greater Western Ohio Conference Boys Pre-Season Golf Tournament on Friday at the Beechwood Golf Course. Wayne shot a 329 in the 17 team field to place behind champion Springboro (299), runner-up Beavercreek (308), Centerville (313), Butler (317) and Troy (322).
Senior Bryce Haney shot a 72 (38-34) to tie for medalist honors with Springboro’s Austin Schoonmaker (36-36).
“I just tried to go out there and play every shot the best that I could and focus on each shot and not really worry about the score…,” said Haney. “I played well my first event.”
Haney said he was “thrilled” to start his school season off that strong as he is continuing his summer season right into the school season. This summer he finished with a first, a second, a third and two fourth place finishes this summer.
“I played in all but two SOPGA (Southern Ohio PGA Jr. Tour) events, I think,” said Haney concerning his summer season. “I had a couple of them where I wasn’t very satisfied with how I played, but for only playing golf two years, I was really real happy with how my first season of summer tournaments went.”
Coach Jon Soukup said Haney’s medalist honor was something he had worked really hard for as he had made a decision in the off-season to give up baseball to focus on golf as his goal is to play college golf.
“It’s worked out well for him,” said Soukup. “He was runner-up in the SOPGA Player of the Year, he won a junior tournament this summer and he’s worked really hard on his golf game and it showed. Two years ago, he hadn’t even played golf before and just in two years, he’s already shooting par. I’m sure he’s a little disappointed that he bogied the last whole, which if he makes par, he wins it outright. It was a great start to the season and it’s just another good round for him to show colleges that he’s worthy of an offer.”
Soukup said some small colleges are looking at Haney and that it’s just a matter of time before the bigger schools start looking at him.
Contributing to the team score were James Harness 80 (38-42), Zach Johnson 87 (47-40) and A.J. Henry 90 (43-47). Also playing were seniors Riley Brown and Hunter Vaughn.
Soukup said he knew this year he would have four senior golfers that were going to score: third year player Haney, and fourth year players James Harness, Zach Johnson and A.J. Henry. He indicated he doesn’t have a lot of experience behind these four.
“It’s a little bit of pressure on these four kids, knowing that if they had a bad ball or two, that they really don’t have another person that’s going to back them up right now,” said Soukup. “It effected them in the beginning…”
Soukup said Harness was 8-over for his first seven holes and then went even-par over the next 11.
“So, he rebounded really well,” said Soukup. “Zach and A.J. are still struggling with yardages early in the year…To come in at 329 and sixth place in GWOC in a conference that is very tough, with two or three teams that can compete in the state, I’m definitely pleased with that. We definitely have a lot of room to grow. I’d like to shoot somewhere between 315 and 320 — we definitely have the potential to do that; it will require a team effort.”
Wayne travels to Lebanon on Tuesday, Aug. 11 and will host Beavercreek at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19
In the Girls Pre-Season GWOC Tournament, Wayne placed 12th with a 541. Sophomore Heidi Weeks paced Wayne with a 112 (60-52) while sophomore Jennifer Hammond and seniors Sydney Steckel and Bailey Massey shot a 138, 145 and 146 respectively. Also playing were sophomores Lauren Daily and Kelsey Fitzpatrick.
The top five teams in the girls tourney were Centerville (326), Springboro (351), Miamisburg (385), Lebanon (385) and Troy (393).
The Wayne girls were slated to travel to Greenville on Aug. 10 and to Lebanon at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 before hosting Beavercreek at 4 p.m. on Aug. 19.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com