MIDDLETOWN — Wayne senior golfer Bryce Haney shot a 75 and then won a 6-hole playoff on Thursday at the Division I district golf tournament at Weatherwax to qualify for the state tournament which will be held at The Ohio State University’s Scarlet course.
On the sixth hole of the playoff, Haney and his opponent were both in good shape off the tee. Haney was in the fairway and his opponent was just left of the fairway.
“I hit one of my better iron shots into the green all day on that hole,” said Haney. “The greens were really firm. It landed probably 10 high and rolled 15 feet past. He was just right at the green: I knew he had a tough two-put, so I just wanted to get mine down in two and hopefully, he would three-put and that’s what he did.”
Haney was happy with his performance.
“I did extremely well,” said Haney, concerning his performance. “Just like every other round of golf, I probably should never have been in the playoff in the first place because I should have won outright. I had two double bogeys that probably shouldn’t have happened.”
Wayne Coach Jon Soukup said he was so proud of the way that Haney handled himself.
“He kept battling and he played great,” said Soukup. “He deserves everything that is happening. Words can’t express how proud I am for him. He gets to represent our school. He’s only the second person in the history of our school to make it to state as an individual in golf. He worked hard for it, I’m so very proud of him.”
Haney said he was extremely pleased to qualify for state as St. Xavier, Centerville and Springboro qualified for state as teams while Troy’s Moore (73), Moeller’s Fox (74) and Haney (75) were the individuals who advanced to state.
“I didn’t think that after only playing golf for two years, that it’d be possible,” said Haney.
Michael Bernard was the last Wayne player to qualify for state.
Haney said he believes he got his first set of golf clubs on July 13, 2013. He said he had previously played baseball, basketball and football, but lost his love for those sports and had to do something.
“I had to play some sort of sport, so I just chose golf,” said Haney. “I miss playing those sports, but I don’t regret stopping playing them.”
Haney shot a 38 on the Woodside portion of the course at Weatherwax and a 37 on the Highlands portion. On a cold morning, Haney didn’t tee-off until 10:50 a.m. He said it was definitely an advantage to tee-off at that time, though he didn’t know that if his score would have been any better or worse.
Haney attributed his success to his hard work he put in every day.
“I practiced in some way every day,” he said of practice at Kitty Hawk and Beavercreek in addition to taking lessons from John Wilkinson, of Springfield.
Haney will compete at the 36-hole state tournament at OSU on Friday and Saturday with a practice round on Thursday.
“It’s a great time for Bryce to get more exposure with colleges,” said Soukup. “He’s got a lot of Div. III schools, smaller schools, interested in him. It’s just because he has a small volume of work, being so new to the game. It’s going to be a great time for him to show his ability on a spectacular golf course up at Ohio State and show his ability off to a broader range of people. Regardless of the outcome, he’s had a great season. It’s just a culmination of all of the hard work he’s put in over the last year.”
Reach Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com