Other freshmen might have had the postseason jitters, but not Austin Greaser.
“I love being on a golf course and I wasn’t at school; I was happy about that,” admitted Greaser after taming Beavercreek Golf Course during the boys high school Division I sectional on Wednesday. “I couldn’t wait.”
The slight but accurate Aviator newcomer strung three consecutive birdies and five in all, finishing the grueling trek with a 2-under 70. His career low was good enough for medalist honors by two strokes over Austin Schoonmaker and Jonathan Cloyd of Springboro and Wayne’s Bryce Haney, all who shot 72.
Even better, Greaser led the Aviators to a team title by the narrowest of margins over runner-up Springboro, 299-300.
Butler and Springboro advance to next week’s D-I district at Weatherwax in Middletown, as do Centerville (307) and Fairmont (322). The top four individuals not on those four teams also qualify: Carroll freshman Tyler Goecke (75), Edgewood senior Corey Short (77), Middletown senior Nathan Campbell (78) and Haney.
Greaser and his teammates saved their best for the postseason. Twice before they shot 300 at Beechwood and NCR. With Springboro already in the clubhouse, Butler had to wait on Zach Crawford to finish. His 76 was the difference-maker.
Also figuring in Butler’s scoring were sophomore A.J. Lawrence (75) and senior Gannon Godsey (78).
Starting on the back nine, Butler made the turn in even par, good for a seven-stroke advantage over Springboro, the defending sectional champ. Just 5-feet-9 and perhaps 140 pounds, Greaser isn’t a long bomb threat on the tee, but he’s money on the approach. He hit most of the greens in regulation and didn’t have a 3-putt.
“It felt good to get a good round under my belt,” he said. “It’s fun to do it at sectional because we really needed it. I was just trying to put up a good number and did.”
First-year Butler coach Scott Hadder was especially pleased for Greaser. That makes the Aviators – and Springboro – among the favorites at district.
“We knew all year he could do it,” Hadder said. “He puts in the time. Nobody works harder on his game than Austin Greaser. … If we shoot like that at the district we’ll be headed to (state).”
Last year’s medalist, Springboro junior Josh Gilkison, shot 76. Only the top three district teams will qualify to the season-ending state meet at Columbus.
“With any of them, you can always think back to one putt,” Springboro coach Brad Smith said. “That always makes it tough, but that’s exactly what they needed. If they were going to do it, this was the day to realize they’ve got to keep their heads into it all the way around.”
• Monroe junior Sammi Blackburn shot 71 to medal and Chaminade Julienne (362) won the team title in the D-II girls district at PipeStone in Miamisburg. Also advancing to state were Alter (369) and Versailles (372).
Lizzi Yeazel (86) led CJ and Claire Nikolai (84) was best for Alter. Versailles was paced by Maddie Covault (87). Other individual state qualifiers were Alyssa Akiyama (73) of Seven Hills and Fort Loramie’s Emily Knouff (75).
• The boys D-II and D-III district tournaments will be held today at Weatherwax. The top three D-II teams and the top two D-III teams will qualify to state. The top three individuals not on those teams also will advance.