Mathiesen finishes strong to win Metro golf title

BEAVERCREEK – Mikkel Mathiesen smiled and called his victory a relief.

For the final 36 holes he played shot for shot with Wright State teammate Davis Root and Justin Horn of Cincinnati. Mathiesen held the lead alone most of the way, but it wasn’t until the final hole Sunday that he clinched a three-shot, 15-under par victory in the 99th Miami Valley Metropolitan Amateur at Country Club of the North.

“It was kind of like a three-way match play if that makes any sense,” Mathiesen said with a grin after shooting a 69 and third straight round in the 60s. “It was close pretty much the whole time, and today it wasn’t any easier until pretty much the final hole. It was good fun. It was awesome to be out there.”

Horn eagled the par-5 15th and birdied the par-3 17th to get to 14-under and one shot behind Mathiesen. On 18, Mathiesen put his second shot in the middle of the green, forcing Horn to attack the flag, which was dangerously close to a big drop off on the right side of the green. Horn missed the shot right, bounced down the hill and double-bogeyed to finish three shots back.

“I saw Mikkel hit the middle of the green and I had to go for it on 18,” Horn said. “I was kind of in between clubs and I took the longer club and tried to shove it in there. But I just pushed it a little bit, and then with the wind taking it right, it got into a hazard, but I don’t regret it.”

Mathiesen was born in Denmark, but his dad took an engineering job in Qatar when he was eight months old. He grew up there, went to a British school, started playing golf when he was 3 and found Wright State through a recruiting website. While other golfers had family watching them, Mathiesen was by himself. He did have some Wright State teammates, however, watching his final round.

“Every tournament means something,” he said. “It’s nice to get one that’s closer to home, especially during the summer where we’re playing a lot of our tournaments by ourselves. You have to get the momentum by yourself and you can’t really rely on your teammates for that. So it’s it’s just you out there.”

Horn, who plays on the club team at Cincinnati and wants to get a shot at the varsity, led after the first round and stayed close to Mathiesen throughout the final three rounds, finishing with a 71.

“I haven’t been in contention much recently, but it was awesome to play well, especially with Mikkel and Davis.,” Horn said. “They played well all week.”

Root was tied with Mathiesen at 14-under after a third straight birdie on 15. But Root bogeyed the final three holes to shoot 70 and finish third at 11under.

“A lot of the holes, it felt like you were losing if you didn’t make birdie,” Root said. “So you had to stay in attack mode, but it was a lot of fun.”

Mathiesen was steady on the front nine and shot par. Then he made four birdies, including three straight on 14, 15 and 16, to shoot 33 on the back.

“I’ve played enough golf with him to know that he’s not going to make a lot of mistakes,” Root said. “If you’re going to beat him, you’ve got to beat him with a lot of birdies. He stayed strong through the entire finish.”

Defending champion Bryce Haney, who just finished his Wright State career, shot 69 to finish fourth at 10under. Xavier sophomore and Greeneview graduate Mason Witt shot 70 to finish fifth at 9-under.

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