Mathiesen holds off Ochs, wins 2nd straight Metro

SPRINGBORO — Mikkel Mathiesen didn’t take his six-shot lead for granted when he started Sunday’s final round of the 101st Metropolitan Championship. And for 15 holes at Heatherwoode Golf Club, Shane Ochs kept the pressure on.

But Mathiesen stayed steady and broke away from a tie with his Wright State teammate and roommate over the final four holes to shoot 68 and finish at 18-under par to win his second straight Metro.

“It could very easily be him standing up here with the trophy, but it feels great,” Mathiesen said. “It was great to get it done.”

Mathiesen shot and opening-round 62 and led at the end of each round. He entered Sunday at 15-under and Ochs was 9-under.

“I just told myself he’s got to make a bunch of pars and birdie the shorter holes, and then if I get to three or four under it’s hard for him to get to nine or 10,” Mathiesen said. “He got there, but I’m just glad to finish strong and unfortunately for him he didn’t quite.”

Ochs, a Carroll graduate entering his sophomore season for the Raiders, caught his fifth-year senior teammate with five birdies and two eagles to get even at 18-under through 14. The tees were up from previous days on 14 so Ochs drove the green. He made a 30-foot putt to get to 9-under for the day and forge a tie at 18-under.

“I’m still trying to make birdies because I was still behind, and I just happened to get on and make the putt,” Ochs said.

Mathiesen birdied 15 to regain the lead, but the par-4 16 is where he regained control. Ochs hit his tee shot into a penalty area on the left side of the fairway. The ball was not found and he had to take a drop and incur a penalty stroke. Ochs made a great second shot to just off the back of the green, but his chip was too long and he two-putted for a double bogey. Mathiesen made bogey and led by two.

“It was the first bad swing of the day,” Ochs said of his tee shot on 16. “And he hadn’t made a mistake the entire day, so I was trying to chip it in. I was still staying aggressive and trying to stick to my game plan and not trying to play his game.”

Another wide tee shot and second shot into a greenside bunker led to another double bogey for Ochs on 18 and final round score of 66.

“Really good week, played really well,” Ochs said of the four days. “Obviously coming down the stretch I didnt’t finish very well, but all in all shooting 14-under and to come in second to Mikkel was a lot of fun.”

Mathiesen will finish his Wright State career next spring. He would love to go for three straight Metro titles.

“If I’m around and it suits my schedule, then yeah, I’ll be here for sure,” he said. “Gotta do a three-peat.”

The final leaderboard was full of Wright State players. Adam Horn and Ian Asch tied for third at 3-under. Ochs and Mathiesen shot in the 60s all four days.

“That just tells us how good our squad really is,” Mathiesen said. “I know it’s our home course, but we still have to play it well, and all four of us did.”

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