Mathiesen leads college-dominated leaderboard at Metro

Mikkel Mathiesen, who will be a junior at Wright State, shot 66 Saturday at Country Club of the North and holds a one-shot heading into Sunday's final round of the Metro. CONTRIBUTED/Jeff Gilbert

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Mikkel Mathiesen, who will be a junior at Wright State, shot 66 Saturday at Country Club of the North and holds a one-shot heading into Sunday's final round of the Metro. CONTRIBUTED/Jeff Gilbert

Wright State player holds one-shot lead entering final round

BEAVERCREEK – The college players are in midseason form at the 99th Miami Valley Metropolitan. And Mikkel Mathiesen, a junior-to-be at Wright State, is in the lead heading into Sunday’s final round.

Mathiesen shot 66 with eight birdies Saturday at Country Club of the North to maintain his one-shot lead at 12-under par over first-round leader Justin Horn. Horn, who plays on the club team at the University of Cincinnati, shot a bogey-free 66.

“I’m hitting the ball pretty well, keeping the ball in play and getting a lot of birdie chances,” Mathiesen said. “And sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t.”

Horn went to Northern Kentucky out of high school to play on the golf team, but the COVID year happened. He said he would like to play on the varsity team at UC.

“Everything’s clicking, especially my putter,” he said. “I’ve been struggling a bit, and I finally just started rolling putts in.”

Chasing Mathiesen and Horn are Wright State senior Davis Root, defending champion Bryce Haney, who just finished his career at Wright State, and Xavier sophomore and 2020 Greeneview graduate Mason Witt.

Root shot 68 and is three shots back at 9under. Root made the shot of the day when he holed out for birdie from 85 yards on the par-5 11th. His tee shot landed in a bunker and it took him two shots to get out. His hole-out came from a hill to the left of the fairway.

“It’s easy when both of the guys you’re playing with make a bunch of birdies because you can feed off each other and get some momentum because you’re seeing a lot of good golf,” Root said.

Haney and Witt shot 69 each and are 7under.

“I’ve played a lot of really, really good holes and about three or four really bad holes,” Haney said. “Overall I feel good. It’s so, so hard to make putts out here, and I think I’ve done a good job of trying to stay patient.”

Witt, the 2019 Division II state champion, grew up playing at CCN.

“I’ve played really well so far,” he said. “The competition is pretty high and it makes it fun. Everybody’s going low.”

Mathiesen will again play in the final group Sunday with Horn and Root.

“I feel good,” Mathiesen said. “I’ve got to play with the two guys chasing me so I get to see what they do, which is nice. And just try and have fun tomorrow.”

Wright State uses CCN for its team qualifying rounds. Haney isn’t surprised by the leaderboard, and made a prediction to WSU coach Conner Lash, who is also competing in the tournament.

“I told Conner before the tournament that it’s a four-horse race, and I’m not going to give the names of the guys, but I’ll say three of those four are right there at the top,” Haney said. “It’s fun competing against them. They’re great players. This is what we did in college.”

Mathiesen and Root aren’t counting Haney out even though he is five shots back.

“Bryce is a great player, and when he gets hot he makes a ton of birdies,” Root said. “He’s super tough to beat.”

Mathiesen said, “He normally gets the better of us so it would be nice to get one over him.”

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