The chase for the 2019 Ohio Amateur golf championship came down to a dual between a 36-year-old former Ohio State golfer and a teenager who will soon become a member of the Buckeye squad.
It was the teenager, Maxwell Moldovan of Uniontown, who emerged with a one-stroke victory Friday over Scott Anderson at Moraine Country Club.
Moldovan, the son of a golf professional, matched Anderson’s 2-under-par 69 in the final round to win the tournament with a 7-under par total of 277. He had scores of 68, 73, 67 and 69 and made a hole-in-one on Moraine’s fifth hole on Thursday.
Anderson shot 69, 74, 66 and 69 for his 278 total.
Moldovan had a one-stroke lead going into the final hole where the cup was on the right side. He dropped his approach into the greenside bunker on the right while Anderson’s approach came to rest near the back of the green.
Moldovan’s bunker shot stopped 12 feet past the hole and Anderson’s downhill chip rolled 20 feet past. When they both missed their putts and tapped in for bogeys, Moldovan was the winner.
They played the final round in a threesome with Luke Campbell of Whitehouse, Ohio, who fell behind immediately when he overshot the first green and took a triple-bogey seven. He shot 77 and finished fifth. Clay Amlung of Cincinnati and recent Lakota East grad and future Dayton Flyer Kyle Schmidt each shot 71 and tied for third at 283.
Anderson said the drive he hit on the 17th hole drifted off the fairway and became the difference in the match. He was impressed with Moldovan.
“From an Ohio State perspective, we’re excited about him,” Anderson said. “He is as advertised. He hits it good, and he was very patient today. He had a few things in the middle of the round that didn’t go his way and he didn’t get flustered. He just kept pecking away and at the end of the day he caught me.”
Moldovan was never worried about playing Moraine’s slick greens.
“When I saw the golf course, I knew that hitting fairways would be important and that’s one of the strengths of my game,” said Moldovan, who won back-to-back Ohio Division I championships representing Green High School.
“So I knew if I could keep the ball in play all four days I would give myself a chance. I hit a lot of good shots the first three days, hit a lot of fairways and greens. I didn’t make a ton of putts, but I made the putts I needed to make.”
He has been playing golf a long time.
“My dad is a teaching pro,” he said. “He got me into the game at an early age and I live on a golf course (at Ohio Prestwick Country Club) so I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to go out every day and be able to practice and get better every day.”
None of the Dayton-area players was in strong contention although 2017 Ohio Amateur champion Austin Sipe and Pete Samborsky, both Centerville residents, and Tyler Goecke of Xenia, finished in a five-way tie tie for sixth place with 3-over-par scores of 287.
Sipe plans to turn pro and make his pro debut next week in the Waterloo (Iowa) Open, a 54-hole event with a $50,000 purse.
Luke Wells of Springfield shot a final-round 69 and tied for 11th. Caleb Westfall of Mechanicsburg tied for 19th.
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