Short game lets Sipe down in U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach

Austin Sipe, of Centerville, tees off after a rain delay Thursday during the third round of the Ohio Amateur at the Springfield Country Club. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Austin Sipe, of Centerville, tees off after a rain delay Thursday during the third round of the Ohio Amateur at the Springfield Country Club. Bill Lackey/Staff

The first hole at Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif., has been described as “the scariest opening hole in golf.”

It’s a downhill par five that begins with a blind tee shot in a forest where you can’t see the fairway and ends with the ocean as a backdrop for a green heavily guarded by sand.

»RELATED: Playoff chip-in sends Centerville native to U.S. Am

The way that Austin Sipe played it on Monday summarized his experience in the U.S. Amateur Championship. He hit a beautiful tee shot and placed his third shot safely on the green, 20 feet from the hole. Then he three-putted for a bogey.

Describing his 9-over-par performance in the 36-hole qualifier at Spyglass, where he shot 74, and at Pebble Beach Golf Links where missed only one fairway while posting a 78, Sipe said, “I definitely feel like I’m there skill-wise but I really need to work on my short game.”

In a field of 354 top amateurs, the 23-year-old from Centerville finished about halfway up the scoreboard in his first major event. His score of 152 beat 173 players and tied 16, but there were 164 ahead of him, including 64 who advanced to match play.

"My short game really wasn't there against top competition," said the 2017 Ohio Amateur champion . "I really got to see what a major championship golf course looks like – thick rough, firm greens, tucked pins. There's really no course that can get you ready for that."

Sipe, who played collegiately at Wright State, said he was emotional as he looked at the spectacular surroundings. “Just playing in a big event and what it meant to me. I didn’t settle down until the end of my front nine both days. I was excited. It was a total thrill playing in it.”

Over 36 holes, he made six birdies, 18 pars, nine bogeys and three double bogeys.

SOPGA Championship visits Miami Valley

The golf professionals of the Southern Ohio PGA section will conduct their annual SOPGA Championship Monday and Tuesday at the Miami Valley Golf Club.

They will play 36 holes Monday to reduce the field to the low 30 scorers and ties for the final round of the 54-hole event on Tuesday.

If Bob Sowards is entered, put your money on the 10-time champion from Dublin. The 50-year-old Portsmouth native has won four of the last five, including the 2015 event also held at Miami Valley.

Women’s Fall Classic at Walnut Grove

A field of 108 players (27 teams) has entered the Dayton District Women’s Golf Association’s Fall Classic Monday at Walnut Grove Country Club.

It’s a one net, one gross better ball event with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.

The event celebrates deceased women’s golf pioneers. Past honorees have been: Betty McCann, Alice Burton, Jinx Walther Fensel, Diana Schwab, Janet Shock Beardsley, Donna Maciukevicius, Ruth Pickrel and the founders of the DDWGA.

Stewart wins SOPGA event

Ben Stewart, assistant pro at Walnut Grove Country Club, won the Southern Ohio PGA’s Capital City Classic at Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in Powell on Monday. Stewart posted a 5-under-par 67 to win the $1,489 first prize.

The runner-up was Chase Wilson of Zanesville, who shot 68. Joe Moore, assistant at Beavercreek Golf Club, and Doug Wade, head pro at Sugar Valley, tied for third with three-under-par 69s.

Sycamore Creek wins Inter-Club

Sycamore Creek Country Club won the Miami Valley Golf Association Inter-Club Championship Tuesday when its team trounced NCR’s entry, 10 ½ – 1 ½ in the final at Moraine Country Club.

Curt Cranmer and Bill Bentz of SC blanked Eric Eby and Mike Young of NCR; Jack Anderson and Ben Linville (SC) defeated Peter Samborsky and Chris Cadwallader (NCR); Steve Dippold and Roger Sorey (SC) stopped Russ Tobias and Richard Lipowicz (NCR); and David Mills partnered with Steve Ruehlman (SC) to beat Red O’Rourke and Jim Grushon (NCR).

Eubel, Snow finish high

A couple of Daytonians finished high in the Ohio Senior Amateur Championship at Denison Golf Club in Granville on Wednesday.

Ron Eubel tied for third place among 54 players in the senior division with a 145 total (73-72). Skip Snow, the first-round leader in the super senior division, shot 74 in the second round and tied for second with a 144 total.