Springboro senior-to-be Josh Gilikson wins city golf championship

Josh Gilkison fired a 6-under-par 66 and then played flawless golf in a four-hole playoff Sunday at Country Club of the North to snatch the Miami Valley Metropolitan Golf Championship from Adam Armstrong.

The 18-year-old Gilkison, a Springboro resident who recently won the Ohio Junior Championship, was six strokes behind Armstrong when the final round began, but he made seven birdies to tie the Ohio Wesleyan sophomore from Centerville with an 8-under par score of 288.

Jeff Scohy, a perennial contender, was in excellent position to make it a three-man playoff or even win the event outright, but he bogeyed the par-3, 17th hole and double-bogeyed the 18th after hitting his approach into a bunker. Until then, he was 3-under.

Jonathan Mathias of Miamisburg, a CCN member who once played on a Texas squad that won the USGA state team title, shot 69 and finished with a 283 total. He was 5-under and in the lead after 11 holes Sunday but back-to-back bogeys slowed him down and a double bogey at the 18th killed his chance for the title.

Scohy finished fourth with a 284 total and Austin Sipe of Centerville and Wright State University posted the day’s second-best round, a 67, to finish fifth. “It was a great way to end my summer,” said Sipe, who recently tied for fourth in the Ohio Amateur.

Defending champion Pete Betzold tied for ninth with a 292 total.

In the playoff, only the second one in the tournament’s 21 years, Gilkison matched Armstrong’s par on the first of four scheduled holes. On the second hole (CCN’s No. 18), Armstrong double-bogeyed after pulling a 9-iron to the left of the green and then chipping over the putting surface and into a bunker.

That gave Gilkison, who parred, a two-stroke advantage and he parred the next two holes to close out Armstrong.

Gilkison, who is going into his senior year at Springboro High School, birdied the first hole, bogeyed the second and then played the last 16 holes in 6 under par with six birdies and 10 pars.

“It was a lot of fun,” he said. “I started by hitting a lot of wedges close and not having any long putts.” He was 2-under at the turn and then started the back nine with three straight birdies. He got another at the par-5, 15th and then parred the last three holes while the others made mistakes.

Gilkison opened the event with a 71 on Thursday, slipped to a 75 in the second round and had a 70 on Saturday to keep the leaders in sight. Armstrong, playing in the event for the first time, was the leader after 18, 36 and 54 holes.

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