Wright State’s Haney runs away with Metro championship

Bryce Haney poses with the trophy after winning the Miami Valley Metropolitan on Sunday the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
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Bryce Haney poses with the trophy after winning the Miami Valley Metropolitan on Sunday the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Wayne High School product wins title by 7 shots

Bryce Haney’s successful young golf career is younger than his competitors would guess.

Almost eight years ago, Haney gave up baseball, football and basketball after his freshman year at Wayne High School. His parents said he had to do something, so he tried golf for the first time as a sophomore. No one else in the family played golf.

As a senior he qualified for the Division I state tournament on the sixth playoff hole. Pete Samborsky, the Wright State coach at the time, gave the inexperienced golfer a spot on his team.

“He kind of took a flyer on me,” Haney said. “I’ll admit I wasn’t that good coming out of high school, but I was really persistent with him, and I really wanted to go to Wright State.”

Haney graduated from WSU this spring, finishing fifth in his final Horizon League tournament. On Sunday at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace in Centerville, Haney finished off four strong rounds to win the Miami Valley Metropolitan by seven strokes.

“I feel really good about it,” Haney said. “I haven’t really won a big event, so this is really nice.”

Bryce Haney watches an approach shot on back nine of Sunday's final round at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
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Bryce Haney watches an approach shot on back nine of Sunday's final round at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

Haney previously finished second and third in the Metro. This year he shot an opening-round 68 and trailed Cody Cogdill by one shot. Haney shot a 71 in the second round for a one-shot lead over 2010 champion Jeff Scohy.

On Saturday, Haney made six birdies on his way to a 66 and an eight-shot lead over Scohy and Brandon Judy. Sunday’s 71 put him at 11-under par of the tournament and seven shots ahead of Judy and nine ahead of Scohy.

“I just tried to stick to my game plan that I had the first three days,” Haney said. “Just took one shot at a time and didn’t get ahead of myself. I made an early bogey on two, but I knew I was going to make a birdie. It doesn’t matter if you make a bogey early or a bogey late, it all evens out.”

Haney enjoyed the victory with family and friends who followed him around the course. He posed for photos with the trophy with his parents, brother and grandparents who drove 10 hours from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to watch Sunday’s final round.

“I have so many people that have supported me and rooted for me for so long,” Haney said. “I’m almost happier for them because I know how happy they are for me.”

Haney was also thankful for friends, including three Wright State volleyball players, who walked the course Sunday. He was afraid he would forget mention someone. And in the new era of name, image and likeness rights for college athletes, he thanked Ryan Fahncke, one of owners of Select Signs, who is supporting his fledgling career.

Bryce Haney hits a putt on the back nine of Sunday's final round at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Bryce Haney hits a putt on the back nine of Sunday's final round at the Golf Club at Yankee Trace Golf in Centerville. Jeff Gilbert/CONTRIBUTED

But maybe the most important event this week was the round Haney played with one of his new golf friends, Alex Huang, who finished tied for 29th. The two played Monday at Miami Valley Golf Club.

“I’m going to attribute a lot of my success this week to Alex because he taught me something about the game that I didn’t know,” Haney said. “I’m not going to share. It’s going to be my dirty little secret. What he taught me it really clicked, and it all made sense.”

A year from now Haney will have an MBA in project management from WSU. He wants to see how his game grows before deciding on whether to play professionally. If not, he likes his backup plan of an accounting degree and an MBA

Next, is a trip to this week’s Ohio Amateur in Warren. Last year in Columbus he finished second to Vandalia’s Austin Greaser.

“I’m going to take me secret with me,” Haney said, “and see if I can stir the pot a little bit.”