The 85th Record-Courier Portage County Amateur is in the record books, but only after a dramatic finish in the County Division, a hard-fought victory in the Open Division, and a solid round by the Women’s champion.
The day included a sudden-death playoff and changing standings as spectators encouraged their favorite players making their way around Oak Knolls Golf Course on the final day of the event.
Michael Kenney of Kent, a recent graduate who is headed to Ohio University to play golf for the Bobcats, knew he was ahead of the golfers in the championship pairing.
Kenny finished with a one-over-par 73 after starting his day with a bogey on the first hole.
Regrouping, he fired eight straight pars before starting the back nine with a bogey
Getting back on track, he birdied the 11th hole and ticked off seven straight pars on his way to that one-over round.
The other golfers in the championship pairing, Andrew Hinton of Aurora and Collin Marozzi of Rootstown, were not as sharp.
Marozzi, after an opening day 74, finished with an 81 while HinwITH ton had an up-and-down round complete with eight holes of at least a bogey while he converted two birdies on his way to a 79.
But looking for his change to move up in the standings was Nick Polichena of Ravenna.
Many people know Nick from his days on the Ravenna Ravens team. He now works at Windmill Golf Club.
On the first day he was just out of the championship pairing but at Oak Knolls Polichena found his game with the low score of the day among all competitors, an even-par 72.
That put Polichena into a tie with Mike Kenny as they both totaled two-day scores of 148.
Kenney and Polichena trekked to the first tee to begin the sudden-death playoff to determine the winner.
Many golfers and spectators stayed to watch the playoff between the former Rough Rider and Raven.
In the play-off, Polichena put his third shot just over the green while Kenney stuck his approach within eight feet of the pin.
Polichena, knowing he probably needed to sink his chip shot, landed short of the pin while Kenny stepped up and put his putt in the hole with confidence to win the playoff.
Former Amateur champions did well in this 85th edition. Dave Cutlip of Suffield, the two-time reigning Portage County Senior Am champion and former Amateur champion, finished in fourth place while reigning Jr. Amateur Champion, Chris Sloe of Aurora, former Amateur champion Rob Schustrich all finished in the top 10.
When the day started, Austin Zoller of Summerville, SC and Luke Liberatore of Solon were tied with identical score of 70 following 18 holes at Windmill.
Following Oak Knolls, Zoller was three-over-par and Liberatore was six-over-par as Zoller took home the championship trophy.
Rounding out the top three, Tim Morrow of Boardman, who played golf for Youngstown State University carded a 79 to finish in third with a 152.
Finally, Brett Beatty of Stow, the 2014 runner-up, was in fourth-place just two-strokes out of the top three.
Oak Knolls was playing long on Sunday, but Macie Hysell of Ravenna tackled the course and finished with an 87.
The Southeast High School senior earned the championship as Kaitlyn Hawkins of Uniontown finished second.
Hawkins will return on Monday to Windmill. The 15-year-old is also registered for the Matt Mishler Jr. Portage County Am.
The 2016 Amateur will again compete at Windmill Lakes and Oak Knolls on the final full weekend in July.
FINAL RESULTS: 2015 Record-Courier Portage County Amateur Golf Championship
Round 1: Saturday, July 25th
Windmill Lakes Golf Club, Ravenna
Round 2: Sunday, July 26th
Oak Knolls Golf Club, Kent,
Michael Kenney, Kent 75-73 148 (won playoff)
Nick Polichena, Ravenna 76-72 148
Andrew Hinton, Aurora 75-79 154
Dave Cutlip, Brimfield 77-78 155
Collin Marozzi, Rootstown 74-81 155
Chris Sloe, Aurora 76-80 156
Robert Schustrich, Garrettsville 79-78 157
Scott Schroeder, Aurora 80-79 159
Ed Marsinek, Kent 80-80 160
David Fall, Windham 77-86 163
Paul Harris, Ravenna 82-81 163
Evan Ferrara, Kent 82-81 163
Shawn Ohl, Ravenna 79-85 164
Joey Kainrad, Palmyra 82-82 164
Alex Avalon, Aurora 82-82 164
Frank Livak, Brimfield 85-79 164
Michael Boland, Rootstown 83-83 166
Brady Adelman, Mogadore 79-87 166
Jeff Stormer, Suffield 87-81 168
Conor O’Callahan, Aurora 83-85 168
Mike Schustrich, Garrettsville 87-84 171
Randy Wilburn, Deerfield 88-84 172
Jacob Flarida, Atwater 86-86 172
Jason Miller, Mogadore 89-83 172
Jeff Eckenwiler, Ravenna 88-86 174
Morgan McIntyre, Ravenna 84-90 174
Mark Mitchell, Ravenna 89-86 175
Ben Jenior, Rootstown 87-88 175
David Rhoads, Ravenna 88-89 177
Nate Wachtel, Streetsboro 89-88 177
Kiel Sever, Ravenna 85-96 181
Jonathan McClure, North Benton 99-83 182
Touren Roubic, Windham 93-90 183
Tyler Plaso, Ravenna 96-87 183
Ryan Hostetler, Suffield 89-97 186
Evan Rozlog, Mogadore 97-103 200
Austin Zoller, Summerville, SC 70-75 145
Luke Liberatore, Solon 70 78 148
Tim Morrow, Boardman 73-79 152
Brett Beatty, Stow 77-77 154
Jeffrey Corlett, Naples, Fla. 81-77 158
Troy Luckenbaugh, Uniontown 80-80 160
Matt Bova, Twinsburg 82-81 163
Thomas Hinkle, Tallmadge 84-81 165
Lou Boarman, Cuyahoga Falls 79-83 167
Austin Guthlein, Hudson 87-83 170
Jeffrey Barbas, North Canton 89-85 174
Ransom Lane, Solon 87-90 177
Macie Hysell, Ravenna 88-87 175
Kaitlyn Hawkins, Uniontown 98-106 204