ELYRIA — Amherst found its game Wednesday at the Elyria Pioneer Invitational.
Meanwhile, Elyria Catholic’s Kyle Mahaffey, a two-time district qualifier, is still searching for his putter.
Strongsville, led by medalist Michael Lee’s 2-over-par 72, won the Pioneer Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Course with a score of 311, finishing in front of a quartet of Southwestern Conference teams.
After a disappointing fourth-place finish Tuesday at the Grey Hawk Invitational, the Comets recovered Wednesday to finish tied for second with Westlake at 314.
“Our first two tournaments I was getting a little bit worried,” Amherst coach Mitch Gillam said. “I knew we could play better than we were. It was just a matter of getting a couple of rounds under our belt. Our guys think they are supposed to perform well and I think they’ve been pressing a little bit. Today I told them to go out and have a little bit of fun and only worry about one shot at a time. If they can do that the score will take care of itself.”
Jacob Fitzpatrick, a senior, led the Comets with a 76 while junior Brent Baumgartner and sophomore Austin Bray each came in with 77.
“I played very well today,” Fitzpatrick said. “I had a couple of putts lip out — I think the whole team had a few of those — but I was getting up-and-down most of the time. I didn’t put up any big numbers today. It was a little wet and the greens were a little bit slower today but it really didn’t affect me at all.”
Nathan Harmych rounded out the Comets scoring with an 84.
“If we keep this up all season we could go far,” Fitzpatrick said. “Three-fourteen is our lowest score, even going back to last year. This is our home course so we know the course. We had most of the conference teams here today and we matched up well.”
In addition to the Demons, who took home the second-place trophy based on the strength of their fifth score, other SWC teams in the 16-team field included Olmsted Falls (327), Avon (334), Midview (363), North Ridgeville (368) and North Olmsted (382).
Like Fitzpatrick, Mahaffey ended the day with a 76. However, he wasn’t nearly as satisfied with the result.
“I don’t feel good at all about my score,” he said. “I missed so many putts out there. I just need to go work on the putting greens. I don’t know, I’m not going to say I have the yips but I’m not confident over a lot of them. I need to spend a lot of hours on the putting green and just hopefully find it. Maybe I’ll switch putters.”
Firelands’ Jackson Talbott also shot 76, leading the Falcons to a team score of 340. Tabott also won the long drive contest at the invitational.
Two of the top freshmen in the SWC shot sub-80 rounds. A day after winning medalist at Grey Hawk, Olmsted Falls’ Ben Scheef shot a 78 while Midview’s Bryan Stone continued his streak of rounds in the 70s with a 79.
Team scores: Strongsville 311, Westlake 314, Amherst 314, Olmsted Falls 327, Avon 334, Triway 336, Keystone 337, Firelands 340, Elyria Catholic 349, Bay 352, Wellington 355, Elyria 357, Midview 363, North Ridgeville 368, North Olmsted 382
Medalist: Michael Lee, Strongsville 72
OTHER Top Individuals: Cameron Moteleski (Strongsville), 75; Jackson Talbott (Firelands), 76; Jacob Fitzpatrick (Amherst), 76; Kyle Mahaffey (Elyria Catholic), 76; Austin Bray (Amherst), 77; Brent Baumgartner (Amherst), 77; Ben Scheeff (Olmsted Falls), 78; Matt Romansky (Westlake), 78; Luke Vulku (Westlake), 78
Strongsville (311): Michael Lee 72, Cameron Moteleski 75, Daniel Lee 84, Corey Malloy 80, Conor Zitnar 101, Thomas Powers 89
Amherst (314): Jacob Fitzpatrick 76, Austin Bray 77, Brent Baumgartner 77, Nathan Harmych 84, Rocco Pecora 96, Nick Mihalik 117
Westlake (314): R.J. Zanotti 83, Will Fankhauser 79, Matt Romansky 78, Sean Ambrosino 79, Ryan Malloy 83, Luke Vulku 78
Olmsted Falls (327): Evan Thiel 83, Brady Loomis 88, Ben Scheeff 78, Matt Hall 84, Carson Balfour 84, Aaron Katitus 82
Avon (334): Jack Gerborg 81, Nolan King 80, Tyler Christy 83, Matt Granito 91, Oliver Hewitt 90, Adam Hammerle 100
Triway (336): Griffin Braun 79, Colton Snyder 84, Spencer Schmid 85, Jake Miller 89, Gavin Stutz 95, Cyrus Roth 88
Keystone (337): Jake Morgan 85, Ian Morgan 79, Bryan Sayers 85, Rocky Houston 100, Kyler Yusko 88, Gage Kenpper 116
Firelands (340): Jackson Talbott 76, Aaron Urban 84, Steven Iwanek 94, Will Folley 86, Tristan Stipe 111, Cohen Oyerstreet 154
Elyria Catholic (349): Kyle Mahaffey 76, William Muzilla 80, Maddie Wechter 99, Nick Batt 108, Dylan Burbank 94
Elyria (357): Ryan Streator 87, Eric Sito 91, Ben McFrederick 95, Eric Rishel 84, Luke Coward 96, Jeremy Barley 110
Bay (352): Eddie Papp 80, Jack Nagoette 99, Josh Perrine 85, Lucas Shell 92, Zack Rose 99, Andrew Chesterfield 95
Wellington (355): Will Palmison 90, Eric Benko 95, Jordan McKee 89, Luke Tanderich 81, Wyatt Sasack 101, Luke Sutherland 125
Midview (363): Bryan Stone 79, Michael Ebosh 97, Quinn Rowe 89, Cullen Large 98, Evan Vince 101, Dan Heular 98
North Ridgeville (368): Ben Lampe 85, Greg Codner 95, Kolin Matej 94, Zach Jansuka 94, Dylan Peregard 96, Zach Richardson 101
North Olmsted (382): Ethan Kramer 90, Sean Whalen 95, MacGuire Savarino 100, Justin Christ 97, Kevin Olah 108, Dominic Preto 114
Oberlin (no team score): Anthony Jackson 108