AVON — It was a time for celebrating past champions while preparing for future success for Avon Lake on Monday at the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation Showcase at Avon Oaks Country Club.
Two recent Avon Lake grads, Paighton Masterson and Emma Davies, were awarded $1,000 scholarships by the OGGF while the current crop of Shoregals led by Maggie Masterson, Paighton’s younger sister, were playing together as a team for the first time.
“This is my fifth year golfing here and I’ve loved every minute of it so I’m so excited to be honored with this award,” Davies said after accepting the Patty Wood Memorial Scholarship. “This event has always been so great because everyone is so positive and it’s so much fun. It’s not really about the competition because it’s just the beginning of the season. We’re just here to play and learn.”
Davies, who was playing her final round of competitive golf before heading off to Ohio University next month, shot a team-best 87.
“It was really nice to play with the team one more time,” Davies said. “I love all of these girls. All of the freshmen were super nice, too.”
Paighton Masterson was awarded the Teen Burke Scholarship. Masterson is already at the University of Cincinnati preparing for her freshman season so her sister accepted her award on her behalf.
“It was weird accepting the award for her,” Maggie Masterson said. “It was a little bit awkward but it was kinda fun. I’m excited to see what the next two years has in store and I’m hoping to get some of the same awards she has.”
Masterson, a junior co-captain, had the best score of any returning Avon Lake golfer with a 94. She’s excited to see what the new season will have in store for the Shoregals.
“It was really fun to get back in the game,” Maggie Masterson said. “I’m very excited for the season. It’s going to be different without our five seniors that graduated but it’s going to be very interesting because we have new girls coming up and we’re rebuilding. A lot of teams think we lost a lot this year but it’s going to be exciting because we have some girls who are really stepping up.”
The Shoregals finished fifth out of eight schools with a 387.
Avon Lake coach Krystine Frisch thinks the legacy that former Shoregals like Davies and Paighton Masterson, and even dating back to Niki Schroeder, who won an individual state championship in 2014, have built will help the team get through its rebuilding phase and back to the business of winning Southwestern Conference titles and qualifying for district tournaments.
“Girls like Emma and Paighton and all five seniors who graduated were great role models and I think they’ve inspired a lot of girls at Avon Lake to come out and golf,” Frisch said. “Niki Schroeder inspired the group of seniors that just graduated and that group inspired the large freshman class we have this year. We have at least 16 girls coming out so I feel like the program is in good shape.”
The Showcase started with a two-hour clinic conducted by former LPGA pros Barb Mucha and Janice Moodie and concluded with an awards dinner.
“They put on a lovely program here every year,” Frisch said. “It gets the girls really excited about the season and helps us get our kickoff week started. We have practice Thursday and Friday and next Monday we start playing matches.”
The only other Lorain County golfer in the field was 2017 Division II state qualifier and 2019 Keystone grad Nikki Selzer, who shot a 97.
Team scores: Kent Roosevelt 338, Hathaway Brown 367, Medina 369, Canfield 380, Avon Lake 387, Magnificat 396, Copley 397, Chagrin Falls 398
Medalist: Alessandra Goyette (Medina), 76
Avon Lake 1 (387): Emma Davies 87, Maggie Masterson 94, Lauren Hawkinson 103, Abby Madden 103
Avon Lake 2 (No team score): Paige Machovina 106, Ashley Hubert 99, Grace Gallagher 120
Local Individual: Nikki Selzer (Keystone), 97