The play in the two Divisions for the Akron District Golf Association’s Golfer of the Year Tournament went in decidedly different directions on Sunday at the beautiful Shady Hollow Country Club in Massillon.
In the Senior Division, Akron attorney Tom Skidmore put on a scoring clinic for most of the day, finishing with a 4-under par 68 in a round that gave back a couple of strokes near the end.
In the Championship Division, Fairlawn’s Shaun Kloetzer and Canton’s Dave Oates played together in the same group and battled all the way down to the wire, with Kloetzer securing a two shot victory.
A Battle to the End
Kloetzer shot a sizzling 32 on the front side to Oates’ solid 34. But the pair both traded roller-coaster bogeys and birdies through 15 holes, leaving them tied. Kloetzer made birdie on the par-4 16th to go one shot up, but then Oates made a double-bogey 6 on the creek-crossing, perched-greened 17th, while Kloetzer was able to secure par on the trickiest hole at Shady Hollow.
But the three shot swing didn’t end the title chase.
Oates bombed his tee shot on 18 past all of the left-side trees, while Kloetzer hit a low-lefter that found the center of those trees further back. He had a small alley to the green, but it was blocked by a bunker in front.
Kloetzer advanced a low punch shot just to the side of the front bunker, while Oates hit a solid second shot to 12 feet away for birdie. The game was still on.
With his feet in the bunker and his ball in some thick rough just outside of it, Kloetzer hit an acceptable pitch shot to 10 feet below the hole.
Oates had to make his birdie putt for any chance at a playoff. He rolled that effort with perfect pace, but the putt missed just on the low side.
With the knowledge that two putts were good for a victory, Kloetzer rolled his par putt up to hole-high then tapped in for the win.
SKIDMORE PLAYS LIGHTS OUT
As close as the Championship Division finish was, the Senior Division was not nearly as close as the three shot difference displayed on the scoreboard.
At even par after his first eight holes of play, Skidmore went deep into the zone for the next hour-and-a-half: he made two-putt birdie on 9; a short birdie putt on 10; a bomb of a putt for eagle on the par-5 12th; a perfect iron shot setting up birdie on the long uphill par-3 13th; and a stock birdie after a huge drive at the par-5 15th.
That’s six under par in a seven hole stretch.
After making a 10-footer for par to save his 16th hole, Skidmore hit his tee shot on the trouble-filled 17th hole up against the bridge that crosses the winding creek, just inside the hazard line. His drop spot forced him into some thick rough, and his slashing third went over the back of the severely sloping back-to-front green. Skidmore did well to save double-bogey, his only big blemish on a great round.
Aurora’s Larry Lahnan shot a solidly consistent round of 1-under par 71 to finish alone in second place.
GOY WINNERS EARN OHIO OPEN ENTRIES
In addition to the prizes and skins awarded from the tournament, the winners of the ADGA Golfer of the Year tournament get another valuable benefit: complimentary entry into next year’s Ohio Open and Ohio Senior Open respectively, courtesy of the Northern Ohio PGA. A fantastic bonus for Kloetzer and Skidmore!
Kudos to ADGA Director Tim Davis for a great ADGA season, and thanks to Shady Hollow for access to a fantastic course for the season finale.
FINAL RESULTS: Akron District Golf Association
2021 ADGA Golfer of the Year Tournament
Shady Hollow Country Club, Massillon
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Shaun Kloetzer 70 $400.00
Dave Oates 72 $280.00
Josh Prok 73 $180.00
Aaron Crewse 74 $45.00
Brian Smith 74 $45.00
Malkus A. 82
CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION SKINS: $125 ea
Dave Oates – Birdie 3, Hole #1
Mark Schneider – Birdie 3, Hole #6
Tom Skidmore 68 $425.00
Larry Lahnan 71 $325.00
David Trier 72 $175.00
Dave Cutlip 72 $175.00
Rick Bryson 73 5 $100.00
SENIOR DIVISION SKINS: $50 ea
Randy Crider – Birdie 3, Hole #1
Paul Malkus – Birdie 3, Hole #3
Shayne Bishop – Eagle 2, Hole #4
Shayne Bishop – Birdie 3, Hole #6
Larry Lahnan – Birdie 2, Hole #8
Tom Skidmore – Eagle 3, Hole #12