After finishing dead last in the league each of the last three seasons, the Delaware Hayes boys golf team is most definitely headed in the right direction.
Not only did the Pacers avoid finishing last in the first OCC-Cardinal event of the season Tuesday at Apple Valley, they finished in the top three … just two strokes away from runner-up Olentangy Berlin.
Hayes closed with a combined 319. Berlin, in the first year of its existence, was second with a 317 while Dublin Jerome won the event with a 298.
Mark Sulek led the Pacers with a 78. Luke Gazarek and Jake Ross each fired 80s and Ben Madden and Colin Bibler had 81s.
“They love the game,” Hayes coach Andy Graham said of this year’s group. “They go and play or practice together after we get done competing. They’re very competitive and push each other.
“We are really excited about this season and the future of Hayes golf.”
Berlin’s second-place effort was buoyed by Bryce Reed, who led the way with a 73. Other Bear scorers included Ethan Hegg (79), Leila Raines (80) and Tanner Shimp (85).
Hilliard Bradley (323), Hilliard Darby (344), Thomas Worthington (348), Worthington Kilbourne (349) and Dublin Scioto (369) were also in action.
Olentangy Liberty picked up right where it left off last season as the defending OCC champs started 2018 with a first-place performance in the first of four league matches Tuesday at Turnberry.
The Patriots fired a combined 295 to take top honors while Olentangy Orange finished second with a 306 and Olentangy finished a close third with a 307.
Josh Steyer led Liberty with a 71 — a mark matched by Olentangy’s Cameron Casto and Westerville North’s Pierre Southibounnorath for medalist honors.
Grant Smeltzer (72), Andrew Blosser (75) and Logan McCarrell (77) also scored for the Patriots.
The second-place Pioneers were boosted by Alex Cabungcal’s 72 while Nathan Brown (77), Luke Johnson (78) and Corbin Bentley (79) also finished with solid rounds in the 70s.
In addition to Casto’s strong showing, the Braves were boosted by the efforts of Chas Martin (77), Ben Nash (79) and Garrett Leckrone (80).
“Shooting 307 after the way we started the year makes me happy,” Olentangy coach Joel Glassburn said. “Our scores are headed in the right direction.
“Obviously, we would’ve liked to be in first or second after round one, but Orange slipped past us by one today … that makes our battle a little tougher in the coming weeks, but we have a lot of positives to take from today.”
Westerville Central (325) and Westerville North (397) smoothed out the list of team scores.
Mackenzie Furches shot a 46 to lead the Buckeye Valley girls golf team Tuesday at Clear Fork.
The host Colts won with a 172 while the Barons finished with a team total of 199.
Other BV scorers included Emily Longworth and Kirsten Fridley, who had 48s; and Becca Herriott, who finished with a 57.