ARCANUM — Even though all of the matches were close, Troy’s boys swept Butler last season en route to winning the division title.
On Friday, the Aviators finally pulled one out against the Trojans.
Butler bested Troy by the narrow margin of two strokes Friday at the preseason Greater Western Ohio Conference tournament at Beechwood Golf Course in Arcanum, posting a 308 to the Trojans’ 310 to draw first blood in the North Division race for the season.
Meanwhile, Troy’s girls were the top team in the GWOC North and finished third overall, finishing late at night with a team score of 381.
Springboro’s girls won with 326 and Centerville was second with 335, with Miamisburg finishing fourth with 397 behind Troy.
“It was a tough day, it’s a tough course,” Troy girls coach Tom Mercer said. “But as far as all of our division opponents, we beat them all — which is good, because that goes toward deciding the league champion. But Springboro and Centerville, they’ve just got awesome programs.”
Caitlin Dowling led the Trojans with an 88, Caroline Elsass-Smith shot 92, Ali Helman shot 98 and LeeAnn Black rounded out the scoring with a 103. Hannah Wright added a 105 and Rainy Rohlfs shot 116.
“Last year, we were fourth at the pre-GWOC. This year, we’re third,” Mercer said. “So we’re doing okay. For early in the season, the girls are working hard and playing well.”
Overall, Troy’s boys were fifth on the day and Butler was fourth. Springboro won with an impressive 292, Centerville was second with 300 and Beavercreek was third with 304.
But all that really mattered to Troy was how they stacked up against Butler.
“They finally got us,” Troy boys coach Mark Evilsizor said. “But with a difference of only two strokes over 18 holes between six golfers, that’s about as tight as it gets.”
On Thursday, the Trojans faced the Aviators in a nine-hole non-league event at Moss Creek, tying after the top four scores were counted and winning on a fifth-score tiebreaker — just like they did last season during GWOC North play.
But the Trojans also beat the Aviators at the preseason and postseason GWOC tournaments last year, all of which goes toward deciding the division champion. Meaning that now the Trojans must win during their regular season matchup to have a chance at defending their title.
“We play them at Cassel Hills in about a month — and that’s pretty much a must-win for us now,” Evilsizor said. “But every time we play, it’s going to be tight because they’ve got three really good players. It’ll just be left to be seen what their fourth score is like. But today, their top three played well enough to put them over the edge. Their top three beat our top three.”
Troy’s top three still played very well, though. Troy Moore shot 73 and was tied for seventh overall, Grant Kasler shot 75 and Dalton Cascaden shot 78.
Matt Monnin’s score of 94 was three strokes better than Butler’s fourth score, but with the Aviators’ Zach Crawford and Gannon Godsey both shooting 73 and A.J. Lawrence adding a 75, it was just enough to hold of the Trojans.
Peyton Wheat and Nate Uhlenbrock both shot 90s for Troy, with Butler’s fifth and sixth scores sitting at 91 and 95.
“A 310 is nothing to cry about,” Evilsizor said. “That’s a really good round. I’ll take that any day. It’s still early — only the second day of the season — so we don’t count ourselves out yet.
“We’re just going to keep plugging away and grind it out. Golf is a game where you can’t get too down or overly excited. You’ve got to stay in the middle, even keel.”
Troy’s boys play in the Homan Invitational at Echo Hills on Monday and then at the Miamisburg Invitational at Pipestone on Tuesday before hosting Tippecanoe at Miami Shores on Wednesday. Troy’s girls aren’t in action again until Wednesday when they travel to Yankee Trace to face Alter.
BELLEFONTAINE — Tippecanoe’s girls settled for a runner-up finish in their first tournament of the year on Wednesday.
Friday, there would be no settling.
All six Red Devil golfers set new personal records as Tippecanoe picked up its first victory of the season, winning the Central Buckeye Conference preview tournament with a team score of 343 Friday at Liberty Hills Golf Course in Bellefontaine.
Erika Brownlee — who was the individual medalist on Wednesday — led the Devils with an 80. Tori Merrick followed with an 84, Ally Chitwood shot 88 and Sammie Rowland rounded out the scoring with a 91, while Taylor Hudson added a 106 and Lydia Stueve shot 113.
“The scores for all six players were personal records in their high school careers,” Tippecanoe coach Scott Murray said.
Runner-up Kenton Ridge was 15 strokes back with a 358.
The Red Devils open next week at Cassel Hills against Springfield Shawnee on Monday, and on Tuesday they head to Cincinnati to the always-tough Sycamore invitational to face some of the best Division I teams in Ohio.
Editor’s note: Results for the Tippecanoe boys team at the pre-CBC were not provided by time of press, and results for the Cross County Conference preview, also held on Friday, will not be made available until after the weekend.
* DC 183,
TROY — The Troy Christian Eagles boys golf team kicked off the 2014 season with a Metro Buckeye Conference matchup against Dayton Christian Friday at Miami Shores, falling 183-206 to the Warriors.
Kevin Ward led the Eagles (0-1, 0-1) with a 43, Andrew Wittlinger and Jordan Slone each shot 52 and Jacob Farr shot 59 for Troy Christian.
Philip Miller was medalist with a 40 for Dayton Christian, while Ben Kiser (41) and Evan Brower (42) both posted solid rounds.
Troy Christian travels to Moss Creek Monday for an 18-hole MBC match.