RYAN PAMER, MADISON REEMSNYDER WIN TITLES IN JUNIOR SECTION CHAMPIONSHIP AT PORTAGE C.C.
By Tim Rogers
NOPGA Contributing Editor
AKRON: Madison Reemsnyder took drama out of the picture early but the drama remained for Ryan Pamer almost until the final curtain.
That is how the Northern Ohio PGA Junior Section Championship unfolded during the final round at Portage Country Club on Tuesday.
Reemsnyder, a senior at GlenOak High School in Canton, won the girls division with rounds of 71-69 for a 2-under total of 140 and a 7-shot victory.
Pamer, a senior at Hudson High School, won the boys event with rounds of 68-67 for a 5-under 135 and a 2-shot win.
North Canton’s Avery Wright (72-75) and Fremont’s Kyleigh Dull (75-72) finished in a tie for second at 5-over 147 and Wright, a senior at Jackson High, went on to win with a par on the first playoff hole.
Reemsnyder and Wright, friendly rivals in the Federal League, both advance to the Junior PGA of America Junior Golf Championships at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., July 27-30.
Dull, who has committed to Eastern Michigan University and Kaitlin Kormuth, of Solon, will serve as the first and second alternates. Kormuth, a sophomore at Solon High, finished at 76-76-142.
Reemsnyder, who won last year’s the Northern Ohio PGA Junior Tour Championship by 11 shots at Club Walden, wrapped up her first Section title relatively early. She began the day with a one-shot lead over Wright and increased it to three shots with a birdie to Wright’s bogey on the 362-yard sixth hole. A birdie on the ninth extended the lead to four and a front-nine of 33. A birdie on the 14th gave her a five-shot lead with four holes to play.
“Coming in to today I just wanted to play calm, because Monday was kind of a crazy day with a rain delay that kind of changed the course when we went back out,” said Reemsnyder, who has committed to Xavier University. “So today I just told myself fairways and greens and the putts just fell for me.”
The comfortable lead enabled Reemsnyder to play conservatively — also known as smartly — the rest of the way and a bogey on the 15th – her first since the first hole – was no cause for alarm.
“I didn’t want to get mad at myself with that bogey because I was still playing great,” she said. “If I got myself in a pickle I just got myself out and I was happy with pars.”
While Reemsnyder had it in cruise control that wasn’t the case for Pamer, a senior at Hudson and a member of the Explorers team that qualified for the Division I state tournament.
Pamer was one of three players to shoot 68 in the first round, along with Fairview Park’s Topher Reed and Wadsworth’s Josh Wright.
Pamer and Reed, who has committed to Ohio State, were tied when they arrived at the 17th hole, a cute 377-yarder with a slight dogleg right and a challenging pin position.
“I knew I had to do something because Topher is a great player,” said Pamer, who placed 14th in the individual scoring in the state tournament. “It was time.”
That something became a big drive that left him about 75 yards from the hole. He wedged his second shot to about four feet and made the downhill, left-to-right putt for birdie.
“That was the key hole,” said Pamer.
Reed, meanwhile, made bogey and both parred the final 552-yard closing hole.
A key sequence took place earlier when Pamer made his only bogey of the day on the 12th but answered by making an 8-foot, downhill putt for birdie on the next.
“That was a big confidence booster right there,” he said.
Pamer and Reed advance to the boys nationals at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, Ky., July 12-15.
Avon’s Connor Malicki (69-69) and Barberton’s Nolan Haynes (72-67) finished third and fourth, respectively and will serve as alternates.