Mallard Creek Wins PGA Jr. League Section Qualifier

Some of Northeast Ohio’s youngest and brightest stars were on display Sunday at Eagle Creek Golf Club. It is guaranteed you will be reading their names in the future, once they enter high school and beyond.

A team representing Mallard Creek Golf Club continued the club’s winning ways by capturing the Northern Ohio PGA Junior League Section Championship at Eagle Creek. The 10-player team, comprised of boys and girls mostly from Northeast Ohio, defeated Cleveland Southeast in the match-play finals by a score of 9 ½ to 2 ½. As a result, the team qualifies for the sub-regional, which will be held at Nemacolin Woodlands, in Farmington, Pa., September 14-15.It marks the fifth time a Mallard Creek team advanced from the sectional, with the final destination being the national finals at Gray Hawk Country Club, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The team event is for players 14-and-under and was played over two days by a field of 150 players in a two-player scramble. On Saturday four teams qualified out of the Section qualifier, advancing to Sunday’s semifinal and finals, which were conducted in match-play format.

Mallard Creek, captained by club teaching pro Jim Wise and coached by Chris Reed, defeated Medina/Mansfield in the semifinals while Cleveland Southeast, captained by Ellsworth Meadows apprentice pro Warren Brocklehurst, defeated Akron 2. The Mallard Creek players were Deegan Bee (Fredericksburg), Bradley Chill (Columbia Station), Julian Dugan (Rocky River), Greta Gobeize (Chagrin Falls), Cara Heisterkamp (Westlake), Natalie Kostalnick (Strongsville), Chris Pollack (Aurora), Cammy Reed (Fairview Park), Anna Swan (Erie, Pa.) and Jack Vojtko (Stow). The Mallard Creek team of Jack Vojtko and Anna Swann were the leading point winners during the semifinals and finals. They combined to win six points for their team. Vojtko, son of Fox Den professional Joe Vojtko, is an eighth grader at Kimpton Middle School in Munroe Falls. One of his many highlights during the finals was driving the 285-yard seventh hole and making a 2-foot putt for an eagle.

“Being able to contribute to our team meant a great deal to me,” said Vojtko, who will turn 14-years-old on Sept. 21. “But, I am more excited that our team is advancing to the regional. We have a great team, with great chemistry.”

This was Vojtko’s third appearance in the Junior League and the second time he has played at Eagle Creek.

“Being familiar with the course helped a great deal,” he said. “Being in a scramble format we were able to try different things.”

In the semifinals the Mallard Creek team swept Medina/Mansfield as Chill-Heisterkamp, Pollack-Bee-Gobezie and Dugan-Reed-Kostalnick joined Vojtko and Swan in earning three points. It wasn’t quite as easy in the final against Cleveland Southeast, a team comprised of players from Hudson, Twinsburg, Copley, Stow and Nordonia. Hudson’s Callahan Lawler (13) and Dexter James (10) halved their match against Dugan, Reed and Kostalnick with each team earning 1½ points. Chill and Heisterkamp, the daughter of Chagrin Valley Country Club pro Mike Heisterkamp, teamed to win 2½ points in the finals, as did the team of Pollack, Bee abd Gobezie. Chill, Pollack, Gobezie and Heisterkamp finished the day by earning 5½ points for Mallard, while the sister/brother combination of Sherry and Jerry Du, from Hudson, were the biggest point-getters for Cleveland Southeast 1 with 3½ points each.