The 221-yard par-3 17th hole on the Westfield Group Country Club’s South Course has downed many golfers.
On Wednesday, she had another one as 2019 graduate Cade Breitenstine took the 52-hole Ohio Open lead.
A bogey on the 17th put the Kent State grad student a putt behind former Cleveland State star Michael Ballcar, who bogeyed the hole from 10 feet.
It ended that way with Balcar shooting a 14-under par 296 to win the Ohio Open title. Breitenstein finished second at -13.
“I just took a bad iron bullet,” Brittenstein said. “I hit a good chip. When I missed, I missed the wrong spot, on a short side, but I hit the holeshot on the penalty kick. I didn’t make any bad decisions, just didn’t play well at all.”
Balcar put his shot on 18 into the rough on the right, but pushed it over the pines and put it twice to put pressure on Breitenstine, who had an eight-foot birdie to possibly send him to a playoff. Breitenstine’s putt put six inches to the left.
Kidd Brittensen sees positive Ohio Open experience despite missing by one stroke
“I was really relaxed all day,” said Brittenstein. “It was a really bad swing. I’ve led tournaments before. Any golfer who’s ever won, you have to get used to that feeling. I just didn’t play well enough.”
“I played well in that event. I made a lot of good shots. It was a good finish. I just need to keep moving forward, maybe work on a few little things.”
Breitenstine’s run was low enough to win any of the other six Ohio matches played at Westfield Group Country Club, but not on Wednesday.
That record belongs to Balcar, who displayed impressive poise in 66, 65 and 65 rounds to win the 102nd annual event.
Michael Ballcar balances birdies and plays to win the Ohio Open
The assistant golf pro at Brandywine Country Club was amazing in his consistency.
His only bogey came in a 358-yard par-4 second to make up six birdies.
It is true that he had three birds out of every nine.
“I think that was kind of the behavior of the week,” Balcar said. “I was trying to stay present, trying not to worry about the good or the bad, just being the best I could be. Be proud of myself in every take. So when I look back and say, Did I do my best? Did I do my best in every take? Yeah. Then. She will take care of herself.”
In winning the Ohio Open, Ballcar joined some of golf’s biggest names as past winners of the event – Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Denny Schott, Billy Burke, Hermann Kaiser and Tom Weiskopf.
The 30-year-old was not lost.
“There are a lot of good players from all over Ohio,” he said. “I just think if you can win this tournament you can play anywhere. You can play on tour. There’s no reason you can’t, maybe you’re not as consistent as someone on tour now, but you have the potential. I think Kidd has that.” Potential. I think I have that potential.”
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @bournival