Kevin Hall, a junior at Ohio State, opened with a 71 at Sylvania Country Club. He won an event two summers ago at Ottawa Park.
Allan Detrich Enlarge
The first round of the Ohio Amateur didn't pan out quite the way Brad Heaven would have liked.
The University of Toledo junior finished the first day of the four-day event with a round of 72 - five strokes off the lead. It was a case of never quite finding his touch.
“The course was playing great,” Heaven said. “The greens were pretty nice.”
Nevertheless, three bogeys and a double-bogey nullified Heaven's solid play on the par-5s. He birdied four.
Heaven's most significant trouble took place on the 12th hole where he ended up with a double-bogey after failing to hit his tee shot straight. At the time he was 2-under-par.
“I just drove it right into some trouble,” Heaven said.
Heaven, who paced the Rockets to their first outright Mid-American Conference championship and a top-20 finish in the NCAA championship this year, isn't going into the second round looking back at what he did wrong.
And he's not ruling himself out of getting right back into the thick of the competition.
“It's not like I came out and shot myself totally in the foot,” he said. “I still have three rounds to play. If I have three good days I'll still be in the hunt.”
UT's Cale Green finished the day at 79. Green was an alternate for the tournament and was allowed to play after one of the 144 qualifiers did not show.
BUCKEYE JUNIOR FOUR BACK: The last time Ohio State University's Kevin Hall played in a tournament held in northwest Ohio he walked away a winner.
It was two summers ago when Hall, an All-Ohio golfer while attending St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, won an annual tournament for minorities held at Ottawa Park Golf Course.
Hall, in an early group, posted a round of 71 in his first Ohio Amateur.
“He's hitting his irons good and driver good,” said Percy Hall, Kevin's father.
Hall, who will be entering his junior year at OSU, has kept a busy summer golfing schedule - playing in several events in Ohio, plus Michigan and Florida.
It's been about a tournament a week, according to Percy Hall.
FORMER CHAMP STRUGGLES: Alan Fadel's attempt at winning a second Ohio Amateur title became much more difficult after he opened with a 76.
Fadel won the prestigious event back in 1995 and is northwest Ohio's last winner of the tournament. Fadel shot a 37 on the back nine before struggling to a 39 on the front. Bob Gerwin II, the defending champion and only other former champion competing in this year's event, carded a first-round 70.