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Published: Thursday, 10/6/2005

Sidelines: Crisp shots

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Bowsher s Adam Crisp lines up a putt in the City League tournament at Ottawa Park Golf Course. He was the medalist for the second straight year. Bowsher s Adam Crisp lines up a putt in the City League tournament at Ottawa Park Golf Course. He was the medalist for the second straight year.
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As the youngest member of a golfing family, Bowsher senior Adam Crisp still gets ribbed occasionally about one of his more embarrassing moments in the game.

When I first started playing I was hitting balls [on the range] one day and there was a guy probably three or four spots next to me, Crisp recalled. I shanked one sideways and it went into his basket. It was tipped sideways on the ground. That gets brought up every now and then.

That gaffe took place when Crisp was 7 years old, he thinks. But what he knows for certain is that, when it comes to playing the game these days, it is he who usually gets the last laugh.

After carding rounds of 72 at Detwiler and 77 at Ottawa Park last week to earn medal honors in the City League tournament, Crisp locked up his second straight league player of the year award which includes regular-season play. Last year he was third in the CL tournament.

Darnell Darnell
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Within the league, he dominated. Within northwest Ohio, there are maybe two players whose games compare well with his John Powers of Bowling Green and AndrewAseltine of Fremont Ross.

Crisp will shoot for a Division I sectional title when play begins today at Eagles Landing Golf Club in Oregon. The next step would be the district tourney Oct. 13, and ultimately, the state tournament Oct. 23-24.

Crisp has played 18-hole rounds 13 times this season, posting a scoring average of 73.1. He has won medal honors in 9 of 12 events, placing second in another. His low score was a 67 at Eagles Landing at the Clay Invitational. In six nine-hole rounds, he averaged 36.8, and was medalist five times.

Scoring like this has earned Crisp a scholarship offer from the University of Toledo, currently coached by Bowsher alum Jamie Mauntler.

Mauntler was one of the top players Bowsher coach Chuck Darnell worked with in 40 years of guiding the Rebels. Others were All-Ohioans Mike Stone and Jim McGurk. When asked, Darnell is clear where Crisp rates among his most talented prep players.

Adam is awfully solid, Darnell said. In my 40 years as a coach, he s as good a player as I ve had.

This lofty opinion from his veteran coach is the byproduct of 12 years of work put in by Crisp, who credits his family and living near a golf course.

I started playing when I was five or six with my dad [Jim] and my grandpa [Charles Crisp], Crisp said. We played at South Toledo. It s like my home course. I live about four minutes away.

I played in my first Toledo [District Golf Association] Junior tournament when I was 12 at Whiteford Valley, and I won it. That s when I started gettingserious.

These days, serious means a complete devotion to the game.

On Sundays [during spring and summer] I usually play 18 holes, Crisp said, and then I usually go to the range. Between Monday and Friday I ll have two or three tournaments. Any day I don t have a tournament I ll play 18 holes. Seven days a week you can find me on a golf course.

Practice makes perfect, and Crisp hones his shot-making on driving ranges and putting greens. His routine varies.

I mainly just try to focus on what I m trying to get better at that week, Crisp said. If my putting s bad, I ll spend more time on the green than the range. I go to the range every day after I m done playing for a half hour up to an hour.

Who s had the most impact on his game?

Probably my brother [Andy], Crisp said. He played for Bowsher [2000 graduate]. He was All-City his junior and senior years, so my goal was to just be better than him. We still play together every now and then. He s a pretty good player.

Crisp will join the Bowsher basketball team as soon as the golf season ends. Last year he was a starting guard.

When basketball ends, it s almost time for the local amateur golf circuit. This past summer, Crisp won the Toledo District match play championship, the Northwest Ohio PGA Junior stroke play title, and the Glass City Open. He was runner-up for TDGA Junior player of the year to Jason Crow of Leipsic.

How does Crisp assess his game?

I m long off the tee and usually hit my irons pretty good, he said.

The strongest part of my game is probably my mid-irons. It seems like every day I m just really consistent with them.

My putting is what needs the most work. It s really inconsistent. One day I ll go out and take 28 putts [in a round] and the next day I ll hit 34 or 35.

Adam works so hard at the game, Darnell said. To say that he has a weakness would be a little unfair. He needs a little more strength development, but he hits the ball off the world. He can fly it 320, 330 [yards].

I can t imagine what s going to happen when the school that gets a hold of him puts 20 or 30 pounds on him. He can hit it with anybody. When he does miss a shot, he misses it where he should miss it just in front of the green. He avoids traps and bunkers real well.

His teammates say Crisp has helped improved their play.

I play with him almost every day and just being around him, he s such a good player that you just feed off him, said senior teammate Kevin Williams. Just the way he plays, always getting it up and down and always making the key putt. I haven t beat him in a long time, but I ve come close.

Williams is Bowsher s No. 2 player, averaging 78.5 for 18 holes and 40.1 for nine.

He doesn t show it when he hits a bad shot, junior teammate Kyle Lynch said of Crisp s poise. He can recover from it. I ve learned how to do that.

That s one way Crisp has helped his teammates. There are others.

You want to beat him, too, Lynch said, and that forces you to play a little better when you re playing with him. I beat him once this year. I shot a 33 and he shot 36. But I played a great round that day and had some lucky shots.

Lynch, No. 3 in the Rebel lineup, averages 83.5 for 18 and 40.5 for nine.

Contact Steve Junga at:sjunga@theblade.com or 419-724-6461.



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