For most golfers in the 41st annual Defiance Area Golf Tournament, scores rose during Sunday’s final round at Eagle Rock Golf Club with hot weather and tough shots.
For Jesse Scott, one stroke better was more than enough.
Scott put together a consistent weekend of 71 during Saturday’s first round at Auglaize Golf Club before tallying 70 on Sunday with some key mid-round birdies to rally past first-round leader Bill Meyer for his second City Tourney title.
“It was just about being in the hunt,” said Scott, who also claimed the tournament championship in 2013 and finished third in 2018, 2016 and 2014. “I knew Bill was probably the guy to beat, so I was trying to play hole by hole and just try to keep pace with Bill all day. Then he made a mistake on the back nine and I made a couple of nice birdies and took the lead. It was just a grind coming in, just a hole at a time.”
The round was the best of any golfer on Sunday at Eagle Rock and second-best of any through the weekend, only higher than Bill Meyer’s first-round 69 at Auglaize.
Meyer, who has three tournament titles to his credit, faltered down the stretch at Eagle Rock with a second-round 75. Brother Steve Meyer, the defending tournament champion and 15-time winner, was third with back-to-back 74’s while Josh DeGroff was fourth overall with a 150.
Entering the final round, Bill Meyer and Scott were paired with Cole Woods and Corbin Stykemain in the final grouping of the tournament with Woods just three shots back of the leader Meyer and Stykemain five shots back, tied with Steve Meyer and Austin Willitzer.
However, Woods and Stykemain faltered in the final round with rounds of 82 and 78, respectively, to fall off the pace and finish ninth and fifth.
For Scott, the win propels him into a group of eight golfers that have won more than one men’s championship in the event that heads into its fifth decade. Casten Reed won last year’s event to join the two-time winners’ club and did not compete in the 2021 event to defend his crown.
Jeff Hunt (2005-06), Bill Meyer (2008, 2017, 2019), Bob Switzer Jr. (1987, 2004, 2009), Neal Detter (1983, 1988, 1996) and Steve Meyer (1981, 1984-85, 1989-91, 1994-95, 1998-2001, 2003, 2014, 2016) are the other multiple winners.
“It was nice to get off the schneid,” said Scott with a smile. “Having only one win, I’ve got to say it’s a good feeling.”
In the women’s championship flight, Jody Deal picked up her second championship in three years and fourth overall as a first-round 81 and an eight-stroke lead heading into Sunday was enough cushion to overcome a 95 on Sunday.
“I wish I would’ve played better today but it was very close and I was within two shots with my sister (Stacy Hinkle) at 13,” said Deal, who also won the tournament in 2014 and 2017. “I went out of bounds, kinda lost it and I was just glad to hold onto the lead.
“But this is my favorite tournament of the year, I look forward to this coming back here, seeing people from home. My parents played in this for years, it’s just great memories.”
Hinkle, herself a six-time champion, finished five shots better than Deal on Sunday but was three shots behind in second place with a 179 on the weekend.
“Adrenaline takes over a little bit and then I went a little long on 14 and birdied and then I doubled,” noted Deal. “Just too many bogeys.”
Ron Coles topped Al Welch in a playoff for the senior championship flight while John Hammon shot 72 on Sunday to nab the A Flight title at 151 and DJ Gustwiller shot a 166 (79-87) to win the B Flight. Andrew Robinson shot 183 (87-96) to win the C Flight while Chris Butler’s 199 topped the D Flight.
The numbers were lower than in usual years for the tournament with 59 golfers across all flights and just four female golfers competing in the tournament.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in it, I mean I wish we could’ve had more,” said Scott. “The competition is great, I love competing in it. Win or lose, I look forward to it every year and it’s just a fun tournament.”
41st City Beverage Defiance Area Golf Tournament
(First round at Auglaize, second round at Eagle Rock)
Jesse Scott 71-70-141; Bill Meyer 69-75-144; Steve Meyer 74-74-148; Josh DeGroff 75-75-150; Corbin Stykemain 74-78-152; Matt Behringer 81-71-152; Austin Willitzer 74-79-153; Tim Leonard 76-77-153; Cole Woods 72-82-154; Chad Cramer 78-78-156; Brian Scott 82-75-157; Ethan Dominique 77-82-159; Chance Lee 82-77-159; Gabe Vittorio 78-82-160; Stephen Assaf 81-79-160; Matt Haviland 82-80-162; Charlie Rogliatti 80-83-163; Matt Valdez 78-86-164; Drake Moening 84-84-168; Gene Bland 81-90-171.
Jody Deal 81-95-176; Stacy Hinkle 89-90-179; Mary Walter 92-100-192.
Women’s A Flight
Amy Zeller 104-119-223.
Ron Coles 74-76-150; Al Welch 75-75-150; Dave Brown 78-77-155; Dave Scheirer 79-85-164; Greg Everhart 80-84-164; Jim Barnes 82-82-164; Larry Meyer 77-88-165; Raul Valle 83-86-169; Phil Eberly 89-92-181.
Senior B Flight
Roger Detmon 81-96-177; Richard Haviland 88-94-182.
Senior C Flight
Ralph Rhamy 91-85-176; Ralph Melchor 94-94-188; Bob Armstrong 102-99-201.
Men’s A Flight
John Hammon 79-72-151; Curtis Switzer 80-78-158; Ron Gustwiller 81-78-159; Jason Reno 72-88-160; Rex Shreve 84-83-167; Kirk Jesse 85-86-171; Phil O’Donnell 91-83-174; Leo Salaz 88-87-175; Zach Hinkle 90-95-185; Bob Figgins 89-DNF.
Men’s B Flight
DJ Gustwiller 79-87-166; Chase Carter 82-89-171; Pete Thiel 89-82-171; Jerry Martinez 94-78-172; Dennis Brubaker 84-92-176; Brok Coburn 91-92-183; Jim March 89-99-188; Isaac Flores 94-94-188.
Men’s C Flight
Andrew Robinson 87-96-183; Travis Perry 98-96-194; Tim Roberts 101-102-203; Bryan Sampson 104-104-208.
Men’s D Flight
Chris Butler 100-99-199; Lowell Elders 92-108-200.