AVON — Mother Nature was the ultimate winner Monday at the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation High School Showcase at Avon Oaks Country Club.
A line of showers and thunderstorms swept through the course just before 3 p.m., halting play with the final group of golfers just beginning their 13th hole.
When it was determined play would be unable to continue, the tournament committee made it a 12-hole event and based each player’s score on her first 12 holes.
Avon Lake finished second in the team competition at 52 strokes over par. Canfield was the winner at 32 over.
Rocky River’s Iris Shin earned medalist honors, finishing at 4 under, one of only two golfers to come in under par.
Despite the second-place finish, it was a strong showing for the Shoregals with seniors Paighton Masterson and Emma Davies leading the way. Masterson, the two-time defending champion, shot 1 over and Davies 4 over.
“We didn’t have our full team out here today but it was a nice preseason event,” Avon Lake coach Krystine Frisch said. “It’s good to get them going again. The course is amazing and you get to see good competition here. The girls get to see what they’re up against and hopefully what they’re going to see come postseason.”
Davies, who is a member at Avon Oaks, was able to take advantage of her home course to post the fifth-best score of the day.
“It’s fun to come out here for preseason and see all of the girls again,” Davies said. “I feel like I have a little bit of an advantage and I feel like I can also help the girls that I play with. I might know certain things about the course that they might not pick up.”
Davies also found something she needs to work on to get ready for the official high school season, which kicks off for the Shoregals on Aug. 7 at the Magnificat Blue Streak Invitational.
“I learned I need to focus a little bit more on my putting,” she said. “I think I’m rushing a little bit too much. If I just slow down I should be able to take a couple of strokes off my score.”
With two Northern Ohio Junior PGA tournament wins under her belt this summer, Masterson appears to be in midseason form already.
“I feel like the summer tournaments have helped prepare me for the high school season,” Masterson said. “I enjoy being able to play golf almost every day. I haven’t had the chance to play Avon Oaks yet so it was really good to be here today.”
Masterson is one of only 10 girls in her age group from across Ohio to qualify for the prestigious Optimist International Junior Golf Championship, which begins later this week in Florida.
Although Masterson has had a summer filled with tournament golf, she was excited to be back on the course with her high school teammates.
“I actually got a few of the girls together on Friday and we played a mini-practice round,” Masterson said. “Just seeing everyone over the last few days, having a bunch of laughs and getting back on the course with them has been awesome.”
Shin, who will be a senior this year, said the key to her success at Avon Oaks was having all three aspects of her game working.
“My driving was really good, I put myself in good position,” Shin said. “I stuck my wedges pretty close and my putting was good too. All around I had everything working.”
TEAM SCORES Canfield #1 +32, Avon Lake +52, Copley +67, Magnificat +75, Medina #1 +75, Chagrin Falls +86, Brecksville +100, Medina #2 +106, Canfield #2 +139.
AVON LAKE: Paighton Masterson +1, Emma Davies +4, Maggie Masterson +22 Marissa Hall +25, Grace Gallagher +35.
MEDALIST: Iris Shin, Rocky River, -4.
TOP INDIVIDUALS: Olivia Swain, Uniontown Lake, -2; Paighton Masterson, Avon Lake, +1, Laine Hursh, Chardon, +1, Emma Davies, Avon Lake, +4, Sophia Canale, Copley, +4, Carmel Cerimele, Canfield, +4
OTHER LOCAL INDIVIDUALS: Elena Zaborniak, Amherst, +8; Nikki Selzer, Keystone, +12.