PIQUA – It was the perfect way to start the season for Franklin-Monroe’s Claire Haviza.
The junior shot an 89 – a personal best score – to place fourth overall as an individual Monday in the Covington Lady Buccs Invitational at Echo Hills Golf Course in Piqua.
“I‘m really proud of that 89 today,” Haviza said after receiving her fourth-place medal. “I worked really hard over the summer so I think the 89 was deserved especially for the beginning of the season. It is my personal-best score and I just hope it continues to get better.”
Her previous best score of 92 came during a tournament she won this summer in Winchester, Ind. Haviza also played in several Southern Ohio PGA events, she said.
She started on hole No. 18 in the shotgun format and proceeded to play the front nine with a 41. She finished on the back with a 48.
“I had a rough drive to start but then I got it figured out and got a few birdies,” said Haviza, who finished with four birdies on the day. “That calmed me down a little bit and gave me more confidence going forward.”
F-M coach Kip Gray was pretty proud of his No. 1 player.
“She is driving the ball so well,” Gray said. “She was able to get up and down from just about everywhere. Getting fourth place individually today is a fantastic start to the season.
“She has been progressing every year,” he continued. “She has seen that steady progress from her freshman to sophomore year and now to her junior year. It is great to see.”
The overall medalist for the tournament was National Trail’s Makenna Jones with a 74. She was followed by St. Henry’s Ellen Naumann (79), Fort Loramie’s Eva Bolin (87) then Haviza with an 89 and Arcanum’s Lexi Unger was fifth with a 90. Rounding out the top 10 individuals were Piqua’s Kelsey Bachman (90) in sixth place, Miami East’s Paige Lawson (90) in seventh, Fort Loramie’s Amy Eilerman (92) in eighth, Anna’s Breah Kuck (92) in ninth and Versailles’ Morgan Heitkamp (93) in 10th place.
St. Henry won the team title with a 394. Runner-up was National Trail with a 396 followed by Fort Loramie (398), New Bremen (401), Versailles (404), Miami East (405), Greenville (421), Troy (421), Piqua (437), Arcanum (439), Anna (440), Franklin-Monroe (458), Bethel (482) and Covington (521).
Versailles was led by Heitkamp with a 93. Also contributing to the team score was Morgan Barlage (98), Maddie Durham (100) and Alexis Jay (113).
After Unger’s 90, Madison Mankin (115), Sidney Artz (115) and Maddy Wogoman (119) contributed to the Trojans’ team score.
The rest of the scores for the Jets were Breanna Lavy (115), Ally Warner (121) and Josie Patrick (133).
The top four scores for Greenville, which was playing in its second tournament of the season after competing at National Trail on Saturday, were Jada Garland (100), Kylie Beam (105), Jessica Mortensen (106) and Makenzi Glancy (110).
“There were some signs of improvement, but there is plenty of room to get better,” Greenville coach Tracy Haines said. “It could have been better, but we’ll take it for the second match of the year.”
Wright leads Arcanum to season-opening win
The Trojans won their opening match of the season on Monday topping host Fort Recovery 187-205 at Mercer County Elks Golf Course.
Junior Kendall Wright shot a 40 with one birdie and four pars to lead Arcanum. Other scores for the Trojans were Evan Atchley with a 47, Carter Gray and Cade Brubaker both with 50’s, Trevor Bailey with a 52 and Jack Shannon with a 54.
Arcanum will be in action again Wednesday in the Kendig Memorial at Echo Hills Golf Course in Piqua.
Garland leads Greenville at National Trail Invite
Greenville senior Jada Garland shot a 95 to lead the Lady Wave in the season-opening National Trail Invitational on Saturday.
Greenville finished fourth among the teams at the tournament with a 429 team score. Also contributing for the Lady Waves was Jessica Mortensen with a 109, Makenzi Glancy with a 112 and Madelyn Breig with a 113.
National Trail won the team title with a score of 387.
The Daily Advocate sports editor Skip Weaver can be reached at (937) 569-4316 or by email at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @skipweaver65.