Ohio Girls Golf Foundation Open Crowns 2008 Champions

Cleveland native Barb Mucha and Scottish golfer Janice Moody took a break from their busy LPGA tour schedules to share an instructional clinic that inspired the players onto some of the lowest scores in the history of the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation (OGGF) Open on July 21 at Avon Oaks Country Club in Avon, Ohio.

"I hope the girls here today realize what a crossroad they are at in terms of opportunities open to them in the game of golf," said Mucha, who has headlined this event for the past 13 years.

Coming in with the low score for an individual was Ariel Witmer of North Lima, with an even par 72, seven shots ahead of the number two and three scores by Perry twins Megan and Meryl Weaver, who came in with 79 and 80 respectively.

The Weavers’ excellent play led their team to a first place win, with 331 strokes on the day, followed by Canfield High School (345), Magnificat (352), Poland Seminary (361), St. Joseph Academy (371), Strongsville (384), Canfield’s #2 Team (388), Avon Lake (398), New Albany (406), JFK (417), Westlake (419), Avon (454), Laurel Academy (436), Cuyahoga Falls (443), Poland Seminary #2 Team (451) and Magnificat Team #2 (496).

Prior to the tournament, past OGGF champions and college golfers ran a forum that covered how high school girls can prepare to play college golf and attract scholarships.

Also at the awards ceremony, six girls were presented college scholarships: Jamie Berndt of Canfield, who will attend Youngstown State University, Jennifer Hudock of Canfield - Bethel College, Megan Weaver of Perry - Ohio University, Meryl Weaver of Perry - Ohio University, Nichole Woggon of Oak Harbor - Bowling Green University and Kaitlin Seibert of Poland - Case Western Reserve University.

The OGGF’s mission is to encourage, sponsor and support the game of golf for girls by providing college scholarships, golf training programs, and financial assistance to attend designated golf tournaments. Since the Foundation was established in 1994, the number of girls high school golf teams in Northeast Ohio has grown from none to more than 200.

Results

2008 OGGF Open Results
Ariel WitmerNorth Lima72
Megan WeaverPerry79
Meryl WeaverPerry80
Jamie BerndtCanfield81
Victoria BelloAvon Lake82
Angela MolaskeyPoland83
Ariel SparrowStrongsville84
Alex BelloAvon Lake84
Caitlin KemptonShaker Heights84
Christine BrownCanfield85
Nicole WaersPerry85
Angela MitzelPoland86
Brooke HammiltonSt. Joseph86
Abby MillarSt. Joseph87
Steff CamerataPerry87
Maddie KeefeSt. Joseph88
Amber BrunoCardinal Mooney88
Whitney GraffCanfield89
Christine OpsitnickMagnificat89
Amanda SmithCanton90

Quotes from some of our top players:

Gianna Pro - Avon Lake incoming freshman Gianna Pro is brand spanking new to the game of golf, having just taken it up two months ago. "I haven’t really had many lessons, I just love to practice and play a lot," says Pro, who scored a 95. "I think it helped that I’m a member at Avon Oaks so this is the course I play so often. It was terrific to meet my future teammates. I’m looking forward to the season ahead."

Katelyn Greear of Avon will be a sophomore this fall. This is the first year Avon High School has fielded a team and they were right in the thick of competition at the OGGF Open, placing 12th of 17 teams. "Thanks to my dad, I’ve been around golf my whole life," says Greear. "When we’re not playing, we’re practicing in our backyard together. The coolest part about the Open was playing a few holes with the LPGA Tour Professionals. Not only did I learn a lot, but it was a neat opportunity."

Graduating Westlake High School senior Julie Wise will play on the golf team at Westchester University in Philadelphia this fall, where she received a golf scholarship. She scored a 92 on Monday. Since her father Mark is a former golf professional and college golf star at Kent State University, Julie has had a club in her hand pretty much since birth. "I had hoped to score better," she says. "The rain delay was a good thing — it actually helped me recenter and go out and play better on the second nine."

Senior Ariel Sparrow from Strongsville High School came in 7th overall for her individual score of 84. Yet this highly competitive player wasn’t pleased with that number. "I felt I could’ve played much better, but there was a rain delay that really slowed down the greens and I did not play as well on the second nine." Sparrow plans to play golf at the college level and says she picked up some great pointers from the presentation by past OGGF Open Champions on how to attract college scholarships and get into a college golf program.

Ariel Witmer and Teen Burke

Lowest individual score of the day was Ariel Witmer of North Lima, who shot even par 72. She's being congratulated here by OGGF President Teen Burke.

Perry High School Team

Winning the team event was Perry High School, with a total of 331 strokes for the day, 14 strokes ahead of the #2 team Canfield High School and 21 shots ahead of third place Magnificat. The members of the Perry team include Megan and Meryl Weaver, Nicole Waers, Taylor Lanning and Steff Camerata.

Top Three Players

The top three individuals were Ariel Witmer of North Lima, who shot 72, and Meryl and Megan Weaver of Perry, who shot 79 and 80.