Ohio Girls Golf Foundation Open Crowns Champions

As a testimony to the growth in girls golf, a full field of 120 girls gathered for the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation (OGGF) Open on July 20 at Avon Oaks Country Club in Avon for an early season preview to the high school golf season.

In a hard-fought tournament, three girls tied for first with a score of 79. It was the first three-way tie in the history of the tournament forcing a one-hole playoff. Taylor Lanning of Canton emerged the winner, with Maddie Keefe of Avon in second place, and Kelsie Teaberry of Warren in third place.

The team competition was closely contested too, as Magnificat (351) won top honors, followed by Poland Seminary (358) and Cardinal Mooney (361). Other schools participating included Avon, Avon Lake, Canfield, Cuyahoga Falls, Strongsville, Hathaway Brown, Laurel, New Albany, Perry, Shaker Heights and St. Joseph Academy. Magnificat, which has finished in the top 10 in the state division the past years, became the first three-time champion of the OGGF Open.

Headlined for the past 14 years by LPGA Tour Professional and Cleveland native Barb Mucha, the Open included an on-course playing clinic and seminar by Sports Psychologist Dr. Jack Lesyk prior to the 18-hole tournament.

"Now there are more opportunities for girls in golf than ever before, be it playing on tour, golf management or teaching," said Mucha. "And it truly is a game of character. Golf will improve your character and those around you."

Mucha shared golf tips honed from the LPGA Tour over the past couple decades with the girls prior to the start of the tournament, using past OGGF participants who have graduated from high school and gone on to play college golf. Avon Lake High School grad Lexi Brendt, a student in the golf management school at Clemson University, and Padua grad Rachel Levi, a golfer on the Xavier University team, played two holes while Mucha commented on their on-course strategy.

"If there’s one thing that separates a champion, it’s the ability to focus solely on the shot at hand, not what you did on the last hole or what you hope to do on the next hole," said Mucha.

The Ohio Girls Golf Foundation is always looking for ways to develop young girls into well-rounded players and become good role models off the field as well. New this year to the event to reach out to more girls was a Coach’s Forum. Seventeen coaches from throughout the state gathered for a brief presentation on swing mechanics taught by OGGF Executive Director Judd Stephenson.

Also at the event, six girls were presented college scholarships: Taylor Lanning - Methodist University, Nicole Barr - Walsh University, Lauren Erdel - Youngstown State University, Emily Fuller - Kent State University, Katherine Kohut - Walsh University, and Kaitlin VanMeter - Newberry College. Over the past decade, the Foundation has awarded more than $80,000 to almost 100 girls.

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 girl’s high school golf teams in Northeast Ohio has grown from none to more than 250.

Results

2009 OGGF Open Results
Taylor Lanning from CantonPerry High School79
Maddie Keefe from AvonSt. Joseph Academy79
Kelsie Teaberry from WarrenWarren JFK79
Jackie Evans from YoungstownCardinal Mooney High School83
Brooke Hamilton, ClevelandSt. Joseph Academy84
Caitlin KemptonShaker Heights85
Labate, North OlmstedMagnificat High School85
Morgan MacLean, WestlakeMagnificat High School85
Allison Mitzel, PolandPoland Seminary85
Angela Molaskey, PolandPoland Seminary85
Caroline KennedyBay Village86
Laurel FriesenMagnificat86
Amber BrunoCardinal Mooney86
Whitney GraffCanfield87
Jackie LeubyNew Albany87
Corinne KreigAvon Lake87
Julia HoffmanStrongsville88
Nicole WaersPerry88
Katie KohutWalsh Jesuit89
Gina BattistoneNorthfield89
Barb Mucha with the three winners

Barb Mucha with the three winners.

Magnificat Team

The Magnificat Team

Victoria, Maddie, and Ashley

Victoria, Maddie, and Ashley