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Obecny Keeps It Going as Park Rolls

Two-time state champ fires a 65

September 6, 2012
By JIM ELLIOTT - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Wednesday was a typical September day at Oglebay's Robert Trent Jones golf course.

Workers were busy putting up displays ahead of the famous Festival of Lights, deer were grazing along the outskirts of the woods, and Wheeling Park's Thadd Obecny II was playing darts with the greens.

Coming off a weekend in which he shot a second-day 64 and finished in fourth place at the AJGA Greenbrier Classic, Obecny hit all 18 greens in regulation, didn't make bogey, and birdied six holes Wednesday on his way to a 65 and medalist honors in a tri-match also featuring Cambridge and Meadowbrook.

Article Photos

Wheeling Park’s Thadd Obecny II watches his shot from the fairway during action Wednesday at Oglebay.

Park won the event with a 296, with Cambridge second at 332, and Meadowbrook shooting 340.

In Obecny's last 36 holes, he has just one bogey.

''I had a good finish at the Greenbrier,'' he said, ''and I just kept it rolling.''

Obecny, a two-time Class AAA state medalist, began his round with four straight pars before ripping off three birdies between holes 5 and 8. He hit a similar stretch on the back nine with birdies on three of his first four holes before parring out.

''I just kept hitting greens and hoping to make a few putts,'' he said. ''You just have to play consistent. You have to hit the greens and your putter has to be working.''

He didn't (three-putt), but he was still disappointed with a few short birdie putts that didn't fall, saying a 61 was out there.

''That's unbelievable,'' Wheeling Park golf coach Don Headley said. ''He's just a competitor. I've never seen a kid want 'The Show' more than he does. He wants to be the guy in the show.''

Obecny's 65 was 10 shots better than runner-up Trevor Wilkinson of Cambridge. The Patriots took the rest of the top five with Cole Hand shooting 76, Scott Hand wrapping up a 77, and freshman Dylan Wojcik finishing at 78. Though it didn't count because they take only the top four scores from each team in these events, another freshman, Park's Hunter Bryan, shot 79, which would have given him sixth overall. Lizzy Douglas, also a Patriots' freshman, shot 94 in her first varsity match to round out Park's competitors.

''She did a really good job,'' Headley said of Douglas.

After Wilkinson, Cambridge's top scorers were Tyler Hitzel (82), Ben Standifore (86) and Levi Parsons (89).

Nate Frencik was Meadowbrook's top scorer at 81, followed by Zach Clair at 85, Josh Rogers at 86, and Ian West at 88.

For the Patriots, and Obecny for that matter, it was business as usual. Headley estimates in Obecny's third varsity season, he's been the medalist in 95 percent of his matches. As two-time defending state champions with their home course also being the site of the state finals, they never lose at Jones either.

''That's a testament to how much these guys practice,'' Headley said, relaying a story about how they were out practicing - on their own - Tuesday night in a rain storm. They know how the weather can be in early October at Oglebay when the state tourney rolls around and they want to be ready for anything.

''They come here no matter what time of day it is and they get practices in,'' Headley said. ''That's just in them. They want to be good. They've played here in the worst weather and the best weather (like Wednesday). They know how to prepare for it.''

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