By Chris Chaney
Jake Brinker of Amelia and Taylor Ulery of Milford will be representing Clermont County as the only two golfers to qualify out of the sectional tournament and into the districts.
If you think either one of them is satisfied with moving on from sectionals to districts, however, you are mistaken.
“When (Brinker) made it to districts his first time, he was a freshman,” Amelia head coach Creed Cornett said. “He didn’t really know what to expect and he shot not his best. I think this year so many things have changed in his game. His consistency has come into place. He worries about his game and not anyone else’s. He knows how to recover and I think he’s really going to be a force to deal with (on Thursday).”
The same can be said about Milford’s Taylor Ulery. Although the rest of her team didn’t play up to their expectations and frankly, neither did Ulery, but she was named as the fourth and final individual qualifier, which changed her entire team’s mood.
“We missed qualifying as a team by seven strokes,” Milford coach Sandy Garrison said. “And with her 91, we really didn’t expect anything. When they called her name out, we were all excited and surprised. She worked so hard this year and with it being her senior year, I knew she was disappointed that we weren’t going as a team, but it’s just a boost for all of us.”
The girls’ sectional was played on Monday, Oct. 1 at Hamilton Elks Golf Course. On a tough scoring day, the Lady Eagles ended up placing sixth as a team with a score of 382. McAuley, who snagged the fourth team qualifying spot, shot a 375.
Ulery shot the low round for the Lady Eagles, edging Aly Severns and Megan Creager by two strokes.
Overall, Ulery finished in a tie for 13, but she was the fourth lowest individual scorer not on a qualifying team, meaning she moves on to the district tournament.
“It means a lot (to have Ulery qualify) because we had high expectations of qualifying as a team,” Garrison said. “We’re very proud of her, though. It was a very tough day and the scores were very high all the way around.”
Garrison expects Ulery to perform well at districts and hopefully make a push through to the state tournament.
“Taylor is very tournament saavy,” Garrison said. “She’s played in a lot of tournaments over the last few off seasons, including a few at Weaterhwax, so she’s comfortable with the course. She knows an 85 went on from there last year, so she’s hoping to beat that.”
For Brinker, his second district appearance is also expected to yield some positive results. Coach Cornett believes his game has evolved to a level that he can even compete for a state championship if things are clicking.
“He has developed tremendously as a golfer from his freshman year,” Cornett said. “He’s one of the best golfers to come out Amelia High School in quite some time.”
The district tournament will take place on Thursday, Oct. 11 at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown. Tee times are available on the Southwest Ohio District website, swdab.org.