COLUMBUS — Although not in attendance, golf legend and former Buckeye Jack Nicklaus’ shadow cast rather large during the 2020 OHSAA state golf championships — hosted at the Ohio State University golf club.
Nicklaus oversaw a major renovation of the Scarlet course at OSU’s golf club in 2005 and 2006 — the same course in which Division II boys golfers from across Ohio competed on during their state championship rounds Friday and Saturday.
The Division II field consisted of 72 golfers from every corner of the state, including Wheelersburg’s Trevin Mault, who qualified for the state championships for the first time this season as a senior.
After a practice round on Thursday to test the course — an amenity given to each golfer at the weekend’s championships — Mault teed off on No. 1 at Scarlet with 10:40 a.m. tee times each of the following days.
Mault set the standard among golfers from the Southeast District which qualified for the Division II state — firing a two-round combined score of 19-over (161), which placed the Pirate senior tied for 15th overall.
The Wheelersburg senior bested his first-round Friday score of 10-over (81) by one stroke in Saturday’s second round with a 9-over (80).
After completing his final event at the high school level, Mault spoke to his experience competing among the best high school golfers from Ohio in Division II.
“State was a pretty cool experience, even though the course was tough and I didn’t play my best,” Mault said. “I had fun and enjoyed my last high school tournament.”
“He’s definitely playing like he belongs here,” Wheelersburg coach Paul Boll said, following Mault’s Friday round. “A lot of these kids, it’s the first time they’ve been on a course like this. He’s had some excellent shots — learned a lot from this round that he’ll be able to apply tomorrow.”
By the end of Saturday’s play, each player in the 72-man field finished above par — with Gahanna Columbus Academy’s Stephen Ma taking the individual medalist honors and shooting a gross score of 2-over (144).
Ma’s 144 helped contribute to Columbus Academy’s state championship worthy 615 (47-over) score among competing Division II teams.
Gallia Academy, the Southeast District’s qualifying team at the Division II level, finished with a team score of 723 (155-over) — and were led by Cooper Davis’ low score of 28-over (170).
The top-five individual golfers earned the recognition of being named all-Ohio for their performance during Friday and Saturday’s championship rounds.
Kettering Alter’s Davis Gochenouer, Jamestown Greeneview’s Mason Witt, Notre Dame-Cathedral’s Zander Gibson and Garaway’s Zehnder Gibson each were named all-Ohio honorees in addition to Ma.
Just 10 spots outside of the all-Ohio threshold, Mault finished tied for 15th with Kettering Alter’s Tommy Grawe and Garaway’s Michael Blauch.
“Over the past four years, playing for Wheelersburg and Coach Boll was something I’ll never forget,” Mault said. “I couldn’t have accomplished as many of my goals without them and their support.”
A full list of results from each of the OHSAA state golf championship events can be found by visiting https://ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Golf/Golf-2020/2020-Golf-State-Tournament-Coverage