COLUMBUS — The first of what plans to be several trips to the Division III state golf tournament in Columbus saw Valley freshman Cameron Phillips stand out among his upperclassmen competitors.
During his 36-hole tournament performance at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, Phillips posted a two-day score of 10-over (152) — strong enough for third place among all D-III opponents.
Phillips tied fellow a Southeast District golfer, Manchester’s Daulton McDonald, for third place and earned all-Ohio honors for his two-day score.
He was the only freshman to place in the top-10 in D-III, finishing nine strokes off the individual state champion — Worthington Christian senior Sam Evans (1-over, 143).
Phillips and Valley golf coach and father Tyson Phillips said the amount of support they received during and after their run to Columbus as a state qualifier is appreciated.
“It was really fun and overall a great experience, although it was a very disappointing not to bring the first state title back to Scioto County and finishing third place,” Cameron Phillips said. “I really appreciate all the support I received from everyone at the school, The Elks Country Club, and the whole southern Ohio community.”
“It’ss overwhelming the amount of support we have received from everyone during this postseason run,” Tyson Phillips said. “We appreciate everyone.”
Excellent ball-striking and reaching greens in regulation helped position Phillips into all-state status.
The difficult greens at OSU’s Scarlet Course provided somewhat of a challenge for Phillips, they said after the conclusion of Saturday’s round, as they did for many in the field of 72 golfers in D-III from across the state.
Despite that, Phillips was still only one of nine golfers in the field in which both of his rounds were sub-80.
“My play over the two days was very frustrating. I continue to put great swings off the tee and really controlled my iron game, I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole. I had 37 putts in each round so it was very difficult not seeing the ball go in the hole,” Cameron Phillips said. “The greens were firm and I really struggled getting my pace on the greens. My ball-striking and distance control was very good, and I was able to control my ball flight in the very windy conditions for the two days.”
“Cameron managed the course and hit a lot of high-quality golf shots, he had a lot of great scoring opportunities for two days, but it’s hard to win against great competition with having 74 putts for two rounds,” Tyson Phillips said. “He was able to hang around and have a shot to win it with nine holes remaining, but when your putter is going sideways it’s very hard to get the job done. I am very pleased he continued to battle to the end, its been a great year not only for Cameron but our team. Our team has continued to improve each day and I believe we have an exciting future for Valley golf.”
Cameron said he’s not only planning to return to the D-III state tournament a year from now; his eyes are set on being the individual state champion.
“I guess that’s a good moral victory being the top underclassman, but I want more,” Phillips said. “I will definitely be working hard on my game so I can return and hopefully get the job done. My goal next season will be the same as this season in winning the conference, sectional, district and finally being the first to win a state title for our school and our Scioto County area.”
Full results from the Ohio state golf tournaments can be found at https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Golf/Golf-2021/2021-Golf-State-Tournament-State-Coverage.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved