SUNBURY — Valley sophomore Cameron Phillips is now a two-time all-Ohio golfer.
Phillips earned the Southeast District’s qualifying spot for the OHSAA Division III State Golf Tournament for the second consecutive year — and once again earned a spot in the top-five.
Phillips shot a two-day score of 157 during Friday (75) and Saturday’s (82) rounds to earn his second all-Ohio honors — following his third place finish a season ago.
“The experience is a great one, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else then working at and playing this game,” Phillips said, following the tournament. “All the support I get from my family, friends, the community, the school has been great and I really appreciate every ones support.”
This year’s D-III State Tournament was held at NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury, outside of the Columbus city limits.
It was the first time Phillips has competed at NorthStar in OHSAA competition, as last year’s D-III tournament was held at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course.
“The course was good, it’s a great test of golf. The course layout and the very windy conditions made me play a lot of different shots,” Phillips said. “I had to play a lot of knock down shots and I was hitting some really solid shots just struggled getting the ball real close to the hole. I went long on several holes when I was playing for the wind to knock the ball down some that cost me a few shots.”
Phillips tied for fourth with Independence’s Mark Pillar and Newark Catholic’s Brogan Sullivan.
Mooney’s Rocco Turner was the tournament’s individual champion with a one-over combined score (145).
Seven Hills won the team championship with their team score of 659, ahead of Newark Catholic who was state runner up with their 664 score.
Following his Friday round, Phillips was in the thick of contention — trailing Turner by one stroke with a three-over round (75).
He followed his score on Friday with an 82 on Saturday.
“I feel like I was striking the ball pretty good, I got the ball in play off the tee really well until the end when I tried to get more aggressive on some tight holes with the driver off the tee. I missed some greens in some bad spots and short sided myself which made it difficult to get up and down on their firm greens,” Phillips said. “I was one shot back going into the final round, I felt fine but really struggled control my yardages with my irons which left me to far from the hole to make birdies even though I was making solid contact.”
Two all-Ohio worthy finishes in his first two years of high school competition has set a high bar for Phillips — one he wants to continue improving heading into his junior season.
“Even though I had finished third and fourth the last two seasons and earning all-state honors, I am disappointed in not winning it all. That’s the goal to be the champion so I will definitely continue to work hard on my game to get better,” Phillips said. “I will continue to play in junior golf events throughout the united states against some other top junior golfers this winter and next year to prepare myself to be one of the best there is.”
The 2023 D-III state tournament will return to OSU’s Scarlet Course, where Phillips placed third overall during his freshman season.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved