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Tigers excel despite rebuilding year

The Ironton era of golf after four-time All-Ohio golfer Justin Collins and his other college-bound teammates began Wednesday at the Ironton Country Club.

Saturday, August 21, 1999

The Ironton era of golf after four-time All-Ohio golfer Justin Collins and his other college-bound teammates began Wednesday at the Ironton Country Club.

Portsmouth Notre Dame, the area’s Division III power, won the Ironton Invitational with a 306 score while Ironton was second at 315. Wheelersburg took third with a 316 total.

Ironton lost Collins, the former state tournament medalist now at Ohio State, and three other starting team members including Todd Christian, now at Eastern Kentucky, Ryan Hurley who signed with Louisville, and Derek Dufore who is playing at Life College.

With three state titles and a runner-up the past four years, Ironton wasn’t expected to be among the powers. However, Wednesday’s showing proved the Fighting Tigers are still among the upper ranks.

"I figured we’d be fourth or fifth at best, but the kids have jumped in there and played well. We gave away a few holes, but overall I’ve been real pleased," said Ironton coach Bill Washburn. "Notre Dame had everybody back and Wheelersburg is strong this year."

Brian Bickle of Gallipolis took medalist honors with a 70, one stroke better than Notre Dame’s David Gerken. Tim Montavon of Wheelersburg had a 74, and Ironton junior Adam Rudmann and Notre Dame’s Mike Glockner each carded a 75.

Senior Brad Washburn shot a 78 for Ironton, Zach Christian and Bo McGinnis had identical 81s, and Andy Brown was only one stroke back at 82.

"Brad’s a senior and he’s been hitting the ball well, and Rudmann played real well. They’re the only two with any experience in big time tournaments," said coach Washburn. "They’ve all stepped into some big shoes, but they’re working real hard and they’re coming along."

Gallipolis, a state qualifier last year, was fourth with a 323 total. Next came Greenup County (Ky.) with 345, Portsmouth Clay 357, Portsmouth West 359, Gallipolis B-team 364, South Webster 371, Minford 379, and Portsmouth 461.

Ironton will play Cabell Midland at Esquire Country Club on Monday, then return to the site on Saturday for the 25-team field at the Huntington (W.Va.) Invitational.