Kerns overcomes stops, starts to make first cut

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

SPRINGFIELD — Starting and stopping isn’t good for a car’s gas mileage.

It doesn’t do much for a golf game, either.

Weather played havoc with the first two days of the Ohio Amateur Golf Tournament Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Ironton golf coach Jeff Kerns, who qualified for the event last month, was a victim of the bad weather but he still managed to make the first cut.

Kerns was supposed to start at 1:20 on Tuesday. Rain pushed him back to 3:30 and play was halted again at 6 o’clock because of more rain. He had to end his day at 7:30 after 13 holes.

He finished his first round Wednesday morning and then played his next 18 holes an hour later.

“There were a lot of guys who had to go through it. It’s tough,” said Kerns. “I was at the golf course at 6:30 (Wednesday) morning and played my next round an hour later. This course is tough and I’m not playing my best, but I’m hanging in there.”

The tournament is being held at the par 70 Springfield Country Club.

Kerns finished the second round with a birdie on No. 18 to shoot a 77 and give him a 153 two-day total, good enough to make the cut.

Kerns shot a 76 for the first round and a 77 in the second round.

“I’ve never played the course except for a practice round. It’s a good golf course. But I’m having a blast. I haven’t played competitively since 1988, so I’m having fun,” said Kerns.

“I’m with my family and we’re all having a good time.”

The second cut will be made after Thursday’s round. The cut will be in the low 40s and ties.

“A good round doesn’t mean I’ll make it, but I only have to beat 15 or so other guys,” said Kerns. “The guy I shot with today had a 71 on the first day and shot an 85 (Wednesday).”

Kevin Grabeman of nearby Springboro is the current leader with a 137 total.

The tournament began with 144 total golfers. The first cut was right at 153.