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Ironton golfers win own tournament to start season

PINE GROVE — The Ironton Fighting Tigers defended their turf.

For the third straight year, Ironton opened the golf season by winning its own invitational tournament by 27 strokes and senior Andy Holtzapfel walked away with medalist honors as he fired an 18-hole total of 73.

“I didn’t finish that great, but I’m happy with how I played,” said Holtzapfel. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be medalist at first. I knew I had a chance. The kids in my group kept telling me I was going to be medalist and the guys on the team came up to me and told me.”

Ironton had a 305 score for the day with the Chesapeake Panthers a distant second place at 332. West Union was next at 336 followed by Gallipolis at 344.

“Our goal at first was to get under 300. We thought we were going to break 300, but the last three or four holes we played 12 over par as a team,” said Holtzapfel.

Portsmouth Clay was fifth at 350, Southeastern shot a 361, Portsmouth 371, Jackson 379, Huntington Ross 380, Piketon 386, South Point 424 and River Valley 452.

Nick Duffield led Chesapeake with a 74. Seth Waggoner had an 80 and Roger Roback finished with an 82.

Wyatt Hall had a 95 and Callie Taylor shot a 97 to pace the Pointers.

After the conclusion of the tournament, Ironton unveiled the latest year marking the program’s state tournament appearances. The Fighting Tigers qualified for the 2009 tournament — the 11th in school history — and all six players who were on the state team return this year.

Ironton (11-0) hosts Fairland at 4 p.m. Wednesday and plays in the Portsmouth Invitational starting at 9 a.m. Thursday.