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Zornes, Morgan earns state golf berths

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

CIRCLEVILLE — There was nothing normal about the entire day for Josh Zornes.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior golfer sat through a delay to start the Division II district golf tournament and then finished it by winning a three-hole playoff to earn a berth in the state tournament.

“It was crazy day. We were running behind. I started hitting ball I was ready to go on and they said there would be a delay. Then there was another delay. I went in the clubhouse and waited,” said Zornes.

“I talked to some guys I knew and some of my teammates who came. It wasn’t bad. After about 30 or 40 minutes, I started putting around and then it was time to play.”

The wait was worth it as Zornes birdied the first two holes and went on to shoot a 35 on the front nine. But he struggled on the back nine and shot a 42 to finish with a 77.

“I couldn’t get anything going. If I hit a good tee shot, I couldn’t chip. If I hit a chip shot, I couldn’t putt,” said Zornes.

“I didn’t think I had a chance of going to the state.”

But Zornes finished tied with Chesapeake’s Nick Duffield for the second and final individual spot. Duffield had a par on the third hole and Zornes rolled in a birdie.

“I was happy to win but I was sad for (Duffield). He’s my best friend I golf with. He’s a great guy and the best golfer I played against,” said Zornes.

“I told him the keep his head up. He’s one of the nicest guys I’ve played against. He’ll be fine next year.”

Ironton coach Jeff Kerns praised Zornes for his efforts, not only in the district but all season.

“He never quit. He’s battled all year. We didn’t have a good year as a team, but he battled through it and remained focused. He did the same thing today. I’m really proud of his effort,” said Kerns.

Jacob Harley of New Lexington had a 73 to earn the other individual qualifying spot in the state tournament and also claimed medalist honors. Unioto won the team title with a 312 score and Gallipolis was the runner-up at 322 as both teams advanced.

Coal Grove Hornets’ freshman Brent Morgan also earned a trip to the state tournament in Division III.

Complete results of the tournament were not available at press time.

The Hornets qualified for the district tournament as a team but did not advance as a group. However, Morgan shot a 77 to get an individual berth to the state tournament Oct. 14-15.

Boys’ Division II

Team Scores

Team Total

Unioto* 312

Gallipolis* 322

Hillsboro 340

Chesapeake 341

Logan Elm 343

New Lexington 343

Washington Court House 346

Fairfield Union 349

Jackson 375

Piketon 416

*-State qualifier

Individual Qualifiers

Jacob Harley, New Lexington 73

Josh Zornes, Ironton# 77

#-won 3-hole playoff