Jones, Eagles Earn Titles At ODU's Blazer Memorial

Jones, Eagles Earn Titles At ODU's Blazer Memorial


For Ashland University's men's golf team, winning officially has become a habit.

After having not won a team tournament championship since Sept 10, 2012, the Eagles have earned consecutive team titles. Following up on the win at the Ohio Valley University Spring Championship at the end of March, Ashland won the eight-team Bill Blazer Memorial, hosted by Ohio Dominican University, the second round of which was Saturday (April 14) in Pataskala, Ohio.

The Eagles ended with a two-day total of 307-308—615. Malone closed the first-day gap and was the runner-up (315-302—617), while Cedarville took third (334-297—631).

"The team played in some windy conditions the past two days with a lot of sun for once," said Ashland head coach Logan Cooke. "The course we played was beautiful and in great shape for the winter and spring we have had. The wind played such a factor in the first round and greens so fast and pure, you had to adjust to wind while putting."

And, for the second straight tournament, an Eagle earned the medalist crown. At the Blazer Memorial, it was freshman Ben Jones, who carded 70-75—145. The victory came after Jones took third place at Ohio Valley.

"Ben's 70 was so impressive," Cooke said. "It was a very demanding golf course, with trouble lurking everywhere. He didn't let the wind get to him and trusted his game. One of his highlights first day was a down-wind 400-yard par-4 No. 18. Hits a beautiful drive down the right side. Wind pushes it to cart path, the ball runs up to the green, 40 yards-plus where it landed and ended 20 feet from the hole. Then he got up there and made the rare eagle putt.

"It was a fun tournament for him."

Right behind Jones, finishing in second place for the second outing in a row, was senior Chandler Walnsch (77-75—152).

"Chandler Walnsch had another impressive round for me," said Cooke. "He had a very rough start to the first day starting 7-over through 6 holes. But kept his composure together and never gave up. He played his next 12 holes 1-under par, and definitely put us in a great position after a tough day one."

Junior Austin Kondratick (81-78—159) and sophomore Patrick Steffen (79-80—159) each tied for 15th place, while junior Cole Smith (84-81—165) tied for 29th place.

"Patrick Steffen had a solid week," Cooke said. "He is growing as a player on the course. Not letting the bad get to him when he easily could, and coming back the next hole with a good score."

Eagles playing as individuals were freshman Hunter Lowder (tied for 32nd, 83-84—167) and junior Frank Steffen (39th, 88-83—171).

"Frank Steffen finished off his collegiate career for AU after this tournament. He has helped push this team and will be missed," said Cooke. "One of the nicest guys I know, and has a work ethic to admire."

UP NEXT: The 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships, Friday (April 20) through Sunday (April 22) at The Virtues In Nashport, Ohio.