Tigers' Tanner earns third trip to district golf tournament

Steve Batko
Correspondent

It’s a journey that Blaze Tanner has navigated through before. It’s not an easy road, that’s for sure.

A district qualifier in boys golf a year ago, the Twinsburg senior has survived the rigors and pressure of difficult Division I sectional tournament play.

However, there was no guarantee that Tanner could make the cut again this fall – an adverse campaign to say the least due to COVID-19.

Tanner made it happen.

For the third time in his career, Tanner has earned a district berth behind a strong showing at the Division I sectional championships at Windmill Lakes Golf Course in Ravenna Oct. 5.

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That three-time district appearance by Tanner may be a new school record.

The top four teams and individuals not on a qualifying team from Windmill Lakes advanced to the upcoming district championships.

Tanner claimed the fourth and final individual berth to the Pine Hills Division I District championships in Hinckley on Oct. 12.

As a team, the Tigers finished a solid sixth out of 18 schools with a round of 332.

That caught the eye of Tiger head coach Scott Levey.

Akron Hoban won the team crown with a score of 298 and is heading to districts along with Walsh Jesuit, which finished with a round of 305, Stow-Munroe Falls (306), and Hudson (308).

Competing in one of the top sectionals in Northeast Ohio, Twinsburg held its own.

Aurora placed fifth at 325 while Twinsburg was next at 332, finishing ahead of solid clubs from Tallmadge (342), Solon (344), and Chagrin Falls (351).

Tanner carded a 40 on the front nine and fired an impressive 39 on the back nine. He placed 17th in the tourney.

“Blaze only had two bad holes, where he hit out of bounds,” Levey said.

On one of those hits, Tanner had a triple bogey, but he did manage to take a second bogey on the other.

Levey liked the consistency and there’s some wiggle room for Tanner to make even more ground in districts.

“He was very close on his putting, but no putts fell, so he made a few bogeys from five-feet that he usually makes and missed a few birdies in the same manner,” Levey said.

A sectional runner up in 2019 on the same course, Tanner fired a 72 (36/36) at Windmill Lakes.

“We hope this year Blaze will make it to states,” Levey said.

This season, the tourney saw three players tie for medalist honors with rounds of 71 – Hoban’s Nolan Haynes (36/35), Stow’s Brandon Beck (36/35) and Tallmadge individual qualifier Darin Hudak (36/35).

Joining Tanner as individual qualifiers were Hudak, Aurora’s Luke Radis (74) and Solon’s Eli Rosner (79).

Twinsburg had another senior who played very well at the sectional – Dean Hoyle.

Hoyle fired a round of 82 (41/41) and showed good consistency. He tied for 24th.

“Dean was a little off on his driver and his putts, otherwise, he could have qualified, too,” Levey said.

Junior Pranav Duvvuri added an 84 for the Tigers.

Duvvuri had been struggling recently and came on well, firing a 41 on the back nine and a 43 on the front nine.

Seniors Eric Bernhard and Jason Miller also competed for the Tigers at the sectional.

Firing a solid 42 on the back nine and showing some flashes, Bernhard carded an 87. Miller had a 101 for Twinsburg.

Senior Isan Kalhan will also be missed as the Tigers will miss one of the program’s largest and productive senior classes ever.