High school golf: Wadsworth girls thrilled to be back on course

High school golf: Wadsworth girls thrilled to be back on course

It took nearly a week longer than expected, but the Wadsworth girls golf team is finally in the swing of things.

Led by a 5-over-par 41 from medalist Ari Kaser, the Grizzlies delivered first-year coach Jonathan Barker his first victory on Monday with a 187-215 non-league decision over Cuyahoga Falls at Brookledge Golf Course.

“It’s good to have our varsity team back after half of us got quarantined,” Kaser said. “We got lucky because the Suburban League (National Conference) Meet got canceled. It’s been a journey to get things going, but it feels good to be playing as a team finally.”

Wadsworth (1-0) vacated four contests due to a combination of quarantine protocols and a rainout of the first SL National Tournament before kicking off the season Saturday at the Midwest Classic in Canton.

“It was disappointing because we looked at last week as a chance to get everyone in shape for the season,” said Barker, who added the first of four SL tournaments is not expected to be made up.

With anticipation building due to the delayed start to the season, the Grizzlies were not about to let a persistent drizzle that at times turned heavier dampen their spirits or chances at victory.

“Coming back from quarantine has given us a different outlook and made us more grateful that we actually get to play,” Wadsworth senior Kylie Ohlson said. “(Playing in the rain) was kinda fun. It was very different than usual. You’ve got to hit your ball a little farther because you can’t roll it. The greens were better because they weren’t as fast.”

Ohlson and fellow senior Celia Lambert backed senior Kaser with scores of 46 and 47.

“I’m seeing a lot of progress in their swings, even if it’s not showing up on the scorecards yet,” Barker said. “I’m seeing a lot of progress in course management and everyone just getting back in the swing of things from the summer.”

After a rough couple of holes to begin the round, Kaser started to turn things around on the 111-yard, par-3 12th hole, where players have to fly the ball over a gulley and ravine. Kaser’s round peaked with a birdie on the 421-yard, par-5 16th with a strong drive and nice approach before chipping to 6 feet.

“That seems to be my trend at this point,” Kaser said. “It usually takes me a hole or so to get used to the conditions. I definitely started putting things together at that point.”

Ohlson was able to rely on her approach shots to keep her on the right track. She carded her only birdie on the 277-yard, par-4 13th hole.

“Overall, my round was pretty good,” she said. “The course was a bit shorter today, which makes it more fun.”

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