HUDSON: Stow senior Ian Holt put together another strong round at the Hudson Junior Invitational at the Country Club of Hudson, and has a commanding lead heading into today’s final round.
Holt shot a 2-under-par 70 in the second round Wednesday, which followed a tournament-best 69 on Tuesday. He is 5 under par and has a 6-stroke lead with 18 holes to play.
Holt hasn’t necessarily been making the most exceptional shots, but he’s stayed out of trouble on a course others have had a hard time taming, particularly on approach shots into greens that tend to spit balls back into the surrounding rough.
“My ball striking’s been pretty good,” Holt said. “I only missed one or two greens today and I’ve been in the fairway. It’s tough because the ball spins like crazy off these greens, so you’ve got to kind of throw it back and let it spin back. It’s all been working.”
One of the few still within striking distance of Holt is Walsh Jesuit senior Chase Johnson, who followed his first-round 74 with a 1-under 71 on Wednesday.
It didn’t look as promising as it ended, though. Johnson opened the day 4 over on the first seven holes but rebounded to go 5 under on the final 11. After the early stumble, Johnson turned it around with a shot on the eighth hole. He stuck his approach shot on the green from 131 yards, spun it back about 30 feet and into the cup for an eagle. From there, Johnson regained his form.
“I battled back, stayed in the hunt, so that went well,” Johnson said. “I hit every single green from that eighth hole on. That jump-started everything. ... I’ve got to avoid mistakes that I had the first two days and just play my game, like I did over the final 11 holes today. Just keep hitting greens and knock down a few putts.”
Holt and Johnson, both Kent State University recruits, will be in the final group, which is set to tee off at 10:45 a.m. That starting time is tentative, though, as a nasty storm is expected to roll through the area overnight. The final round could be in jeopardy.
Porvasnik in third
If Highland graduate Jessica Porvasnik had been able to get the speed of the greens down a little earlier Wednesday, she might be right there with leader Jillian Hollis of Rocky River.
Porvasnik struggled on the greens but still shot a strong 3-over 75. That follows her 74 Tuesday, putting her at 5 over for the tournament, 4 strokes behind Hollis and in a tie for third.
“I hit the ball a lot better than I did [Tuesday], but I didn’t putt as good,” Porvasnik said. ‘‘The greens are actually better than before, I just didn’t have the speed down all day. I’ll work on that and hopefully we’ll end up playing tomorrow.”
Shot of the day
Mindy Herrick has a perfect golf shot in her bag, and she hasn’t even started the ninth grade at Medina High School.
Herrick struggled a bit during her round but aced the 117-yard, par-3 11th hole with a 9-iron. She wasn’t sure it would be enough to lob it over the sand trap in front of the green, so she gave it some extra muscle. And it went in.
“I didn’t know if I’d make it over or not, but I saw it hit and then I didn’t see the ball anymore,” she said. “I didn’t know for sure if it had gone in or not but then I heard everyone, so I knew. I couldn’t believe it.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.