Roger Baker of Liberty Twp., hits a chip shot out of the rough on the edge of the green on the third hole on the Highlands Course during the final round of The Middletown City Golf Tournament at the Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown, Ohio on Sunday, June 16. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY PAT STRANG
Photo: Patrick Strang
Photo: Patrick Strang

‘Home course advantage’ propels Roberts to Middletown men’s golf title

Roberts won the city title in 2011 and placed second in 2010 and 2012. The 2009 Middletown High School graduate is also the pro shop manager at Weatherwax Golf Course, which hosted the first and final rounds of the four-day tournament.

“The guys around here wouldn’t make it easy on me if I didn’t do well,” Roberts said with a smile.

His co-workers could say little but “congratulations” after Roberts earned his second city championship title after a one-hole playoff against Tim Sorrows, also a former champion, on Sunday afternoon. Roberts made his putt for par on No. 1 Highlands, a 485-yard par 4, one of the toughest holes at Weatherwax. Roberts and Sorrows had finished with 291 while Jeff Neely rounded out the top three with 292.

“All I was thinking was ‘hit a good drive,’ ” Roberts said. “Even after Tim missed his putt, I couldn’t relax because I still had to make mine — and it isn’t an easy one to make.”

Roberts went through his routine — lining up and taking three or four practice swings — and was on the mark for the win. He and the rest of the field had more to contend with than challenging competition as the weather — with sprinkles, showers and windy conditions — provided more than its fair share of challenges Sunday morning.

“It definitely was not ideal golf weather,” Roberts said.

Sorrows, who won the city title in 2010 and has clinched the Middletown Seniors City Championship the past five years, had hoped a playoff wouldn’t be necessary.

“I had a chance to win it on the last hole,” Sorrows said. “I had a 12-footer to win it.”

But Sorrows isn’t one to dwell on missed shots. After all, the senior tournament gets underway in July and six in a row would be nice.

Women’s Championship: Sherry Breece thought a hole-in-one might give her a little breathing room but Lexie Fields answered with one of her own just a few holes later.

“It blows my mind that we both had one in the same round,” Breece said. “And they were both really good shots.”

While Fields’ first-ever hole-in-one helped the 14-year-old Madison High School sophomore close the gap, it was the veteran Breece who prevailed, winning her 11th Middletown Women’s City Championship title.

Experience proved invaluable for Breece, who has been golfing at Weatherwax for the past two decades. Breece, who won her first city title in 1995 as Sherry Blevins, edged out Fields by two strokes Sunday, 157-159.

“We were nip and tuck all day,” Breece said. “But I know the course like the back of my hand.”

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