Three years ago, the 57-year-old hoped to just tie her mother, the late Carolyn Spaar, in titles at the New State Rd. courses. With wins in the last two years, she now has two more than the matriarch of the family — and is closing in on the title of most-ever at the courses.
Betty McCarty has the most, 11, with Nancy Dilger second with 10, the same amount as the men’s leader, the late Larry Carpenter.
“I did not play as well as I had hoped,” Bleile said. “I took those lessons from David Morgan, but what I learned just has not fully kicked in yet. It takes time when you get this old. Plain and simple, I got nothing going for two days on the greens. What I did do was strike the ball well enough to stay on or near the lead with Ellie Schneider and believe me, this gal is going to be the heir-apparent to stardom out here for a long time. She hits the ball long, and if she ever matches her putting game to her irons — she is going to be something else.”
Bleile posted a 78 (43-35) on Saturday and then had an 81 (42-39) on Sunday for a 159 total.
Schneider trailed Bleile by a single stroke going into Sunday’s 18 after fashioning 39-40 numbers on Saturday. She then shot 40-46—86 and a two-day total of 165 for the tournament.
As an example of Schneider’s improvement over the past year, she also finished second to Bleile last year, but by 29 strokes. She shot 97-90–187 as compared to 73-83–156 for Bleile.
Two-time champion (2013 and 2015) Tacy Bond also played in the championship flight. She carded 91-91—182 numbers.
The A flight women’s champion was Ginny Poletunow. She had little trouble in winning for the first time after identical rounds of 86 for a 172 total. Pam McCollum (96-101—197) was second, followed by Donna Pittenger (98-101—199) and Erin Lendrum (107-104—211).
“I surprised myself on how well I played the last two days,” Poletunow said. “My putting was especially good, although I will admit I putted defensively, settling for bogey rather than three-putting a hole.”
TOURNAMENT NOTES: Braden Nunez’s father’s pocketbook is a bit lighter after his son’s ace on Saturday afternoon. He stepped up in place of his son, buying the entire 40-player-plus field a drink after the round. ... Interestingly, when Ginny and Charles Poletunow were members a number of years back at Elyria Country Club, present Director of Golf at Eagle Creek, David Morgan, occasionally caddied for them. ... No one out south can remember as many rules violations as there were over the weekend and even the best were not privy to a pass. Rod Bordman, who won titles in 2003 and 2010 and is playing in high company around the state as a senior, appeared to be in contention still again for the Club championship as he was just two strokes off the leading after carding a 76 on Saturday. It was all for naught, however, as it was deemed he signed for an incorrect score on one hole. The penalty-disqualification, something that has probably never happened to him before. Bordman and Willard’s Roger Tolley will again tee it up next week (Monday and Tuesday) in the prestigious Ohio Hall of Fame Amateur Championship at Plum Brook Country Club, an annual gathering of the best senior (over 50) players in the state.
INDIVIDUAL SCORING SUMMARY
CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT: Braden Nunez 74-74—148; *Roger Tolley 76-74—150; **Bill Terry 76-75—151; Craig Meyer 74-77—151; Steve Farmer 77-76—153; Gary Mackay 77-77—154; Max Berry 79-79—158; Travis Bleile 76-83—159; Scott Hunter 80-80—160; Ken Bleile 79-84—163; Brian Roe 83-82—165; Todd Brown 85-84—169; Jim Mongiardo 88-84—172; Noah Hicks 98-92—190; Rod Bordman DQ.
* — denotes Seniors champion
** — denotes Super Seniors champion
A FLIGHT: John Ray 73-80—153, Rob Myers 83-76—159 and Tim Nickoli 80-79—159 (tie, Myers won playoff for flight runner-up spot with a par on the first playoff hole); Eric Schneider 79-81—160; Berto Yoguez 81-82—163; Carter Kluding 83-81—164; Steve Schenko 84-80—164; Rickard Brooker 81-84—165; Mel Holida 85-84—169; Jim Loughton 84-87—171; Mark Crawford 92-84—176.
B FLIGHT: Eric Bright 82-84—166; Kevin McCrann 82-87—169; Tom Sharpnack 93-78—171; Rick Brooker 87-86—173; Don Davis 84-89—173; Mike Cannon 90-86—176; Ryan Gross 88-90—178; Bill Collins 91-89—180; Joe Gross 88-93—181; Ralph Hedrick 94-98—192; Charles Brown, WD.
C FLIGHT: Larry Coe 85-84—169; Mike Beveridge 83-89—172; Don Helton 89-90—179; Tavis Riley 93-86—179; Charles Poletunow 91-90—181; Steve Pittenger 91-95—186; Zac Risner 97-94—191; Larry Hanneman 102-90—192; Dale Casper 106-95—201; Russ Brooker 98-104—202; Al Koontz, WD.
CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT LADIES: Nancy Bleile 78-81—159; Ellie Schneider 79-86—165; Tacy Bond 91-91—182.
A FLIGHT: Genny Paletunow 86-86—172; Pam McCallum 96-101—197; Donna Pittenger 98-101—199; Erin Lendrum 107-104—211.