Groff goes 4-under on back nine to win sixth Miami Shores Club Championship

TROY — Ryan Groff took a one-shot lead heading to the back nine of the Miami Shores Club Championship Championship Flight competition Sunday morning.

And Groff wasted no time taking control of the tournament.

He started the back nine with back-to-back birdies, finished in style with an eagle on the 18th hole en route to a five shot victory.

Groff shot scores of 77 and 69 for a two-over par 146 total to win his third club championship in four years and sixth overall.

Jacky Chen, who had shared the opening round lead with Kris Anderson after shooting 76, finished second with a final round 75 for a 151 total.

“I try to stick to my own game,” Groff said. “So, I didn’t really know where I stood going to the back nine — well actually I did. I was one shot up on Jacky (Chen).”

Groff had shot a one-over par 37 on the opening nine, while Chen had a 39.

Groff had hit an 8-iron to 5-feet on the par-4 10th hole and followed that by hitting a wedge to 10-foot on the par-4 11th, making both putts for birdies. Chen bogeyed both holes and suddenly Groff had a four-shot lead over Jason Thompson and a five-shot lead over Chen.

“Jacky (Chen) had bogeyed both holes, so that was big,” Groff said. “I had really struggled with my putting on Saturday. I had 38 putts in the opening round. I hit two aggressive putts there.”

Groff’s only stumble on the back nine was a bogey on the short part-4 13th.

“It is a driveable par-4,” Groff said. “I decided to play it safe and lay up. I had about 125 yards and hit it to 20 feet, but I three-putted.”

He got that shot back with a birdie on the par-5 15th and capped the round with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.

“I wasn’t sure where I stood,” Groff said. “Jacky (Chen) had a birdie on 17. I wanted to get back to even par for the tournament. Since, I couldn’t do that, I just wanted to make an eagle on 18 to shoot 69. I was just short of the green and chipped it in.”

Groff also won the Troy City tournament this summer.

“There are four what I consider majors every year,” Groff said. “I also like to represent Troy as well as I can in the Metropolitan and Mid-Metropolitan (Miami Valley Golf Association tournaments).”

Thomson finished third with rounds of 79 and 75 for a 154.

Ray Stuchell, who paid tribute to Brad Via Saturday and nearly holed his second shot at 18 on Sunday and tapped in for eagle, had rounds of 79 and 78 for 157 to finish fourth.

Anderson, a first-round co-leader, had rounds of 76 and 82 for 158 to finish fifth.

Super Seniors

Rick Szabo shot rounds of 72 and 74 for a 146 total for a five-shot victory in the Super Seniors.

Darrell Tron took second place, birdieing the first playoff hole.

Tron had rounds of 75 and 76 and Sarich had rounds of 77 and 74 for a 151 total, forcing the playoff.

Super Duper Seniors

Roger Miller had rounds of 76 and 72 for a 148 total for a two-shot victory in the Super Duper Seniors.

First-round leader Jack Holtel followed a 74 with a 76 for a 150 total to finish second.

Gary Weaver had rounds of 78 and 74 for a 152 total to finish third.

First Flight

Jim Howard opened a three-shot lead with an opening round 73 in the First Flight Saturday and held on for the win.

Howard had an 80 Sunday for a 153 total to win by four shots.

Ty Nimer followed an 80 with a 77 for a 157 total to finish second.

Bob Rohr had rounds of 80 and 79 for a 159 total to finish third.