MIAMISBURG — Sweet, sweet redemption.
Last year, Cameron Willis saw his season come to a close during the sectionals at Pipestone Golf Course, when he scored a 10-over par.
This season, he was the tournament medalist.
Willis shot a 1-under, birdieing five holes on the back nine and tallying the best score of the day to earn a trip to districts.
“It feels really good. I kind of struggled on the front nine and it was good to make a comeback and fight through it,” said Willis. “I kind of let myself go. There was too much thinking going on during the front nine. I was able to just let it go and swing on the back nine.”
The day, while exciting for Willis, was also a heartbreaking one for his team. Eaton tied Brookville for the fourth spot in the team district tournament with an overall score of 334. But the tie-breaker, which goes to the fifth golfer on the roster, went to Brookville, who edged the Eagles by one stroke.
“It was very disappointing to not move on to districts after having a good season, but the game of golf only counts the day you are playing and we did not play up to our potential as a team and we are left out,” said head coach Randy Titkemeyer. “I am very proud of the effort and improvement the team showed and I hope the seniors have some good memories and the underclassmen will use this as motivation to keep improving for next year. Our sectional is the toughest in the state, Division II so we know we must be at our best to qualify.”
Trevor Pittman shot an 86 on the day, Sean Hodges finished with a 90, Max Fadden with a 92, and Tyler Springmier – their fifth golfer – shot an 87.
Eaton missed qualifying for districts by three strokes last season, as well.
They were also without first team All-SWBL golfer Sarah Willis, who entered the sectional tournament for girls at Stillwater Valley golf course on the same day.
Willis finished her round with a 79, the second best score in her sectional and qualified for the district tournament at Weatherwax as well. She shot a 38 on the front nine and 41 on the back nine.
“Sarah has played well all season. She has infuriated many boys this season by not only beating them but out-driving them off the tee. The only thing that could make it a little difficult is that she has been playing distances that boys play and now she will be playing distances that are shorter,” said Titkeymer.
The two siblings will move on to compete at districts. Sarah will compete at Pipestone on Wednesday, Oct. 7 while Cameron plays at Weatherwax on Thursday, Oct. 8.
“It has been really fun to watch the two compete with and against each other the last two years. They have a strong relationship and respect for each other but they both love to compete and win against any other competitor,” said Titkemeyer. “We look forward to watching them compete for the right to move on to the state tournament.”