Maybe Joe Hobensack and Zach Miller are cut out for match golf and championship play.
When the pressure is on, they deliver. At least that was a big part of the story of how they became the two golfers who will decide the winner of the Championship Flight of the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship today at Shawnee Country Club.
Hobensack beat Logan Dray 2 and 1 in one of the Championship Flight semifinals on Saturday and Miller picked up 2 wins over Justin Akers in the other semifinal.
Both finalists faced pressure in the semi-finals.
Miller came up two holes early but Akers equalized late on the front nine. Miller rebuilt his two-hole lead with five to play, but Akers erased that advantage in just two holes.
Miller rolled in a 5-footer for par at No. 16 to stay tied. Then, after his tee shot on the No. 17, landed across the fairway from the No. 16, he put his second shot on the green and won the hole to go up one hole.
His tee shot at No. 18 landed in a bunker to the right of the green, but he came within 10 feet of the hole with his second shot, eventually earning him a place in the final by two putts .
“I wasn’t really nervous about it. I like the pressure going down the stretch. I just sort of feed on it,” Miller said. “I had to hit the pressure shots. In the end, it was just hitting the punches. It was decided and I won the last two (holes).
Hobensack faced similar pressure and a different kind of compulsion. He was down two holes to just eight holes in the game before winning five straight from No. 9 to No. 13. And he spent a lot of time in the trees throughout his game.
“I went from two to three. It was obviously huge,” Hobensack said.
“I was Houdini today, an escape artist. I’ve been in the trees so much it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I know how to get out of it,” he said.
“It was (#) two, three, five, carry on. It was a lot. But I escaped and made some very good starts. In match play, when you do this, it can work to your advantage with your opponent. It upsets them a bit. »
Dray had everyone who watched him play all week shaking their heads at how far he hit the ball.
Hobensack said he and his caddie had measured the difference between his practice and Dray’s at No. 12, a par-5.
“I hit a really good shot and he was 67 yards ahead of me. “I decided I was going to wear him down with old man golf – hit it in the middle, hit the greens and make pars,” Hobensack said.
Both Miller and Hobensack graduated from Allen East High School, but nearly three decades apart. Miller graduated this year and Hobensack is 45 and Miller’s mother was in his class.
Whoever wins, he will be city champion for the first time. Hobensack said he had been waiting for a chance to play for the City title for about 30 years.
“It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. We will see what happens,” he said.
The championships will be determined in seven more flights today.
Michael Sarno and Rich Dockin will play for the title First Flight. Greg Stumbaugh and Josh Buetner will play for the Second Flight Championship.
Tim Windau and Troy Breidenbach will play for the Senior Championship Flight trophy.
In the Senior Open 1 Flight, Christian Inskeep and Chad Smiley are in the final duo. The two Senior Open 2 Flight finalists are Jeff Harris and Frank Pugh.
Mike Allen will play Bob Moser in the Super Seniors 1 Flight and Doug Kent will play Bob Hollar in the Super Seniors 2 Flight.
Zach Miller watches his tee shot on the second hole during the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship at Shawnee Country Club. See more photos from the event on LimaScores.com.
Joe Hobensack plays the second hole during the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship Saturday at Shawnee Country Club.
Greg Stumbaugh putts on the second hole during the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship at Shawnee Country Club.
Bill Haidle competes in the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship on Saturday at Shawnee Country Club.
Logan Dray competes in the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship on Saturday at Shawnee Country Club.
Justin Akers plays in a championship steal semi-final during the Lima City Men’s Golf Championship on Saturday at Shawnee Country Club.
Contact Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.