Korey Ward gallantly came up just a few shots short in his effort to win a third straight Ohio High School Division I State Championship yesterday at the Ohio State Scarlet Golf Course.
This is Korey hitting into #13, one of the many challenging approach shots at Scarlet Golf Course.
This year, for the first time, I had my 13-yr-old son, Taylor, attend with me. He and Korey have known each other for 10 years, have played together in events and see each other often at Meadow Links & Golf Academy during their Golf Lessons with me. Korey also had many friends and family members watching him during the 36-hole event. They enjoyed seeing him play, and we all enjoyed visiting with each other during the Practice Round and two Tournament Days.
Suffice to say, the chance of any young person winning this event twice in a row is very slim - three consecutive times even slimmer, given today's much more competitive Junior Golf Environment, than when it was previously accomplished in the 50's and 70's.
Korey has handled this possibility with his typical class and aplomb - never letting it bother him. He kept his 'nose to the grindstone' - simply focusing on his golf game and letting other people 'talk about the story' the last couple years.
My son and I, as I'm wont to do after these High School Golf Tournaments, took the scenic and slower Country Roads home last night to Cincinnati's Greenhills, eschewing the speed and blandness of the Interstate. We spent a great time together eating at Der Dutchman Amish Restaurant in Plain City (as many of you know, I'm kind of a groupie of The Amish). Taylor and I enjoyed respectfully reflecting on Korey and his manly and mature efforts to garner such a prize over the last 3 days and his last 24 months.
Korey's greatest strength is invisible - to any person or Video Camera. Korey plays golf for his own self-satisfaction, which I love. He is not trying to impress anyone, except himself. This has produced a sincere honesty with himself and humility that I deeply admire. His parents, Brad and Sherry, can be enormously and profoundly proud of him, which they are.
From my family (Darlene and Ellie included) to yours, Korey - 'Great Work'!!!