By David Fong
TROY — What began as weekly bonding time between a grandfather and grandson has carried Troy Moore all the way to the most prestigious tournament in Ohio high school golf.
“I think I started golfing when I was like seven,” said Moore, a senior at Troy High School. This weekend, he’ll compete at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state golf tournament at The Ohio State University. “Every Wednesday morning, my grandpa and I would play at Meadowbrook, his home golf course. It was always a lot of fun — we’d always go to Skyline afterwards.”
Moore — whose grandfather Russ Moore is the girls golf coach at Chaminade Julienne High School — has seen his post-match rewards go from chili five-ways to medals and trophies. He qualified for state by shooting a 73 at last week’s district meet at Weatherwax Golf Course, good for a third-place tie.
In qualifying for state, Moore became the first Troy boys golfer to do so since Alex Garman went in 2004 and only the second Trojan to do so since Troy went as a team in 1998. He’ll tee off the two-day tournament Friday on OSU’s Scarlet Course.
“I’m excited,” Moore said of playing at state. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I want to do good. I’m going to try my best to get as low a score as I can and see what happens.”
It will be Moore’s first time playing Ohio State’s challenging Scarlet Course.
“I’m a little nervous — but I think I’m ready,” Moore said. “I play a lot of tournament golf, so I’ve played a lot of hard courses that I’ve never played before.”
In fact, it’s Moore’s dedication during the off-season, he said, that helped propel him to the state tournament.
“Experience has been a big difference for me,” Moore said. “I played every day in the offseason, either at the (Troy) Country Club or Miami Shores. And I played in a lot of tournaments — probably somewhere between 10 and 13 tournaments.”
By the time the season started in August, Moore said, he could sense the difference in his game.
“I could tell my very first tournament,” he said. “I felt like I didn’t play very well, but I still shot a 71 at the Pipestone Invitational. I probably should have been four or five strokes lower than that. I just felt like since that tournament, I played pretty well for most of the year. I did have a rough two-week stretch during the middle of the season, though.”
That rough midseason patch served in stark contrast to Moore’s junior season, when he put together two week’s worth of high scores at the end of the season, causing him to miss out on a state berth.
“I was happy to get it out of the way in the middle of the season this year instead of the end — I think my coach (Mark Evilsizor) was, too,” Moore said.
And now, Moore is looking forward to competing at state — with his mentor in the gallery watching with pride.
“He’s pretty excited,” Moore said of his grandfather. “He’s looking forward to it.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong