By Josh Brown
TROY — The only thing that kept Troy senior Holden Scribner from the top spot on the leaderboard was an all-too familiar rival.
Scribner came into the clubhouse at Troy Country Club Monday with a 1-over-par 71 and, for a time, it seemed like he would collect medalist honors for a second straight tournament, only this time at his home invitational. But Butler’s Austin Greaser — the defending individual champion from last year — turned in a 67 to claim medalist for a second straight year, with Scribner still leading the Trojans to a third-place finish at Monday’s Troy Invitational with a season-best 324.
Centerville won the 12-team tournament with a 297 and Butler was second with 316 as the both top three teams and top individual finisher from last year’s tournament went unchanged this year.
“We had our best round of the year by 11 strokes,” Troy boys golf coach Mark Evilsizor said. “The par is lower (than some of the courses we’ve played), but you’ve still got to come out and perform. I was real happy.”
Scribner, who was sixth individually in last year’s Troy Invitational with a 75, was in the 70s for a third straight tournament, matching his season best with the 71, which he also shot at the Miamisburg Invitational the previous week.
“Obviously, Holden coming in with a 71, that’s a solid round,” Evilsizor said. “I know he barely missed a putt at the end that would have gotten him to even par, so he was right there.”
The only thing between him and the top spot was the tournament’s defending champ. Greaser shot 66 to win it last year, and he shot 67 on Monday to repeat.
“You know, there’s some pressure on Holden here. This has been his home course forever,” Evilsizor said. “He’s played here so many times, so for him to represent and get second — to a young man who is going to North Carolina and who placed 12th in the nation for the PGA junior amateur — that’s a really nice score for Holden.”
Scribner wasn’t the only Trojan playing well, though.
Travis Bertram broke into the 70s for the first time in his career, posting a personal-best 79. Connor Stoltz added an 86, Ryan Dowling and Zac Collin both shot 88 and Nathan Henderson shot 97.
“I was really pleased with Travis Bertram, who posted his career-best score. That’s something for him to get excited about. He should be excited, at least — he doesn’t get excited about much,” Evilsizor said with a laugh. “I hope this one caught his attention.
“Overall, I’m real pleased. We had two scores in the 70s, and that was the first time we’ve done that this year. We’re starting to show life with some of the other guys — they’re starting to get their scores down and get some confidence. And that’s what these invitationals do. They kind of separate the golfers from the guys that just play golf — and that’s why we do these at the beginning of the year.”
Centerville was first with a 297 after shooting 298 to win last year. A.J. Cherubini shot 72, Eric Cherubini and Nick Clark both shot 74s and Will Owen shot 77. Then Butler was third with 316, matching the Aviators’ runner-up score from last year. After Greaser’s 67, Michael Brandt shot 79, Niels Princi shot 82 and Jestin Love shot 88.
And for Evilsizor and the Trojans, catching up to defending Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division champion Butler is what matters.
“Third place, same as last year. Really, the same order,” Evilsizor said. “Centerville was first, Butler second and we were third. And we were eight strokes behind Butler today, so that’s within striking distance. And that’s what we want to do. We want to be within striking distance of them so when we get to the Post-GWOC we can make them sweat a little bit.
“We’re not peaking yet, and I definitely think there’s eight strokes to be had out there.”
Tippecanoe was fifth with a 335. Nathan Gagnon and Braydon Bottles both shot 81s to lead the Red Devils, Matt Salmon shot 85, Nolan Mader shot 88, Joey Pleiman shot 99 and Levi Berning shot 108.
Piqua was 11th with a 444. Kyler Kommer shot 90, Matt Herron shot 107, Mason Price shot 122 and Decker Jackson and Nick Jess shot 125.
Troy Christian’s Joey Hall shot 105, Aaron Gillespie shot 106 and Brenna Coate shot 148.
Evilsizor and the Trojans wished to thank their hole sponsors for the tournament: Baird Funeral Home, The Benson, Champlain Architecture, Dodds Monuments, Earthwell Energy Services, Greenville National Bank, Insightful Eyewear, Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Long Shots Driving Range, MKat Services, Miami Acres Animal Hospital, Rank Chiropractic, Tim Horton’s of Troy, Troy Country Club, Troy Fish & Game, Troy Ford and Upper Valley Hearing & Balance Inc.
Troy travels to Northmont Thursday for its first dual match of the season. Tippecanoe, meanwhile, travels to Piqua on Wednesday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.