The old golf adage, "Drive for show, putt for dough," was never more evident than Thursday for the champions in the Lake Erie Junior Golf Association's Oak Harbor Open.
Perkins junior Maddie Mullins and Port Clinton sophomore Joey Kurtz had their "A" games on the putting surface on the way to their first titles in their respective age groups.
Mullins captured the girls 15-19 crown with a sparkling round of 39-39--78 on the women's par 35-37 Oak Harbor Golf Club course. She had just 26 putts in taking her first-ever LEJGA crown after a couple of runner-up finishes.
Meanwhile, Kurtz grabbed the overall title for the boys with 37-38--75 on the men's par 36-36 layout while playing in the 14-16 age group. He needed just 28 putts for his round.
Both thought the key to their rounds was putting.
Mullins matched her best-ever round of competitive golf without a birdie. She also fired a 78 a year ago on the White Pines course in Perrysburg as a member of the Perkins girls golf team.
Mullins did not pick up a golf club until two days before the start of the season as a freshman and has come a long way in a short period of time.
"My putter really saved me today," Mullins said. "I did not hit a lot of greens (in regulation), but the putter was there. I think that is the area in which I have improved the most. That and my driving.
"I didn't make any real long putts, but today I was on automatic from inside 10 feet," said Mullins, who left Oak Harbor and a short time later was at Plum Brook Country Club honing her game for Monday's LEJGA tournament.
For the rest of this story, read Friday's Sandusky Register.