ROME TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Columbus generally affects Ohio high school athletes one of two ways — they rise to the challenge of a state tournament or crumble under pressure.
Hanna Shrout falls into the former category. The Fairland High School senior said she is confident heading into the girls Division II state tournament Friday and Saturday at Ohio State University’s Gray Course.
“I just have to play my game and have fun,” Shrout said on Tuesday before heading to Guyan Golf & Country Club to play. “I’m familiar with the course, so that helps. It’s really exciting to play. It’s not a particularly difficult course, but challenging.”
Shrout has performed well on the 6,248-yard, par-71 course. She finished 23rd there in the state tournament as a sophomore, shooting 86-82 — 168. Last year, Shrout shot 77-78 — 155 to finish eighth and earn first-team all-state honors. Shrout said she expects to contend for medalist honors this year, but has no control of how other golfers play.
“I expect good competition,” Shrout said. “I’m playing really well right now. I’m confident and just have to play my game.”
If Shrout plays as she did in winning the Ohio Valley Conference girls title she will be difficult to beat. She blistered the Ironton Country Club Course, shooting 7-under-par, 65. That was Shrout’s best performance in a stellar season. She shot 75 to win the sectional tournament at the Franklin Valley Golf Club in Jackson, Ohio, then recorded a 74 to finish second, three strokes back, in the Southeast District Tournament at the Pickaway Country Club course. Earlier, she finished second to teammate Luke Thomas in the prestigious Duke Ridgeley Tournament at Guyan in an event that featured mostly boys.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” Shrout said of the OVC champions. “They did really well.”
Shrout said Dragons coach Bryan Ward and Sugarwood Golf Club pro Phil Butcher have been influential in her improvement.
“I’ve just been working and it’s paying off,” Shrout said. “Everything is a little better. I’ve become more consistent and have gotten closer to the holes and making birdies.”
Shrout said she’s a bit sad that her high school golf career is coming to a close. A superb student, she plans to play in college and is considering multiple schools.
“I’m looking at a few places, but I don’t know,” Shrout said. “I’ll look at that more after all this settles down.”