HOWARD — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jacket golf team isn’t winning yet — but it’s headed in the right direction.
The Yellow Jackets tied for third in the first Ohio Capital Conference tournament, played Wednesday at Apple Valley Golf Course.
As a team, Mount Vernon scored much better — 325 — than in any meet this week, with two Jacket golfers scoring 80 or lower for the first time in this young season.
Mount Vernon’s best score came from Robert Williams, who hit a 5-over 77. Williams’ round saw him hit 14 pars.
“I putted pretty well today,” said Williams. “I chipped pretty good. Had a few up-and-downs. I hit my drives pretty well, too.”
Chase Springer, listed as the third golfer for Mount Vernon, ended up with a round of 80. Justin Fairchild had a score of 83, while Luke Earnest had 85.
Adam O’Hara, listed as the No. 1 golfer for Mount Vernon on Wednesday, returned for the first time since injuring his wrist. He struggled on the long par five holes on the back nine, hitting two double-bogeys for a round of 88.
“On the first hole, I doubled,” said O’Hara. “I lipped a lot of putts out, and I had a couple of bad drives.”
“He was pushing a little too hard,” said Mount Vernon head coach Mike Fuller. “He was a little too aggressive, a little too tight. Didn’t play his normal round. … He didn’t feel right addressing the ball. It didn’t really matter what course he was on.”
Hole No. 10, with its deep valley and tricky pin placement, gave several golfers fits. Hole No. 12, which forced at least three double-bogeys and a triple-bogey, was difficult on Wednesday as well.
“Ten can hurt you,” said Fuller. “Twelve, I’m surprised, because it’s fairly open. But, hey, that’s golf sometimes.”
“There wasn’t very much wind,” said Williams. “There was never any in our face, and that helped our distance. There are a lot of long holes here.”
The 325 mark tied the Jackets for third with Olentangy Orange. Mount Vernon earned the tiebreaker, as O’Hara’s 88 bested Orange’s fifth golfer, Luke Buchy (92).
“Being here in Apple Valley helped,” said Fuller. “Plus, they have a few tournaments under their belts, so they were relaxed.”
New Albany won handily with a score of 291. That score was 28 strokes ahead of second place, which went to OCC-Capital newcomer Olentangy.
The Eagles, who return all of last year’s top golfers, earned each of the top three medal spots on Wednesday. Avery Schneider led with a 1-under 71. Nick Karzmer and Jackson Moss tied for runner-up with 73. Teammate Jack Carter tied for the fourth best score with a 74, with Olenyangy’s Dylan Ahonen and Watkins Memorial’s Matt Fisher.
Watkins finished fifth with a score of 333. Big Walnut was sixth (337) and Delaware Hayes finished seventh (374). Franklin Heights did not field a complete team, sending just three golfers.