Geneva's Richmond off to impressive start in golf season

Geneva senior Ayden Richmond took first in the Ursuline Invitational with a career-best 69 over 18 holes recently.

After last year’s Ursuline Invitational, Ayden Richmond was looking to improve his score and represent his school well.

The Geneva senior did so, firing a career-best 69 to win the event recently.

Richmond defeated Tyler Sabo, from Ashland and an Ohio State commit, by one stroke in the prestigious 18-hole event at the Youngstown Country Club.

“That was a good round,” Richmond said.

The tournament was just one of three Richmond has taken first in so far this fall.

He opened the season with a 74 over 18 holes, and won in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division and also claimed the top spot in the nine-hole Karl Pearson Invitational.

Both tournaments were in mid-August.

“I’d say his hard work is paying off so far,” Eagles coach Zack Mansky said of Richmond.

But the Ursuline Invitational has been his crowning achievement thus far.

“There was over 125 kids from all over the area,” Richmond said. “It boosts my confidence. I need to have it that day. That tournament is well run, and a known event. It’s fun to go down there and win it.””

Richmond’s round included five birdies and three bogeys.

“Youngstown Country Club has fast greens, and a lot of slopes,” he said. “It’s different from Northeast Ohio PGA events I’ve played in. It was definitely a good round. I managed my game well.”

In the opener at Little Mountain in Painesville, Richmond carded a 74 to win by seven shots.

“I feel that course suits me well,” Richmond said. “I putted and drove well.”

Geneva also won the Valley Division with a 333.

A week later, Richmond recorded a 36 to win by one shot over Grand Valley’s Hagan Hejduk in the nine-hole Pearson at Village Green Golf Course.

“That’s a good course,” Richmond said. “I was in control of my wedges and irons.”

But Richmond isn’t just satisfied with those three wins.

He knows there’s more down the road.There’s another CVC Tournament on Sept. 20 and the Bronko Invitational, which was postponed by weather in August, is set for Oct. 2.

The postseason also starts a the end of September.

“I’m definitely looking forward to making a run at state,” Richmond said.

He also hopes his teammates join him.

“We all want to make it as far as we can,” Richmond said. “We have been close to going to districts.”

Last season in the Division I Quail Hollow Sectional Tournament, the Eagles finished fifth with a 351, which was just one stroke away from qualifying for district.

Richmond, however, advanced to the district tournament as an individual with an 83 for third.

“We play against some of the best teams in the state,” he said.

He registered a 79 at the Pine Hills District Tournament.

A 73 was needed to reach state.

“It definitely opened my eyes to tough courses,” Richmond said. “It reminded me of the Hudson Invitational ... fun, tough and competitive.”

That Richmond has reached this point is no accident.

“I competed in over 20 tournament rounds over the summer,” he said.

Mansky said Richmond got ready for the grind well before the season started.

“Arising at 5:30 a.m. to beat the heat or crowds was typical for Ayden over the summer as he prepared for tournaments,” Mansky said.

Richmond also kept up with golf last winter, while playing basketball.

“I worked with an indoor simulator,” he said.

Richmond is talking to colleges about playing golf, but is undecided on his future plans.

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