BUCYRUS — Minoy Shah has had several months to think about it.
“There were plenty of things I could have done differently,” the recent Pleasant grad said of his Division II state golf tournament appearance in the fall.
Normally cool under pressure, unflappable and adverse risk on the links, Shah succumbed to a golfing temptation while competing in the first of two rounds at NorthStar Golf Club in Sunbury.
“It was more of a mental game,” he said.
Shah knows the exact moment his 2021 state tournament turned.
“The first day on the front nine, I was even (par), and then on the 10th hole I tried to get a little too aggressive and cut the corner and I put it OB,” he said of his out of bounds tee shot . “From there, it just went downhill. I just had to play smart, which is what I should have been doing.”
Shah ended up finishing the event at plus-21 after posting an 80 and 85 for a 165. That put him in a tie for 26th out of the 72-player field. He was 11 shots away from a top 10 finish.
Shah, who was the first Marion County boys golfer to compete in a state tournament since River Valley’s Caden Orewiler went in 2014, had higher hopes, but overly tough pin placements coupled with cold and windy weather conspired against him that weekend.
Still, he’s at peace with how it turned out.
“State week I wasn’t really hitting the ball well, so I took a couple weeks off to mentally get better,” Shah said. “I then got back up on the horse and started practicing. I also got new irons, which really helped.”
Last week at the Golf Club of Bucyrus, Shah was back on the course, competing in a Heart of Ohio Junior Golf Association event. Having grown up in the HOJGA program, Shah won the event with a 1-over-par 73, even carding a rare eagle in his round.
He’s enjoying his final summer of youth golf before he attends Ohio State where he hopes to walk onto the men’s golf team.
“Practice, HOJGA, practice, HOJGA, not much changes,” he said of his routine with a smile.
He’s using June and July to continue honing his game.
Upcoming HOJGA events are Wednesday at the Marysville Golf Club, June 30 at Blues Creek in Marysville, July 7 at Veterans Memorial in Kenton, July 14 at Kings Mill in Waldo, July 18 at Valley View in Galion and July 26 at Lincoln Hills in Upper Sandusky for the Chad A. Wheeler Memorial Best of the Best Tournament. The HOJGA Year-End Awards Banquet will follow the series on July 28.
“I have to take advantage of good shots,” Shah said. “I had a four-footer for birdie today, and I missed it. I have to make those putts because you’re going to have a couple bogeys along the way. I had two doubles today.”
His approach to golf never waves in a tournament setting. It’s not Shah against the field. It’s Shah against the course and Shah against Shah.
“I’m just trying to beat my own score,” he said. “If I can play well, I can shoot good. It’s just trying to play well.”