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3rd Annual Buckeye Cup

The Buckeye Cup


Wheeling, WV, November 6th, 2023 — Our 3rd Annual Buckeye Cup was this weekend and it did not disappoint. Instead of doing teams geographically this year we did Team Captains who drafted their teams live on Instagram. The teams were much more even and it made it tons more fun for everyone involved. The Jones Course at Oglebay is such a great Match Play course. As Michael Valerio would say before teeing off “The course is unfairly fair for everyone.” The hills at Oglebay make for natural undulation and the greens were in fantastic shape. Below we will highlight players in the color for what team they were on to make it a simpler read for everyone and so we do not have to repeat team names 100 times. Team Arick wore Red, Team Dan wore Grey, Team Sean wore Black and Team Tori wore White. For the sake of text Team Tori teams will be highlighted in Blue. Let’s dig in below to see who was able to pull out the 3rd Annual Buckeye Cup!


You probably noticed a BJGT Staff Member out there with their camera taking pictures during the tournament. If you would like to see them or download any from this event or any others, click the link to our Google Photos Drive:


                   Round 1 – Saturday, November 4th— A little chilly on top of the mountain to start Round 1. This is kind of expected at this time of the year, but hey there was no frost delay so we couldn’t complain.


Round 1 consists of playing Fourball. Fourball is a Match Play format where you and a partner take the best score between you two against the best score of your opponents. It makes for a very fun round with low scores as you are always taking the best score that you have to offer. Winning holes in Fourball can be tough as usually 1 of the 2 partners are having a good hole especially when you have players that are as good as ours. We will go over some of the marque matchups of Fourball below.


The second pairing that went out was a matchup that a lot of people were looking forward to. Mac Arida & Patrick Carl took on Michael Valerio and Logan Crowe. Arida, Carl and Valerio have all participated in this event every year but have never got the luxury of competing against each other. We are all going to miss Mac on tour as he officially played his last event with BJGT. He has been playing on tour since he was in 8th grade and we wish him all the best as he continues his academic and golf career playing for Hood College. Carl/Arida went 2-up 2-holes into the match. A Birdie on the 3rd hole for Valerio/Crowe got them right back into the mix, however. On Hole-6 Carl/Arida picked up a Birde putting them once again 2-up. Valerio/Crowe got a hole back shortly after. However, Carl/Arida were going to make it hard on Valerio/Crowe as they put in another Birdie on Hole-9 putting them back to 2-Up. A Birdie on the tough Par-3. 11th-Hole put Valerio/Crowe down just 1 at the start of the Back-9. Carl/Arida took another Birdie on Hole-14 as it was a huge hole to Win late in the match to put them back to 1-Up. Carl/Arida were 1-Up going into Hole-18. Valerio/Crowe knew that they needed something special. An absolutely amazing putt by Michael Valerio on the 18th gave them a Birdie to win the hole and finish that Match All-Square. This was a huge half point and giant morale booster for Team Sean early in the Buckeye Cup.


Another great matchup was Will Koegler and Andrew Pennybacker versus Megan Fenton and Ethan Bobonski. Ethan and Will have both played in the Buckeye Cup in the past giving them some good knowledge of the course and format. Will and Andrew actually both play the Jones Course at Oglebay for their home golf course so they know how to manage the difficult holes on the course. Will and Andrew went 1-up early in the Round. However, a Birdie from Fenton and Bobonski on Hole-4 put the match back to All-Square. The match stayed All-Square for another 4-holes until Pennybacker/Koegler Birdied the 8th-Hole to take the lead. The match really started heating up on the Back-9. On the 15th-Hole Pennybacker/Koegler Birdied again to give themselves a chance at the comeback. Fenton/Bobonski were just 1-Up after that hole. Fenton/Bobonski stayed strong and were able to have equal scores with Pennybacker/Koegler the final 3-Holes to win the Match 1-Up.


Another great match was Hank Lewis & Brody Wagner versus Joshua Topper & Will Ballard. Hank competed in The Buckeye Cup last year so he was familiar with the difficulty of the Jones Course. The 4th-Hole was proving to be a pivotal point in almost all the matches and this one was no different. A Birdie from Topper/Ballard put them 1-Up after the 4th-Hole. Lewis/Wagner were able to battle back earning a Birdie on the 5th-Hole, a Par on the 7th-Hole and a Birdie on the 8th-Hole. This put Lewis/Wagner 2-Up to end the Front-9. Lewis/Wagner would never give up the lead again. This was further helped by their Birdie on the 13th-Hole. They won the match 2-Up after they took the 18th-Hole.


The final match of Round 1 Fourball was between Peyton Biery & Drew Marling versus Hunter Haines & Logan Stoney. This match did not disappoint as no one went higher than 2-Up the entire Match. Biery/Marling went up right away winning the 1st-Hole. But, Haines/Stoney got right back in it with their Birdie on Hole-2 to make the match All-Square. The match stayed All Square until the 11th-Hole when Haines/Stoney used a Par to take the lead 1-Up. They would not give up the lead the rest of the Match as the further solidified their lead with a Birdie on the 12th to go 2-Up. Biery/Marling made it close though as they took the 17th to cut Haines/Stoney’s lead to 1-Up. Both groups Parred the 18th resulting in a Haines/Stoney 1-Up win!


Standings After Fourball

Team Points
Team Sean 3.5
Team Dan 2.5
Team Tori 2.0
Team Arick 2.0


Round 2 – Saturday-Sunday, November 4th-5th– The next format we did was Foursomes. Foursomes is extremely simple as it as just alternate shots between you and your partner. Each player is assigned to tee off on alternating holes.


Once Again, this format started off with a bang as our opening match went all 18-Holes. Andrew Pennybacker and Will Koegler were paired together again this time taking on Olivia Kury and Nico Ward. This was probably the most exciting match of the first 2 Rounds as no one got higher than 1-Up the entire time. It featured 6-Holes of All-Square play. Pennybacker/Koegler gained the lead on the 3rd-hole with their Par. Once again, Hole-4 gets featured as Kury/Ward were able to grab a Birdie on the hole and get the match back to All-Square. Kury/Ward gained the lead on the 8th-Hole with their Par. Pennybacker/Koegler picked up back-to-back hole Wins on the 12th-13th Holes to get the lead back. They never gave up the lead after that as they pairing equaled each other out the remaining 5-holes with Pennybacker/Koegler winning the match 1-Up.


Two matches later Nick Baum & Matthew Overholt took on Logan Crowe & Jack Laur. Nick and Jack have both played in the Buckeye Cup in the past giving them some slight advantages. Baum/Overholt started off hot taking the first 3-Holes to go 3-Up early. Crowe/Laur fought back though winning the next 3-Holes to make everything All-Square after 6. Baum/Overholt took the lead back on the 8th-Hole and never gave it up again. A Birdie from Crowe/Laur on the 14th-Hole gave them some hope late though as the trimmed the lead down to just 1-Up after this hole. However, Baum/Overholt took the next hole to go back 2-Up late in the Round. Things got heated though at the end though with Crowe/Laur winning the 16th and 18th Holes to get the match back to All-Square on the final round. It was another miraculous .5 point for Team Sean as they seemed to be winning or halving all the close matches. Closing matches like this out really end up being the deciding factor in the Buckeye Cup.


Another match that went all 18-Holes was Lawson Leeper and Joel Sovich taking on Max Houck and Hank Lewis. Lawson, Max and Hank have all played in this event in the past so they know the course pretty well. Side note this was Max Houck’s last BJGT tournament ever ending a great career on tour and one of our favorite kids to have out at events. We wish him all the best as he continues playing golf for Elon University’s club team. Lawson was part of an absolutely outstanding East Pennsylvania team last year that won the Buckeye Cup. Houck/Lewis gained the lead early on the first hole and did not allow it to be tied back up until the 6th-Hole when Leeper/Sovich Birdied. This match featured 8 lead or tie changes throughout the battle so a lot of people were watching who would win it. A Birdie on Hole-12 got Leeper/Sovich back as the hole win got the match back to All-Square. Houck/Lewis were 1-Up going into the 18th-Hole knowing they either had to win it or tie it to win the match. They did just that earning a Par on the tough 18th and taking the hole to win the match 2-Up.


Tons of matches in the Foursomes went into the last hole and the battle between Mac Arida and Brody Wagner versus Michael Mooney and Joshua Topper was no different. Arida/Wagner started off with 2 Birdies through the first 5-holes giving them a sweet 3-Up lead early in the match. They kept that lead all the way up until the 13th-Hole when Mooney/Topper put in a Birdie to get the match to All-Square late. The match went back and forth for a while until the 17th-Hole when Arida/Wagner won the hole with a Double-Bogey giving them a 1-Up lead going into the 18th. Mooney/Topper were able to salvage a half point in the match with a Bogey on the 18th to win the hole. This was a much needed .5 point for Team Tori as Mooney/Topper did not have the lead the entire match but were still able to earn a .5 point out of the match.


Our 2nd to last Foursomes match also went the distance. Meg Lagera & Peyton Biery took on Megan Fenton & Hunter Haines for what would be an awesome match. Fenton/Haines took the lead on the 1st-Hole and never gave it up the rest of the way which shows just how strong of a team Lagera/Biery were to take this all the way to the 18th. Lagera/Biery Birdied the 13th-Hole to get the match back to All-Square late. However, a Par on the next hole from Fenton/Haines got them right back up to make the last 4-holes interesting. On the 15th Lagera/Biery once again got the match back to All-Square with their Bogey. A tie on the 16th-hole meant that the final 2-holes were going to decide the entire match. Fenton/Haines pulled off back-to-back Bogeys to take both holes and win the match 2-Up.


The final match of Foursomes was a great one. Colin King-White & Joshua Rusmisel versus Bodie Winfield and Logan Stoney. This match went 17-holes and was a great way for us to end the Foursomes. Josh Rusmisel knows what its like to be a Champion at the Buckeye Cup winning the first ever Buckeye Cup with his extremely talented Western Pennsylvania team back in 2021. King-White/Rusmisel grabbed the lead early into the match winning the 1st-Hole. They kept this lead the entire Front-9 until the 10th-Hole when a Par from Winfield/Stoney got the match back to All-Square. A Birdie on Hole-12 from Winfield/Stoney got them back-to-back hole wins and got them 1-Up going into Hole-12. The match got back to All-Square on Hole-12 after a Par from King-White/Rusmisel. Winfield/Stoney would not go down without a fight, however, Birdieing Hole-13 and getting the lead back. King-White/Rusmisel got into gear however going +1 over the next 4-Holes and winning the match 2-Up on the 17th.


Standings After Foursomes

Team Foursomes Points Total Points (Foursomes +Fourball)
Team Sean 2.5 6.0
Team Arick 3.5 5.5
Team Dan 2.5 5.0
Team Tori 1.5 3.5


Round 3 –Sunday, November 5th– Our final format of the Buckeye Cup is Singles Match Play. This is always the decider on who wins the Buckeye Cup and it always features extremely exciting and fun matches. Especially, as we get towards the end and in the Cup is still up for grabs. This was going to be really fun to watch as all 4 Teams were super close in score going into the Singles Matches, so we were all cheering on our team’s extremely hard.


The first big match in Singles Match Play was Vivienne Powers versus Meg Lagera. Vivienne has played in this event the past two years and was on an absolutely amazing Eastern Pennsylvania team that took home the cup last year. Lagera started off strong winning the 1st-Hole and taking a 1-Up lead. Powers fought back quickly though getting the match back to All-Square after 3-Holes and taking the lead 1-Up after 4-Holes. It was a back-and-forth battle between these two featuring 12 All-Squares or 1-Ups through the remaining 14-Holes. The Match was All-Square heading into the 18th-Hole. Lagera ended up putting it in for a Bogey on the tough 18th-Hole and earning herself and her team a huge point with her 1-Up Win!


                   Another great Singles Match was between Mac Arida and Chase Loden. Chase played in this event the past two years and was trying to get his hands on his first Buckeye Cup. This match went all 18-Holes again and that meant that Arida played in all 54-Holes throughout the tournament. Loden went up early taking the 1st-Hole. Loden had a stranglehold on the match not giving up this lead for the first 13-Holes of the match. A Birdie on Hole-4 from Arida put the match back to All-Square. However, Loden Parred Hole-5 taking the lead back and going 1-Up. Arida took a Bogey on Hole-14, which was enough to win the hole and take the lead 1-Up. Once again, the match would shift with Loden parring Hole-15 and getting the match back to All-Square late. Another Bogey from Arida on Hole-17 was enough to win that hole and he gained the lead back. Arida knew that all he had to do was tie or win Hole-18 and he would win the match. He did just that taking a Bogey on Hole-18 to equal Loden and win the match 1-Up. Another huge early win in Singles for Team Dan.


The next great Singles Match was between Logan Crowe and Sam Telljohann. Sam was a stalwart on tour this season racking up 3 Runner-Up finishes and never finishing below 9th in his 7 BJGT tournaments. Telljohann won the 1st-Hole to go up 1 early. Hole-1 always seems to have a winner and is a pivotal hole in taking a match. Crowe was able to sneak away with a Birdie on Hole-9 making the match All-Square after the Front-9. Crowe’s win on 10 gave him back-to-back hole and 1-Up to start the Back-9. Telljohann got it right back though winning Hole-12 and making the match All-Square for the next 4-Holes. Telljohann put in a Par on Hole-15 giving him a 1-Up lead late. Crowe however, would win Hole-17 making the match All-Square going into the 18th. Both players would Bogey Hole-18 giving them each a well-deserved half point and an All-Square final.


One of the best matches of Singles was Max Houck versus Jack Laur. This was the last tee time to go off the Front-9 and could have been a decider for the entire Cup. Laur took a commanding lead out of the gate going 2-Up through the first 3-Holes and 3-Up through the first 8-Holes. A Birdie on 10 for Laur put him once again 3-Up with 8 to go. The tides started to change though starting on Hole-12. Houck rattled off a string of 5 straight Pars, giving him the advantage 2-Up thru 16-Holes. Laur would win Hole-17 meaning that Hole-18 was going to be the deciding factor. Both of these Boys played an amazing 18th-Hole pulling out Pars. Houck earned himself and Team Dan a hard-earned point down the stretch.


Another great Singles match was the battle of the Josh’s. Josh Vendemia versus Josh Topper was an absolutely awesome match to watch for everyone. They requested to be paired together in Singles Match Play. Topper grabbed the lead on the 1st-Hole and kept it all the way until the 16th-Hole. Topper’s Birdie on 13 put him 3-Up in the Match late. However, back-to-back Birdies from Vendemia on Holes-14 & 15 put Topper just 1-Up with 3-Holes to play. Vendemia made the match All-Square on 16 with his Par. Vendemia then Birdied 17 to go 1-Up, with 1 to play. If you are counting that put 3 Birdies up on the board for Vendemia in 4-Holes an absolutely stunning turn of events. Topper and Vendemia would both Bogey Hole-18 giving Vendemia the hardest fought win of Singles and an absolutely huge point for Team Sean. Vendemia was an All-Star for Team Sean throughout the entire Buckeye Cup. He went 3-0 in his Matches and with those stats he had the chance of being named MVP of the Buckeye Cup for Team Sean if they got the Win.


Usually, the way that the teams are set up we have a Boys 10-14 take on a Boys 15-19 in Singles Match Play. Lawson Leeper versus Drew Marling was that battle this year. Leeper was on the younger side of this battle in his 1st Buckeye Cup so he knows the difficulty that it can bring on either side. With the Boys 15-19 Singles player playing from a longer distance and the Boys 10-14 Singles player having to take on an older player these matches have proved to be some of the best in the Cup the last 3 years. This match featured 12 All-Squares and neither player getting higher than 1-Up. Since they started on the Back-9 the first hole was Hole-10, where Leeper got a nice early win to go 1-Up. Marling won the next hole getting the match back to All-Square. 5 of the remaining 7-holes were All-Square. The Front-9 was proving to be pivotal for the Boys. Leeper once again gained control of the lead on the tough Hole-1. Marling then Birdied Hole-2 to get it back to All-Square. Leeper was 1-Up going into Hole-9, so he knew he couldn’t lose the match. Marling continued his run of awesome play and took a Par on Hole-9 to Win the hole and get the match back to All-Square for the final score. What a match between these two. Great job from Marling for earning a crucial half point for Team Dan in a tough matchup against one of the best Match Play players on Tour in Leeper.

Team Singles Points Total Points
Team Sean 7.5 13.5
Team Dan 5.5 10.5
Team Arick 3 8.5
Team Tori 4 7.5


What an end to the season. The Buckeye Cup never disappoints and this year was no different. The Team Captain draft was a huge hit among players. It kept the teams fair and allowed everyone to have a ton more fun with the event in general. Congratulations to Team Sean on a well-deserved victory. They showed fantastic comradery throughout the event and played their hearts out.


Final Buckeye Cup Scoreboard

Team Fourball Points Foursomes Points Singles Match Play Points Total Points
Team Sean 3.5 2.5 7.5 13.5
Team Dan 2.5 2.5 5.5 10.5
Team Arick 2 3.5 3 8.5
Team Tori 2 1.5 4 7.5


Team Sean Buckeye Cup Champions

Ian Wang Boys 10-14, McLean, Virginia 1-2-0 (1.0)
Michael Valerio Boys 15-19, Mount Airy, Maryland 2-0-1 (2.5)
Joshua Vendemia Boys 15-19, Woodbine, Maryland 3-0-0 (3.0)
Megan Fenton Girls 14-19, Carlisle, Pennsylvania 2-1-0 (2.0)
Hunter Haines Boys 10-14, Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania 3-0-0 (3.0)
Bodie Winfield Boys 10-14, Middletown, Maryland 1-2-0 (1.0)
Logan Crowe Boys 15-19, Avella, Pennsylvania 0-0-3 (1.5)
Jack Laur Boys 15-19, Mount Airy, Maryland 1-1-1 (1.5)
Ethan Bobonski Boys 10-14, Clinton, Pennsylvania 2-1-0 (2.0)
Logan Stoney Boys 10-14, Hillsborough, New Jersey 2-1-0 (2.0)

                   Thank you to everyone for a fantastic 2023 Season! We had a lot of records that were set during the season by players. There was some phenomenal golf that was played on tour. We wish all of those players that are graduating and wrapped up their junior golf careers this season all the best in the future. We want to thank all the Parents and Spectators that came out to the tournaments. We know that it takes a ton of time and effort from all the parents and guardians to travel, spend time on the course and commit to this sport. We can’t thank each and every one of you enough. We look forward to seeing everybody out next year for another great tour season!


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