Tyler Sabo

Ashland's Tyler Sabo reacts after his birdie putt on the par-3 eighth hits the pin during the opening round of the Division I state tournament at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

ASHLAND — If he’s not already on Ashland’s Mount Rushmore of golf, Tyler Sabo is knocking on the door.

The Richland Source Boys Golfer of the Year, Sabo has established himself as one of the greatest players in program history — and he’s only a junior.

As a sophomore, Sabo carded a 152 at the Division I state tournament at Ohio State’s rugged Scarlet Course, good for a tie for eighth. That set the table for one of the greatest individual seasons in program history.

Sabo was the medalist in 15 of the 21 events Ashland played in this fall. He won sectional and district championships, shooting a 1-under 71 in the wind and driving rain at the Findlay Country Club to claim district medalist honors.

“He was six strokes better than anybody and those are the best players in the northwest district,” Ashland coach Dan Priest said at the time. “He just dominated.

“I might be a little partial, but I think he’s the best player in Ohio.”

He capped his remarkable 2020 campaign with a 151 at the state tournament, tying for seventh. Ashland finished eighth as a team.

“I didn’t think I played that great this weekend, considering how I’d been playing earlier this season,” Sabo said afterward. “It’s kind of a disappointment to me, but I know I still played good enough to get top-10 in this tournament.”

With a pair of top 10 finishes at the state tournament, Sabo has joined an exclusive fraternity that includes such program luminaries as Chris Yoder, Bobby Castor and John Locke.

Castor was the state medalist in 1999, becoming the school’s third and most recent state medalist. Steve Paramore took state honors in 1997 and Tom Castor was the state tournament medalist in 1968.

Sabo could become the fourth next fall — but it won’t be easy. Only three of the top nine finishers were seniors.

“He’s a great player,” Priest said, “and he’s had a great season.”

Sabo is joined on the All-Richland Source team by a pair of four-time state qualifiers and a pair of one-timers.

Matthew McMullen, Galion: A senior, McMullen helped lead a Galion golf renaissance. The Tigers reached the Division II state tournament each of the past four years. McMullen capped his career with 160 at OSU’s Scarlet course, good for a tie for 14th. He was medalist runner-up at both the sectional at Thunderbird Hills (74) and the district at Findlay Country Club (78).

Spencer Keller, Galion: A senior, Keller paired with McMullen to lead the Tigers’ revival. Keller was the medalist at both the sectional and district tournaments, shooting a 73 at Thunderbird Hills and a 76 at Findlay Country Club. He tied for 41st at the Division II state tournament, carding a two-day total of 171.

Trevor Dials, Lexington: A senior, Dials became the first Lexington golfer to qualify for state in more than 30 years last fall. His bid for a second straight trip to Columbus came up two strokes short when he finished fifth in woeful conditions at the Division I district tournament at the Findlay Country Club, carding an 80. Dials was seventh at the Mohawk sectional, helping the Minutemen advance as to district as a team.

Ryan Chapman, Ontario: A junior, Chapman came out of nowhere to qualify for the Division II state tournament. He finished third at the Thunderbird Hills sectional with a 78 and earned the first of two individual state berths with an 81 at the Findlay district, good for a tie for fourth.

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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