Van Wert’s Jared Hernandez putt on the green of hole No. 9 during Thursday’s Division II district boys golf tournament at Red Hawk Run Golf Course outside Findlay. The senior ended his scholastic career when his 78 fell short of advancing to State. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)
Van Wert’s Jared Hernandez putt on the green of hole No. 9 during Thursday’s Division II district boys golf tournament at Red Hawk Run Golf Course outside Findlay. The senior ended his scholastic career when his 78 fell short of advancing to State. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

FINDLAY — The recently departed rock-n-roller Tom Petty and his band, The Heartbreakers, had a song called “The Waiting” being the hardest part.

For Van Wert senior golfer Jared Hernandez, it turned out to be extra hard.

He registered a 78 (42/36) as part of the third group of individuals to finish in Thursday’s Division II District Tournament at Red Hawk Run Golf Course, standing in second place to go to next week’s State Meet at Ohio State University, then had to play the waiting game as the teams remained on the course.

It took to the very end for the news that Jack Grombacher of Toledo Central Catholic finished a round of 77 and his team did not advance out to end his hopes of State.

The top two teams and the top two individuals not on an advancing team claimed berths.

“I’m very upset right now; this has been hard and stressful waiting to see,” the visibly-shaken Hernandez began after the results were in. “I played well overall but had an eight on the second hole (his 11th of the round) and that cost me. I was hoping it would be good enough but I was a shot short.”

Hernandez improved from the week before where he shot an 83 at Country Acres to live to golf another day.

“I didn’t golf up to my standards last week but I got the chance to keep going,” Hernandez added. “I was definitely better today on a tough course. I took it one shot at a time and I stayed calm and focused today; I didn’t let a bad shot or hole affect me the rest of the way.

“Outside of that one hole today, I had a good round. It just wasn’t good enough today. My last three holes were par, bogey and par; the guy that barely beat me went birdie, par, birdie.”

His coach for the Cougars, Kim Doidge, shared the disappointment of her player.

“I thought he golfed very well today overall but just struggled on the second and third hole and that was costly. He bounced back quickly and completed a good round,” Doidge said. “After he was done, I told him to keep chipping and putting just in case there would be a playoff but it’s a tough situation to have to wait after being one of the first to finish.”

Doidge noted that Hernandez will definitely be tough to replace next fall.

“It’s just a tough way to end your career; he has a lot to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of,” she added. “He worked hard during his high school career during the off-season to get better and kept improving. “