It was moving day at the District 3 Golf Championships on Friday.
For Bradin Peart and Kat Keller, that meant moving into position to book a spot in the state tournament.
Playing at Briarwood East Golf Club where lightning-fast greens awaited the Class 2A field, Littlestown’s Peart shot a 79 to tie for third, easily finishing above the opening day cutline. Keller, a Delone Catholic sophomore, posted a 92 that was good for seventh place in the girls’ competition. Both players left satisfied with qualifying for the second round but felt they have more to offer.
“I felt fairly decent, not the best,” said Peart, who shot 40 on the front nine and 39 on the back end. “There were some good holes and some bad holes, per usual.”
Peart struck lightning on No. 10, his fourth hole of the day, when he holed out a shot from 96 yards for an eagle. The brilliant stroke offset a handful of bogeys and a double bogey that were part of his final nine holes of play.
The tricky putting surface came into play on No. 3, a 169-yard par three. Peart’s tee shot was left and above the hole, which sat on a slanted green. His chip ran well by the hole and just off the short stuff. He chipped back up and left his ball under the hole, where he missed an 8-foot attempt to eventually finish with a double.
“Chipping with these greens was impossible to put anything close,” he said. “There were so firm it was like you hit a rock. You had to play every shot 10 yards short to even have a chance of getting close to the pin. If you landed any further than that it would fly right over.”
Peart bogeyed the following hole despite a solid drive, good approach and nice chip to within a few feet. His par putt slid by the hole, something he said was too common on Friday.
“That was basically how the entire round went,” Peart said. “Putting was not up to par, up to being at a level I need to be at.”
While the flat stick may not have been cooperating, Peart hammered the ball off the tee. He followed up a long drive on No. 5 by bombing his approach from the fairway. He chipped to within 20 feet of the pin and took a par with a pair of putts. Another par on No. 6 concluded his day, leaving him in contention for a berth to the PIAA Championships.
Peart will need a top 10 finish today to lock up a spot in the elite field.
“I need to be smarter with my shots and where I’m placing them,” he said. “Just play my game and figure out what I need to do, which is what I scored today or better. I’d like to do better than today, but you have to do what you have to do to survive. I’m not trying to shoot 1-over and win the whole thing because it means nothing if you win districts; states is the great thing.”
So, does that mean he’ll keep an eye on the leaderboard as he’s coming down the stretch today?
“I don’t look at the leaderboard at all,” Peart said, laughing. “The marker even asked me if I wanted to look and I said ‘no thank you, I’m good, I don’t even care.’ Whatever happens, happens.”
Keller also felt there was more to be desired in the putting department after her round, which saw her post matching 46s on both nines. A 92 not only guaranteed her invitation back to Briarwood today, but also left her just three strokes behind York Catholic’s Olivia Kury, who currently sits in the fifth and final qualifying spot for states.
“I’m happy to be going but not necessarily happy with my score,” said Keller, who also reached the second round of districts last year as a freshman. “I felt like there’s a lot of room for improvement and hopefully tomorrow will be better. The nerves were there but I’m okay, we’ll get there. The nerves just don’t stop, whether you’ve been here before.”
Keller’s round nearly took on a different look at No. 10 where she lipped out her second shot from 50 yards away. Her birdie putt rolled by the hole but she was able to make par.
Keller found more putting difficulties on No 11 where, following two solid shots, she three-putted for a bogey.
She nearly pulled off a miraculous save on No. 12 where her iron off the tee found a hillside bunker to the left of the hole. Facing a downhill chip out of the sand, and with an angle only a contortionist could relate to, Keller somehow splashed the ball out of the beach and kept it on the green, giving herself an uphill attempt at par. It took three putts from there, however.
“I had so many three-putts it was ridiculous,” she said. “I’d get on the green in two and three putt, and then it was a bogey. That needs some improvement.
“It’s physical in the aspect I blew it by the whole almost every time. (The greens) were fast but I knew that coming in and should have adjusted to that. And once I missed putts then it became all mental and I didn’t trust my aim.”
Delone head coach Chuck Minchik believes Keller is finding her form at just the right time of the season.
“She’s really been working on her game,” he said. “She’s so close to being what we had last year in districts. She’s so close. She stands a very good chance of going to states, and I wouldn’t put anything past her.”
Delone Catholic’s Bryson Kopp, Evan Glass and Gino Giraffa also competed in the individual tournament on Friday but were unable to finish above the cutline after posting respective scores of 93, 104 and 105.
The Squires, who won the YAIAA team title last week, placed fifth in the team competition on Friday. Camdyn Keller had a tremendous round, carding an 80 that tied for the fifth-best score of the afternoon.
“All year Camdyn played in the third spot and struggled with his driver,” said Minchik. “I rode with him for nine holes yesterday and we got the driver worked out, and he was ecstatic. All day long the driver was working, it was a thing of beauty. I expected him to have a good day.”
In Class 3A action from Honey Run, Evan Twyman of South Western shot a 71 to join a five-player logjam for fourth place. Twyman tees off at 11:39 a.m. today in Round 2.
Mustang Liesel Strine missed the cut in the 3A girls’ competition by three strokes on Friday after shooting a 104.
District 3 Golf Championships
Class 3A – Honey Run Golf Club
Team: 1. Dallastown 298, 2. Lampeter-Strasburg 304, 3. Cumberland Valley 309, 4. Wilson 312
1. Ben Freeman (Cedar Crest) 68, T2. Sam Elsen (Susquehannock) & Brady Davidson (Cumberland Valley) 70, T4. Matthew Wilson (Lampeter-Strasburg), Evan Twyman (South Western), Ben Wilson (Lampeter-Strasburg), Emmett Kappesser (Manheim Twp.) & Reed Krosse (Dallastown) 71, 9. Jared Foltz (Wilson) 72, 10. Logan Wagner (Solanco) 73, T11. Trevor Snyder (Dover), Anthony DePietress (Cumberland Valley) & Ryan Thomas (Susquehannock) 74, T14. Evan Jozwiak (Wilson) & Joey Sembrat (Central Dauphin) 75, T16. Dylan Byers (Waynesboro), Noah Shultz (Central York), Cameron White (Central Dauphin) & Kole Washleski (Daniel Boone) 76, T20. Bobby Nicholson (Dallastown), Jimmy Hook (Kennard-Dale), Mason Tucker (Dallastown), Trey Rios (Cocalico), Tyler Fortney (Waynesboro), Caden Blanchette (Northeastern), Sean Kelly (Palmyra) & Tyson Mitchell (Warwick) 77, T28. Tyler Bask (Bishop McDevitt) & Jake Shmonov (Central Dauphin) 78, T30. Jesse Shue (Penn Manor), Nick Rizzuto (Northeastern) & Lane Krosse (Dallastown) 79
Makensy Knaub (Dallastown) 73, 2. Ella Lowry (Waynesboro) 82, T3. Emily McAninch (Cumberland Valley), Jill Fichter (Cedar Crest) & Keegan Dings (Penn Manor) 84, 6. Lilly McNally (West York) 85, 7. Heather Sanbower (Chambersburg) 86, T8. Addison Shover (Mechanicsburg), Elle Overly (Warwick) & Paisley Kappesser (Manheim Twp.) 88, 11. Taylor Hicks (Dallastown 89, 12. Gigi Merino (York Suburban) 90, T13. Sydney Barnes (Greencastle) & Eva Moawad (Central Dauphin) 94, T15. Bailey Toporcer (Mechanicsburg) & Emily Rensch (Chambersburg) 95, 17. Haley Hebel (Susquehannock) 99, 18. Cambria Crossley (Cumberland Valley) 101
Missed cut: Liesel Strine (South Western) 104
Class 2A – Briarwood East Golf Club
Team: 1. Boiling Springs 331, 2. Lancaster Catholic 338, 3. Newport 346, 4. Berks Catholic 361, 5. Delone Catholic 368, 7. Lancaster County Christian 397
1. Jack Novis (Lancaster Catholic) 72, 2. Josh Hiles (Boiling Springs) 76, T3. Patrick Doran (York Catholic) & Bradin Peart (Littlestown) 79, T5. Hunter Flickinger (Newport), Clark Brubacher (Conestoga Christian), Camdyn Keller (Delone Catholic) 80, 9. Gavin Badger (Lancaster Catholic) 81, T10. James Ulsh (Trinity), Aiden Fulkroad (Millersburg) & Will Fulmer (Middletown) 82, T13. Chase Maggs (Wyomissing) & Brady Walker (York Catholic) 83; 15. Gavin Fegley (Newport) 84, T16. Matthew Lapp (Pequea Valley), Nathaniel Herbst (Boiling Springs) & Brayden Miller (Newport) 85
Missed cut: Tim Burke (Delone) 91, Bryson Kopp (Delone) 93, Evan Glass (Delone) 104, Gino Giraffa (Delone) 105
1. Paige Richter (Camp Hill) 69, 2. Brooke Graham (Boiling Springs) 84, 3. Madison Ziska (Schuylkill Valley) 86, 4. Eric Gerner (Hamburg) 87, 5. Olivia Kury (York Catholic) 89, 6. Savannah Miller (Lancaster Catholic) 91, 7. Kat Keller (Delone Catholic) 92, T8. Willow Dixon (Camp Hill) & Emilie Barkley (Kutztown) 94
Missed cut: Braiden Wastler (Fairfield) 106, Amalia Romero (Delone) 128