WOODCOCK TOWNSHIP — It was not ideal conditions for golf.
However, the District 10 team and individual championships were scheduled, and nothing short of a weather phenomenon was going to delay them. So wind and 50 degree weather were merely inconvenience as two teams claimed titles and 25 individuals advanced to today’s final round at the Country Club of Meadville on Friday.
In Class 3A, Cathedral Prep added another crown to its trophy case, beating McDowell 322-339. Class 2A turned into a three-team chase, but in the end it was Grove City that won with a 346. Fairview was second with a 351, while Corry shot 356 to place third. Saegertown (367) and Lakeview (383) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
“We played well considering the conditions,” said Saegertown head coach Brian Hanley. “And listen, I didn’t come into the day thinking we were the team to beat. The last time we were here (for the Marquette I nvitational), Grove City threw out an 80. Our best score (Friday) was an 81.
“But we didn’t have any triple numbers, which is big. And I was very proud of the way the kids played, especially on a difficult course, in these temperatures and wind.”
Hanley was not done with the Country Club, as he had one of the three area players to advance to today’s second round.
In Class 3A, Meadville’s Ryan Ferry, one of 10 Class 3A golfers to make Friday’s cut, was in a three-way tie for second after carding a 79. That score, more than any other, shows just how difficult the conditions were. After all, Ferry fired a 68 at this same course last year to set the Marquette Invitational record. At this year’s Marquette Invitational, Ferry matched that record with another 68. The senior had also shot a 68 this year at the North Hills Invitational and one during a practice round at the Country Club.
“I’m sure everyone lost feel, just like I did,” said Ferry. “We went from playing in 85 (Thursday) to 55 (Friday). It is a big change to play in 50 degree weather. The ball doesn’t fly as true. The greens are harder to feel with your body. Like, I didn’t make one putt (Friday), not one birdie. I usually make three or four a round.”
Despite that, Ferry was still right in the hunt.
The leader in Class 3A was McDowell’s Max Paris, who carded a 78. Then there was Ferry in a tie with Cathedral Prep’s Evan Rowane and McDowell’s Skyler Carr at 79. Another stroke back at 80 were The Cathedral Prep duo of Breckin Taylor and Luke Misko. That leaves a tight race at the top of the standings for today’s final round. And whichever golfers can adjust to the differences in the course from Friday to today will likely earn one of the two qualifying spots for the Northwest Regional.
Ferry may not be right where he wants to be, but he is in a comfortable position to advance.
“I wanted to get a bit of a cushion (Friday) heading into (Saturday),” said Ferry. “But playing from a shot behind, it isn’t that big of a deal. I did it the last two years with (Cathedral Prep’s) Patrick Kelly here. I am almost more comfortable. Playing from one-stroke behind is easier for me I think.
“(Today) I am going to play my game and if I don’t get out, I don’t get out. This is the last time I am going to play an event (at the Country Club). I just want to leave everything out there.”
Class 2A isn’t much different at the top of the individual standings. There were 15 golfers to make the cut, with Slippery Rock’s Jacob Wolak leading the way with a stellar 77. Running in a tie for second place were Hickory’s Cam Colbert and North East’s Carter Hassenplug, both with a 78.
Locally, the top players was Conneaut Area’s Alex Wiles. The Eagle senior was tied with Fairview’s Jared Franc for fourth place. Wiles and Franc each finished with solid rounds of 80.
“I’m very pleased with (Alex’s) round,” said CASH head coach Bob Slevin. “It was tough. But (Alex) is a grinder. One of those kids that finds a way to the finish line.
Now Wiles finds himself in a great position to make it to regionals. While just two advance in Class 3A, a total of eight will make it out in Class 2A. That means Wiles just needs to stay where he is at and he will advance.
“Hes very competitive young man,” said Slevin. “He has a willingness to want to succeed, be comepetitive and move on to the next level. One of his goals was to get to the regionals.”
As for Hanley, his golfer was Dylan Flinchbaugh, who is in a similar situation to Wiles. Flinbaugh fired a first-round 81 and was tied with Mercyhurst Prep’s Trey Crispen and Mike Stoddart for sixth. If the order of finish does not change, that’s a trip to regionals for the sophomore.
“I just wanted to take it shot by shot and play the best I could,” said Flinchbaugh. “I knew with it being windy and cold the scores were going to be up. So if I played decent, I would be able to go (to the regional). I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but it was good enough to make it back for (Saturday).
“(Saturday) I just want to get in the top eight, go to regional and show people what I can do.”
Several other area golfers competed on Friday but did not make the cut.
in Class 3A, Michael Mahoney missed the cut by five strokes as he shot a 93.
Brett Beith was one shot from advancing in Class 2A. The Lakeview Sailor carded an 86 and was eliminated when the last card came in. Fellow Sailors Nate McIntire (93), Anthony Grim (102) and Cameron Feely (105) also missed the cut.
Union City’s Josh Hames fired an 88 to come up three-strokes short of the cut. The Bears’ Tyler Parkhurst missed the cut with a 95.
Saegertown’s Nick Archacki (92), Cambridge Springs Lance Welker(92) and Conneaut Area’s Jordan Vaughn (93) also could not advance to the second day.
The final round of the District 10 individual tournament is back at the Country Club of Meadville today. The final round for both boys and girls begins at 9:30 a.m.