These girls can really play
In 2000, when there was no regional tournament, Radnor’s Lauren Eveland posted a 167 total in the District One Tournament at Wyncote Golf Club and earned a spot in the PIAA Tournament field.
Since then, the talent level in District One among the girls has surged and last week’s district tournament provided ample evidence of that fact.
It was pretty astounding when Isabella Dilisio of Mount St. Joseph fired the first shot on Day 1 of the girls tournament Tuesday at Gilbertsville Golf Club when she posted a remarkable 5-under 66.
Conditions were wet over the Red and White nines, which measured 5,119 yards. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their balls all over the golf course. But 66 is 66.
And then 15 minutes later, another 66, this one by talented Pennsbury sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, went up on the board.
And neither one of these girls was Erica Herr, who had won this event the past two years, denying eventual 2010 PIAA champion Aurora Kan of Chichester a fourth straight district title in Herr’s freshman year.
All Herr did Tuesday at Gilbertsville was shoot a 1-over 72, a figure that was matched by her little sister, freshman Madeline Herr.
Erica Herr, Rogowicz and Dilisio finished 1-2-3, respectively, at the PIAA Tournament at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort a year ago, so it wasn’t a total shock that they would be ahead of the pack.
Surely at a longer Turtle Creek for Day 2 Wednesday with the wind starting to blow as it often does at the Turtle, the scores would be significantly higher.
Higher, yes. Significantly? Not really.
Dilisio fired a 1-under 71 to take the title at 6-under 137. Rogowicz matched par at 72, despite a quadruple bogey nine on the 18th hole — her ninth of the day — to finish a shot back of Dilisio at 5-under 138. Rogowicz was 4-under on the back nine — again her first nine holes — until she dumped two balls in the water on the 18th.
Two-time defending champion Erica Herr couldn’t make up the big first-round deficit, but had the low round of the day, a sparkling 2-under 70 to finish alone in third place at 1-under 142. Little sister Madeline fell back with an 81, but still claimed fourth place alone at 153.
Radnor senior Jamie Susanin, who led the Red Raiders to the district team title on Day 1 at Gilbertsville, claimed fifth all alone at 155 (74-81) and her freshman teammate Brynn Walker was alone in sixth place at 159 (76-83).
Walker is friendly with the Herr sisters from playing with them at AJGA and other junior events. But she also made it sound as though she feels she can compete with them.
Garnet Valley sophomore Annika Vandayar, who is a very nice player, was the most obvious victim of the vast improvement on the girls scene. Vandayar posted an opening-round 79 at Gilbertsville, but her second-round 86 at the Turtle left her outside the eight regional qualifiers at 165. Again, 12 years ago that 165 gets her a top-five district finish and a trip to states.
The other remarkable thing about Dilisio’s opening-round 66 was that the Radnor girls were able to overcome that score and still beat Mount St. Joe to win their second straight district team crown by four shots.
In addition to Susanin’s 74 and Walker’s 76, the Red Raiders got a solid 79 from sophomore Julia Curley and an 81 from senior Allie Ziegler — a co-captain along with Susanin. As Ziegler pointed out after the waiting was over, the Red Raiders improved 32 shots from their title-winning score from a year ago at Gilbertsville and it almost wasn’t good enough.
Golf is such an individual endeavor, it doesn’t always lend itself to a team dynamic. But the Radnor girls play better for each other than they do for themselves.
As Curley lamented her second-round 92 on Day 2 at Turtle Creek, Ziegler threw an arm around her and said, “Yeah, but you were there when we needed you (Tuesday).”
The introduction of another classification in PIAA golf, Class AA, didn’t seem to make much difference on the Delco scholastic scene. Or did it?
Glen Mills golf coach Steve Natalie, who does a super job running the district tournament each year, informed me that Archbishop Carroll would be representing District 12 in a Class AA subregional three-time tournament Friday at Turtle Creek.
The field would include the Patriots, District One champion New Hope and Notre Dame (Green Pond) from District Eleven.
Notre Dame edged New Hope by two shots, 338-340, to earn the berth in the state team competition. Carroll was a ways back at 393.
But in corresponding with Carroll coach Kevin McCarthy, I discovered that two of his players, senior Sean Henry and sophomore Mike McCarthy, had earned individual berths in Tuesday’s East Regional Tournament at Golden Oaks.
Carroll’s other players who teed it up in Friday’s PIAA subregional were senior Sean Monahan, junior Steve Truitt and sophomore Matt Burns. Rounding out the squad that was crowned the Catholic League’s Class AA champion are seniors Ryan Burkitt and Adam Baer and freshman James O’Toole.
Haverford School played host to Inter-Ac League mini-tournament No. 4 Monday at Gulph Mills Golf Club and two-time All-Delco Scott Jaster remained red-hot, taking medalist honors for the day with a 34.
Jake Van Arkel added a 35, All-Delco Cole Berman and Max Siegfried posted 38s, Ryan Tetrault had a 39 and Timmy Brooks and Jay Losty each had 40 as the Fords’ 224 total was 19 shots clear of runnerup Malvern Prep (243).
With senior Sean Fahey out of the lineup with an injury, Episcopal Academy settled for third place at 252. Senior Alex Dupre led the way for the Churchmen with a 37.
Malvern Prep was scheduled to host mini-tournament No. 5 Tuesday at Waynesborough C.C., but those results have yet to be posted. The sixth and final mini-tournament is scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 18, with Penn Charter playing host at Huntingdon Valley C.C.
The Bert Linton Inter-Ac League Tournament is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 with the league’s top players teeing it up at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill course.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
Springfield senior Kyle Hakun tuned up for the District One Tournament with a third-place finish in the 16-to-18 division in a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour stop Oct. 6 at Green Valley C.C.
Hakun carded an 81 in windy conditions over the 6,611-yard, par-71 Green Valley layout. The preparation paid dividends when the Central League champion battled back from an opening-round 77 with a second-round 74 at Turtle Creek to earn one of the 16 qualifying berths to this week’s East Regional Tournament at Golden Oaks C.C.
In the 13-to-15 division, Penncrest sophomore Griffin Colvin finished second with a 78.