Two of the Inter-Ac League’s top players, Agnes Irwin junior Kaitlyn Lees and Malvern Prep sophomore John Updike, came home from Hershey Tuesday with the Pennsylvania Junior Girls’ and Boys’ championships, respectively. The Junior tournaments are presented by the Allegheny Health Network.
It was the second consecutive girls title for Lees, who plays out of Philadelphia Country Club. But she did it with a lot less drama than last year when she prevailed in a playoff.
Lees, who has been a top-three finisher in the Inter-Ac tourney each of the last four springs, including a runnerup finish at Gulph Mills Golf Club last month, carded a second straight 75 over the 5,685-yard, par-71 East Course at Hershey Country Club to finish three shots ahead of Jennifer Cleary of Applecross Country Club.
Lees made birdies on the fourth and 15th holes to offset three bogeys on each nine in fashioning her 4-over total that gave her a winning score of 8-over 150. Cleary had a 74 to finish second at 11-over 153.
Radnor senior Gabby Kim, the PIAA Class AAA East Regional champion last fall, finished in a tie for third at 154 with fellow Applecross member Rylie Heflin. Kim, who helped the Raiders capture the District One and PIAA Class AAA team titles, added a second-round 78 to her opening-round 76. Heflin had a 75 Tuesday after opening up with a 79.
Meghan Fahey, who bested Lees for the Inter-Ac title at Gulph Mills, had a 79 Tuesday to finish 12th at 160. Fahey, who plays out of Merion Golf Club, led the Academy of Notre Dame to its eighth straight Inter-Ac title this spring.
Conestoga sophomore Samantha Yao, who plays out of White Manor Country Club, carded an 84 to finish tied for 13th at 162. Notre Dame junior Olivia Traynor, who plays out of Overbrook Golf Club, had an 87 to finish in a tie for 18th at 165. Traynor won the Inter-Ac title at Gulph Mills as a freshman in the spring of 2015.
Meanwhile, Updike, who, as a freshman last fall, played a key role in Malvern Prep’s Inter-Ac League title run, wrapped up the boys’ title with a second straight even-par 71 at Hershey East, which played to 6,743 yards for the boys.
Updike, who plays out of Aronimink Golf Club, finished with a 36-hole total of even-par 142, one shot better than Pennsylvania Golf Association individual member Karsen Rush, who closed fast with a 3-under 69 to finish at 1-over 143.
Updike trailed Malvern Prep teammate Andrew Curran by a shot heading into Tuesday’s second round, but Curran, a sophomore who plays out of Overbrook, fell back with an 81 to finish in a tie for 20th at 151.
He was joined at that figure by Radnor senior Mike Sydnes, who bounced back from an opening-round 79 with a solid 1-over 72. Sydnes, who plays out of Talamore Country Club, was another key member of Radnor’s district and state championship team last fall.
A third member of the Malvern Prep’s Inter-Ac championship team, junior Matthew Davis, finished in a tie for 23rd at 152 after a final-round 74. Davis plays out of Aronimink.
Among the group tied for 32nd at 154 were Waynesborough Country Club’s Matt Marino, who had a 76 in the final round, and Radnor Valley Country Club’s Billy Civitella, who had an 80. The Haverford School’s Samuel Walker, a PAGA individual member, had an 80 to finish tied for 36th at 155.
Among the group tied for 40th at 156 were Waynesborough’s Cole Kemmerer, who had a 78 in the final round, Overbrook’s Tyler Roland, who had a 77, and Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Brian Isztwan, who had a 76.
Merion’s Peter Garno, a sophomore at The Haverford School, finished in a tie for 43rd at 157 after a final-round 80. Overbrook’s David Colleran Jr., a sophomore at Radnor, was another two shots back of Garno at 159 after a final-round 77.
Aronimink’s Case Hummer, a freshman at Episcopal Academy, had an 84 to finish in a tie for 70th, Applecross’ Michael Zeng, a sophomore at Episcopal who had a 78, and Rolling Green Golf Club’s Jake Calamaro, a sophomore at Radnor who had an 82, were among the group tied for 74th at 162, The Springhaven Club’s Kevin Smith, a freshman at Strath Haven, had an 86 to finish in a tie for 80th at 163, and Applecross’ Jacob Zeng, a freshman at Episcopal, had an 83 to finish in a tie for 92nd at 166.
At nearby Spring Creek Golf Club, Joshua Ryan, who has had a big year on the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour, added a second-round 64 to his opening-round 65 for a 129 total that gave him the Boys’ Junior/Junior title. He finished five shots clear of Huntingdon Valley’s Patrick Isztwan, who had a 70 to finish at 134.