It had to be a disappointing finish to a strong freshman season of scholastic golf for Strath Haven’s Kevin Smith.
He was a consistent force for the Panthers in dual matches and fired a 75 at Turtle Creek Golf Club to finish tied for third in the Central League Tournament. A couple of weeks later on the same Turtle Creek layout, Smith had an 87 and failed to make the cut for the second day of the District One Class AAA Tournament.
It’s not the first time a promising freshman had a tough time on the first day of districts. Won’t be the last.
But if anybody doubted Smith’s ability to bounce back from that disappointment, he made a big statement in the opening round of a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour stop Saturday at the Seaview Hotel & Golf Club’s Bay Course, home of the ShopRite LPGA Classic, in Galloway Township, N.J.
Smith made four birdies on his way to a sizzling 2-under-par 69 over the 6,089-yard, par-71 Bay Course to take a five-shot lead in the boys 13-to-18 division into Sunday’s final round. Round 2 will be contested on Seaview’s Pines Course.
Christopher Warner of Medford, N.J. is alone in second place with a 3-over 74. Calen Sanderson of Skillman, N.J., Cole Shew of West Chester and Ben Wiseman, a junior on New Hope-Solebury’s District One Class AA championship team, are tied for third, each carding a 76.
Conestoga junior Ryan Tall, the Central League individual champion, and Casey Carson of Wenonah, N.J. are tied for sixth at 77. Andrew Gallagher of Mount Laurel, N.J., Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. and Caleb Rossi of Cedar Run, N.J. are tied for eighth at 78.
Timothy Chaykosky Jr. of Ambler and Alec Ryden of Moorestown, N.J. are tied for 11th at 79. Haverford School sophomore Andreas Aivazoglou heads a group of four players tied for 13th at 80. He is joined at that figure by Logan Raczewski of Dallas, Harrison Graham of Wenonah, N.J. and Hayden Moffat of Hatboro.
On the girls side, Haley Quickel of Middletown, Del. had three birdies on her way to an 82 on a Bay Course that measures 5,618 yards for the girls to take a commanding seven-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round.
Chichester senior Caprian Kan headed a group of five players tied for second, each posting an 89. Kan is joined at that figure by Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken, Eden Richmond of Princeton, N.J., Michelle Cheung of Toms River, N.J. an d Jessica McClellan of Freeland.
Maya Torpey of Malvern and Olivia Strigh of Hammonton, N.J. are tied for seventh at 90. Kayla Gutierrez of Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. sits in ninth with a 98, Savanna Haas of Pottstown is 10th at 104 and Lindsey Fogarasi of Collegeville is 11th at 117.
The Graham Company is the title sponsor of the Junior Tour.