West Chester – The Bishop Shanahan golf team found the West Chester Golf & Country Club course to its liking Thursday, defeating host West Chester Henderson, 190-210.
Of course, Shanahan’s sharpshooters (8-1, 8-0) have won on just about every layout they’ve seen this fall.
Leading the way for the Eagles Thursday was Dylan Sterlacci, who shot a two-under-par 33, with three birdies — and it was the first time he’d played the course.
“I like this course, it’s short and straightforward, except for a few blind shots,” said Sterlacci. “This was my best round of the year — my drives were straight.”
The West Chester course features a number of holes in which the fairway slopes steeply from left to right, such as No. 4, a 366-yard par 4 from the blue tees (which the teams were playing Thursday). The left-to-right slopes were not a problem for Sterlacci.
“On No. 4, I drove off the tee with my 3-wood, because I know I can draw the ball with it,” said Sterlacci.
Sterlacci also handled the tough No. 2 hole, an uphill 412-yard par 4 with a false front about 20 yards in front of the green, blocking the golfer’s view of the green. Sterlacci pushed his 9-iron approach to the right into a greenside bunker, but then blasted his bunker shot straight into the cup for a birdie 3.
“I hit it out of the sand a little firm,” said Sterlacci. “The sand was soft, and I put a longer swing on it than I would have liked, but when I hit it out, I could see that the ball was moving on a line to the cup.”
On No. 5, a 319-yard downhill par 4, Sterlacci hit a driver, then a sand wedge to about 15 feet, then made the putt for another birdie.
Sterlacci’s putter saved him on the sixth hole, as he drained another 15-footer for a par.
Two holes later, he birdied No. 8, a short (482 yards) par 5 that doglegs to the right and has very little room behind the green. Sterlacci hit a driver, then a 6-iron just short of the green, then a chip and a 6-foot putt for his third birdie of the afternoon.
“A couple of our guys have played this course,” Shanahan head coach Pete Lovenguth said. “But I always tell our golfers when we play an away match, ‘If you haven’t played this course before, trust what you see, work on hitting fairways and greens — you don’t have to do anything spectacular to do well.’”
Shanahan golfers Pat Nulty (37) and Joe O’Malley (38) also handled the West Chester course well. For Nulty, it was his first time on the track.
“I like the greens here, they’re the same speed as our home course at Downingtown,” said Nulty. “They’re small greens. The sidehill lies here can be tough, and there are some blind shots, but on those, you have to go with your gut, trust your shot.”
On No. 4, Nulty hit a 4-wood and pitching wedge to three feet, then canned the putt for a birdie.
O’Malley, who birdied the eighth hole Thursday, happens to be a member of the West Chester course.
“This was one of my better rounds,” said O’Malley. “The sidehill lies here are a good challenge. My favorite hole on this course is No. 3 (a 134-yard par 3) — four years ago, I got a hole-in-one here with a pitching wedge.”
O’Malley used a pitching wedge Thursday on No. 3, and the ball finished eight feet from the hole. He missed the birdie putt and got a par.
Ryan Conners (40) and Gina Lizzo (42) completed the scoring for Shanahan.
West Chester Henderson’s home course is Radley Run, but the course was not available for the Thursday match, hence the move to West Chester Golf & Country Club, where the Warriors occasionally play practice rounds.
Henderson’s Dylan Teeter, who has been a member of the West Chester club since age 10, led the Warriors with a 36. He closed strongly, getting birdies on Nos. 6 and 8.
“My favorite hole on this course is No. 8,” said Teeter. “It’s a hole where you have a good opportunity for a birdie.
On No. 6, a 337-yard uphill par 4, Teeter hit a good drive, then from 110 yards out hit a 52-degree gap wedge to six feet.
“The fairway really slopes to the right on No. 6,” said Teeter. “Sometimes you have to aim for the left rough off the tee, so the ball will finish in a good spot on the fairway.”
Also for the Warriors, Pat Muth and Jack Strame each shot 42.
Bishop Shanahan 190, West Chester Henderson 210
At West Chester G&CC — 9 holes, Par 35
Bishop Shanahan — Dylan Sterlacci 33, Pat Nulty 37, Joe O’Malley 38, Ryan Conners 40, Gina Lizzo 42.
West Chester Henderson — Dylan Teeter 36, Pat Muth 42, Jack Strame 42, Sam Bertrando 45, Liam Pitt 45.