FRANCONIA >> With Indian Valley Country Club providing a tough challenge Monday for golfers at the Suburban One League Tournament, the goal was simple — card a score good enough to advance to the District 1 Championship.
“You basically just try to survive out here,” North Penn’s Andrew Lombardo said. “If it’s going bad you got to keep your head together. All it is is try to hit normal golf shots. Hit some fairways, hit some greens. Make putts when you have to a shoot and shoot a decent score, it doesn’t have to be your best round ever.”
Lombardo was one of three Knights to be among the SOL’s 37 Class AAA boys qualifiers, shooting a 4-over 76 to take fourth place, seven shots off the day’s best round of 3-under 69 by Council Rock South’s Lukas Clark.
“It was pretty smooth,” Lombardo said. “It was tough out there. I hit the ball really well, I didn’t make many putts, so I could have been a little lower, but I played very smooth I was happy.”
On a warm, overcast day, Indian Valley gave golfers plenty to work against, even for a member of the club like Souderton’s Dawson Anders.
“I play it all the time and it’s a huge advantage, it just didn’t seem like it,” said Anders, who tied for fifth at 6-over 78. “Between the wind and just not hitting it where you want to, it’s a really hard course sometimes. Today was one of those days.”
A total of 21 local golfers made the cut — which ended up being 13-over 85. Along with North Penn, Souderton, Plymouth Whitemarsh, William Tennent and Wissahickon are all sending three to the district tournament, which is Oct. 10-11 at Turtle Creek Golf Course.
“I think it sets up for my game, I think it sets up for everyone’s game to be honest,” said North Penn’s Ron Robinson of the Limerick course.
Hatboro-Horsham and Upper Dublin both qualified two, with HH’s Hayden Moffat collected the best round out of the Suburban One League American Conference with a 2-over 74, behind just Clark’s 69 and Central Bucks East’s Hayden Rousselle 1-over 73.
“Certainly putting well and put myself in play off the tie,” said Moffat, who began Monday with birdies on his first two holes. “Made it easier on me.”
North Penn came close to earning the Suburban One’s wildcard berth in the District 1 team championships, but the Knights — led by qualifiers Lombardo, Ron Robinson and Nick Romano — were edged out by Council Rock South, the Golden Hawks’s 321 bettering NP’s 326.
“It was tough. We had a good year,” Lombardo said. “Just missed out on winning our (conference). We came in second place and played pretty solid.”
Robinson was just behind Lombardo on the scoreboard, as his 5-over 77 put him in a four-way tie for fifth with Wissahickon’s Matt Graeff, Luca Jezzeny of Central Bucks West and Central Bucks East’s Matt Becker.
“I wasn’t hitting the ball very well at all,” Robinson said. “I was getting off the tee fine, but it was just the irons weren’t what I wanted it to be. But I scrambled.”
Graeff was 5-over after five holes after two bogeys, a par and a double bogey, but rebounded to take fifth and move on with fellow Trojans Phil James and Noah Harrington, who both shot 13-over 85s.
“I started on two, which is a tough hole and five’s a tough hole and six, they’re tough holes,” Graeff said. “I mean, obviously, they’re going to play tougher. I just realized there’s birdie opportunities.”
Souderton had the third-lowest team score at 330 with the Indians paced by Anders’ 78, which tied him with Central Bucks East’s Patrick Sheehan for fifth.
“I’d hit some good shots but the greens were playing so difficult they’d either spin off or just roll out a ton,” Anders said. “My tee shots didn’t set up for birdies.”
Wissahickon (333), Central Bucks south (336) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Cheltenham’s Stephen DeFrancis tied for 11th with an 8-under 80 while Ryan Borrmann of William Tennent and Souderton’s Anthony Barr had 9-under 81 to tie for 15th.
Souderton’s Tom Butler, Upper Dublin’s David Kim and Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Jake Butler and Matt Aprile all finished at 10-over 82.
Romano, Upper Dublin’s Matt Hebling and Colin Walsh of William Tennent collected 11-over 83. Michael Morris of Hatboro-Horsham, PW’s Jon Green and Tennent’s Dan McCabe got just under the district cut with their 13-under 85s.
The Suburban One League Girls Tournament is Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Five Ponds Golf Course in Warminster.
Suburban One League Golf Tournament
At Indian Valley Country Club (Par 72)
District 1 Qualifiers: 1. Lukas Clark (CRS) 69 2. Hayden Rousselle (CBE) 73; 3. Hayden Moffat (HH) 74; 4. Andrew Lombardo (NP) 76; T5. Ron Robinson (NP) 77; T5. Matt Graeff (W) 77; T5 Matt Becker (CBE) 77; T5. Luca Jezzeny (CBW) 77; T9. Patrick Sheehan (BE) 78; T9. Dawson Anders (Soud) 78; T11. Griffin Smith (CRS) 80; T11. Chris Benvenuto (Nesh) 80; T11. Shane Nocito (HST) 80; T11. Stephen DeFrancis (Chelt) 80; T15. Ryan Borrmann (WT) 81; T15. Matt Davis (CBE) 81; T15. Anthony Barr (Soud) 81; T18. Justin Friedman (Pbury) 82; T18. Jake Butler (PW) 82; T18. David Kim (UD) 82; T18. Kevin Anthony (CBS) 82; T18. Matt Aprile (PW) 82; T18. Tom Butler (Soud) 82; T24. Colin Walsh (WT) 83; T24. Colin Johnson (CBS) 83; T26. Evan Casey (CBS) 84; T26. Calvin Suk (Q) 84; T26. Matt Hebling (UD) 84; T26. Matt Fleming (CRS) 84; T26.Conor Welles (CRN) 84; T26. Nick Romano (NP) 84; T32. Michael Morris (HH) 85; T32. Ryan Kim (Pbury) 85; T32. Jon Green (PW) 85; T32. Dan McCabe (WT) 85; T32. Phil James (W) 85; T32. Noah Harrington (W) 85.
Team Scores: Council Rock South 321; North Penn 226; Souderton 330; Wissahickon 333; Central Bucks South 336; Plymouth Whitemarsh 339; Hatboro-Horsham 341; Upper Dublin 347; William Tennent 350; Central Bucks West 356; Abington 364.
Top Photo: Souderton’s Dawson Anders tees off during SOL golf tournament at Indian Valley Country Club on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)