YARDLEY – While the 2015 Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference golf trophy may have come down to a coin toss when Council Rock North won the flip with sister school CR South, Pennsbury was determined not to leave its fate in such uncertain terms this year.
When the Falcons lost by five strokes to the Golden Hawks, however, in an early season matchup at Spring Mill Country Club, that left Pennsbury’s future in jeopardy.
When the two sides squared off in the rematch later on in the season at Yardley Country Club, the Falcons not only had to win, they had to win by at least six strokes to have any shot at a league title and a possible postseason bid.
Pennsbury did just that and more, topping CR South, 197-206. The nine-stroke win over the Hawks earned the Falcons a share of the SOL National Conference trophy just one year after finishing dead even at 7-7.
Senior Ryan Kim – a first team All-SOL National Conference selection in 2016 – led the way with a 1-over-par 37. Sophomores Pat Laushell and Chris Dull were next at 3-over-par 39. Senior Brendan Strenge came in at 4-over-par 40 and senior Justin Friedman carded 6-over-par 42.
Griffin Smith was the low scorer for Rock South at 38 while Lucas Clarke and Joe Vassallo both came in at 41. Simon Asadoorian and Matt Fleming – both, with 43 – rounded out the scoring for the Golden Hawks.
“I was really nervous before this match but I knew we could win,” said Pennsbury head coach Curtis May. “I am really proud of what they accomplished this season and how consistent they have been.”
While both the Falcons and the Hawks finished dead even at 11-1 in league play, Pennsbury was awarded the automatic bid to districts based on the four-stroke differential in the two matches, combined.
A couple of things worked against the Falcons’ favor the first time the sides squared off on CR South’s home course. Both Kim and sophomore Griffin Foll double-bogeyed the last hole at No. 9 and Zach Bloom came through with a 37 – six strokes below his season average – for the Golden Hawks.
Bloom came back down to earth in the rematch, carding 10-over-par 46.
In addition to Kim’s nomination to the first team, Pennsbury garnered additional postseason accolades when both Laushell and Friedman were named second team All-SOL National. Dul and senior Dan Herbine made it onto the third team while senior McKenzie Mix was selected first team All-SOL National Conference on the girls side.
Friedman was the best golfer for the Falcons in the Suburban One League golf championships Sept. 26 at Indian Valley Country Club. Justin carded 10-over-par 82 to obtain his pass to districts. Kim also earned an individual berth in districts, carding 85 strokes – just above the cut line – at SOLs.
Mix also made it to districts, individually, when she carded 92 strokes in the SOL Girls Golf Championships held a week later at Five Ponds. McKenzie finished eighth in the tournament, despite a triple bogey on the opening hole and two more triples along the way. She finished fourth last year when SOLs were hosted at LuLu Country Club.
Rock South captured the wild card slot into districts, led by Lucas Clarke, who notched low score for the day when he came in at 3-under-par 69. Additional scorers for the Hawks included Griffin Smith with an 80, Matt Fleming with an 84 and Simon Asadoorian with an 88.
Smith was the only CR South golfer to make it through the first-day cut at districts, when he came back with a 6-over par 78 to finish in a tie for 25th place Oct. 10 at Turtle Creek Golf Course.
Mix just missed the first-day cut in districts when she carded 16-over-par 87 Oct. 11 at Gilbertsville Golf Club. McKenzie started off nicely with a birdie on the opening hole and was just two over par through six when she double bogeyed both seven and eight. She started the back nine nicely with par but blew up with a quadruple bogey on number 11.