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Unionville’s Bennink in the mix after opening round of states

Day One of the PIAA Golf Championships got underway Monday morning at arguably one of the state’s most challenging courses.

And the scores from Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, PA certainly reflected it.

Jimmy Myers, a junior out of Central Catholic, turned in the day’s lone round under-par with a 1-under 70 followed by Franklin Regional’s Palmer Jackson and Peters Township’s Hunter Bruce, who each finished up at even-par.

Holy Ghost Prep’s Liam Hart currently sits in a three-way tie for fourth at 1-over while Unionville’s Connor Bennink is currently tied for seventh at 2-over.

Hart opened his round at 1-under through two holes, but then ran into trouble when he went bogey-bogey on Nos. 3 and 4. He finished his round on a positive note, though, with a birdie on No. 18.

Bennink came out of the gates steaming. He sat 2-under through five holes, but ran into trouble on No. 6 with a triple bogey.

“I need to maintain concentration especially on the short putts,” said Bennink, a junior. “I missed a couple today and that’s pretty frustrating.”

Still, he was landing safely off the tee — no easy task on a tricky and undulated course.

“I really kept my drive in play, which is key at Heritage Hills,” said Bennink. “I hit some solid approach shots that led to my five birdies.”

Exeter junior Alex Seelig fired a 3-over 74 and is currently tied for 11th overall with Northern York’s Austin Schreffler.

Almost to script, the next four spots belong to the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

Spring-Ford’s Ben Pochet, Norristown’s Caleb Ryan and Owen J. Roberts’ Ward McHenry all came in at 4-over with Pope John Paul II’s J.T. Spina right in two at 5-over.

The four of them will congregate together Tuesday at the first tee at 9:10 a.m.

Pochet, the reigning PAC and District One champion and Eastern Regional runner-up, finished with three bogeys, two double bogeys and three birdies for his round.

McHenry was steady for the most part — mixing in just one birdie with five bogeys, including two on his final two holes. He struggled with the course’s Par-3’s, shooting bogeys on three out of the four.

Ryan had a tough time on the front-side. The junior sat 4-over through the front nine with four bogeys. He seemed to find his groove on the backside, though, where he mixed in three birdies on the way to an even-par 35.

Spina, like Ryan, saved his best for the backside.

The junior, who finished tied for third-overall at states last season, was 4-over through nine holes before he rattled off eight straight pars on the back-nine. He then walked off with a bogey on No. 18.

* * *

Elsewhere around the district, William Tennent’s Colin Walsh sits at 8-over while Neshaminy’s Greg DeLuca, Conestoga’s Morgan Lofland and Norristown’s Josh Ryan currently sit tied for 26th at 10-over. Kevin Anthony is in at 14-over headed into Day Two.

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