A flock of Chester County golfers were contending for the lead after the first round of the PIAA State Golf Championships Monday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
In the Boys’ Class AA Division, Devon Prep junior Ryan McCabe shot a two-over par 73 Monday, just one stroke off the lead. He is tied for fourth place, behind a trio of co-leaders in Hickory junior Cam Colbert, Brandywine Heights junior Elijah Ruppert and Riverside senior Skyler Fox.
McCabe’s round included five birdies and a double-bogey at No. 18, the No. 1 handicap hole, a long par 4 that includes a pond just short of the green.
“Ryan had an unbelievable round, and was on fire on the back nine,” said Devon Prep golf coach Monica Pedano. “He hit some unbelievable approach shots from some challenging locations to get birdies on No. 11 and 14.”
Last year, McCabe finished second at the PIAA Class AA State Boys’ Golf Championships, shooting a second-round 72 to finish just two strokes behind first-place finisher William Mirams of Notre Dame East Strousburg. As a freshman, McCabe finished 15th at States.
In the Girls’ Class AAA Division, West Chester East sophomore Victoria Kim shot a one-over-par 73 Monday, just one stroke behind the leader, Lower Merion freshman Sydney Yermish (72).
Yermish started her round on the 10th hole, shot a 38 for the first nine and bogeyed hole No. 1 to go 3-over par, then birdied hole Nos. 2, 5 and 7.
“Sydney played really well, and putted much better, on her last nine holes – she took only 15 putts,” said Lower Merion head coach Dennis Keenan.
Kim, who started the round on hole No. 10, birdied the 11th hole, then birdied the tough par 3 15th hole, and challenged for the lead throughout the round. Near the end of her round, on the short par sixth hole, she nearly drove the green, landing in a greenside bunker. Her subsequent bunker shot hit the flagstick and bounced back to the fringe, from where she 3-putted for a bogey.
“Victoria had a very solid round, was very strong off the tee,” said West Chester East golf coach Todd Lorback. “She avoided [big] mistakes, was able to keep everything on front of her.”
Two strokes behind Kim was Unionville freshman Mary Dunigan, who was tied for fourth place with a 3-over-par 75.
“It was her first competitive round at Heritage,” said Unionville girls golf coach Joe Sudimak. “We’re extremely pleased with her round – she had a stretch of three bogeys in a row, but she finished with birdies at Nos. 17 and 18.”
Downingtown East sophomore Ava O’Sullivan is further back in the pack, with an 82 that placed her in 13th place heading into Tuesday.
In the Boys’ Class AAA Division, Conestoga junior Morgan Lofland shot a 4-over-par 75, eight strokes behind leader Carson Bacha of Central York (67). Three boys broke par Monday – Bacha, Shady Side Academy junior Adam Luer (68) and Norristown junior Josh Ryan (70).
Lofland, who was tied for 10th place heading into Tuesday, started his Monday round with two birdies, then bogeyed five holes in a row, then bounced back with a string of pars.
“Morgan was hitting the ball well late in his round and had multiple birdie attempts on his back nine,” said Conestoga golf coach John Jones. “He just lipped out a couple of putts. He battled and hung tough. He is very competitive and will be looking to make a run [Tuesday].”
One stroke back of Lofland was Unionville junior Roy Anderson, who shot a 5-over-par 76 to tie for 16th place heading into Tuesday. Anderson’s round included four birdies.
“It seemed like an up-and-down day for Roy, with hot streaks and cold streaks,” said Unionville boys golf coach Jimmy O’Rourke. “Those four birdies helped him post a good number today. Roy is a gamer, and I’m sure he will look to fire away Tuesday. There are some quirky holes on this course, but it’s a course on which a good number can be gotten. I’m looking to see Roy and Jack [Cooley] make some noise Tuesday.”
Unionville senior Jack Cooley shot an 80 to tie for 24th place with four other golfers, including Harriton senior Andrew Wallace and Radnor senior Jack Hamilton.
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