GILBERTSVILLE >> While they don’t typically do a lot of scorecard watching during their rounds, Owen J. Roberts sophomore Stefania Fedun and Methacton senior Riley Thomas knew not much separated them as they came down the stretch during Wednesday’s Pioneer Athletic Conference Girls District 1 Qualifier.
Fedun, who was the low scorer during the boys district qualifier Tuesday while competing for the OJR team, finished atop the leaderboard for the second straight day, parring the final hole to finish with a four-over 74 at Gilbertsville Golf Club — one shot better than Thomas, who set a new career low with a 75.
Spring-Ford sophomore Nicole Yun, who won the PAC Girls Individual title last year over Fedun at Gilbertsville, finished in third with an 80. Upper Merion’s Audrey Schuebel (82) and Phoenixville’s Kate Roberts (83) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“We weren’t really talking about it but toward the end, I noticed we were getting a little close,” Fedun said. “It was definitely a little bit nerve wracking, but I held through with what I had to and just did what I could. I couldn’t control what she did. It all came down to the last hole pretty much.”
Fedun shot a 69 on Tuesday while helping the Wildcats boys team (OJR does not field a girls team) qualify for team districts. Spring-Ford (260) and Methacton (263) shot the lowest team scores for the girls Thursday to advance to the District 1 team championships.
After her stellar round Tuesday, Fedun played another consistent round Wednesday, shooting a 38 on the front-nine Red Course and a 36 on the back-nine Blue Course. She was the only player to shoot two rounds in the 30s.
“I think I played pretty good today,” Fedun said. “I didn’t have as great a round as yesterday, but that didn’t matter. Yesterday was for my team, and today was for myself. I wanted to make it through to the next round. Plus, it was a little wet and windy, so it was pretty tough to score.”
“I just had a pretty consistent pace of holes,” she added. “There was no really good stretch of holes today. I just kind of kept at it.”
Thomas said when she arrived at the course Wednesday she anticipated a score in the low 80s, while hoping to find a way to break into the 70s.
Following a 40 on the Red Course to start her round, she shot a 35 on the Blue Course to finish her day with the lowest nine-hole round on the course. She was two-under par on the back before a double bogey on the final hole.
Thomas, who finished fourth with an 85 last year at Gilbertsville, said Wednesday’s round was three strokes lower than any round she’s carded in any type of competition. It was a nice way to finish off one of her last high school tournaments.
“At first I wasn’t (paying attention to the score) because I wasn’t coming in here thinking I was going to win,” Thomas said. “I was just trying to shoot in the 70s. It kind of got down to it the last few holes, and I started to get in my head that I was close to Stefania. I’m glad she won. She’s very nice.”
“It’s really cool that I’ve come so far since freshman year,” she added.
Yun started her round with a double-par 8, which made things difficult as she tried to chase Fedun and Thomas the rest of the day. Her score was still two strokes better than the 82 she shot to win the PAC last season.
“It was super fun. We talked a lot,” Yun said of playing with Fedun and Thomas. “It’s really nice to play with people with the same skill set and even people who play better because you can always learn from them and see how they play out on the course.”
The top 16 golfers from Wednesday’s event qualified for next week’s District 1 championship, beginning Oct. 5 at Turtle Creek Golf Course.
Spring-Ford’s Morgan Kunze, Alie Adams and Cierra Griffith; Upper Merion’s Amanda Schuebel and Anika Villivalam; Perkiomen Valley’s Sofia Killar, Abigail McCorkel and Olivia Stengel; Phoenixville’s Chelsea Frampton; Boyertown’s Emily Burger and Methacton’s Katie Thomas rounded out the district qualifying field.
“My goal is just to make it through both days of districts and see what happens through the next round,” Fedun said.
The 2020 golf season has been moving by rapidly after a late start while school districts made decisions on whether to play or not to due to safety concerns with COVID-19.
Spring-Ford started match play Sept. 15 and had just four team matches before Wednesday’s district qualifier. Yun said it’s been hard to get into top form in the shortened season, especially as she returns from a shoulder injury that kept her out at the beginning of the month.
Still she’s appreciative the Rams have had a chance to play this fall and for the opportunity to compete in the postseason.
“I’m just glad that I could play here and do the best I can and play with some amazing girls,” Yun said. “Besides all the precautions and stuff like that there’s still the fun and energy in the team that we have, so I think it’s pretty cool. Since it’s condensed it’s just hard to improve as well as you thought you would or could.”
Methacton went 6-0 in match play over the past two weeks, claiming an unofficial league championship with a match victory over Spring-Ford on Tuesday. Thomas will not play in college, so being able to have this season and have the team and individual success she’s had so far has also been extra special for her.
“I was really hoping we’d have this season because I’ve loved playing every year,” Thomas said. “We just won PACs as a team yesterday, so it was nice coming in here and being able to shoot that score.”