There's little doubt that a single day can make a tremendous difference.
York Catholic golfer Nick Geiman proved that point on Thursday afternoon.
The Fighting Irish junior learned a lot about the Briarwood East Golf Course during Wednesday's York-Adams League Team Golf Championship, when he shot a 3-over-par 75.
Geiman used his experience from the day before to his advantage in Thursday's York-Adams League Individual Golf Championship at the same site. Geiman improved by six strokes to finish tied for first with Red Lion's Dylan Reichard at 3-under 69 after 18 holes.
The lefty then needed just two holes to get the better of Reichard during a playoff. Geiman drained a 20-foot birdie putt to best the Lion standout by a stroke en route to his first York-Adams League title.
Both golfers were part of a group of 23 that qualified for next week's District 3 Tournament. Geiman is the first of six York-Adams golfers in Class AA, while Reichard heads a 17-man local contingent in Class AAA.
On the girls' side, Spring Grove's Victoria Ross earned her second league title after shooting a 2-over 72 at Briarwood West. York Catholic's Lauren Parrini finished second with an 81, while Northeastern's Alyssa Demangone was third with an 85.
Having the advantage of playing the same course two straight days was a big key for Geiman.
"I think it was huge, because the pins were exactly the same," he said. "I really knew how the greens were going to hold, because they didn't hold too well. They were really firm and we had to run a lot of shots up there today. So, yeah, it was a huge advantage."
Geiman couldn't, however, give all of the credit for his championship-clinching putt to his skill. He did allow for a little luck.
"I didn't hit a bad putt, but as soon as I hit it I thought it was low," said Geiman, who can add this championship to the one he won at Out Door Country Club this summer. "But it straightened out at the end. It's a good thing it hit the hole, because it was a bit (hard)."
While Reichard had to settle for second, it was nevertheless a breakthrough performance for the Red Lion junior. Reichard failed to qualify for districts a year ago and will now head there atop the league field after matching a personal-best 3-under.
"I wasn't expecting it," Reichard said. "Maybe a couple over, but I was just making a lot of putts."
West York's Josh Rinehart finished third after shooting a 2-under 70 for the second day in a row. The three-time league champion was one of three Bulldogs to finish within the top eight. Chris Stolakis, 74, and Axel Hartman, 73, were the others.
Dallastown's Byron Markle took fourth at 1-under 71, while Fairfield's Isaiah Logue finished fifth at even-par 72. Logue is the defending PIAA Class AA state champion.
While Reichard and Geiman needed a playoff to decide a victor, Ross made such an event unnecessary, besting Parrini by nine strokes.
"My confidence level was a lot better," said Ross, who improved her score by 10 strokes after shooting an 82 in last year's event. "And I played with Alyssa and Lauren, so I knew who I had to beat."
Ross nearly carded an eagle on the par-4 16th hole. The Rocket standout nearly holed out after a chip from 20 yards, but settled for a one-foot birdie instead.
"It was an easy birdie putt," she said. "So that was definitely my best hole."
Perhaps the only sad note from Thursday's event came with the failure of the Northeastern girls' team to once again qualify for districts. The Bobcats missed the cut by 13 strokes, shooting a combined 413.
Despite that fact, Coach Wayne Jacobs will still guide Demangone and Emily Gross (102) into the district field next week.
Jacobs, however, was clearly disappointed that he couldn't bring the rest of his group because of what he feels is an overly strict entry requirement.
"To qualify for districts (in girls) you have to shoot a 104 or better," Jacobs said. "For a team, you take your four best scores and to qualify you have to shoot 400, which is the same (criteria) as to make states. So I could have had every girl on my team make districts, but not as a team. So c'mon now, you have to go one way or the other."
-- Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.