STEWARTSTOWN — Kevin Crumbling used a spectacular opening round to establish himself as the player to beat in the York County Amateur Golf Association Apple Chevrolet Junior Championship on Monday.
The Eastern York High School senior-to-be never lost his grip on the lead. He followed a first-round 67 with a steady third nine of 36 to win the title with a score of 5-under-par 103 for 27 holes.
Another Eastern student, Alexandra Lowder, captured the girls' crown with an 84 for 18 holes, and Bobby Nicholson won the boys' 12-and-under crown with a 44 for nine holes.
Crumbling recorded seven birdies and two bogeys during his terrific shot-making tour of the Pleasant Valley Golf Club layout in the morning.
He concluded his day with an even-par 36 on the front nine during the afternoon round.
Crumbling took a double-bogey five on No. 7 (a 226-yard par 3) in the final nine, but he bounced right back with a eagle three on No. 8 (a 475-yard par 5).
Crumbling nailed a 7-iron approach shot to within five feet of the cup on No. 8 and rolled in his putt for the eagle.
He finished his final nine with a par 4 on the 406-yard ninth hole.
On Crumbling's final putt of the day from eight feet, the ball hesitated slightly on the lip before it fell into the cup.
"I kind of screwed up on seven, but that eagle (on No. 8) felt good," Crumbling said. "I was hitting a lot of greens today, and I putted pretty well. After that morning round, I kind of wanted to keep my score at 5 under."
The players teed off from the white tees in the morning (6,318 yards) and from the blue tees (6,497 yards) in the afternoon.
"I didn't think there was a lot of difference between the tees," said Crumbling, whose father, Rod, won the PIAA state title in 1984 while playing for Eastern. "The par 3s are long here, and some of the par 4s are long, but there are a lot of short par 5s. After getting that four-shot lead (following the morning round), I felt more relaxed."
Pleasant Valley used to be Crumbling's home course before he transferred from Red Lion High School to Eastern following his sophomore year. He also competed recently at Pleasant Valley in the York County Amateur.
"I definitely hit the ball better today (than in the Amateur)," Crumbling said. "I had seven three putts in the Amateur. It feels good to win today."
Two of Crumbling's high school teammates, Zach Dixon and Andrew Davis, tied for second place with 111s.
Girls' champion: Lowder is also a member of the Eastern golf team. The new girls' champion will be a sophomore the fall. Lowder wasn't born with a golf club in her hands, but was learning how to play at the tender age of 3.
"Golf is a family tradition," she said. "Both of my grandparents and my father play. My wedge game was my strongest point today. It was pretty accurate."
Lowder was playing Pleasant Valley for just the second time.
"The greens are very difficult here," she said. "They're slower than a lot of the greens on other courses. It's a great feeling to win this tournament. It feels like practice actually pays off."
Youth champion: Nicholson, 11, put up an impressive score, especially for someone his age, despite a six on No. 17 and an eight on No. 12. He parred No. 18, a challenging par 3 (238 yards from the white tees) and holes No. 13 and No. 14.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.
YORK COUNTY AMATEUR GOLF ASSOCIATION
Apple Automotive York County Junior Championship
At Pleasant Valley Golf Course
15-17 years old
Kevin Crumbling 33-34-36—103
Andrew Davis 37-35-39—111
Zach Dixon 35-36-40—111
Connor Bacha 36-38-40—114
Andrew Forjan 38-40-39—117
Logan Snyder 38-40-40—118
Mason Staub 36-42-41—119
Luke Hoffnagle 38-39-43—120
Did not make 27-hole cut
Cole Rinehart 46-44— 90
Quin Toomey 51-49—100
12 and under
Bobby Nicholson 44
Ben Segal 50
Trevor Snyder 50
Jonathan Segal 68
13-14 years old
Carson Bacha 79.
15-17 years old
Alexandra Lowder 84
Brenna Jones 91.
YORK COUNTY JUNIOR GOLF ASSOCIATION
YCJGA Cup Point Standings
15-18 Blue Tee Division
Axel Hartman 78.5
Kevin Crumbling 68.5
Andrew Davis 55.5
Zach Dixon 41.5
Justin Gruver 38.0
Trevor Sweitzer 35.0
Andrew Forjan 31.0
Luke Hoffnagle 30.8
Logan Snyder 27.5
Connor Bacha 24.5
Julianne Lee 80.0
Kendel Abrams 59.0
Alexandra Lowder 47.0
Cailey Roman 41.0
Victoria Downey 35.0
Jessica Tushingham 31.0
Taylor Woodward 8.0