Central York's Minkin, Lee capture York-Adams golf titles
To put it kindly, Thursday presented less-than-ideal weather conditions for scoring during the York-Adams League individual golf championships.
On most days, steadily falling rain and temperatures in the mid-50s, that felt like low-40s, would be enough to keep golfers away from the course. Just don't tell that to Central York senior Gus Minkin, who, along with 70-plus other high school golfers, braved the elements at the Briarwood East and West courses.
In the end, it was Minkin who navigated the swampy conditions best, posting a 2-under score of 70 to win the boys' event by a single stroke over Dallastown's Blake Sebring and Eastern York's Zach Dixon. Sophomore Julianne Lee made it a perfect 2-for-2 for Central York golfers on Thursday by winning the girls' event.
The Panthers, apparently, are good mudders.
"It's definitely more of a mental grind," Minkin said about battling the elements. "When it's just sunny, you're just out there just not really thinking about much at all. Just playing and having fun. Some people can say that it's not much fun to play in the rain, but I thought it was all right."
On the day, Minkin made three birdies, 14 pars and one bogey. He was one of four players to shoot even par or better, along with Sebring and Dixon and Eastern's Kevin Crumbling. Sebring and Dixon were forced into a playoff to see who would finish solo second for medal purposes, with Sebring winning the first playoff hole with a par.
"I was pretty focused because I knew I was going to be right at the top," Sebring said. "I knew 1 under was going to be a good score, a tough score to beat. Gus played a heck of a round today. I just tried to stay focused the whole time."
All four guys at the top of the leader board shot better than their season averages coming into the tournament. Minkin, Dixon and Crumbling all played steady rounds, hitting all of their clubs well and not mixing in a ton of bogeys with their birdies. But, it was Sebring's red-hot putter that caught the rest of his group's attention, draining a tournament-high five birdies, including three on the back nine that helped him shoot a 33.
"I made everything today," he said. "The first few holes I wasn't getting anything to go down, but nine, 10 and 11, I made putts of 25-plus feet. I was getting everything to go down."
Overall, the top-17 finishers from Class AAA schools qualified for next weekend's District 3 tournament, which will also be held at Briarwood.
In total, the Panthers will send five boys to the individual district tournament — Minkin, Joe Parrini, Matt Bricker, Connor Bacha and Brady St. Pierre — while Will Gekas qualified as the first alternate. Abe Miller from York Tech made it into the 17-player field by shooting an 85 and then defeating Gekas and Dallastown's Ben Trulli in a playoff.
AA schools: Jacob Mueller of Delone Catholic was the low scorer for AA schools, posting an 82.
Of the seven players to qualify for next weekend's District 3-AA tournament, five were from York Catholic. Andrew Forjan (84), Josh Stewart (85), Jon Giambalvo (87), Steven Nigro (91) and Dillon Hippensteel (91) made it in. Devin Peart, a freshman from Littlestown, who made the field as an independent qualifier, also qualified for districts by posting an 89.
Girls' tournament: Lee, meanwhile, fired a 4-over 74 to win the girls' tournament by two strokes over Eastern York's Alexandra Lowder, who shot a 76. Susquehannock's Kendel Abrams took third with a 77.
"I played pretty well," Lee said after her round. "The back nine I wasn't doing too well. My short game was not on point, but then the front nine, I shot even, so I'm happy about that."
Out of the 12 golfers who competed in the girls' field, nine qualified for the district tournament by shooting lower than the 103-stroke cut line. Also qualifying with Lee, Lowder and Abrams were New Oxford's Victoria Downey (94) and Ella Moores (98), Dallastown's Madison Butler (96), York Tech's Montana Sigel (99), Fairfield's Allison Howe (99) and South Western's Jess Tushingham (102).
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.