Eli Brooks plays ball in his home court with local youth

York golfers roll to victory in War of the Roses

  • York won the War of the Roses golf title over Lancaster, 14 1/2-9 1/2.
  • York captured seven of the 12 singles matches on Sunday.
  • York led 7 1/2-4 1/2 entering Sunday's singles action.

ROUNDTOWN — The War of the Roses tournament hasn’t been especially kind to the York County Amateur Golf Association side.

The White Rose team entered this weekend’s event with just a 7-14 record over the first 21 battles with Lancaster.

That, however, was in the past. This year’s York team was looking forward to making its own statement when tournament action began Saturday at the Out Door Country Club.

After a bit of a slow start Saturday morning in the alternate-shot segment, the Yorkers turned it on in the afternoon better-ball format. The York team won five of the six matches to finish the day with a 7½-4½ lead.

That momentum continued on Sunday, when the two teams sent out 12 players for singles match play. York won seven of those matches, including four of the first six, to cruise to a dominating 14½-9½ triumph.

“There was a lot of confidence,” York’s Travis Hoffman said. “A lot of the guys were confident because of the style of play that we have. We have guys that can just beat it, go find it, get it on the green and then make a birdie.”

Of the seven individual matches won by York, five of the them were captured handily. Kory Trout won his match 6&5, Matt Henry won by a 4&3 margin, while Don Dimoff, Steve Goodley and Bobby Stiffler each won 3&2.

The common theme with those five golfers is that they all drive the ball pretty well. On a course such as Out Door, which played more than 7,000 yards long, that was a big key.

“The course we lost at last year (Meadia Heights) was real short and really tight,” Hoffman said, of Lancaster’s 13½-10½ victory. “And that played into Lancaster’s hands. This year, about three-quarters of our team are guys that just bomb the ball. So this course was a huge advantage … it’s long, and you can be off just a bit and still make a pretty good shot.”

It was quite a weekend for the duo of Brett Berkheimer, who won the Champion of Champions title last weekend, and Trout. They paired Saturday to win both of their matches. After Trout cruised in his individual match Sunday, Berkheimer held off Brandon Detweiler to win his contest, 2&1.

“Brett has had a hell of a year,” Hoffman said of Berkheimer, who edged Hoffman to win the Honey Run Club title this summer. “He’s won a lot of stuff.”

Hoffman, a former standout basketball player at West York High School, was happy with his play. One of the last golfers to secure his berth on the team, Hoffman had the task of taking on Lancaster’s Craig Kliewer. Kliewer took advantage of the few mistakes that Hoffman made Sunday en route to a 2&1 triumph.

“I don’t know a lot about him, but I do know that he hit pretty much every fairway,” Hoffman said. “He was just better.”

Moments after Hoffman’s match ended, John Lowder Jr. clinched the victory for York in thrilling fashion. Down by one entering No. 17, Lowder carded a birdie before winning it with a par on No. 18.

That set off a celebration among the York players. The York team was captained by Chris Mescan. One of the better York golfers over the past 5-10 years, Mescan had to sit on the sidelines while watching his team prevail.

“I’ve played a lot of golf over the years with Chris,” Hoffman said. “He’s a competitor. And he’s pretty good enough to play in this … probably better than me. But it’s something to be proud of to be selected to be the captain of this and I know he was honored to be selected. But, come next year, I’m sure he’ll probably be back on the team.”

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.