Central York's Minkin captures fifth place at state golf tournament
Even though he had one of the more successful golf seasons in recent memory at Central York, senior Gus Minkin would have traded it all to go out a PIAA Class AAA state champion.
In a final round that saw him push the leaders for much of the day, problems in the middle derailed a hot start. Minkin finished his round Tuesday with a 5-over-par 76, giving him a two-day total of 150, good for fifth place. He opened with a 74 on Monday.
Steve Cerbara of Holy Ghost Prep won the event at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in a one-hole playoff against Great Valley's Geoff Rice. Both finished at 147, shooting 72 and 74, respectively, on Tuesday. Rice was one of the leaders after the first round and Minkin entered play Tuesday trailing by just one stroke.
"I had a chance to win, I was doing pretty well through eight holes and then made a triple bogey," Minkin said. "So, it could have gone better, but it wasn't that bad."
In boys' Class AA play, Nate Menon of Wyomissing was the winner with a 146.
For Minkin, a recent University of Minnesota commit, his troubles started in all-too-familiar place — the ninth hole.
Standing on the tee box at 3-under for the day after his first eight holes, Minkin's ninth played out in a mirror image of Monday. He found trouble out of bounds and, just like the day before, it resulted in a triple bogy.
Minkin made the turn tied for the lead with Evan Brown of Kennett at 3 over for the tournament, after each carded identical even-par 36s to start their rounds.
"I was putting well and pretty much doing everything well, just on the back everything went downhill," Minkin said.
An unplayable lie on the 10th hole resulted in a bogey and Minkin was unable to recover.
Minkin's Central teammate, sophomore Joe Parrini, finished tied for ninth place with a two-day score of 154. His Tuesday went in the opposite direction from his Panthers' teammate.
Parrini started his day with a 7-over 43 on the front stretch before rallying his way into the top 10 with a 1-over 36 on the back nine.
Rounding out the Central York contingent, sophomore Julianne Lee recorded a two-day total of 167, placing her in 13th place in the girls' AAA event. She had an 85 on Tuesday.
Radnor's Brynn Walker repeated as AAA girls' champ with a 150, and Olivia Zambruno of Greensburg Central Catholic repeated in AA with a 153.
Eastern players finish in top 25: Eastern York's pairing of Kevin Crumbling and Andrew Davis finished in the top 25 in AAA boys. Crumbling tied for 15th at 158 and Davis tied for 24th at 163.
Tuesday's round saw Crumbling's high school career come to an end after helping the Golden Knights to another York-Adams Division II title. Crumbling said he's narrowing down his college decision, citing West Chester and Millersville as the current leaders.
"It's a tough course. The speed of the greens and where they put the flags was a little unfair," Crumbling said. "But, I made it to states, that's what I wanted to do."
Davis, also a senior, retires his trademark bucket hat on the high school level and said he continues to weigh his collegiate options.
"I had a bunch of three putts. Its tough to lag out here, there's so much undulation in the greens, and the speed makes it tough, too," Davis said. "I didn't really play my best, but I am happy with the season and getting here is definitely an accomplishment."
Minkin starts hot: After a frost delay pushed the start of the tournament back an hour, Minkin came out hot, getting things started with a birdie on the first hole. He gave one back, dropping to level par, on the fourth hole before rattling off three straight birdies. That solid string culminated on the par-5 seventh hole, where Minkin missed the green in two, but placed a blast from a green-side bunker less than 10 feet from the cup and then converting the putt.
Minkin closes his senior season at Central with all the medals accept one. Minkin helped the Panthers take the York-Adams Division I crown and league team tournament title before beginning a very successful postseason in his own right. Minkin won the York-Adams individual title before becoming the Panthers' first District 3 champion in 30 years. He then captured the PIAA East Regional crown.
"It's been a good senior year, especially winning the first three, but I really wanted to win a state championship," Minkin said. "I would probably trade the state championship for all three of those. But, definitely, overall, it was a good year and I am happy with the way I played this year."
— Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com; @EADispatch on Twitter.