Dallastown senior Blake Sebring has 18 holes left in his high school golf career.
He didn't give any attention to that thought until he was asked about it after the first round of the PIAA Class 3-A Boys' Golf Championship on Monday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
Of course, after battling windy and chilly conditions in the state tournament, he has more pressing thoughts to worry. Chief among those is the fact that he's right in the thick of the individual state tournament after posting a 3-over-par 74, putting him just five strokes out of the lead and in a tie for eighth with one round to play.
"I hit the ball really, really well," he said after his round. "I had three three-putts, so my speed was off. My feel around the green was just off. Off the tee, I was really, really solid, which is what you need here."
Kevin Scherr of Nazareth Academy posted the day's low round with a 2-under 69 on the 6,700-yard layout, giving him a four-stroke cushion heading into Tuesday's final round. But, Scherr's round was also an anomaly, with the next nine players all bunched together at either 2- or 3-over par, including Sebring. That's why, even if Sebring can't make up all the ground on Scherr on Tuesday, he's at least put himself in a good spot to close out his high school career with a state medal.
The fact that Sebring is even in contention is a testament to how he battled in the difficult weather and course conditions. After making two birdies and two bogeys to open his day on the back nine, Sebring went on to bogey the next four holes and didn't make a par until the ninth, posting a 4-over 39 after nine holes. But, he got things going on the front side (his second nine), making three birdies to just two bogeys to post the 74, including playing his final five holes 1-under par with back-to-back birdies on the par-5 seventh and par-3 eighth.
"It was not easy," he said. "It was cold and windy. The wind was swirling, too, which really made it tough. There were a couple holes where we would go one way and I felt like I was into the wind and then come back the other way and it was still into the wind."
Sebring's 74 was the low round for the seven York County participants in the state competition.
Other 3-A boys: Central York junior Joe Parrini, who's had a remarkable postseason run, had one of his worst rounds of the year, posting a 6-over 77, putting him in a tie for 10th. He still has a chance to medal, but will need to shave several strokes off his score in Tuesday's second-and-final round if he wants to make a charge.
Panthers' junior Carson Bacha sits in a tie for 13th after shooting a 7-over 78, which included closing his day with back-to-back double-bogeys on holes eight and nine. Sebring's Wildcat teammate, junior Evan Greenplate, had a rough final stretch, playing his final three holes at 4 over, shooting an 82. Spring Grove senior Luke Hoffnagle struggled on his round, posting an 85.
Boys' 2-A: York Catholic senior Andrew Forjan was the only York County product in the boys' 2-A field, but had a tough round on the greens. He three-putted seven times and shot an 85, putting him out of contention for a medal. Jason Li of Sewickley Academy leads the 2-A field after shooting a 1-over 72, even after playing his final three holes at 4-over.
Girls' 3-A: Central York junior Julianne Lee was the only female competitor from York County in the state competition and, like Sebring, she's right in the thick of things with 18 holes to play.
Lee posted a 3-over 75, putting her in a tie for third, three strokes behind Mia Kness of Peters Township and Samantha Yao of Conestoga, who both shot even-par 72s.
Lee, who calls Heritage Hills her home course, shot 2-over for her first nine holes, but bounced back to shoot just 1-over on her back nine, including finishing her round with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
"My irons were pretty good today," she said. "I missed a couple birdie putts, but overall, it was pretty good. ... I need to work on my chipping a little bit, but my driver has been really good and I need to work on my putting."
Lee will be in the final group of Tuesday's round, allowing her the chance to see just how well the leaders are doing.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org