Central York sophomore Carson Bacha won the York-Adams League golf championship Thursday at Briarwood by carding a round of even-par 72. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
When you’re on a team as loaded as the Central York golf squad, it can be easy to get lost in the mix.
Being part of such a talented team, however, can also serve as a great source of motivation in not wanting to get left behind. Unlike other sports, however, where climbing the depth chart can take a number of years and graduating classes, golf affords the individual a chance to rise quickly.
A pair of Panthers seized that opportunity Thursday, Sept. 28, and emerged from the shadows of their defending champion teammates to capture titles of their own during the York-Adams League Individual Championships at Briarwood Golf Club.
Sophomore Carson Bacha won the boys’ title with an even-par round of 72 in blustery conditions on the East Course, while teammate Cailey Roman stayed steady in the wind to take the girls’ crown by carding a 78 on the West Course.
“It was a grind out there,” Bacha said. “My chipping today really helped. A lot of the greens I missed, I was able to get up and down. To get away with only two bogeys today with how windy it was really helped.”
Littlestown’s Devin Peart was the boys’ runner-up with a 73 and New Oxford’s Michael Robinson took the bronze with a 75. Defending champion Joe Parrini of Central York tied for fifth with a 79.
Roman’s victory makes 2017 the third straight year that Central can boast both the boys’ and girls’ champion. The defending girls’ champion, Central’s Julianne Lee, was runner-up this year with a 79. Susquehannock standout Kendel Abrams was third with an 80.
Bacha’s win allows him to emerge from the large shadow of his teammate, and Arizona recruit, Parrini.
He put his own stamp on the York-Adams champions list by staying steady in tough conditions. His two bogeys were canceled out by a pair of birdies.
Roman's big day: Like Bacha, Roman draws her motivation from being on such a talented team. Seven Panthers shot 81 or better and qualified for the District 3 individual event.
“For me, it makes me a stronger player because I have to play better to stand up to them,” Roman said. “So it works in my favor.”
Roman created her separation early by utilizing strong putting to birdie the par-4 13th hole, her second hole of the day. She was also able to add another birdie on the par-4 sixth.
“It feels really good,” Roman, a junior, said of claiming the crown. “Today I was putting really well, I was able to make a lot of putts. And my drives were actually pretty good.”
Up next: Next up for the Panthers is the District 3 Team Tournament, which will take place Wednesday, Oct. 4, back at Briarwood. The district individual event is slated for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7, again at Briarwood.
Bacha, however, won't compete in the district individual event, and thus will not be able to qualify for PIAA regional or state competition. His stellar play over the summer qualified him for a high-level American Junior Golf Association tournament in Georgia. That tournament will take place Oct. 6-9 and is hosted by PGA Tour player Justin Rose.
“Summer gave me a lot of confidence coming into this year, and having a powerhouse team like we do, we all are really able to push each other,” Bacha said “With the encouragement from them and the confidence from the summer, it helps all of us be able to put together great rounds.”
While disappointed to miss the district individual event, the young phenom is thrilled with his opportunity to play in a prestigious tournament and gain more experience playing against the best players around. Bacha will still participate in the district team event, and would also be available for the PIAA team tournament should the Panthers qualify.
“It honestly doesn’t bother me that much,” Bacha said of missing out on high school individual play for the remainder of the year. “The tournament I’m in is a really big tournament and I still have the chance to play on the team districts. So that makes it all the better.”
D-I programs interested in Bacha: Bacha looks to follow in the footsteps of Parrini. Both are now York-Adams champs. Just like Parrini, Bacha is on track to becoming an NCAA Division I recruit. Bacha has already begun preliminary talks with a number of D-I programs. Only a sophomore, it’s far too early to say which program will end up with his services.
“It feels really good,” Bacha said of his first league title. “I’m definitely starting to see a lot of hard work pay off. Another win, another great day.”
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.