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MANCHESTER — Things are already a little bit different for Central York junior Carson Bacha this year.

One of the Panthers' better golfers for the past two seasons, the Auburn recruit fully understands that he will now need to step up. He is being relied upon to be the squad’s top player after the graduation of former teammates and standouts Joe Parrini and Julianne Lee, among others.

If Thursday’s opening match of the York-Adams League Division I golf schedule is any indicator, Bacha is fully prepared for the challenge.

The Panthers standout shot a 6-under 66 at Royal Manchester Golf Links to earn medalist honors in the first league event of the 2018 sports season. Bacha’s low round helped the Panthers cruise to an impressive team victory. 

The Panthers shot 297 as a team to best second-place Spring Grove (320) by 23 shots.

“It was a good day out there,” Bacha said. “I got off to a slow start, but I was able to get a nice finish in by ending with three straight birdies. It was a good finish today.”

Like most competitive golfers, Bacha seeks perfection. So it was no surprise that the Panther standout lamented a few missed putts that could have pushed his already impressive score down further.

“Honestly it could have been a lot better score-wise,” he said. “I missed a lot of short putts, but really the key to my day was getting that birdie on my 16th hole of the day, which was on No. 6. That was the first putt I made of the day that was outside of 10 feet. I was able to build some confidence from that and then roll in similar putts on 17 and 18.”

Panthers impress: While Bacha enjoyed his performance overall, he seemed happier with the result from his team.

“We had some guys play solid today,” Bacha said. “And that’s big now after losing Joe and Julianne. I think that we have a good, young team. We’re working hard to see what we can do this year.”

Panthers coach Sean Guerin was amazed with his team’s performance in the opening event.

“We shot under 300?” Guerin said to himself. “Wow … that’s amazing.”

Bacha’s teammates Jun Lee, Cailey Roman and Hunter Kell rounded out an outstanding day for the Panthers. Lee carded a 3-over 75, Roman shot a 7-over 79, while Kell finished with a 5-over 77.

Spring Grove’s Karl Frisk led the Rockets to a second-place finish. Frisk shot a 1-under 71, while Brandon Simmons carded a 6-over 78.

The only other golfer to shoot in the 70s was Dallastown's Gavin Harvey at 78.

New Oxford was third in the team standings at 325, followed by Dallastown at 330.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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