Every time that Central York senior Carson Bacha opened the internet browser on his iPhone in the past year, there was a reminder of his 12th-place finish at the 2018 PIAA Class 3-A State Individual Golf Championships.
It provided him with motivation to get better.
He vowed that he wouldn’t close the tab with an article about his failure to complete a postseason sweep — winning the York-Adams League, District 3, East Regional and state titles — until he was able to finish the job.
Tuesday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort, the senior finished off a stellar senior season by winning the 3-A state championship, becoming the first York County boy to win the title in 35 years. He also erased the memory of the difficult PIAA tournament from a season ago.
“I got in the parking lot this morning, read the article, and walking to the first tee I closed it out because I wanted to forget about that and create a new article today,” Bacha said.
Record-setting season: Bacha didn’t just win the tournament, he broke the state record with the victory. He posted matching 4-under scores of 67 on both days and his 8-under total broke the Pennsylvania boys’ state title record.
That record-breaking win followed a double-digit win at the District 3 championships and his third straight York-Adams League individual title.
Under pressure: Bacha didn’t cruise to the state title like he did in districts though. Meadville's Ryan Ferry put pressure on the NCAA Division I Auburn University recruit, even taking the lead at one point.
Ferry shot an even-par 71 on Monday, but shot a 66 on Tuesday and made Bacha work for the three-shot win.
Central coach Sean Guerin said that Bacha’s experience and unmatched work ethic were the keys to staying under control and finishing off the victory.
“When he’s playing his best golf, around here, no one is going to really have that kind of game to compete with him,” Guerin said.
Having the state tournament held in York was a major factor in Bacha’s triumph. In addition to his knowledge of the course, the group of folks following the senior wearing Panthers’ orange allowed him to stay focused on the course.
“It helps quite a bit,” Bacha said. “Obviously, I probably play it (Heritage Hills) a lot more than the rest of the other kids in the field, but all the support was huge. Having family and close family friends there, all pulling for you, kind of keeps you straight and makes you feel good that you have a bunch of people watching.”
A complete career: The state crown had been the only missing piece to Bacha’s illustrious high school trophy case, which included two District 3 titles and three straight York-Adams League championships. Ending his high school career with the title that meant the most to him was the perfect end for the senior.
“This was the last stage I figured (would) complete my high school career,” Bacha said. “States was left out of there, so it feels pretty awesome to check that one of the list today.”
Other local golfers: Spring Grove junior Karl Frisk finished tied for 18th in the 3-A event with an 13-over score. Frisk responded to a difficult first round when he shot 82 on Monday with a 2-over 73 on Tuesday.
Central junior Alex Gekas finished tied for 28th at 18-over for the 3-A tournament. Gekas followed up an 85 on Monday with a 4-over 75 on Tuesday.
Susquehannock's Andrew Roberts was 33rd at 20-over par on rounds of 82 and 80.
Dallastown sophomore Makensy Knaub finished 23-over and shot 84 and 83 in her two rounds in the 3-A girls' event.
Wissahickon freshman Elizabeth Beek won a three-player playoff to claim the girls’ 3-A title at a 2-over.
North East sophomore Lydia Swan won a playoff to capture the girls’ 2-A crown at 7-over.
Riverside senior Skylar Fox claimed the boys’ 2-A victory at 2 over after posting back-to-back 1-over 72 scores.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.