SOL District Golf Wrap: CB East's Sheehan & Mancuso Earn Runner-Up Finishes

Eight SOL golfers qualified for Regionals with CB East’s Patrick Sheehan and Sophia Mancuso finishing second in the boys/girls competition.

By Ben Reese

LIMERICK -- A lot of high school golfers would prefer to reverse roles with their parents when they are playing golf.

You know: Seen and not heard.

The golfer would rather that their parent give moral support but do it silently.

Not Neshaminy's Greg DeLuca. It seems the more his mother roots for him, the better he feels.

"She yells for some putts and sometimes it helps but it's just great having her here," DeLuca said. "It really calms me down. I love it.

"You can't keep her quiet so you just get used to it and you start liking it. She's been that way my whole life. I love it."

On Wednesday, in the second and final round of the District One golf tournament at Turtle Creek, Mrs. DeLuca did a lot of rooting and it must have worked well. Her son shot a 71 to go with his opening-round 69 for a 140 total, good enough for third place and good enough to earn him a trip to Regionals next Monday, Oct. 16, at Golden Oaks in Fleetwood.

"I feel pretty good," he said. "It's been a long-time goal of mine. As a senior, I knew it was my last chance so I went out there and I knew what I had to do.

"I knew I was striking the ball well. A little struggle with my putting, but I dialed in these greens.

"The big key was 25 feel and out, leaving me a lot of makeable putts. I did well with that."

DeLuca wasn't the only Suburban One League golfer who did well. In all, eight golfers advanced to regionals.

For the boys, in addition to DeLuca, Central Bucks East's Pat Sheehan finished second at 6-under 138, followed by Colin Walsh of William Tennent at 142, CB South's Kevin Anthony at 143 and Matt Fleming of Council Rock South at 145.

For the girls, Sophia Mancuso of CB East took second at 155, Wissahickon's Cristea Park at 154 and Lizzie Palmieri of CB South at 156. Pennsbury's Jade Gu was tied for the final spot but lost in a playoff to Clare Gimpel of Mount St. Joseph.

Sheehan remained near the top of the leaderboard all day before finally fading to second behind Ben Pochet of Spring Ford, who won for the second straight year.

"I was playing well and then just kind of blew it," Sheehan said. "I just lost it I guess on 16.

"I doubled that and missed a four-footer on 17 for par. That kind of killed me."

Mancuso was another runner-up at districts. She finished nine shots behind winner Samantha Yao of Conestoga.

"I didn't do as well as I wanted on the front nine," Mancuso said. "I'm happy that I was able to shoot better than I did last year.

"I shot an 86 here (last year) so I improved by seven strokes which should have been more. But I'm just happy to go to regionals and get redemption for last year."

Redemption?

"Last year, I didn't make it (to states)," she explained. "States this year. That's the goal."

Park made it to states last year as a sophomore. She's looking forward to getting there again.

But she got a surprise on her final hole at districts. On her 18th hole, No. 9 since she started on No. 10, she recorded a hole in one.

"I hit my 6-iron off the tee," she said with a huge smile on her face. "It was really perfect.

"I felt really good about it. I saw it land on the green and it just kept rolling with the slope and then it just went in.

"I heard my dad yelling and I didn't process it until a minute later. I've never hit my 6-iron so nicely. It was perfect.

"I don't (want to keep playing after the hole in one) because I don't want to jinx myself. This whole day was just about consistency and then that happened."

It was a consistent day for Park. She shot 4-over 76 to go with her opening 79, good enough for fourth place.

Palmieri earned her trip to regionals in her first try. She missed playing last year due to an illness in her family.

"I didn't expect to make it this far," she said. "It means a lot.

"My putting was really on today. I spent a lot of time on their practice putting green to really nail it in.

"I just tried to remain focused. Sometimes I get so worked up and end up with a double or triple bogey. I just tried to remain calm today."

On the boys’ side, Walsh tied for fifth with a 2-under total of 142. He was tied with J.T. Spina of Pope John Paul, who turned in the round of the day with a 5-under 67.

"My hard work paid off," Walsh said. "I'm just proud of myself that I stuck in there and stayed strong.

"My goal is to get to states this year, maybe even win, so we'll see what happens. A couple of days (this year) my head just wasn't there but I made sure this week that it was there."

Anthony, a senior, is out for some redemption also. He didn't get to regionals last year.

"I didn't have a good turnout last year," he said. "It's my senior year so I wanted to give it my best. It worked out well."

However, to listen to him, you might think he missed the cut.

"Not much actually went well," he said. "My driver was kind of letting me down but my approach shots, I had some good approach shots and my putter saved me a couple times but it also got me in trouble a couple times. Everything just worked out today.

"I'm really excited about (reaching regionals). It's a great accomplishment. I really wanted to do it this year."

But back to DeLuca. He is the youngest of five sons in the DeLuca family.

"I believe that I'm the only one to go to regionals," he said. "I went into today knowing that I had a good goal.

"I wanted to hit 15 greens and 28 putts. I got pretty close to that. I knew if I did that I would have a pretty good day."

That "pretty good day" will get him and seven other SOL golfers to the next step toward states.

In the team competition, Unionville got the victory with a score of 289, earning the team a trip to states. The closest SOL team was Souderton in fifth at 309.

PIAA District One Championship
(Qualifiers)
1. Ben Pochet, Spring-Ford, -8 (71-65 136)
2. Patrick Sheehan, CB East, -6 (69-69 138)
3. Greg DeLuca, Neshaminy, -4 (69-71 140)
4. Caleb Ryan, Norristown, -3 (72-69 141)
T5. JT Spina, Pope John Paul, -2 (75-67 142)
T5. Colin Walsh, William Tennent -2 (70-72 142)
T7. Ward McHenry, Owen J Roberts, -1 (72-71 143)
T7. Kevin Anthony, CB South, -1 (70-73 143)
T7. Liam Hart, Holy Ghost Prep, -1 (69-74 143)
T10. Morgan Lofland, Conestoga, E (74-70 144)
T10. Connor Bennink, Unionville, E (73-71 144)
T10. David Colleran, Radnor, E (70-74 144)
T13. Richie Kline, Unionville, +1 (75-70 145)
T13. Joshua Ryan, Norristown, +1 (73-72 145)
T13. Matt Fleming, CR South, +1 (71-74 145)
T13. Ben Newlon, Strath Haven, +1 (71-74 145)

(Qualifiers)
1. Samantha Yao, Conestoga, +2 (74-71 145)
T2. Sophia Mancuso, CB East, +11 (75-79 154)
T2. Liddie McCook, Downingtown East, +11 (76-78 154)
4. Cristea Park, Wissahickon, +12 (79-76 155)
5. Lizzie Palmieri, CB South, +13 (76-80 156)
6. Charlotte Scully, Unionville, +16 (82-77 159)
7. Liv Juliana, Great Valley, +17 (80-80 160)
T8. Clare Gimpel, Mount St. Joe’s, +18 (80-81 161)