Pennsbury’s Jade Gu captured the Suburban One League Girls’ Golf Championship. Photos provided courtesy of Larry Small. CLICK HERE for a gallery of photos.
By Ben Reese
WARMINSTER -- It was far from an ideal day to play golf.
It was rainy. It was cold. It was windy. It was foggy.
However, looking at the scorecards of the top three finishers in the Suburban One League girls’ golf championship, you would never know there was any difficulty with the weather.
Pennsbury's Jade Gu collected her second straight SOL girls’ championship, shooting a 4-over 75. Wissahickon freshman Elizabeth Beek was right behind her with a 76 and Sara Scarpill of Central Bucks East turned in a 78.
It was a hard day on the rest of the golfers. There were only two scores in the 80s (Quakertown's Madilyn Siuta at 84 and Emma Reilly of CB South at 89) and the rest who qualified for District One play were in the 90s.
The league was allotted 20 slots for districts but filled only 12. The cutoff in scores was 99.
Despite the scores of the top three, the weather did cause some problems for them. The rain, while not a downpour, was constant and soaking.
Beek seemed to have the most problem with it. The rain and the temperature conspired to obliterate the flag position for her.
"My long game was actually really good because it was so foggy I couldn't use my range-finder," she said. "I just went off what I thought it would be.
"All I had was GPS to the middle of the green. I couldn't tell, because it was foggy, whether it (the pin) was front, middle or back so I just aimed for the middle of the green. That went pretty well."
Scarpill, at some point during the round, decided to ignore the rain.
"It wasn't as bad as I anticipated," she said. "It wasn't pouring rain but it was still bad out.
"I'm surprised I didn't hit a lot more bad shots because of how wet the ground was. At a certain point, I just stopped feeling the rain because it just kept coming; it wasn't going to stop. I pushed through it."
Gu, who won last year as a freshman, kept it short and sweet.
"Conditions were really tough out there today," she said.
As for the golf itself, those three really sped around the course, playing the round in under four hours.
Beek got off to the best start, parring the first seven holes she played. However, she hit her tee shot on No. 8 out of bounds and double-bogied the hole.
Gu struggled out of the gate. After the first three holes, she had collected two bogeys.
"I hit a bad drive off of one," she explained, "and made bogey. My tee shot went into the water on three so I bogeyed there.
"But I was able to get back up. I birdied four and five. That helped a little bit."
Scarpill kept a pretty even keel throughout.
"Given the conditions, I'm actually very pleased that I shot a 78," she said. "Every year so far I've improved significantly."
Gu had indicated to her coach, Curtis May, that she really didn't want to win this championship. But, in reality, that wasn't what she meant.
"It's not like I didn't want to win," she said. "That's kind of the point of playing golf. That's always the goal.
"I just really wanted to play my own game. I wanted to see progress with my swing.
"I wasn't really thinking about (repeating as champion) because I had made a couple of swing changes. I was just trying to feel the change. I wasn't really trying to score."
But score she did. She toured the par-35 front nine in 38 and added a 37 on the back.
That back-nine score was one better than Beek and three better than Scarpill.
The other nine SOL qualifiers for districts are Siuta, Reilly, Hayley Ekert of North Penn, Pennsbury's Arielle Schultz, Ashley Ea of Pennridge, Audrey Reese of Council Rock South, North Penn's Camryn Lampitoc, Lizzie Palmieri of CB South and Paige Sokolis of CB West.
The District One golf championship will be played on Monday, October 7, and Tuesday, October 8. The girls will play their first round at Ravens Claw Golf Club in Pottstown and their second at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Limerick. The boys will play both rounds at Turtle Creek.
SOL qualifiers for District One
Jade Gu (Pb) 75
Elizabeth Beek (W) 76
Sara Scarpill (CBE) 78
Madilyn Siuta (Q) 84
Emma Reilly (CBS) 89
Hayley Ekert (NP) 90
Arielle Schultz (Pb) 91
Ashley Ea (P) 92
Audrey Reese (CRS) 95
Camryn Lampitoc (NP) 97
Lizzie Palmieri (CBS) 98
Paige Sokolis (CBW) 98