Council Rock North junior Erica Herr captured the SOL girls’ title on Wednesday. To view photos of all the action, please visit the Photo Gallery.
By BEN REESE
WARMINSTER – While it wasn't ideal conditions to play golf on Wednesday, it didn't seem to bother Erica Herr.
The Council Rock North junior fired a 2-under 69 to win the Suburban One League girls golf championship at 5 Ponds Golf Course. It is the first time she has won the SOL crown.
The weather when they started teeing off was foggy and damp. It had rained during the night and the course was wet, which allowed the girls to lift, clean and place their balls in the fairways.
During the round, a light mist fell and, when the lead group of Herr, Pennsbury's Jackie Rogowicz, Central Bucks East's Ashley Cassidy and North's Madeline Herr finished its round, it was still hazy throughout the course.
“I've played in weather like that before out in San Francisco,” Herr said, “so it didn't faze me, but it was kind of hard, like playing blind golf there in the beginning.
“You couldn't see where the ball was going. But we all played in the same conditions.
Erica parred the first five holes before birdieing the par-4 sixth. After another par, she gave the stroke back with a bogey on No. 8 before parring No. 9 to finish the front nine in even-par 35.
She strung pars together again to start the back nine, finally registering birdies on the par-5 15th and the par-4 finishing hole.
“I just wanted to go out and play and break 98 (the district qualifying score,” she said with a laugh. “I knew that however I played would be fine.”
But the weather did play a factor in her game. With the wetness of the greens, players could fire shots almost directly at the pin.
“You could just go at pins today,” Herr said. “I was hitting my irons good, just not phenomenal.
“I was trying to go at pins but I wasn't striking the ball well enough. But I still hit them good.”
Good enough to be the only player to finish under par. And good enough to win by seven strokes over Cassidy (76).
Cassidy also had some troubles with the foggy conditions.
“This morning it was tough because you really couldn't see for a couple of holes so you had to aim at trees,” she said. “The rangefinder wouldn't pick up the pins, so you just had to trust the yardage from the middle of the fairway and go for the middle of the greens and hope that that worked. (It did) most of the time.”
Cassidy struggled early in the round, bogeying two of the first three holes before registering a birdie on the par-5 fifth hole. Two pars followed but then came two more bogeys and a 3-over 38 for the front nine.
She double bogeyed the 10th but parred No. 12 and No. 18. Sandwiched in between were bogeys on 13 and 17.
Third place went to the youngest Herr sibling, Madeline. The freshman, playing in her first Suburban One League championship tournament, acquitted herself quite well.
She shot a 38 for the front nine and a 39 on the back for a 6-over 77. But she did have some troubles also.
“I felt that I had my round together in the first seven holes because I had straight pars,” Madeline said. “I kind of fell apart a little bit toward the middle. But I had a good start and an OK finish.”
She did par the first seven holes before getting into some trouble on the eighth hole, double bogeying it, and then adding a bogey on No. 9 to finish the front in 38.
Her back nine was a bit strange. She bogeyed No. 10, played three holes in par, bogeyed No. 13, played three holes in par and then finished with a bogey on 18.
Rounding out the lead group was Rogowicz, the Falcon sophomore. She completed the only foursome to shoot under 80.
Rogowicz had difficulties, especially on the green. She three-putted five times and four-putted once and finished with a 7-over 78. She had seven bogeys, one double bogey and two birdies in her round.
Erica is now looking toward districts and states, both of which she won last year.
“(Districts) would be my third year to repeat,” she said. “I'm going to try (to repeat at states).
“I'm working hard. I've got Madeline in the (district) field this year.”
When told that her brother Zach has stated that he wants to win districts and states this year, she said, “If I win this year, I'm going to outnumber him (if he wins both).”
Needless to say, all four qualified to advance to the District One tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 9-10, at Gilbertsville Golf Course.
In order to qualify for district play, the girls had to shoot under 98 and be among the top 21 players in the SOL. This year's tournament included 27 players, possibly the most ever in the SOL field.
While the lead group players were the only ones under 80, there were several players who broke 90. They included William Tennent's Kristina Farrer (83), Emily Haas of Hatboro-Horsham (87) and Upper Dublin's Debbie Park (89).
Also making the field for District One play were Catherine Cropp of CB East (91), Caleigh Rich of North Penn (92), Hatboro-Horsham's Hannah Fireman (93), Abington's Rebecca Chiger (95), Brittany Buonanno of Quakertown (96), CB West's Michayla Siemion (96) and Abington's Danielle Carr (97).
One other girl could qualify today, but not on the golf course. Upper Dublin's Julianne Lee evidently left the course without turning in her scorecard. It has been ruled that she has until today (Thursday) to turn in her card. She shot a 93.