Central Bucks West captured the District One 3A team title. Ben Reese recaps the SOL’s top individual performances. (CB East team photo provided courtesy of Tracy Valko.)
By Ben Reese
LIMERICK — The best thing you can do on a golf course is “go low.”
That means that you post a score that is in the red numbers, meaning under par.
That is exactly what several Suburban One League golfers did on Tuesday at the District One 3A Golf Tournament at Turtle Creek Golf Course. Two of them finished the two-round tournament under par while another fired a sub-par second round.
Going low for the boys was Charlie Kerprich of Upper Dublin. He shot a second-round 69, three under par, to finish in third place with a two-day total of 142, two under.
On the girls’ side of the ledger, Central Bucks East’s Elle Lundquist used her first-round 70, two under, to go with her 72 in the second round to finish fourth at one under. Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Rhianna Gooneratne furnished the other low round with a 71 in her second round, finishing eighth at five over.
“I played well,” Kerprich said. “I was just hitting my tee shots really straight today. I hit a lot of greens.”
All that contributed to this great round, right?
“I’m excited,” he continued. “I’ve only shot under par one other time in my life.”
Perfect time to do it.
“I’m glad I could go low these past couple days,” said Lundquist. “I could have gone really low today.
“At SOLs, I had food poisoning so I was just trying to get through that. Here, my only concern was getting to states. I didn’t care what place I finished.”
As for Gooneratne, she aimed at going low just so she could advance.
“I just wanted to play good golf today and whatever happened happened,” she said. “I knew a lot of the girls were going to hit low scores so I knew I had to be under par just to make it.”
Two notes on the girls: both of them are freshmen, which might make them the youngest duo to represent the SOL at states.
The other concerns Rhianna. The name Gooneratne should sound familiar. Her brother Dylan reached states twice for Plymouth Whitemarsh before he graduated and went to Penn State, where he is playing club golf.
There is another youngster who made his mark at districts. Sophomore Nick Joyce finished tied for 12th with a 4-over 148, making him the first Quakertown golfer to ever advance to states.
“It feels good,” he said. “I worked really hard to get to this position, so it feels good.
“(Being the first Panther at states is) pretty nice, I would say. It would be good doing this for my school. I knew I had to put a low score to qualify for states. I tried my best. Last year I didn’t do too well. I didn’t make it past conferences. This year I tried harder and I succeeded.”
In addition to Joyce at 12th, Christian Matt of Wissahickon and Kevin Lydon of CB West also finished with 148 totals. Tied for 17th, North Penn’s Connor Toussaint shot 150 to also qualify to move on to states. Justin Chong of Hatboro-Horsham just missed the cut at 151 and North Penn’s Hayley Ekert barely missed the cut for the girls.
Matt looked like he would be on the outside looking in after the 13th hole. He was six over par and appeared to be done for the season.
But then something happened to turn him around. He proceeded to birdie 14, 15, 16 and 18 to finish with a 74, enough to early him a trip to York.
“I just told myself not to give up and I know I was still in and had a chance,” Matt said. “Then putts started to fall and then they started stringing together.
“If I had that going for the whole tournament, I could have shot some low numbers. It gives me confidence going into states.”
Holy Ghost Prep’s Calen Sanderson was the gold medalist of the boys’ tournament although he tied for first with Nick Gross of Downingtown West at 4-under 140. Sanderson won the title by winning the second playoff hole.
Sydney Yermish of Lower Merion won on the girls’ side. She put together rounds of 70 and 68 for a 138 total, five under par.
Central Bucks West – led by Kevin Lydon’s 148 - captured the AAA team title, finishing eight over par. Other SOL team finishes had Upper Dublin taking sixth, Pennsbury tied for seventh and Springfield in 12th.
New Hope Solebury won the AA team championship. It beat out Jenkintown by 37 strokes.
That leaves only the PIAA Golf Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort. The AA championship will be held on Monday, Oct.18 with the AAA tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 19 and the team competition for both AA and AAA on Monday, Oct. 25.