Luke Shevlin

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

Luke Shevlin chips onto a green from a sand trap dur­ing Day 2 of the District 1 Golf Cham­pi­onships at Tur­tle Creek Golf Club in Lim­er­ick on Tues­day. Shevlin fin­ished sev­enth and will play in next week’s re­gion­als.

LIM­ER­ICK >> While lin­ing up his putt for his third straight birdie at­tempt on No. 12 Tues­day at Tur­tle Creek Golf Course, Ben Po­chet’s vi­sion on the green was quickly knocked off sight when a tee shot came fly­ing in from the group be­hind.

“I im­me­di­ately knew who it was,” said Po­chet laugh­ing af­ter­ward. “Kyle Vance ... the one guy who can drive that green.

“I backed off from my ball, re­assessed my putt, then sank it and moved on.”

That mo­ment told the tale of the day as Po­chet — play­ing out of the round’s sec­ond-to-last group — paid lit­tle at­ten­tion to the rest of the field on his way to cap­tur­ing the District 1 Boys Golf Cham­pi­onship on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

“I played my game,” he said. “I wasn’t wor­ried about what any­one else was do­ing out on the course — just me.

“All of the scores from Day One were re­ally close to­gether, so it could be any­one’s day.”

Af­ter open­ing with an even-par 72 on the tour­na­ment’s Day One round Mon­day, Po­chet got off to a fast start Tues­day, sit­ting at 2-un­der af­ter his first three holes. He fin­ished the frontside on a down note, though, hit­ting his tee shot into the water be­fore fin­ish­ing with a dou­ble bo­gey to move him back to even par.

“The front nine was up and down,” he said. “I was play­ing a lot bet­ter than my score of 36. I knew that if I wanted to be in con­tention, I’d need to get things go­ing on the back.”

Things quickly got go­ing.

The Spring-Ford ju­nior rat­tled off three con­sec­u­tive birdie putts on Nos. 11, 12 and 13 be­fore par­ring out the rest of the way to close out his round.

“I’m re­ally proud of the way I played over the past cou­ple of days,” he said. “There’s al­ways a lot of nerves in­volved with this tour­na­ment. One poor round can eas­ily cost it for you. I kept my­self in good shape both days and never got into trou­ble.”

Vance, the district’s de­fend­ing-cham­pion, wound up fin­ish­ing third with a 1-un­der 143, post­ing a 72 on Day One and fol­low­ing it with a 71 to close it out. He fin­ished right on the heels of Bishop Shana­han’s Ryan Con­ners, who birdied six holes on the back nine on his way to a 1-un­der 71 and an over­all score of 142.

Much like he had the day prior, Con­ners grit­ted his teeth through some dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. The ju­nior suf­fered four lipouts on the round, in­clud­ing one on a dou­ble bo­gey try on No. 9.

“I never counted my­self out of it,” he said. “No mat­ter what was go­ing on, whether I was sink­ing my putts or not. Once my put­ter and my irons came around on the back nine, I re­ally got things go­ing.”

Af­ter string­ing to­gether a pair of bo­geys on Nos. 11 and 12, Con­ners rat­tled off three straight birdies, then mixed in a par be­fore clos­ing out his round with two more birdies.

“I’m def­i­nitely happy about fin­ish­ing sec­ond,” he added. “There’s some re­ally good com­pe­ti­tion, so even just to be able to fin­ish here is some­thing spe­cial.”

The top 16 fin­ish­ers qual­ify for next Mon­day’s Re­gional Tour­na­ment at Golden Oaks Golf Club.



Spring Ford’s Ben Po­chet hits from the 18th tee dur­ing Tues­day’s District 1 cham­pi­onships at Tur­tle Creek.

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