Con­estoga’s Yao tied for lead af­ter first day

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

All sum­mer long, any high school golfer’s goal for the up­com­ing sea­son is gen­er­ally the same. Make it to states. On Mon­day, the PIAA Cham­pi­onships at Her­itage Hills Golf Re­sort in York fi­nally ar­rived, and with it came some test­ing con­di­tions.

On the girls side, Con­estoga’s Sa­man­tha Yao posted an even-par 72 to fin­ish tied for the lead with Peters Town­ship’s Mia Kness.

Yao seem­ingly had an an­swer for all of her mis­takes, quickly back­ing up each bo­gey with a birdie. She fin­ished with three bo­geys and three birdies, mix­ing in 12 pars.

Rad­nor’s Gabby Kim shot a 5-over 77, fin­ish­ing with an ea­gle on the Par 5 No. 18.

She racked up 11 pars and five bo­geys with a dou­ble on No. 12 en route to fin­ish­ing tied for sev­enth.

Her sis­ter, June Kim, sits tied for 12th af­ter post­ing a 13-over 85.

On the boys side, it was a tough day for lo­cal play­ers.

At the con­clu­sion of the open­ing round, which in­cluded wind, cold and some treach­er­ous pin lo­ca­tions, Nazareth Area’s Kevin Scherr held the lead af­ter post­ing a 2-un­der 69.

The se­nior was sit­ting a 5-un­der through 14 holes be­fore he ran into some trou­ble on the home stretch, post­ing a dou­ble bo­gey on No. 15 and a bo­gey on No. 17.

Pope John Paul II ju­nior J.T. Spina finds him­self tied for sec­ond with five oth­ers with a 2-over 73.

Be­hind Spina, Down­ing­town East’s Wills Mont­gomery rep­re­sents Dis­trict 1’s next best fin­isher, sit­ting eight strokes out at 4-over 77 tied for 10th. Mont­gomery birdied No. 2, but was then plagued by three con­sec­u­tive bo­geys on Nos. 4, 5 and 6 be­fore post­ing a dou­ble-bo­gey on No. 12.

Spina, just a week re­moved from his sil­ver fin­ish at the East Re­gional at Golden Oaks in Fleet­wood, fired four birdies and six bo­geys, mixed in with eight pars Mon­day. He opened up at 2-un­der for his first four holes and hit 12 greens in reg­u­la­tion for the round. Spina ran into some trou­ble mid­way through the front nine, where he posted three straight bo­geys on Nos. 5, 6 and 7 be­fore mov­ing back to even with a birdie on the par-4 No. 9.

Up­per Dublin’s David Kim sits a stroke be­hind Mont­gomery at 78 while Bishop Shana­han’s Ryan Con­ners sits tied for 16th at 8-over 79.

Start­ing on No. 10, Con­ners posted a birdie and 11 pars, mixed in with four bo­geys, a dou­ble bo­gey and a triple on No. 14. He made the turn at the club­house at 7-over, but started to piece it to­gether on the frontside where he fin­ished 1-over.

Given the con­di­tions, Con­ners wasn’t one to com­plain af­ter his round.

“With­out holes 14 and 15, I played fairly con­sis­tent,” said Con­ners. “Look­ing back on my round, I’m more pleased than I thought with a 79.

“Go­ing into (Tues­day), I’m just go­ing to take the pos­i­tives out of to­day’s round. I’m go­ing to be giv­ing my­self bet­ter po­si­tions on the ap­proach shots so I leave my­self with shorter putts.”

Spring-Ford’s Ben Po­chet, North Penn’s Ron Robin­son, Unionville’s Nick Giane­los and Nor­ris­town’s Caleb Ryan fin­ished tied for 23rd at 10-over.

Methac­ton’s Kyle Vance posted a 12-over 83 while West Ch­ester Rustin’s Luke Shevlin sits at 13-over af­ter Day one.


Con­estoga’s Sa­man­tha Yao shot an even-par round Mon­day and is tied atop the leader­board on the girls side with 18 holes to go.

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