Griffin, Dilisio earn spots in state tourney
Jalen Griffin can recall every single shot he hit at the PIAA Golf Championships last year.
He remembers every one of his three-putts, every fairway missed.
For 51 weeks, the Wissahickon High junior has used his tie for 19th a year ago as motivation, determined to return to states and put on a better showing than his first trip as a sophomore.
Tuesday afternoon at Golden Oaks GC in Fleetwood, Griffin gave himself that opportunity, shooting a 2-over-par 74 to be one of 24 Class AAA boys to qualify for states at the East Regional championship.
Griffin was one of four local players to earn a berth for next week’s the state tournament. A pair of La Salle players, Joe Markmann and Jack Gregor, also qualified in the Class AAA event. Markmann shot a 76 and Gregor a 77.
Mount St. Joseph’s Isabella DiLisio shot a 77. The reigning District One Class AAA girls champion from Hatfield returns to states for the second year in a row. She finished third at states last year.
Griffin and DiLisio did not even seem to mind that both their names were misspelled on the PIAA scoreboard.
“I think I can definitely be up near the top,” Griffin said of going back to Heritage Hills in vork for the individual state tournament, which will take place on Monday and Tuesday. “Last year, I had 10 three-putts for two rounds and I still was 78-78.
“I need to work on some things to get ready for states, but I feel confident.”
This is a drastic change from a week ago. Griffin, the two-time reigning Suburban One American Conference individual champion shot a two-day total of 152 last week at districts, barely making regionals by finishing right on the cut line. He was distraught when he walked off the 18th green to finish districts, thinking he had missed his chance to go to Golden Oaks. But this is the third year in a row he reached regionals.
“This took a little bit off being here for the third time,” he said of the pressure he put on himself Tuesday. “I know the whole course and the procedure. But I kind of had my doubts (TuesdayF because I just was not feeling it.
“When I came here to play a practice round (SundayF, I shot a 79. It was really bad.”
But, on a windy day at Golden Oaks, Griffin plodded around the course with one birdie and mostly pars, his usual strategy for success. There were only three scores in the field better than his 74.
Markmann, who played at regionals two years ago as a sophomore, had a prime
pairing Tuesday which included Council Rock North’s wach Herr and Manheim Township sophomore Ryan Dornes. Herr, already inked to Vanderbilt next year, has been a mainstay at states. Dornes posted a 71 Tuesday to finish second behind his Manheim teammate Craig Hornberger, who fired a 69.
“I was thinking if I could beat (HerrF, or even lose to him by just a couple, then I would make it,” Markmann said.
Well, he did just that, his 76 besting Herr by a stroke.
“When I was a sophomore, I was so nervous coming out here,” Markmann said. “It was my first year playing in the top eight on the team. I was just happy to make it out here. But I got nervous.
“This time, I felt like I had to get to states. This is just a qualifying level, it’s not for a win. vou just want to shoot a good number.”
DiLisio took the same approach, playing the course looking to shoot a number good enough to continue the season. She opened on the 18th hole, but by the time she made the turn at nine, she had reason for concern.
“It scared me a little on the front,” DiLisio said after posting a front-nine 41. “I struggled on the greens. I had some problems on the front nine but was able to turn it around on the back nine.”
On the back, she put up an even-par 36 to comfortably make the cut for states.
This year, the golf championship has been split up by enrollment, with Class AAA and Class AA classifications. Twenty-four boys earned Class AAA state berths, the cut coming at 79. Class AA had 16 boys make states, that cut coming at 81.
The Class AAA girls cut came at 87, with 12 players qualifying, while the Class AA girls line was at 98.
Among the locals playing at Golden Oaks, Methacton’s Brandon Vance just missed making states in Class AAA. The junior shot an 80 to come one shot shy of a playoff for the final two spots. rpper Dublin’s Andrew Carber carded an 82.
Mount St. Joseph’s Alison Snakard, from Collegeville, shot a 93 to come up short in her bid in the Class AAA girls tournament.