Grif­fin, Dil­i­sio earn spots in state tour­ney

North Penn Life - - Sports - By Tom Ker­rane tk­er­rane@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

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.

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