The battle between Central York's Joe Parrini and Chambersburg's Karsen Rush was in full force over the back nine of the final round of the District 3 Class 3A boys golf championship on Saturday at Briarwood West.
Parrini began the back nine with a one-stroke lead and never gave it up, even though the two scored the same on only two of the final nine holes, and he ended up besting Rush by two strokes to capture the district title.
In the girls tournament at Briarwood West, Olivia Gardenhour of Waynesboro finished in a tie for fourth in 3A. She and Rush have qualified to play in the PIAA Eastern Regional on Oct. 17 at Golden Oaks.
Chambersburg's Mary Kate Norcross finished in a tie for 10th, two strokes over the cut line for regionals. She shot 81 Saturday.
Rush, a sophomore, began the day two shots behind Trey Kuntz of Manheim Twp., with Parrini in third. Rush shot a 2-under 35 for the opening nine holes, but Parrini birdied four straight holes from No. 3 to No. 6 to take a one-stroke lead.
"I felt like I was one stroke back all day," Rush said. "I was trying to keep up with him and he hit a lot of good shots."
Parrini birdied No. 10 to go ahead by two, but Rush birdied 11. A Rush bogey on 12 and a Parrini bogey left it at one stroke between them. Parrini birdied 14, but bogeyed 15. After two pars, both golfers birdied No. 17, then Parrini birdied 18 to put the margin at two.
"I had a 4-footer on No. 12 to tie it, but I missed," Rush said. "But I'm really pleased with how I played."
He should be. He shot a 3-under 69 for the second straight day to finish 6-under for the tournament. Parrini went 70-66 to finish 8-under.
Trojan coach Mark Yost said, "Karsen's score would have won all the district tournaments over the last 10-15 years except for one year. Parrini had to birdie the last two holes to beat him by two. It was really fun to watch them go back and forth."
Gardenhour was not likely to catch the winner, Julianne Lee of Central York, who finished at 1-over after her 73. The Waynesboro senior shot an 81 after her 74 on Friday to finish at 16-over, tied with Ellen Wager of Manheim Twp.
"I didn't hit my driver very well today," Gardenhour said, "and that affected my game. But I was confident I would qualify for regionals. That course is longer than the one we played this week, so if I can't hit the driver there, I could struggle."
Norcross bettered her Friday score (82) by one, but it wasn't quite enough to move on. At least the sophomore had no trouble pinpointing her issues.
"I had a couple of bad holes on the front, but mostly I just couldn't get up and down," Norcross said. "And I've been doing that well lately. I kind of knew about halfway through I probably wasn't going to make it."
Yost said, "She did get up and down on 17 for par and birdied 18, but it was too little, too late at that point."