Bomberger, Hanford snag Lebanon County golf titles
Tim Bomberger was having a season to remember before he even stepped on the golf course at Lebanon Country Club on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cedar Crest senior already had a top 10 finish at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament, a berth in this weekend's District Three tourney, and two medalist honors in highly competitive Section One matches to his credit by the time he teed it up.
And now he has something else to add to his resume.
Overcoming a shaky first nine holes with the perfect mix of shot making and mental toughness, Bomberger captured his first Lebanon County title Tuesday, firing a six-over par 78 for a two-shot victory over Falcon teammate Trevor Firestone.
Bomberger's win led a Cedar Crest sweep of the day — junior Sklyar Hanford shot a 110 to win the girls title, while Bomberger and Firestone's rounds combined with Evan Dissinger's 86 gave the Falcons their third straight county team title, by 10 strokes over runner-up Palmyra.
"It means a lot, especially for senior year," Bomberger said, smiling broadly. "I knew I could win it coming in, but I knew it wasn't gonna be easy against Evan, and Trevor had a career day, too. And I knew some kids from Palmyra were pretty good, but I knew I had a chance. It definitely feels pretty good to get it.
"It's indescribable, after not being able to consistently break 80 last year, to come out and do what I've done this year."
As Bomberger noted, it wasn't easy, and part of the reason for that was Bomberger himself. He struggled to a 42 on the back nine after teeing off on No.9, but found the range on the front with an even-par 36 that sewed up the county crown.
"My back nine was a disaster," he said. "I three-putted probably five or six times, but then came out on 1 and put it all behind me. It was all mental. I just had to calm myself down and not get angry. I just had to go make some putts and make things happen, and I did."
The mental game was equally important for Hanford in her victory. In just her second season of competitive golf, Hanford cruised to the top of the seven-player field, besting her nearest competitor, Dannika Boltz of Elco, by 12 shots.
"It was primarily positivity," she said of the key to her win. "I had the rough part of my year earlier (in the season) and I was very negative. Today, no matter what, I just wanted to stay positive.
"It's very exciting. I only started playing golf last year, so this is a major improvement."
The Falcons, understandably, were feeling pretty positive about how the team competition played out, especially considering they were without defending county champ Colin Kosko because of illness.
Firestone, normally Cedar Crest's No. 4 guy, was the key to the three-peat, stepping up big with his 80 and runner-up finish.
"Trevor Firestone had a great round," Cedar Crest coach Rick Dissinger said. "Great job. He normally has two or three holes where he goes sideways, but he's much improved this year. The scores haven't always been what he's wanted, but it's not because of his game. Today he didn't have any big numbers, and that's huge for him."
And for the Falcons, who get to keep the county title for another year after fending off the challenge of Palmyra, which was led by Caleb Randall's 82.
"It definitely put some more pressure on us," Bomberger said of Kosko's absence. "Especially Trevor, and Trevor came up huge. We knew that it wasn't gonna be easy, and that means a lot to us that we could come out and get that done."
Lebanon County Tournament
(at Lebanon Country Club)
1. Tim Bomberger (CC) 78, 2. Trevor Firestone (CC) 80, 3. Caleb Randall (P) 82, 4. Tyler Julian (P) 83, 5. Evan Dissinger (CC) 86, 6. Braden Vernet 89, 7. Kyle Rosengrant (E) 92, 8. Trevor Shirk (NL) 92, 9. Cody Tobias (E) 93, 10. Blaine Weaver (E) 95, 11. Ryan Biever (NL) 98, 12. Ryan Woelfling (E) 99, 13. Andrew Alquist (P) 100, 14. Tyler Schrader (AC) 100, 15. Mason Moore (AC) 106, 16. Billy Fellows (NL) 108, 17. Noah Gingrich (NL) 111, 18. Ben Miller (AC) 116, 19. Caleb Bridi (AC) 121, 20. Noah Brown (L) 141, 21. Liam Maguire (L) 150, 22. Timmy Spangler (L) 162
1. Skylar Hanford (CC) 110, 2. Dannika Boltz (E) 122, 3. Delaney Hess (AC) 128, 4. Annika Neufeld-Kreider (CC) 129, 5. Maddie Dietz (AC) 134, 6. Katie Blauch (LC)140, 7. Faith Kostow (LC) 151
1. Cedar Crest (244) — Tim Bomberger 78, Trevor Firestone 80, Evan Dissinger 86
2. Palmyra (254) — Caleb Randall 82, Tyler Julian 83, Braden Vernet 89
3. Elco (280) — Kyle Rosengrant 92, Cody Tobias 93, Blaine Weaver 95
4. Northern Lebanon (298) — Trevor Shirk 92, Ryan Biever 98, Billy Fellows 108
5. Annville-Cleona (322) — Tyler Schrader 100, Mason Moore 106, Ben Miller 116
6. Lebanon (453) — Noah Brown 141, Liam Maguire 150, Timmy Spangler 162