Central York's Gus Minkin, Julianne Lee bring home District 3 golf titles
After coming up short at the District 3 team golf tournament, Central York was on a mission during the individual tournament.
The Panthers' entire top five made the cut Friday at Briarwood and after Saturday, two of them — Julianne Lee and Gus Minkin — were bringing home gold medals.
At Briarwood West, Lee made five birdies and held off her competition while Minkin, who didn't make a birdie all day, overcame a one-stroke deficit on the final two holes.
Minkin, who is the first boys golfer from Central to win a district title since Andy Gingerich in 1985, leapfrogged Eastern's Andrew Davis on the leaderboard when he eagled the par-5 17th. After that, Minkin just needed to par the final hole to win gold.
"I just hit a perfect drive, then the second shot within 8-10 feet, and I made the putt," Minkin said of his eagle. "Then the second shot on 18 was huge because I've struggled on 18 for a while. Then my coach told me I just had to two-putt so I was relieved."
Minkin didn't have his best stuff on Saturday, he admitted, but he made sure to finish strong.
"I didn't make any birdie putts all day, then I make an eagle," Minkin said with a laugh. "I didn't really think I was going to be in the lead until the eagle on 17. Then when I made that I was like, 'Maybe I have a chance here.'"
Over on Briarwood West, Lee birdied three of her first four holes on the front nine, then two of her first three on the back nine. The sophomore needed all five birdies to hold off a late charge by Manheim Township's Adelyn Deery, who finished one stroke behind Lee.
"I didn't really know who was behind me, I wasn't paying attention to that," Lee said of holding off her competition. "I just wanted to make par, and that was it."
Minkin and Lee will be joined by teammate Joe Parrini, who also qualified for regionals.
"I knew we had the potential to win two," Central head coach Mike Ruby said of his champions. "I couldn't be more excited for those two and for Joe (Parrini). We're going to have a good time at regionals."
GOLDEN KNIGHTS SEND THREE TO REGIONALS >> While Central stole the show, Eastern York had a solid outing as well.
Three Golden Knights — Davis, Kevin Crumbling and Alexandra Lowder — qualified for the East Region tournament, and Zach Dixon missed the cut by one stroke.
After he birdied two holes, including the par-4 sixth when his wedge shot hit the stick and fell within inches of the pin, Davis held the lead briefly down the stretch before Minkin eagled on 17.
"I hit a lot of drives in the fairway, but my wedge shots could've been better," Davis said after shooting a 73. "I had a lot of good looks, but just couldn't hit any close. I let a lot of good opportunities go away."
Crumbling converted three birdies, but a double-bogey on 18 gave him a 75 on the day.
"I had three three-putts yesterday, but I putted better today," Crumbling said. "I was just playing for par. I got up and down a few times and did what I had to do."
Lowder, a sophomore, snuck in to regionals with a seventh-place finish on the girls side and improved her score from day one to day two by six strokes.
FORJAN ALL ALONE IN AA >> York Catholic's Andrew Forjan was the lone YAIAA golfer to qualify for AA regionals. Forjan jumped from sixth place to second on Saturday thanks to a 1-under on the back nine and an impressive putting display.
"Honestly today was an average ball-striking day, but I only had 25 putts," Forjan said. "Everything I looked at, I committed to it, and it was center of the cup every time. It was insane, I was pretty pleased."
The highlight of Forjan's round came on the 13th, where he drained a 40-foot birdie putt.
"That really got me going and allowed me to finish my round strong," Forjan said.
YAIAA CLEANS UP >> A year after York Catholic brought home two district titles in AA, Central took care of business Saturday, and nine YAIAA golfers qualified for regionals — Minkin, Lee, Crumbling, Lowder, Davis, Parrini, Forjan, New Oxford's Justin Gruver and Dallastown's Blake Sebring.
TREACHEROUS BACK NINE >> The majority of the golfers at Briarwood East agreed that the first half of the back nine was the most difficult to overcome.
"Hole 10 is a tough tee shot because you have the driving range right there," Davis explained. "And you can't go too far left because there are trees and a hazard. Hole 11 has a tough second shot because the green is so narrow and 12 has a skinny green."
"Holes 10, 11, 12 are definitely the toughest," Forjan added. "I've always struggled on those holes."