SHENANGO VALLEY —
The gods of golf giveth; the gods of golf taketh away!
That was never more evident than at the annual Herald-Tam O’Shanter Junior Golf Championships Friday where penatlies and luck played major roles in the outcome.
Billy Colbert of Hermitage became a rare 3-time champion but it didn’t come easily or without controversy.
The Hickory High junior, who has a shot at a fourth crown next year, edged Kennedy Catholic sophomore Jacob Wilson in a one-hole playoff after both golfers finished the two-day event with 157 totals.
Wilson led after day one by two strokes, posting a 77 to 79 over Colbert, a son of Steven and Missy Colbert. And the lead got even bigger after the first hole on Friday.
Colbert played the wrong ball on his second shot on the Par 4 No. 1, resulting in a two-stroke penalty.
The golf gods smiled on Wilson.
It was a battle the rest of the way, with Colbert making a slight comeback, but Wilson holding a slim lead heading into No. 17. Wilson drove into a bunker by the green, then flubbed his shot out of the sand.
In frustration, he swung his club backwards hard and hit the sand. Result: a two-stroke penalty.
The golf gods smiled on Colbert.
After both players holed out on No. 18, the penalty rulings were made and strokes assessed, resulting in a two-day total of 157 for both golfers and sending them both out on No. 1 for a sudden-death playoff.
Both players pulled drives on the short Par-4 into the woods on the left. And the golf gods smiled!
Colbert’s ball cleared through to an opening, although not a very good lie in high grass, but Wilson’s ball landed under a root. Wilson tried to hit it out, but the ball rolled into the crook of a tree.
And the golf gods laughed.
Wilson did make an almost miraculous bogey 5 on the hole, but Colbert got down in par for the victory.
“Luck plays a role,” said John Kerins, director of golf at Tam O’Shanter, about the ball under the root. “It usually evens out, but not in a one-hole playoff ... It’s been a long time since we had a playoff. I can’t even remember the last one.
“It was a great tournament. Everyone thought Billy would run away with it for his third title, but Jacob played great. He made that one mistake on No. 17 in the sand. The rules of golf are there to help you but you have to know them. Both players learned something today.”
As Colbert walked off the playoff green he had to admit, “It feels good. It was a real challenge and that makes it fun for me.”
Can he become only the second player ever to win four tiltles, joining Mike Klaric III at that lofty height?
“I hope so, but I’ve got to play well,” said Colbert, adding with a chuckle, “and try not to get any penalties.
Meanwhile Wilson, a son of Bob and Fran Wilson of Sharon, lamented not only the sand penalty (”I didn’t even know I did it”) but also said, “ I missed some short putts and tht made a difference. But I have two more years so I’ll be back.”
And after the excitement of 2013, you can bet the gods of golf will be watching as well!
Notes: Colbert joined David Chuba (1981, ’83, ’84) and Bobby Thomas (1961-63) as the only three-time winners since the event began in 1949. ... Klaric’s four victories came in 2002-03 and 2006-07. ... Two girls, Alena Lancia and Abby Hearns, both accounted themselves well in the tournament. “It’s nice to see more girls playing,” said Kerins.
x-Billy Colbert 79-78—157
Jacob Wilson 77-80—157
Lonnie Schell 84-81—165
Ryan Dogan 92-94—186
Andrew Pursel 98-90—188
Louis Wareham 100-92—192
Greg Galbo 98-97—195
Jospeh Faber 84-110—195
Matt Wallace 97-101—198
Alena Lancia 97-103—200
Cameron Colbert 100-102—202
Chris Hartnagel 102-104—206
Travis Roberts 100-107—207
Abby Hearns 100-109—209
Ted Haaz 99-WD
x-won in playoff
SHENANGO VALLEY —
The gods of golf giveth; the gods of golf taketh away!
LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program
Thiel College assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator Amy Schafer was one of just 12 individuals recently selected for the NCAA 2014 Pathway Program.
The Pathway Program exists to assist minority and/or female administrators who wish to become director of athletics as their next career step through education, training and mentoring. The program is designed to provide national exposure to its participants and to generate the opportunity to glean information and career guidance from the leadership of intercollegiate athletics administrators throughout the country.
Reynolds 20-year home mat streak halted
They say that all good things must end. Even winning streaks of local powerhouse Reynolds High wrestling team!
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor dropped a tough 30-25 decision to Erie McDowell Tuesday night at Reynolds, the first home loss for the Raiders since 1993.
The Class AAA Trojans (2-0) last year rallied from a large deficit to beat Class AA Reynolds in Erie, 38-33. On Tuesday, the northerners also rallied from a 25-21 deficit in the final two matches to halt the streak.
Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56
When West Middlesex High’s wonderful 2013 Final Four run ended last March 22, it was at Sharon’s Tiger gymnasium. And while Tuesday night’s circumstances were considerably less dramatic, they ended similarly.
The Big Reds built a 20-8 first-quarter bulge. Ultimately, however, West Middlesex made 27 miscues, resulting in a 72-56 District 10 inter-region setback at Sharon.
Roundup: WM girls beat UC; Sharpsville, KC fall
ä West Middlesex 52, Union City 27 — At Union City, coach Mike Williams’ Region 1-A Ms. Reds improved to 2-1 with a win over the Lady Bears of Region 4-AA.
Alyson Pierce scored 15 to lead WM, Noelle Murray registered 13 points and Allie Staunch bucketed 10 markers.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
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