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No district drama: JFK captures D-III title



Published: Fri, October 5, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Ryan Buck

sports@vindy.com

HARTVILLE

Redemption is a powerful motivator.

Almost a year after a scorecard error cost them a trip to the Division III state golf tournament, the Warren JFK boys earned it Thursday at Seven Hills Country Club.

The Eagles won the district title and punched a ticket to the state finals with a five-stroke victory over a field of nine other schools and 54 golfers.

“It was a long wait,” said fifth-year JFK coach Jim St. George. “We waited 364 days for this one because last year we deserved to go down also. Today, I was hawking those scorecards like there was no tomorrow. This was well worth the wait.”

JFK junior Billy Phillips picked the ultimate time to fire the lowest score of his career, earning the event’s medalist honor with an even-par 72. With top seed Ryan Fowler off his game, the Eagles had to have his performance.

“Ryan’s carried the team all year,” said St. George. “He’s been the medalist in everything that we’ve done and he just had a tough day. Billy really stepped up to carry his 72. That’s his best in three years.”

Phillips got hot with the putter on Seven Hills’ hilly greens.

“I was hitting key shots that I needed to,” Phillips said. “Everything I was doing was right. Putts I would normally miss, I made today and that was a big part of shooting what I did. Knowing that we had it last year, now that we actually have it feels great.”

St. George preached the need for a “total team effort.” The “80/320” stitched into the team hats denotes the 80 strokes he expects each player to shoot for the aggregate 320 stroke total of the top four scores, ideal for winning matches.

“The kids did their jobs,” St. George said. “I stress six-[foot putts] all day long and every time I walked up, I’d see them go in. It was nice for a change.”

Fowler posted a score of 86, while James LaPolla made 80 and Daniel LaPolla and Stephen Macali each shot 91 for the Eagles’ 329-stroke total.

Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas will join JFK at the state tournament, having notched a team total of 334 for runner-up honors.

Other area district finalists, East Palestine and Mineral Ridge, struggled, shooting 365 and 386, respectively.

JFK will vie for the state title next Friday and Saturday at North Star Golf Resort in Sunbury.


Comments

1golfermom15(1 comment)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Great Job Billy!! Good luck to all of you at States.

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