Austalosh, Jacobson are among Tuesday’s junior qualifiers
By Greg Gulas | firstname.lastname@example.org
Campbell’s Dean Austalosh shot a two-over par 72 while Poland’s Jenna Jacobson carded 79 to capture their respective U-17 divisions in the fourth Greatest Golfer of the Valley junior qualifying event Tuesday at Mill Creek’s North course.
Austalosh was four strokes ahead of Matt Kinkela of New Wilmington, Pa., who qualified last week at Avalon Lakes Golf Course.
Jacobson was two strokes better than Canfield High’s Hannah Keffler, also a qualifier.
In U-14 action, Caleb Domitrovich and Leah Benson each won for the third consecutive week with Benson (39-37) carding 77 and Domitrovich (37-43) an 80.
Michael Porter (41-42—83), already a qualifier, was three strokes off so Ryan Sam (44-40—84), who calls Mill Creek his home course, was four shots back and punched his finals ticket.
Jayne Bernard (40-39—79) finished second and McKenzie Gustas (41-43—84) third. Both already qualified. That opened the door for Ava Staebler of Tippecanoe Country Club, who finished fourth after shooting 94.
Six qualifying events lead up to this year’s championships. The next is set for July 10 at Salem Hills Golf Course.
Austalosh, who will be a senior this fall at Campbell High School, carded 36-36. He’s qualified all five years that he has entered the event.
“I was pretty consistent on the front nine holes, had a double bogey on No. 3 but birdied No. 7 and was able to save par on five of the last six holes,” Austalosh said. “On the back nine, I had all pars but could have ended up with 71 if it weren’t for the 18th hole.
“I had a long putt, left it short by about five feet but my next shot lipped out for birdie.”
Austalosh advanced to the finals the past two years, finishing third each time.
Anthony Clark (42-37—79), a junior at Brookfield who placed third last week at Avalon Lakes, finished third for the second straight week and was three strokes behind Kinkela.
“I mis-hit too many shots on the front nine holes while my putting and short game weren’t exactly great today,” Clark said. “Putting was a challenge the entire round. I couldn’t hit my line and felt like I misread the greens. I’ve struggled reading greens all year.”
Jacobson was playing in her fifth GGOV and qualified for her fourth finals. It was the first time that she did so by winning a qualifying event, registering 38 on the front nine while authoring eight pars and two birdies for her round.
“My putting was 50-50 at best, but I felt like I played well,” Jacobson said. “I birdied the last three holes on the front nine so I was feeling great at the turn.
“I was up and down on the back nine holes and was pleased with my irons. My chipping saved me several times.”
A triple bogey on the seventh hole proved to be a real challenge for Keffler.
“I started off well and was even until the seventh hole,” Keffler said. “I had some bad lies, had trouble with the sand and a lot of my putts didn’t drop, lipping out more than half the time.
“I felt like my short game and chipping were alright.”
Carly Ungaro, a junior at Poland, finished third after carding 86. Springfield Local junior Madison Horvath was a stroke behind Ungaro at 87.
“Horvath, a member of the Tigers boys golf team, proved to be up to the challenge.
“My chipping and putting were off on the back nine holes and that hurt me,” Horvath said. “Driving was good overall, but my short game mediocre.”