Nine NTL golfers move on in district golf
WILLIAMSPORT - It was a big day for the NTL on the first day of District 4 golf as nine moved on to Saturday's championship round.
Northern Tioga's Dakota Ruef led the way for the NTL with a round of 79, sitting him in fifth place after the first day.
The top six AA golfers on Saturday move on to regionals.
Austin Renz of Danville leads the field at 71.
Also moving on are Athens' Garrett Ulmer (84) and Zach Sitzman (90), Towanda's Nick Innocenzo (84), Wellsboro's Dillan King (84), Brett Kendrick (88) and Zach Bower (89) and Northern Tioga's Nick Cevette (91).
In the girls tournament Athens' Megan Sweppenheiser moved on with a round of 101.
There were also some big scores by area golfers who were not eligible to move on to Saturday's round. Golfers who were on teams that qualified for districts, but did not have the necessary season average to qualify as an individual.
Sullivan County's Derek Wilkins shot an 80 on Thursday and Towanda's Hunter Gordon shot an 84, while Athens' Pat Cole shot an 89.
Other rounds for area golfers included Towanda's David Rodenzheizer with a 93, Blair Carson of Wellsboro at 97 and Athens' Shane Bradley, Sullivan County's Luke Larkowski and Josh Cole-Camp of Towanda all at 103.
Wellsboro's Josh Cooper was at 106, Sullivan County's Connor Wylie was at 109 and the Griffins' Nic Weinhardt was at 119. Ryan Cuddy of Towanda was at 128, Ryan Kinsey of Sullivan County was at 130 and Jon Kleiner of Athens was at 138.
For Towanda coach Tim Farley having Innocenzo, a freshman, move on was a big accomplishment.
"I'm happy, overall I think it was a real good day for our team," Farley said. "Nick obviously played very well. He actually started out pretty slowly, he had three double bogeys in his first four holes, but to his credit he was able to calm himself down and right the ship and really turned in a solid round. He's got a world of potential, he's still learning, still growing into his game. Today was a real nice day for him."
While Gordon wasn't eligible to move on to Saturday, he still had a big day on Thursday.
"Hunter has had a tough season, he'll be the first to admit he didn't play as well as he would have liked this year and no one was more disappointed he wasn't able to qualify individually then him," Farley said. "But, we talked about it the other day and we both kind of agreed that today was the day for him, even if he couldn't move on, to go down and prove he was one of the best golfers in the district. I was very happy for him, it was a great way to wrap up not his best season. It's something he can take with him into next year and build from."
Overall it was a great day for the entire NTL.
"We would be the first to admit the NTL is down with individual talent compared to what it was 10 years ago, but nine kids from the NTL eight guys and one girl, we don't have anybody challenging for the championship, but that's a nice day league wide to get that many kids into the top 20 it was a good day.
"The rest of my guys played decent. Rody (Rodenhizer) has had his health issues this year, but he didn't play horribly. Josh for his first time didn't do bad and Ryan got some experience. We will go down Saturday and we will all give our best shot and as far as Nick goes, we talked about it today and the only person he is competing with is himself. He will just go down and try and do his best."
Danville won the AA team title with a score of 318, followed by Lewisburg at 336. In the AAA field, C.J. Tyler leads at 72, and Colin Rice shot 73.
For the girls Taylor Krout of Loyalsock shot 80 to lead the field.
On Saturday Reuf tees off at 10:20 a.m. and Inncoenzo, Ulmer and King are in a group that tees off at 10:40 a.m. Kendrick and Cevette tee off at 10:50 a.m. on Saturday and Bower and Sitzman both tee off at 11 a.m., while Sweppenheiser tees off at 11:20 a.m.