PIAA Golf East regionals
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Nick Tristani of Marian watches his putt during PIAA East Regionals at Golden Oaks Golf Club. Tristani fired a round of 80 to miss the cut for states.
There are at least two ways to make it through the PIAA Eastern Regional Golf Tournament and advance to states.
One way is to stay below the cut line, like Dan Costenbader did in shooting 75. The other way is to get in a tie right on the cut number then survive a nine-man playoff with a miraculous shot, like Mike Englert did.
Both Palmerton seniors will play in next week's PIAA Championship Tournament at Heritage Hills Resort in York.
Costenbader, who was third at last year's state tournament, shot 3-over par Tuesday in the regional, held at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood. He had six bogeys, two birdies and 10 pars.
"I didn't have any doubles or triples or anything like that," he said. "Every now and then I bogeyed, but every now and then I birdied.
"It was an all right day. I didn't do anything special besides make putts. I just wanted to come out here and not blow up, not have a high score and just make sure I just got the job done to qualify for states this year."
Englert, who will play in his third straight PIAA Championship Tournament, qualified for this year's tournament the hard way.
He shot 78 and fell into a tie for 24th place with eight other players. Because the top 26 move on, a nine-man playoff for the final three spots was held.
Two players bogeyed the first playoff hole, the par-4 10th at Golden Oaks. The other seven, including Englert, advanced with pars.
They moved on to the 533-yard par-5 18th. Englert blasted his tee shot down the middle and longer than any of the other six players. All six laid up. Englert had 233 yards left to a pin tucked behind a pond that looms down the left side of the hole just off the fairway. He pulled a 5-wood and ripped it to 15 feet below the hole. He two-putted for the only birdie in the group, which clinched 24th place and the right to join his friend at states.
"I'm really excited I'm not sending him out there by himself," Englert said.
Englert said he had a longer shot into the 18th earlier in the day and put 3-wood on the front of the green. He plays an aggressive style of golf and didn't consider laying up in the playoff even with so much on the line.
"Once I saw how far out I was I knew I was going for it," he said. "If I have the right distance I'll always go for it."
One other Times News area player competed in the boys regional tournament. Marian senior Nick Tristani capped an outstanding high school golf career with an 80 at regionals, two shots out of the playoff.
Marian's girls team also competed in the event, placing fourth out of five girls teams. Mount St. Joseph won the girls team title at 354. Marian shot 519 (Kaycee Gutsie 104, Emily Kennedy 126, Alyssa Tirpak 127, Angela Pavalko 162).
Scranton Prep won the boys team title at 301, followed by Parkland at 314.
Scranton Prep's Nick Reach won the boys individual title with a 71. Cocalico's Aurora Kan won the girls title with a 71.