Tigers' Miller cops D-11 title
Bob ford/times news Northwestern's Cole Miller follows through with his swing during the District 11 golf championships on Monday at Blue Ridge Country Club in Palmerton. Miller captured the district title with a 27-hole total of 111.
It started back in early summer when Cole Miller won a Calloway Junior Golf Tournament and earned the right to play at Torrey Pines, a US Open course near San Diego.
His dream season continued when the leaves began to change colors. Since late summer Miller has won the Blue Ridge Club championship, the Colonial League championship and a Wasser Cup title.
That dream season got even better Monday when Miller won this year's District 11 title, shooting 3-over par 111 over 27 holes to finish three strokes ahead of Parkland's Luke Vadas.
"It feels pretty good," said Miller, a sophomore at Northwestern. "Things are just looking up. I'd like to go further now."
Miller, along with the rest of the top 10 boys and top 5 girls from districts, moves on to the PIAA East Regional Tournament, to be held Monday at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood.
Also making the trip to regionals will be Palmerton's Ben Andrews. The senior recovered from an 83 on his first 18 holes to finish with a 36 and make regionals by two strokes.
Miller finished his first 18 tied with defending district champ Evan Notaro, a junior from Northampton. Miller took the lead with a birdie on the par-5 twelfth hole and never looked back. He birdied the par-5 18th to finish even for his final nine. That was the score he was shooting for on his afternoon nine.
"I just went out and tried to play my best," Miller said. "It was a new nine. I was just trying to shoot even par. I knew that would be a good score."
While he hit seven of nine greens in regulation in the afternoon, he wasn't disappointed to only come away with two birdies.
"I just felt it never hurts to make pars on those holes," he said. "Birdies would have been nice, but I was happy with pars."
Playing at his home course where his career best round is a 67, Miller knew where he needed to put the ball all day.
"It definitely makes it more comfortable knowing the course," he said. "But other than that you just play."
Andrews, who finished second at districts last year, was disappointed to be so far behind the leaders. It's his high school's home course and he expected to once again compete for the title.
After an 83 he wasn't sure if his high school career would end Monday right there on the course where much of his stellar, four-year Blue Bomber career took place. His strong afternoon round moved him up 10 places from where he stood after the morning 18. He finished in a tie for seventh place.
"I made a lot of mistakes out there," he said. "I was just lucky to make it on to the next round. The first 18, my mental game got to me. But then people's advice got me back. I just played more loosely. The last nine I just played the way I can play."
With his regional fate at stake, Andrews played as well as anyone on the course for the back nine, shooting even par. Only him and Miller managed to do that playing from the course's longest tees in the afternoon.
"It was a tester," he said. "I didn't think I was going to make it. I just played loosely. I didn't think about everything too much. The second nine I went out there and played the way I know I can."
Both players will need to stay in the top 26 next week in order to advance to states, which will be held the following week at York's Heritage Hills Golf Club.
Andrews doesn't have a score in mind yet, but he has a clear goal for regionals.
"Whatever gets me into states is good enough for me," he said.
Emmaus' sophomore Gabby Weiss won the District 11 girls tournament for the second straight year. She shot 116 (77-39) to beat Easton Patricia Kline by 11 strokes.
Other area boys golfers who played in districts were Marian's Michael Gottstein, who shot 125 to tie for 22nd place, Marian's Josh Green who shot (136, 35th place) and Northwestern's Nick Vecellio (138, 39th).
Area girls playing at districts were Marian's Stephanie Peel (153, 14th place), Marian's Monica Wasik (162, 18th), Northwestern's Devin Haddad (174, 21st), Marian's Ariana Srinivason (176), Marian's Christi Digiandomenico (188) and Marian's Amanda Srinivason (218).
District 11 Golf Championship
Boys (Top 10)
1. Cole Miller (Northwestern) 111, 2. Luke Vadas (Parkland) 114, 3. James Bromwell (Blue Mountain) 115, 4. Evan Notaro (Northampton) 115, 5. Colin Hagenbuch (Wilson) 117, 6. Kyle Wambold (Emmaus) 118, 7. (tie) Bailey Roos (Pottsville) 119, Ben Anrews (Palmerton) 119, Eamon Marrone (Notre Dame GP) 119, 10. Grant Shumaker (Emmaus) 120.
Girls (Top 5)
1. Gabby Weiss (Emmaus) 116, 2. Patricia Kline (Easton) 127, 3. Kate Granahan (Parkland) 130, 4. Victoria Long (Northampton) 131, 5. Emily Unrue (Easton) 132.