Wet course no problem
bob ford/times news Northwestern's Cole Miller follows through after teeing off on the par-3 11th hole at Blue Ridge Country Club.
Even on a waterlogged course, Northwestern Lehigh's golf prowess was evident.
The Tigers adapted to the damp conditions at the Blue Ridge Country Club without missing a beat, dispatching Palmerton 399-501 in Colonial League play.
"At this time of year, there's a whole lot of rough around the greens, and the rough here is substantial" Northwestern coach Tim Miller said. "When you get the wet weather on top of that, like we had here today, it makes pitching and chipping the ball and playing around the greens a little bit more difficult; there's a little bit more guess work to it.
"Maybe you can't be as precise as you would be in dry conditions. But I thought the boys did fabulous with it."
Even in adverse conditions, Northwestern's Cole Miller was on point, shooting a match-best 64. Miller was followed by teammate Nick Vecellio, who fired a 73.
Even though Miller and Vecellio, state qualifiers a year ago, routinely turn in superior performances for the Tigers (5-2), their efforts aren't taken for granted.
"To have two young high school golfers such as those two, I'm so fortunate from a coach's point of view," Miller said. "These are two young men where golf is their real focus. A lot of times you have kids that are doing multiple sports, but this is what these guys like to do.
"As far as the spirit of the game, they're the epitome of good, young junior golfers. To have them on your team, you don't have to do much coaching."
On the other side of the coin, Palmerton (1-8) also turned in one of its best performances of the year, even if the final scorecard doesn't necessarily reflect as much.
"Coming into any match, I tell the guys that they can't worry about who they're playing," said Palmerton coach Dave Lavin. "I think some of them might have been a little nervous playing against Cole (Miller) and Nick (Vecellio) because they know how good they are.
"We have a lot of guys that are newer to the sport, but they're coached to focus on their own game because that's all you can do. If you play your own game well, that's how you start to improve and that's how you win matches."
Charles Debski, who shot a 94, led the Bombers while Casey Cook finished with a 97.
With solid performances from Debski and Cook along with personal bests from others on the team, Lavin feels the team is gaining confidence and moving in the right direction.
"This was our best performance as a team," Lavin said. "That's what we're going to keep concentrating on.
"We're very close to our goal: we shot a 501 and we want to shoot under 500. We showed today that's a realistic goal. I think if each guy looks back they could probably find two strokes in there somewhere that each of them could have knocked off their round. If you add that up, that's how you lower that score."
For Northwestern, the win moves the team one step closer to its goal at the end of the season.
"Our focus is to get our team ready to play in the Colonial League tournament," Miller said. "Our goal is to then get this team to play in the state tournament at the end of October.
"That's our focus, but golf's a fickle game. We're gonna give it our best shot and the boys are excited about the opportunity."
Cole Miller 64, Nick Vecellio 73, Zach Caruso 82, Kevin Shuey 88, Zach Goddard 92
Charles Debski 94, Casey Cook 97, John Frace 103, Tyler Grammes 103, Justin Nunn 104
Match played at Blue Ridge Country Club.