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Hager, Miller advance in golf

Playing on the always challenging Olde Homestead Golf Course was an up-and-down roller coaster ride for just about all of the 66 players who took part in Monday’s District 11 qualifying tournament.

Palmerton’s Tyler Hager, Pleasant Valley’s Lydon Patascher and Tamaqua’s Katie Miller were among a select few golfers who enjoyed more ups than downs, however, and earned berths in next week’s District 11 championship tournament.

Hager didn’t start well - he was four-over par through the first five holes and then double bogeyed the ninth to finish the front half at seven-over par.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball; I think I was playing too conservative,” Hager said after he finished signing his score card. “The pressure of trying to make districts was definitely on my mind.”

But, then he got a pep talk from his coach.

“Tyler got off to a rough start, but he really grinded on the second nine,” said Bomber co-coach Alex Knoll. “The back nine, he started to play his own game without worrying about qualifying.”

Indeed, that was the case as the junior cranked it up with three birdies coming home, and shot an impressive two-under 34 on the back nine to finish his round with a 76.

“Wish I could have played better on that front nine,” Hager said, “But I’m just happy to move on to districts.”

Hager finished second among the 2A qualifiers, easily making the cut.

Moravian Academy’s Thomas Younger had the top 2A round with a 74. Joining Young and Hager in the field will be Moravian’s Sebastian Holbrock (78), Schuylkill Haven’s Tyler Barton (82), Pine Grove’s Grant Culbert (83), and Allentown Central Catholic’s Allen Janis (84).

Patascher made the cut in Class 3A, shooting a solid round of 86.

A freshman, Patascher had a great back nine, shooting a 40 after a round of 46 on the front side. Patascher collected a huge birdie on the 11th hole. and also had four pars over the final nine holes. That came after he had no birdies and just three pars on the front nine.

Miller made the cut right on the nose, finishing with a 110.

The Blue Raider junior had to come from nowhere after carding a 61 on the front nine, she notched a 49 on the backside.

CUTOFF NUMBERS … Girls needed to shoot a round of 110 to make the district tournament. Maddie VonFrisch of Weatherly missed the number by five strokes.

MISSING THE CUT ... Lehighton’s Jack Lorenz shot a 19-over 91 and missed the cut in Class 3A. Palmerton senior Dominic Kintz finished eighth in Class 2A with a round of 94 and also missed the cut. The Blue Bomber played well on the front nine - the toughest side - knocking down a birdie on the second hole and parring the seventh.

TEAMS SET … Palmerton, the two-time defending D-11 2A champion, will be joined by Lehighton, the overall Schuylkill League champion twice running, as part of the group competing for the District 11 team championship next week.