Like the other 93 players at Tuesday’s District 2 Individual Golf Championships, Mariano Medico and Ryan Georgetti put up the best numbers they could under the circumstances, then hovered around the scoreboard at Elmhurst Country Club, waiting to learn their fate.
Medico knew his cautious approach had made advancing into state play very likely, but received the added bonus of learning that he had defended his Class AA championship.
Georgetti battled with the hope of doing enough to at least get into a playoff to extend his season, only to learn after nearly an hour that he had fallen one stroke short in Class AAA for the second straight season.
The two seniors represented the range of emotions that go with the scoreboard-watching portion of the day that can provide even more stress than a six-foot putt to save par.
Medico, a Holy Redeemer student from Shavertown, shot 3-over-par, 75 to win his title. Only a playoff loss as a sophomore, before the state split golf into two enrollment classifications, prevented the Monmouth University recruit from winning three District 2 championships.
The hopes of contending for a state championship after placing fifth a year ago made Medico place most of his concentration on avoiding the type of error that could have kept him from advancing to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association East Regional Tuesday at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood.
“It makes me play very protective golf,” Medico said. “ … You want to win every event you play, but, of course, you just want to make sure you advance.”
Georgetti, from Dallas, understands that goal.
The stronger large school competition in Class AAA meant his 77 was one stroke and one place away from going to regionals. Needing to place in the top six, he tied for seventh among 34 players who had already survived an early qualifying process.
“I think I’m going to be in a playoff,” Georgetti said, keeping himself ready as the scores were being posted. “I’m hoping.”
Ultimately, he was disappointed.
Medico birdied the par-five second hole, his starting hole for the day. He nearly reached the green in two, then got up and down from a bunker for his only birdie.
“I made a lot of good par saves and had a lot of looks at birdies that wouldn’t go,” Medico said. “I relied on my short game to get up and down in a couple of tough spots.”
Medico expected that to be the case in windy conditions that made scoring difficult. A year ago, he shot 68 while winning his district championship.
Chase Makowski, another Back Mountain resident playing for Holy Redeemer, also advanced in Class AA while shooting 78. Another, Mike Boland, shot 82 to place ninth, three shots out of the playoff for the sixth and final berth.
Holy Redeemer already made state play as a team when it won the District 2 Class AA title Oct. 4 with a 301-327 victory over Lackawanna League small school champion Holy Cross.
Medico shot 74 in that match at Fox Hill while Makowski added a 75 and Boland a 76, all beating the top player from the Crusaders.
Dallas was one step from reaching the District 2 Class AAA team championship match, placing second in a three-way playoff Sept. 27 to determine the Wyoming Valley Conference’s representative. The Mountaineers had a four-player team score of 332, five behind Crestwood and five ahead of Coughlin.
Abington Heights ultimately won the District 2 Class AAA team and individual titles. Terry Hurst shot 72 Tuesday.
Dallas and Lake-Lehman each had three players qualify to participate in the individual championships.
Georgetti played the par-5s in 1-under with a pair of birdies in his 77.
Justin Brojakowski shot 86 to finish tied for 25th and Brendan Baloh shot 93 to finish 31st for Dallas in Class AAA.
Lake-Lehman’s Nick Egan shot 91 to tie for 28th, Ben Pilch shot 98 to place 37th and Adam Motovidlak shot 105 to place 43rd.