Pritchard 2 shots shy
After advancing to last year's regionals golf tournament, Whitehall's Loran Pritchard had similar visions as this season's District 11 Golf Championships got underway.
However, in large part to severe weather conditions on Monday that postponed the remainder of the tournament until early Tuesday, Pritchard's score through 10 holes on Monday put her in too much of a hole to make a second straight regional appearance.
Pritchard was able to bounce back on her final eight holes on Tuesday, posting a solid round of 97 at Blue Ridge Country Club. She finished in fifth place in the 3A girls group, and came up just two strokes behind third-place finisher and final regional-qualifier Sam Fritzinger of Emmaus.
"The wind was so high," Pritchard said. "You were always shooting into the wind or it was always across. You always had to hit in a smart place. It even affected your chips because the wind was that heavy."
Like much of the field, Pritchard's start to the tournament was anything but pleasant. Windy conditions and heavy rainfall made it extremely difficult to get into any rhythm on the course.
But a start on hole 13 on Tuesday morning began a solid close to the tournament that put Pritchard into competition for a regional berth.
"They were a lot better than yesterday, due to all the conditions," Pritchard said. "I had a lot more pars today than I did yesterday.
"The drives went a lot further [today] because the wind wasn't always pushing into it. I just had a lot more clear shots than I did yesterday."
To go along with Fritzinger's third place finish, Emmaus's Kelsey Patterson took first place with a score of 84, and Freedom's Helen Hsu shot an 86 for second place to round out the top three 3A finishers. Stroudsburg's Lauren Potcher finished in fourth with a 97.
In preparing for districts, Pritchard played a practice round at the par 72 Blue Ridge Country Club on Saturday. Her score of 88 would've been enough good enough for a third place finish and a regional spot.
In 3A boys competition, Emmaus's Grant Schumaker edged out Parkland's Chad Hess in the second hole of a playoff to capture the title. Emmaus also won the team championships.
In 2A, Northwestern Lehigh's Cole Miller defeated Tamaqua's Michael Weinert in a playoff to capture the boys' championship. On the girls side, Central Catholic's Franca Hurtado scored an 83 and finished in first place, and the Vikings also won the team championships.