Since making their season debuts three weeks ago, Garrett Engle and Paige Richter have changed the nature of the Lancaster County Junior Golf Tour’s competition.
The leaderboard at any given event had been unpredictable in the Boys and Girls Gold Divisions. Now Engle and Richter seem to hold the top spot with an iron grip.
Engle shot a 66 to finish six-under at the Lancaster Toyota Junior event at Dauphin Highlands, while Richter finished five-over with a 77 as each player claimed their third victory in three events with the LCJGT.
“I just try to push everyone else in the field to make them shoot a low score to beat me,” Engle, of Harrisburg, said. “I come and try to shoot as low as I can, and if somebody ends up shooting a lower score than me, that’s fine.”
Engle, the top-ranked boys high school player in the state of Pennsylvania, played his usual brand of mistake-free golf.
He didn’t suffer a single bogey, compiling six birdies as he cruised through the competition yet again.
Engle has registered the three best scores on tour all season in his three events. The only player to finish within three strokes of Engle was Derek McGlaughlin, who did so at Fairview on July 11.
Since then, no player has found himself in position to make a credible run at Engle.
Matthew Wilson finished in second place at one-over for the day — seven strokes behind Engle. Jonathan Glick, at two-over, took third.
Completing the dominant duo is Richter, who again claimed the Girls Gold win by a comfortable margin.
A difficult day with the putter kept her from truly remarkable round — Richter said she needed 37 putts total to complete 18 holes, as some of the course’s greens were faster than others.
But she still bested second place finisher Kayla Maletto by seven strokes, thanks to a pair of birdies on holes 2 and 9.
Richter, of Camp Hill, wouldn’t say she expected this kind of success upon entering the LCJGT’s field, but she isn’t totally surprised, either.
“I’ve just been putting a lot of stuff together,” she said.
Rounding out the other divisions, Dante Billoni (76) won the Boys Silver event, Elle Overly took home the Girls Silver crown (90) and Dylan Ramsey (81) won the Boys Bronze division.
Custer Jackson (44) won a playoff to win the Boys Futures nine-hole category, while Charli Troxell (44) won the Girls Futures division.