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Winston Thai of Lancaster Country Day, watches his tee shot on the sixth during the Lancaster-Lebanon golf championship at Fairview Golf Course on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.

YORK - Winston Thai stroked home an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Honey Run Golf Club Saturday and finally allowed himself a triumphant fist pump.

It was the only birdie in a day of meticulous, stoic work that had long since locked away the District Three Class 2A golf championship.

“I thought making pars would solidify me to win,’’ said Thai, a Lancaster Country Day senior. “I tried to play safe, keep the ball in play. Today was just hole by hole.’’

Thai shot 76-75-151, seven over par. On a good course in wind and, on Saturday, in cold, he won by a whopping eight shots.

He shared the lead overnight with Lancaster-Lebanon League brethren Matt Lapp of Pequea Valley.

Thai started the final round with six straight, mostly pressure-free pars, and suddenly had a five-shot lead.

He had never played with a lead, or even slept on a share of one, but managed to avoid all the mental/emotional traps that come with that. He made 13 pars and nothing worse than a bogey, while everyone else was wobbling and falling away.

The shakiest it got was on the par-4 16th, perhaps the toughest hole at Honey Run. Thai’s hybrid tee shot missed the fairway left, necessitating a punch-out. He mad to make a four-footer for a bogey.

“On 16, I thought about winning for the first time,’’ he admitted.

OK, but if you start the day on the lead and shoot the best score of the final round, you’ve passed the test.

“It could have been better; I had a couple lip-outs,’’ Thai said. “But overall, the putter felt pretty good.’’

Lapp (76-83-159) and Reagan Flynn (80-79) of Annville-Cleona shared second place, Lapp overcoming a quadruple-bogey nine on the third hole Saturday.

Ian Kennett of Lancaster Mennonite was eighth in 2A (77-85-162).

Those four and 10 Class 3A golfers from the L-L qualified for the state tournament Saturday.

In girls 3A, Manheim Township freshman Piper Smith shot a superb two under-par 70 Saturday and twice pulled within three shots of leader Kayla Maletto of Wilson.

That was as close as it got, though. Maletto also shot 70, and won the district title with a one under-par total of 143.

The L-L got second, third and fourth in Smith (77-70-147), Jillian Fidler of Cedar Crest (79-76-155) and Elle Overly of Warwick (77-78-155).

Township’s Paisley Kappesser also advanced, finishing ninth at 85-90-175.

In boys’ 3A, Dallastown’s Lane Krosse started Saturday with a one-shot lead and held steady enough, winning gold with a 70-75-145 total.

Six L-L guys made states: Ben Feeman of Cedar Crest, the L-L individual champ, finished third with 76-72-148. His freshman teammate, Dylan Ramsey, was seventh with 74-75-149.

Andrew Bilson of Township was 12th (72-79-151), Solanco’s Logan Wagner (75-76-151) 15th, and Ben Wilson of Lampeter-Strasburg and Jesse Shue of Penn Manor tied for 16th, both shooting 77-76-153.

The PIAA state tournament is set for next Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 17-18, AAA on PSU’s White Course and AA on the Blue Course.

The defending boys’ 3A champion, Nicholas Gross of Downingtown West, is the top-ranked junior in the country in the class of 2024 and reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur last month.

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