Birdies were hard to come by at Media Heights Golf Club during Monday’s Lancaster-Lebanon League golf championships.
The course was set up to challenge the best the L-L has to offer and did just that.
However, playing steady was still rewarded, and Katie Lapinsky of Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Township’s Connor Strine were more than ready, battling their way to respective championships.
Strine fired a 5-over-par 76 to capture the boys crown, while Lapinsky carded an 8-over 78 to earn the girls gold medal.
Playing on her home course, Lapinsky had one rough stretch, then recovered to play the next seven holes at 1-under. She finished five strokes better than runner-up Ammala Moua of Cocalico.
“A 79 is on the low side for me, so it was a good day,” Lapinsky said. “I thought anything in the 70s would be a good starting point to win. Ammala is my biggest competition, and she is normally in the 70s.”
After finishing third as a freshman, second as a sophomore and third as a junior, Lapinsky was thrilled to capture the trophy, as her eagle on the Par-4 10th hole displayed.
Strine birdied a par-5 on the front and back nine, which keyed his two-stroke win past Jonathan Glick of Lancaster Mennonite and Northern Lebanon’s Luke Spangler.
The Blue Streaks senior felt confident he had a shot to win entering the day, but Strine did not watch the scoreboard.
“I haven’t been playing great in the regular season, but I knew if I put a good round together, I definitely had a chance,” he said. “I didn’t really know where I was. I don’t like to know, because I don’t want to let that change how I play. I was just sticking to my game, doing what I would do no matter where I was, and it was good enough.
Manheim Township won the team championship, and Streaks teammate Sean Cliff was honored as Section One’s low average player, something which helped Strine on Monday.
“He played great the regular season. He’s a great player, and he deserved it no doubt,” Strine said. “We like to keep things competitive in practice, in a fun way. Getting that competitive experience when we play matches in practice helps to build your nerves and keep your head in the game for when it matters.”
Glick birdied the same two par 5s as Strine. Although Spangler did not card a birdie, the senior never scored higher than bogey on any hole.
“It felt good to place well, but I feel like I didn’t play that well today,” Glick said. “I just made a lot of small mistakes that added up over the round. I wanted to win today but came up short. I still played a solid round. It was tough conditions.”
“My start wasn’t too hot,” Spangler said. “I had some bogeys early. Then after my first three, I steadied out and played even for a while. There weren’t any birdies, so that was a little bit of a downside. I wanted to stay in the 70s, preferably, mid 70s.”