Pittston Area’s Ryan Tracy eyes up his putt in the WVC team championship Friday afternoon in Exeter.
Pittston Area’s Brandon Matthews pumps his fist after sinking his putt on the 18th hole of the WVC team golf championship at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter on Friday afternoon. Matthews shot a course record, 8-under 63.photos by BILL TARUTIS
Earlier in the week, Brandon Matthews carded one of his worst scores at Fox Hill Country Club during Monday’s Pre-District Tournament.
On Friday, the Pittston Area senior made up for that performance by shooting not only his best round at the course, but the top score ever recorded at the establishment.
Matthews, the defending PIAA champion, fired an 8-under par 63 on Friday during the Wyoming Valley Conference Team Playoffs. He shattered the previous mark set by club member Bill Lawler by two shots.
“The only way to explain Monday was a little trampoline effect: what goes up must come down,” said Matthews, whose remarkable round consisted of just one bogey and nine birdies. “Confidence-wise this is the best thing that could happen to me to break the course record by two here in a tournament like this.”
Although Matthews’ 63 was nine shots better than Holy Redeemer’s Mariano Medico, the Royals still prevailed and won the league’s championship for the second consecutive year. The Royals, who defeated the Patriots by one stroke in a match earlier this season and by just three shots during the Preseason Tryba Tournament, outshot Pittston Area by only two on Friday to claim the title.
Medico’s 72 paced the Royals. He was followed by Will Fulton’s 74, a 77 from Matt Slavoski. A 78 by Chase Makowski rounded out Holy Redeemer’s scorers.
“It’s not that we’re that much better (than Pittston Area) we’re just a little deeper,” Redeemer coach Art Brunn Jr. said. “I have to give my guys credit because they knew (Matthews) was playing well and they hung in there and didn’t give up and that’s what it came down to.”
For the second straight season, Redeemer will represent the WVC in the District 2championshipmatchon Monday, Oct. 10 at Fox Hill. The Royals will face the Lackawanna League champion. As of Friday, the conference from up north was concluding its quarterfinals.
Following Matthews for the Patriots was Ryan Tracy and Matt Carroll who fired 79s and C.J. Lynch’s 82.
“I know my team’s disappointed but you have days like that,” Matthews noted. “It wasn’t as bad as we played on Monday, but we didn’t play our best.”
Dallas placed third in the team race scoring 321, while Valley West’s Chris McCue finished third to Matthews and Medico carding a 73.
Wyoming Area’s Nick Rydzewski finished fourth at the Wyoming Valley Conference Pre-District 2 qualifier at Fox Hill Country Club on Monday to earn top honors among Greater Pittston golfers.
Rydzewski fired a 7-over 77 (39-38) to place six strokes behind winner Mariano Medico of Holy Redeemer. His 77 was also one stroke better than defending PIAA state champion Brandon Matthews of Pittston Area who shot 8-over 78 (38-40). Matthews’ score was good for eighth in the event.
Thirty-four WVC golfers qualified for the District 2 Championship Tournament which will be held at Elmhurst Country Club on Wednesday at 9 a.m. Matthews is also the defending District 2 champion.
Also among the 34 qualifiers were Pittston Area’s Matt Carroll, CJ Lynch and Ryan Tracy. Carroll carded a 79 (36-43); Lynch shot 82 (37-45); and Tracy fired an 83 (41-42) to earn spots in the championships.
Wyoming Area’s Jake Wysocki and Pittston Area’s Calvin O’Boyle both shot 84s in tying for the final spot to districts. But Holy Redeemer’s Matt Slavoski earned the final spot, beating the duo out on the first playoff hole.
Four other local golfers also played in the WVC event but failed to qualify for the D2 tourney.
Wyoming Area’s Zach Mulhern shot 43-45, 88; Colin Herron carded a 41-49, 90; and Connor Mangan shot 50-51, 101.
Pittston Area’s Todd Mitchell fired a 45-50, 95.
Wyoming Area’s Courtney Melvin was one of just two Wyoming Valley Conference girls to qualify for the District 2 championships when she shot 88 (44-44) at the WVC Pre-District 2 qualifier on Monday afternoon at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter.
Melvin will now play in Wednesday’s D2 championship tourney at Elmhurst Country Club for a spot in the East Regional Tournament on Oct. 17 at Golden Oaks CC in Fleetwood.
Underclassmen AJ Cantarella and Jordan Ohler earned three points in the final group to lead Old Forge to a 5-4 win over West Scranton in a Lackawanna League Southern Division golf match on Saturday morning on the back nine at Summit Hills Golf Course in Clarks Summit.
Cantarella, a freshman, and Ohler, a sophomore each won individual matches, 5 and 4, while teaming up to take a better-ball point by the same score.
Senior Corey Palma won his eighth individual match of the season and teamed with junior Tyler Cavalari to win a better-ball point to solidify the Blue Devils victory.
The Blue Devils completed its season – and a Saturday doubleheader of sorts – with a 9-0 loss to once-beaten, division champion Abington Heights at Glen Oak Country Club.
Forced to play two matches to complete LLSD play before league playoffs began on Monday, Old Forge was swept by the Comets.
J Argonish had the best chance at a point for the Blue Devils, losing 2 and 1 to John Comerford. Corey Palma lost his individual match 3 and 1 to Jackman Tournament champion Dalton Coldwater, 3 and 1.
The Blue Devils finished the season 4-5-2 – one game behind final Southern Division playoff qualified Valley View (6-5).
Dispatch Staff Writer Rick Notari also contributed to this report.
District 2 Championship
Elmhurst CC, 9 a.m.