Men's Golf Ties for Third in Penn State Altoona Invitational

Photo (by Brent Baird): Penn State Altoona sophomore Pongthong Thongyai putts during Saturday's Penn State Altoona Invitational at Sinking Valley Country Club.
Photo (by Brent Baird): Penn State Altoona sophomore Pongthong Thongyai putts during Saturday's Penn State Altoona Invitational at Sinking Valley Country Club.

ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's golf achieved its best score of the season on Saturday, tying for third place out of 14 teams in its home invitational at Sinking Valley Country Club.

The Lions' 'A' team combined to shoot a season-best 307, tying for third with fellow Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Penn State Behrend. Grove City College won the invitational with a score of 298, and AMCC school La Roche College came in second with 299.

"Kudos to Grove City and La Roche. Those are two of the most impressive rounds I've seen in my 12 years of coaching," said Penn State Altoona men's golf head coach Tom Koehle. "La Roche will be a tough team to beat in the AMCCs if they keep getting great scores from all five of their players."

Penn State Altoona finished ahead of other AMCC schools Medaille College (5th Place - 308), Pitt-Bradford (6th Place - 309), Pitt-Greensburg (T-8th Place - 320), Hilbert College (10th Place - 335), and Mount Aloysius College (11th Place - 345).

Leading the way for the Lions' 'A' squad was Pongthong Thongyai (Patum Thani, Thailand/New Mexico Military Institute), who shot a season-best 74 on the par 72 course to tie for fifth place individually out of 84 men's golfers at the event.

Payton Guelich (Sandy Ridge, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) tied for 10th place individually with a 75. Hunter Duriez (Northern Cambria, PA/Northern Cambria) finished the day with his best score of the season, 77, to tie for 15th place. Luke Hoffnagle (Spring Grove, PA/Spring Grove) tied for 36th place with an 81, and Carter Fischer (Bellefonte, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) rounded out the Penn State Altoona 'A' team with 85 to tie for 49th place.

Meanwhile, the Lions' 'B' squad had an exceptional showing of its own. The five golfers combined for a score of 320 to tie for eighth place.

Mateo Scott (Lima, Peru/Highlands International School) led the 'B' team and shot a career-best 74 to tie for fifth place individually.

Ely Roselius (Moon Township, PA/Moon) carded a 79 to tie for 30th place. Jimmy Gillespie (Glen Mills, PA/Garnet Valley) shot an 81 to tie for 36th. Jake Mrvos (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) ended the day with an 86 to tie for 56th place, and Chris Michelone (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) rounded out the 'B' team with an 89 to rank 66th.

Two other Penn State Altoona men's golfers competed as individuals, as the entire Lions roster took part in today's invitational. Clayton Hagenbuch (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) and Matt Krupa (Huntingdon, PA/Huntingdon) both shot a 78 to tie for 23rd place individually.

"I'm really proud of the effort our players put in today. I can't say enough for the rounds that Pongthong and Mateo shot. It's been a long time coming for both," said Koehle. "Payton Guelich's 75 in his collegiate debut is very impressive. I'm looking forward to him backing it up tomorrow."

Penn State Altoona golf is back in action tomorrow, Sunday, September 17, making the short drive to compete in the Mount Aloysius Invitational at the Summit Country Club. That invitational is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.