ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's golf had a banner day in its home event on Saturday afternoon, as the Lions came in first place out of 11 teams in the Penn State Altoona Invitational at Sinking Valley Country Club.
By the end of the day, Penn State Altoona and Penn State Behrend found each other atop the leaderboard with identical team scores of 308. But Altoona edged Behrend on the tiebreaker, as their fifth individual score was better. For Penn State Altoona, it was Ethan Yohe's (Murrysville, PA/Franklin Regional) 80 that beat Penn State Behrend's Alex Pol and his score of 81, tilting the first place title in favor of Altoona.
"I can't be more proud of our effort today and defending our home course," said Penn State Altoona head coach Tom Koehle. "Winning on a tiebreak shows that, in the AMCC this year, every shot counts."
Shenandoah University and Pitt-Bradford tied for third place with scores of 311. Following in the team standings were Mount Aloysius College (317), La Roche College (320), Pitt-Greensburg (323), Shenandoah 'B' team (329), Penn State Altoona 'B' team (335), Waynesburg University (350), and Juniata College (366).
Jimmy Gillespie (Glen Mills, PA/Garnet Valley) paced Penn State Altoona, tying his collegiate career-low with a 75 to tie for fifth place individually out 56 golfers. Carter Fischer (Bellefonte, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) and Payton Guelich (Philipsburg, PA/Philipsburg-Osceola) each shot 77 to tie for 10th place. Luke Hoffnagle (Spring Grove, PA/Spring Grove) followed with a season-best 79 to tie for 15th place, and Yohe's 80 put him in a tie for 22nd place.
"All of our players played solidly today. Jimmy Gillespie tied his competitive low round with 75, and he is truly the rock of our lineup right now," said Koehle. "We have to eliminate three or four holes each round that are holding us back from being really special."
For the Lions' 'B' squad, Cole Mori (Annapolis, MD/Annapolis Area Christian School) shot 82, Frankie Guinan (Pottstown, PA/Owen J. Roberts) carded an 83, Jake Mrvos (Pittsburgh, PA/Norwin) finished with an 84, and Grant Molloy (Ambler, PA/Upper Dublin) recorded an 86. For Mori, Guinan, and Molloy, it was the first round of golf in their collegiate careers.
Now, Penn State Altoona will have little time to celebrate its victory, as the Lions return to action tomorrow, Sunday, September 16 to compete in the Mount Aloysius College Invitational. Play is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. at Summit Country Club.
The back-to-back Penn State Altoona and Mount Aloysius Invitationals have been linked together as the Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic, a two-day event that provides extra incentive for teams competing in both invitationals. With one first place finish under their belts, the Lions will have a chance to grab their first-ever Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic title with a good performance tomorrow.
"We can't rest on today," said Koehle. "We need to back it up with a solid performance tomorrow to claim our first Mountain Valley Collegiate Classic title."