Moravian Academy’s Evan Eichenlaub is Lehigh Valley’s lone medalist
State College — Evan Eichenlaub tied for the boys’ Class 2A lead Tuesday at the PIAA Golf Championships when he grabbed a 4-iron from his Moravian Academy golf bag on the 15th tee.
The senior then hit one of his worst 4 irons in recent memory. This led to a double bogey and his gold medal chances were gone.
Eichenlaub hit far more clean shots on the 36 holes he played over two days at Penn State University’s Blue Course. Eventually he will remember. But for now, the 4 iron is freshest in his mind.
“Almost hit on the hosel,” Eichenlaub said. “I had a good punch, good course management, but ended up with three putts.”
Eichenlaub drained three straight birdie putts on holes 5-7, then made another on No. 9 to put him in contention after a first day, par 72. He made a solid sand save from the lip forward from the bunker on No. 11 then birdied the par-5 12th to take a share of the lead.
After back-to-back pars, the Lion struggled on the closing holes for the second day in a row. After his double bogey on No. 15 on Tuesday, he bogeyed 17 and 18 for a second 72.
On Monday, a bogey on No. 16 and a double bogey on 17 left him three shots to the lead in the opening round.
But Eichenlaub fought back Tuesday in cold, windy conditions to clinch a medal for the second year in a row. He was tied for sixth a year ago with Tyler Hager of Palmerton, who was tied for 22nd this time after 79-78.
Hager threw both arms in the air after birdieing the par-5 18th. He completed an even back nine. He then kissed fellow Blue Bomber Nathan Steinmetz. The two friends had the chance to play together during their last round in high school.
Steinmetz had an outstanding performance in his first state tournament appearance with rounds of 79-81 to finish tied for 30th. Connor Reinhard, Palmerton’s third senior, was tied for 52nd with a pair of 84.
In class 3A, Hunter Probst of Stroudsburg put in a solid performance for the second consecutive year. He was tied for second after his birdie at No. 10 on the white course. But the second double bogey No. 14, bogey No. 15 and doubled the last to finish within a stroke of a medal (top 8) tied for 10th with a two-day total of 149.
Probst was tied for 55th last season as a rookie.
Liberty’s Matt Vital missed a medal for the second straight year thanks to another slow start. This time the senior bogeyed the first hole and then took triple bogeys on the numbers 2 and 5. He was tied for 12th in 2021.
Vital charged with birdies at 6, 8 and 10, but bogeys at 12, 13, 14 and 16 stopped the momentum. He birdied the last hole of his high school career to finish tied for 19th.
Brother Mike Vital tied for 39th.
Eichenlaub took advantage of the mildest conditions of the two days on his first nine on Tuesday with those four birdies.
“The wind wasn’t too bad on the front nine,” he said. “It definitely picked up on the back. My pace and tempo was good on the front nine and I was able to convert a few putts.
“Golf is a chore. You try to put your best shot on every swing. It was a great lesson.
Eichenlaub started playing golf when he was young. He hopes to find a college where he can continue to play competitively.
“I’ve been back and forth with a lot of different sports,” he said, “but I always came back to golf. I definitely look at golf differently now than when I was a freshman. year when it comes to shaping shots and how the courses are laid out.
Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or [email protected]
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Tuesday at Penn State’s Blue-White Courses
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1. Dylan Ramsey, Cedar Crest: 67-73-140
2. Rocco Salvitti, Central Catholic: 70-71-141
3. Nicholas Gross, Downtown West: 73-71-144
4. Logan Wagner, Solanco: 70-75-145
5. Breckin Taylor, Preparation of Erie Cathedral: 73-73-146
T10. Hunter Probst, Stroudsburg: 72-77-149
T19. Matt Vital, Freedom: 71-79-150
T39. Michael Vital, Freedom: 78-79-157
T66. Noah Shurman, Emmaus: 82-85-167
71. Evan Murphy, East Pocono Mountain: 85-87-172
WD Jase Barker, Freedom
1. Sydney Yermish, Lower Merion: 72-67-139
2. Kayley Roberts, Phoenixville: 71-71-142
3. Mary Dunigan, Unionville: 76-69-145
T4. Mariss Malosh, South Fayette: 76-73-149
T4. Ellie Benson, Peters Township: 76-73-149
T4. Mya Morgan, Elizabeth Forward: 74-75-149
29. Camryn Hoff, Nazaré: 90-85-175
33. Natalie White, Bangor: 92-89-181
34. Chloe Chase, Park: 86-97-183
1. Nick Ciocca, Devon prep: 70-68-138
2. Jacob Wolak, Slippery Rock: 72-67-139
3. Michael Lugiano, Lac-Lehman: 71-69-140
4. Evan Eichenlaub, Moravian Academy: 72-72-144
5. Nick Werner, Wyoming Seminary: 71-75-146
T22. Tyler Hager, Palmerton: 79-78-157
T30. Nathan Steinmetz, Palmerton: 79-81-160
T52. Connor Reinhard, Palmerton: 84-84-168
T55. Tyler Barton, Schuylkill Haven: 85-84-169
65. Collin Schreiber, Moravian Academy: 88-86-174
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1. Hannah Rabb, Warrior Run: 70-74-144
2. Anna Swan, North East: 73-72-145
3. Sasha Petrochko, Hickory: 76-72-148
4. Kate Sowers, West Middlesex: 77-73-150
5. Brooke Graham, Boiling Springs: 77-74-151
21. Mara Dubacher, Moravian Academy: 91-92-183
34. Brooke Powis, North Schuylkill: 98-109-207