Ligonier golf team on hot streak after stumbling early
The Ligonier Valley golf team stumbled out of the blocks, finishing fifth out of five teams in the Gary Garrison Tournament and losing their first match to conference opponent Northern Cambria. However, Ligonier rallied to win three straight matches, avenging the loss to Northern Cambria and also defeating United and Blairsville.
“We clearly have had a disappointing start,” coach John Boast said. “This is the strongest the Heritage has ever been, but we should still be able to compete. This last week has brought back a lot of hope. Northern Cambria were the big favorite to win the conference, but since we won, it is wide open.”
In the opening tournament of the season, the Rams scored a 527 finishing 65 strokes over the closest opponent in the scoring. Randy Bates scored a 103, Al Vigliotti shot a 104, Jordan Heider a 105, Phil Cornell shot a 106, Thomas McKnight finished with a 109, and Dylan Kuhn shot a 119.
The Rams fell 203-236 to Northern Cambria in the first match of the season. Kuhn led the team with a 45, followed by Bates and JD Wallace who both shot 46, Vigliotti scored a 48, McKnight a 51, and Jake Schott finished the match with a 53.
Ligonier began the winning streak finishing 68 strokes under United in the 224-252 victory. Bates led the Rams with a 42, followed by McKnight with a 43. Cornell and Vigliotti both scored a 45, Heider shot a 49, and a Kuhn closed out the day at 53.
In a close-fought return battle with Northern Cambria, Ligonier won in a 223-223 tiebreaker. Bates shot a 38, Kuhn a 44, Cornell a 46, McKnight finished with a 47, Heider scored a 48 and Vigliotti ended the day scoring a 51.
Continuing the trend of lowered scores, Ligonier scored a 213, 19 strokes under Blairsville, who finished with a 232. Bates with a 37 and Cornell with a 43, finished with their lowest scores of the season. Kuhn and Brandon Silvis both shot 44, followed by McKnight with 45 and Heider who scored a 50.
“Randy Bates is back to where he should be with a 38 and 37. Phil Cornell is getting his confidence and Dylon Kuhn has been Mr. Consistency with 44s,” Boast commented. “We have dropped 20 strokes from our team score from the first match. Our original goal was to break 220, but now it's 210.”
The Ligonier Valley golf team fell to conference rival Homer Center by just three strokes and defeated Saltsburg by 19 strokes. These results bring the team's season match record to 4-2. Coach John Boast said the conference loss was a setback, but a win by Homer Center against Northern Cambria has created a three-way tie for first place.
“The Homer loss was costly especially at home,” Boast noted. “We did not play well. When your top two players shoot high scores, you don't give yourself a chance. On a good note, Dylon Kuhn continues to do well with a 42.”
In the loss at Champion Lakes golf course, Ligonier scored a 235, while Homer Center shot a 232. Dylon Kuhn led the team with his 42-stroke day, followed by Brandon Silvis and Al Vigliotti, who both scored a 47. Phil Cornell shot a 49 and Thomas McKnight and Randy Bates both finished the nine-whole round with a score of 50.
Playing at Cherry Wood Golf Course against Saltsburg, Ligonier scored a 231, while Saltsburg came in with a score of 250. In the non-conference match, Boast was able to rest some of his top players, using only two golfers from the previous match. Vigliotti recorded his best game of the season so far, leading the Rams with a 40. Silvis shot a 45, Nate Mattis, who made his season debut and JD Wallace both shot a 48, Jake Schott, another first timer this year, scored a 50 and Rick Ross capped off his first time out this year with a score of 59.
The Rams tee off against conference opponent United High School 3 p.m. Thursday at Champion Lakes Golf Course.
Peter Turcik is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.