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Goodling paces Barons in opening two matches
Manheim Central’s Haley Goodling has picked up right where she left off.
The defending L-L League and District Three girls golf champion came out of the gates last Thursday carding a Section Two low score of 1-over 73 at Tanglewood Golf Course in Quarryville.
The Manheim Central senior’s efforts helped the Barons earn a 4-2 finish, placing third overall with 351 behind Solanco (337) and Cocalico (348).
Goodling edged out Solanco’s Ethan Cairns (74) for top individual honors in the match. They were the only golfers to break 80 on the day.
“I feel like I played really well,” Goodling said. “It definitely boosts my confidence, for sure. I’m looking forward to our next match at Iron Valley, so hopefully that goes well. I’m hoping that our team plays well this year and continues to improve, just like I’m hoping I improve.”
Following behind Goodling for the Barons were Eli Perron (92), Zach Hershberger (93) and Micah Hershberger (93).
Combined, they managed to beat fourth-place Elizabethtown (352) by just one stroke. Rounding out the bottom three were Lampeter-Strasburg (359), Garden Spot (417) and Lebanon (446).
After firing a 3-over par 39 on the front nine, Goodling came back with a 2-under 34 on the back. Her round included three birdies.
Asked what changed at the turn, Goodling said, “I don’t know, honestly. I wasn’t playing bad on the front nine. I just had more pars on the back nine. I think my putting was my strong point that day.”
Going forward, Goodling and her MC teammates are hoping to have strong days ahead.
“Originally, we were hoping that we could win the Section because we knew we could give Solanco a good run for their money,” Goodling said. “After the first match, it was a little rough, but hopefully it gets better from there and we can at least get second, maybe first.”
That’s exactly what they did on Tuesday afternoon, as Goodling fired an even-par 72, leading the Barons to a first-place finish at Iron Valley with a team score of 342, which was 13 strokes ahead of runner-up Cocalico (355).
Goodling again finished as the low-score medalist, five strokes in front of Solanco’s Cairns (77).
Lampeter-Strasburg was a close third (357), followed the Golden Mules (361), Elizabethtown (365), Garden Spot (450), and Lebanon (492).
Rounding out the Barons’ scorers were Perron and Micah Hershberger, both with 85, Zach Hershberger (100) and Josh Bowman (102).
With Central’s unbeaten finish, they are now tied with Cocalico atop Section 2 with a 10-2 record.
Last week, Goodling gave the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur a good run for her money. With a 2-over par 74 at Bent Creek Country Club last Monday, Aug. 11, she tied for fifth place in the qualifying stage for match play.
“Overall it was a good day,” Goodling remarked. “I think my short game was pretty strong that day, like my putting and such.”
Entering play, she had hoped to advance into the championship flight, meaning a top-16 finish out of 40 competitors. To finish tied for fifth with Erica Herr and Aislynn Merling was a bonus.
“Coming into the tournament, I knew it was going to be a good field, and there were a lot of really talented players there,” Goodling said. “I was just hoping to maybe make it into the championship flight. And then when I got tied for fifth, it was just like, ‘Wow, amazing.’”
In match play on Tuesday, Aug. 12 in the quarterfinals, 11th-seeded Mia Kness defeated 6th-seeded Goodling 3 and 2.
“I think I played pretty well,” Goodling said. “There were a few holes that didn’t go my way, but overall it wasn’t too bad. (Kness) just made some really great putts to make par or make birdie or whatever she had to do.”
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at email@example.com or at 721-4451.