Fassnacht captures L-L League crown

By on September 27, 2017
Warrior junior Brock Fassnacht follows through on a shot on his way to firing an even-par 70 and capturing his first L-L League Boys Golf Championship on Monday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Warrior junior Brock Fassnacht follows through on a shot on his way to firing an even-par 70 and capturing his first L-L League Boys Golf Championship on Monday. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Brock Fassnacht’s confidence-level probably wasn’t real high as he approached the first tee at Honeybrook Golf Course on Monday.

Just six days earlier, the Warwick junior shot a 79 at Conestoga Country Club.

“It was probably one of my worst matches in quite awhile,” he said.

Even on the driving range at Honeybrook, Fassnacht didn’t feel he was hitting the ball real well.

But he quickly got himself on track.

Shooting an even-par 70, Fassnacht captured his first Lancaster-Lebanon League boys crown, placing one stroke ahead of Manheim Township’s Jake Macinati in near-record high temperatures.

“Something just clicked, I don’t know,” Fassnacht said. “It’s a really great honor (to win). There’s a lot of really good golfers in the L-L League and it was really nice to come out on top.”

He also punched his ticket to the District Three Triple-A Championships, set for next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7 at Briarwood East Golf Club in York, where he will be joined by Warrior teammates Mason Wills, who tied for 12th in the boys field with an 8-over 78, and Kathryn Pelensky, who finished third among the girls with a 12-over 82.

The top-19 boys finished qualified and Warwick’s Kyle Gibble wasn’t far off the pace, finishing with a 15-over 85. Manheim Central’s Dan Pallietier, LMH’s Jonathan Glick, and Conestoga Valley’s David Formica earned the final spots at 11-over.

“The kids did pretty good,” Warrior coach Kevin McNece said. “We have good chances to keep going, I guess that’s probably the best way to look at it. I was hoping that we would have gotten one more in there to qualify.”

Wills was 5-over through the first five holes. On three of those holes, he three-putted. But the senior golfer went just 3-over for the final 13 holes

“He hit the ball pretty good,” McNece said, “but he didn’t putt very well.”

Pelensky, meanwhile, finished with an eagle on her opening hole, but then tripled on her next.

“I expected those three (Brock, Mason and Kathryn) to qualify, for sure,” McNece said.

For Fassnacht, his experience at last year’s L-L Championships was a plus. He was even par through 11 holes before a triple bogey on the 12th proved costly, and he ended up placing tied for second with a 2-over 73, two strokes behind champ RJ VanTash, of Lancaster Catholic.

“I just kinda thought that I needed to just keep focusing on my next shot and not get too ahead of myself,” Fassnacht said. “I didn’t want to have (last year’s situation) happen to me again.”

Turns out that he was model of steadiness.

His round included a birdie on the 8th hole and a bogey on the 9th.

The rest were pars.

“Today, I just played really steady,” Fassnacht said. “I just had a lot pars. I didn’t have any real blow-up holes. I was really steady all day.”

In general, his ball-striking was his strength.

“It was probably one of my best ball-striking rounds all year,” he said. “Everything was spot-on.”

Although Fassnacht missed some close birdie putts on the front nine, he buried one for par on the 3rd hole and then he sank a 20-footer on the 10th for a huge mental boost.

“I was really bummed after I hit a bad chip shot on number 10,” he recalled. “I was, like, giving myself bogey in my head, but then after seeing the putt go in, it really gave me confidence that I could still make pars.”

Fassnacht also got a break on the 14th hole after hitting a hybrid off the tee, pushing it right and narrowly avoiding being in a hazard.

“I hit it bad enough that it stayed short and it didn’t go into (the hazard),” he said.

If the ball had traveled another few feet, it would have cost him a stroke. Turns out, Fassnacht carded par on the hole and remained one shot ahead of Macinati for the lead.

“As soon as I hit it, I was pretty sure it was going into the hazard,” he said, “but it stayed short, so I got pretty lucky.”

Luck, though, didn’t have a lot to do with his round. Fassnacht had played Honeybrook a few times before and enjoyed a lot of success. He thought that he’d have to shoot in the neighborhood of 68 to win it, but he wasn’t complaining.

“I’m still pretty happy with the 70,” Fassnacht said. “I like the course. I just think the layout is really forgiving and you can really make a lot of birdies there. Even though I didn’t do that today, I’ve always had a lot of success there. I knew I could put up a number that needed to be shot to be able to win the tournament. So I felt like I had a really good chance.”

With Macinati, Penn Manor’s Logan Hess, who shot 5-over 75 for sixth place, and others playing in the group ahead of him, Fassnacht — who got updates on the course from Warwick Athletic Director Ryan Landis — was confident that he had the title once he finished.

“I kinda knew I was on top at that point,” he said.

Elsewhere, Warwick’s Clayton Hartman and Ethan Minnich tied for 55th, each with a 93.

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