Musser advances for Barons

By on September 26, 2018
Manheim Central senior Brandyn Musser sinks a long putt in Monday’s L-L League Championships at Conestoga Country Club. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Manheim Central senior Brandyn Musser sinks a long putt in Monday’s L-L League Championships at Conestoga Country Club. Photo by Missi Mortimer

When Brandyn Musser shot an 88 in Monday’s L-L League Golf Tournament, the Manheim Central senior thought his high school career was done.

“Neither of us thought 88 was going to get it done,” Baron coach Charlie Fisher recalled.

Turns out, however, it was good enough to get Musser, who tied for 25th place, into a playoff with Cocalico’s Ian Martin and Penn Manor’s Kaden Peart for the final two District Three Triple-A spots.

And in the end, Musser went on to punch his ticket to compete at York’s Briarwood Golf Course next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 5-6, clinching it with a two-foot putt for par. It’s the second year in a row he has qualified for the District Championships.

“I’m so excited,” Fisher said. “At the conclusion of the round, we were chalk full of emotions. Right after the round, we were upset and disappointed (thinking Brandyn didn’t make the cut). Then we found out he was in a playoff and a sense of hope peaked through the clouds. I said to Brandyn, ‘Think, you thought your career was over. So this playoff should be stress free. This is bonus golf.’ He had to get his clubs from the van, hit a bad first tee shot, and then hit three of the most clutch golf shots he’s ever put together.”

Senior Dan Pelletier and junior Gage McCabe also competed at L-Ls for the Barons. Pelletier — after qualifying for Districts last year and then carding the fourth-best average (79.8) in Section Three this fall — was hopeful to return to Briarwood again, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I feel so bad for Dan,” Fisher said. “He spent countless hours on the golf course over the past year and was playing some of his best golf coming in. But it just wasn’t in the cards for Dan. The kid shaved 40 strokes off his score in four years and developed a love and passion for the game of golf. I’d say he did more than alright, even if he doesn’t feel that way right this moment.”

Pelletier shared with Fisher that he struggled to get off the tee at times.

“Golf is a humbling game,” the Barons’ coach remarked, “and unless you play it competitively, you don’t quite understand how it is so much more than just hitting good shots. I am so proud of Dan and all he accomplished. “

Musser was making his share of good shots — particularly through the front nine.

“He had a great start to the round,” Fisher said. “About 11 holes in, I actually thought he was looking at a top-10 finish, but struggled down the stretch as the course started playing harder. I would say he took care of business on the holes he needed to do well on and that ultimately got the job done for him. Brandyn was at Districts last year, so he knows what he has to do to give himself a chance to make the cut. He already said he is going to have a great week of practice and be ready for Friday.”

Going into the Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament, expectations were for Musser to advance. Fisher said they weren’t so much worried about his place, as long as it was in the top-20.

“Brandyn and I both figured he’d shoot better than 88,” he remarked. “But an 88 is what he needed, and that’s all that matters now.”

The rainy, chilly conditions on Monday didn’t help the cause of the golfers.

“It made for as hard of a high school tournament as you can have,” Fisher said. “Conestoga Country Club is a tough course on a good day, but (Monday) it played long and many of those holes are tight. Plus, the greens got faster and weren’t holding come the end of the round.”

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