KANE, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Kameron Kerle was well aware of the hill he had to climb during the final round of the District 9 Boys Golf Championships.
The Clarion Area sophomore came into the day in third place, trailing leader Jacob Felsing of Moniteau by five strokes.
Kerle, though, didn’t alter his plan on a windy Saturday at Kane Country Club. Instead, he did what got him there.
Played steady. Played well.
In the end it was enough as Kerle fired a 74 to edge Felsing — the defending champion — by a stoke to win the individual title.
“I didn’t really change my approach,” Kerle said. “I was getting on the green well, hitting them close.”
And sinking those putts.
As the day went on, Kerle was shaving strokes off his deficit. By the turn, he was right in the mix.
Kerle didn’t pay much attention to the leaderboard.
But he knew how Felsing and teammate Devon Lauer, who came into the final round three strokes back and in second place, were shooting.
“I knew heading into the final holes that I had Devon by one or two,” Kerle said. “And I knew that Jacob and I were close, but I had him by around that, too.”
Kerle shot the day’s best round in Class 2A by four strokes over Lauer and another of his Clarion teammates, Luke Mitrosky.
Felsing struggled at times, shooting an 80. He hung on for second place. Lauer was third, two strokes behind Kerle.
For Kerle, who was third last season in the championships, the low score under pressure was extremely satisfying.
“It felt pretty good,” Kerle said. “It really felt good knowing I made up five shots. Now I know I can beat the best people around.”
Kerle’s older sister, senior McKayla, will gun for her own D9 Class 2A title on Monday at Kane Country Club. She’s the defending champion.
“That would be pretty cool if she won it, too,” Kameron said. “We’re our biggest fans.”
In Class 3A, Jake Franz of Bradford cruised to the title, shooting a 74 in the final round. He carded a 76 in the first round and won by nine strokes over Benito Taromina of Allderdice.
Taromina led Franz by a stroke entering the final round, but shot a disappointing 84 on Saturday.