BRADFORD, Pa. (EYT/D9) — For Moniteau’s Jacob Felsing, Saturday’s second round of the District 9 Class 2A boys golf championship was all about staying clean.
No big risks. No big mistakes.
Felsing did just that, playing well and consistently at Pennhills Club in shooting a 78 to win the title with a two-round score of 154.
“I knew I had a four-stroke lead to play with,” said Felsing, a junior. “I figured if I could just go out and just play damage control, there wasn’t really anyone who was going to get to me.”
(Above photo, the top six Class 2A golfers heading to the PIAA championships are, from left: Jacob Felsing, Curt Barner, Kameron Kerle, Brady Streich, Ethan Carll and Lucas Benjamin)
Felsing was strongest in the short game. His putting has been exceptional throughout the season, he said, and was again in the two rounds of the district championships.
It wasn’t always that way. A big and true hitter off the tee, Felsing would sometimes falter on his approach shots and on the green in the past.
“I could hit drives down the middle all day,” Felsing said. “Then I just kept throwing it away because I either couldn’t chip or putt or make good enough approach shots. I knew if I wanted to take the next step, I needed to work on that first.”
So, Felsing did. A lot.
He began to dedicate a great deal of time to improve his floundering short game. It worked. What was once a weakness has become a strength.
“My wedges from inside 100 yards, I can just put it within six feet and keep making putts,” Felsing said. “This past year, I’ve worked countless hours on the range. I really work my rear end off at it and I’m happy it’s paying off.”
Curt Barner of Kane was second with a 156. Clarion’s Kameron Kerle (162), Clarion’s Devon Lauer (167), St. Marys’ Lucas Benjamin (167) and Coudersport’s Brady Streich (167) rounded out the top six and will advance to the PIAA championship.
Last year, Felsing had a disastrous first round at the district championships and failed to even make the cut.
So, he also worked diligently on the mental side of his game after that experience.
“Today I just remembered last year and thought of the progress I’ve made from not even making the cut to winning the whole thing,” Felsing said. “I learned to treat it like any other round. It’s not anything special; it’s just more up for grabs. I stayed calm and treated it like no big deal if something went awry, just keep going and your score will turn up.”
Bradford’s Spencer Cornelius cruised to the district title in Class 3A, firing a 70 in the second round for a two-day total of 146.
Jake Franz of Sheffield was second with a 155. Only the top two in 3A advance to the PIAA boys championships at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York. The Class 2A state tournament will be held Oct. 18. The 3A tournament will happen Oct. 19.
“It’s a one-day tournament, so my plan is just to attack everything,” Felsing said for the state championships. “There are some holes there that will really bite you if you don’t play them right. Hopefully, I’ll get all my ducks in a row and everything is solid and I can shoot somewhere in the 70s.”