Downingtown West freshman Gross leads the way in which as Ches-Mont sports activities return after six months away – PA Prep Reside
DOWNINGTOWN >> Downingtown West freshman Nick Gross, one of many top-ranked golfers in the US for his age group, led the Whippets to victory in a Ches-Mont League tri-match on Thursday towards Downingtown East and Wets Chester Henderson at Downingtown Nation Membership.
However the Whippets’ 160 to 168 (Downingtown East) to 170 (Henderson) win wasn’t the large story on Thursday.
Nor was the coming-out get together for Gross, whose spherical of 3-under par 33 confirmed why he could take the league by storm this season.
No, the most important story was the return of sports activities within the Ches-Mont League, as Thursday’s golf matches marked the primary league competitors in practically seven months, after the COVID-19 pandemic minimize the spring season quick and postponed the autumn season by greater than a month.
Gamers teed off in teams of three, with one golfer from every workforce, and saved their distance at any time when potential.
“Nick’s bought an excellent sport, he’s cool, he’s going to be nice,” mentioned Downingtown East junior Jake Leon, a second-team All-Ches-Mont participant from a yr in the past, who shot a 39, and performed within the group with Gross. “I used to be somewhat nervous beginning out at the moment — I wasn’t anticipating to have a [school] golf season this fall, but it surely turned out to be a enjoyable spherical. It was good taking part in with Nick and Dylan [Kochis].
“Right now the ambiance was somewhat completely different than within the tournaments I performed on this summer time. I do know loads of these youngsters, so it’s extra aggressive, and there’s extra teamwork.”
Within the season opener for all three groups, Gross’s three-under-par spherical on the three,118-yard entrance 9 at Downingtown included three birdies and no bogeys. His rating was six strokes higher than the second-best rating within the subject of 18 golfers.
Gross is coming off a red-hot summer time wherein he completed first in his age division on the U.S. Children Golf World Championship for the second consecutive yr.
Thursday afternoon, Gross pounded out quite a few lengthy drives, which set him up for brief wedge strategy photographs to the inexperienced.
On the 338-yard, par 4 fifth gap, gap, the West freshman nearly drove the inexperienced, then pitched to inside one foot of the opening, tapping in for a birdie.
On the ultimate gap, No. 9, a 345-yard dogleg left par 4 that options bunkers on either side of the bend within the fairway, Gross carried the bunkers and drove to inside 70 yards of the inexperienced. He adopted it up by pitching to inside three ft.
West Chester Henderson junior Dylan Kochis, the 2019 Ches-Mont League Championships winner, mentioned, “It was somewhat completely different on the market at the moment, there have been fewer youngsters watching. And it was completely different taking part in in a threesome with two different golfers from different faculties – normally we’d play in foursomes with a teammate.”
Downingtown East senior Dylan Gute, who competed in a half-dozen golf tournaments this summer time, mentioned, “This [setup] feels completely different, with three gamers in every group. With a foursome, you’re capable of speak to a teammate.”
Downingtown Nation Membership is the house course for the Downingtown West squad, and one other Whippet (beside Gross) who thrived Thursday was senior Jack Renihan, who fired a 39.
“Beginning out at the moment, I actually felt relaxed,” mentioned Renihan. “The format was somewhat completely different [with threesomes], however we got here up with some stable scores at the moment.”
Whereas the entrance 9 isn’t significantly lengthy (3,118 yards), it options loads of bunkers, mounds and undulating greens. Bushes line most of the holes.
Renihan mentioned his favourite gap is No. 8, the one par 5 on the entrance 9. It’s a 478-yard gap, downhill all the way in which, a dogleg proper with fairway bunkers flanking the bend within the fairway. It additionally incorporates a barely elevated inexperienced which slopes from again to entrance, with three deep bunkers left of the inexperienced.
“I like No. 8 as a result of it offers you an opportunity to succeed in the inexperienced in two and get a birdie,” mentioned Renihan. “I used to be actually feeling comfy with my driver at the moment.”
For Downingtown West, the highest scores had been shot by Gross (33), Renihan (39) and Brady Manning (43). Bret Bergey and Stephen Leshko every scored 45.
For Downingtown East, the highest 4 scores had been shot by Leon (39), James Lambe (39), Gute (44) and Chase O’Shea (46).
West Chester Henderson was led by Kochis (41), Eric Angle (43), Sean Surowek (43) and Drew DiMatteo (43).