Three Paupack golfers headed to this year's District Two tournament
It's been an exciting season for local high school golf fans, a fact that was reinforced by an electrifying performance at the 2017 pre-district tournament qualifier.
This year's edition of the event was held at Elmhurst Country Club and featured three Wallenpaupack Area golfers making the cut.
Nate Trout led the way.
A battle-tested senior and Paupack team captain, Trout carded a blistering score of 1-under par 71 to capture the individual title.
“That was maybe the best round of his career,” said Hall of Fame Coach Bob Simons. “Nate just had a fantastic day and I'm very happy for him.”
Joining Trout at this year's District Two tourney will be teammates Alex Pillar and Jack Mowatt. The former carded an 83 and the latter an 88.
The 2017 District Two individual tournament is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 2 at Fox Hill. Action gets underway at 9 a.m.
Trout is Paupack's lone senior and he's showing outstanding leadership on and off the links.
Heading into this week's action, Nate was 12-1-0 in the Lackawanna League and he's now won a total of 43 matches over the course of his varsity career.
Trout simply dominated at the pre-district event. He carded a 38 on the front nine at Elmhurst, but then shot a sizzling 33 on the back. Nate didn't miss a fairway all day and made four birdies.
“Nate really drove the ball well all day and that was key,” Coach Simons said. “He was straight off the tee, stayed out of trouble and really made the most of his opportunities.”
Trout led wire-to-wire, finishing with a 71, four shots better than his closest competitor, Will Brown of Abington Heights.
“I think one of the keys to Nate's success is that he's so consistent,” Coach Simons said. “He's playing fantastic golf right now.”
Pillar will once again join his teammate at the District Two tournament.
Last fall, Alex was one of six golfers to qualify for the PIAA state tourney. And, he's right back on track for another appearance.
Pillar shot a solid round of 83, opening with a 44 on the front, but then rallying to shoot 39 on the back.
“I think Alex had a little bit of adrenaline pumping,” Coach Simons said. “He got off to a shaky start, but then he recovered nicely.”
Pillar fought with his short game during the first nine holes. He flew the green on several early approach shots. However, he righted the ship at the turn and cruised to another D2 tournament berth.
Alex is 12-1-0 in the league to date and is just two wins shy of 50 for his varsity career.
“You have to give him all the credit in the world,” said Coach Simons. “A lot of kids would have folded after that rough start, but not Alex. He figured things out and played really well down the stretch.”
Mowatt punched his ticket to the tourney with a clutch performance late in the day. Jack finished with an 88, leaving him tied with five other golfers for the final four spots.
“Jack getting in there was a very pleasant surprise,” Coach Simons said. “He parred the first playoff hole to make the cut. I'm really happy for him.”
Paupack is in the midst of a “golden age” on the local varsity links scene.
The Buckhorns are defending Lackawanna League, District Two and Eastern Regional champs.
Coach Simons' lads have suffered just two losses this season, both at the hands of undefeated Abington.
“We're playing pretty well,” Coach Simons said with his characteristic flair for understatement. “The boys are working hard and doing a nice job.”
Paupack has all but sealed the second seed for this year's league tourney with an 12-2 record. The Bucks have reeled off three straight wins since their last setback, a hard-fought 6-3 loss to the Comets.
They defeated Honesdale (8-1), North Pocono (6.5-2.5) and Delaware Valley (8-1).
Trout continued his torrid stretch of golf against the Hornets, earning medalist honors with a 38. Pillar carded a 40 and Mowatt a 42 as Paupack dominated singles play.
Against North Pocono, Pillar, Trout, Mowatt and Alex Davies each notched an individual win despite less-than ideal conditions.
“It was a little bit sloppy, but a win's a win,” Coach Simons said. “The boys ran into a little bit of adversity, but they responded well.”
The seeds and schedule for this year's Lackawanna League tourney is now set.
Weather permitting, Paupack hosts Honesdale and Abington Heights hosts Valley View.
Both matches will begin on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Buckhorns play their home matches at Woodloch Springs, while the Comets are at Glen Oak.
The winners will face off on Wednesday for the all-season championship. That match will be 18 holes at Elmurst Country Club starting at 9 a.m.