Golfers 2nd at districts
Andrew Hozza has teed off in each of the last three District 11 Class 3A Golf Championship tournaments. Each year he’s gotten better and better.
This year he nearly went all the way, taking second place after three playoff holes against Emmaus’ Mitch Machulsky.
Both players shot 5-over par 75 to tie for first place Monday at Lehigh Country Club. In the playoff, they both bogeyed their first hole and parred the second before Machulsky took the title with a par on the third playoff hole.
“I played really well,” Hozza said. “I exceeded expectations by far. I was looking at for about a 78. Coming in at 75 is a big morale booster. It gives me a lot of confidence heading into regionals.”
Hozza made one birdie and one eagle (a hole out from 148 yards), offset by one double bogey and six bogeys.
“My driving was really well,” he said. “I was putting the ball in the fairways and leaving myself with second shots that I could control. Once I got on I was two-putting. I had some three putts that were on the fringe or off the green that I decided to putt.”
Hozza was playing in his third straight district tournament. As a sophomore he shot 91 and tied for 20th place. Last year he carded an 80 for sixth place, advancing to regionals.
“For about three years he’s been our No. 1 golfer,” said Northampton head coach Brian Davies. “He started as a freshman. He really developed a lot. This was the trajectory he was on.”
Hozza moves on to the PIAA East Regional tournament for his second straight season with a chance to advance to the state championships. The regional tournament, held annually at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood, is slated for Monday, Oct. 15.
“I’ll know what to expect this year,” Hozza said. “I don’t know if there will be less pressure, but I know what to expect. I’m familiar with the course. I’m familiar with what the competition is going to be like. I’m going to have other kids from around here that I’ll know, so that will make it easier.”
Northampton, which won the team title at last week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championships, took second place at districts. Emmaus, which has several players that are members or caddies at Lehigh, took the title with a four-player score of 315. Northampton had 323, while Blue Mountain was third with 341 and Southern Lehigh fourth at 350.
“They put up a really competitive number,” said Davies. “[Emmaus] was really hard to beat. We put up a really strong 323. We were firmly in second place. We knew they had an advantage with so many kids that are members here. I’m happy with the season.”
Devon Britton shot 80 for Northampton, finishing in a four-way tie for seventh place and one spot out of advancing to regionals. Anthony Sawarynski shot 82, while teammates Nate Wheeler and Andrew Kovalichik carded 86 each.
The Kids finished the regular season at 17-1 with their only loss coming to Emmaus on the Hornets home course.
“They played well,” said Hozza. “Our players really came through. For some of the players from Emmaus this is their home course. We all had fun and we enjoyed it and that’s the most important thing.”