Barnesville, Pa. - Hazleton teed off in their second match of the season, the Penn State Schuylkill invitational at Mt. Valley Golf Course in Barnesville, Pa. on Wednesday morning and vaulted themselves into contention. The Nittany Lions took advantage of the shortened course and soft conditions to challenge Penn State Lehigh Valley for the top spot but came up just one stroke shy of the best team total of the day, firing a collective 315 strokes for second place.
Sophomore Geran Triano (Sugarloaf, Pa.) played the course to near perfection, shooting a career best two over par round of 74. Triano combined a smart approach of irons and fairway woods to keep his ball in the fairway adding clutch play on the putting surface to net the top Hazleton round of the day. The sophomore started his round with seven straight pars, hitting quality iron shots and draining comeback putts on the greens. That momentum kept building towards an even par round, but difficult visibility on the final three holes resulted in a pair of bogeys.
Triano wasn't the only Nittany Lion who found success on the course on Wednesday. Senior Zach Kyttle (Berwick, Pa.) and sophomore John Hawley (Mountain Top, Pa.) both carded seven over par rounds of 79. Kyttle started his second nine with six straight pars, looking to turn in a low number but three consecutive bogeys on his final three holes derailed an otherwise fine effort. Hawley ran into trouble early but leveled off to play his final 13 holes at just two over par. Sophomore Joshua Provost (Hazleton, Pa.) would round out Hazleton's top efforts with a well earned 83. Provost struggled mightily on the more difficult back nine, shooting 11 over par through that stretch but turned his day around with a pair of birdies on the front nine to stay at even par on that side of the card.
Hazleton would finish the day with three of the top eight scores on the day to finish just behind Lehigh Valley who claimed the top team effort behind the medalist performance of Brian Zinnman. Zinnman, a familiar medalist contender, was feast or famine on the day but combined three birdies with a pair of back nine eagles to finish the day with a two under par round of 70 and top honors in the tournament. Evan Fahs from Lehigh Valley would come in one behind Triano with a 75 while teammate Nick Engleman finished in fourth place with a 78. Wilkes-Barre's Jonathan Wilson finished tied for fourth place with a 78 of his own followed by Kyttle, Hawley and Wilkes-Barre's Colin Quin who all carded scores of 79 to round out the day's top performances.
Hazleton will look to build off this momentum as they head into their next match. The Lions will travel to Hershey, Pa. on Tuesday, September 19 for a non-conference invitational hosted by Elizabethtown College at the Hershey Country Club's East Course. Tee off slated for 12:00 p.m. with a shotgun start.