State College, Pa. - The Nittany Lion golfers teed it up on Thursday at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa. against eight other competing campuses in the Penn State University Athletic Conference's first invitational match of the season. Hazleton sophomore's John Hawley (Mountain Top, Pa.) and Geran Triano (Sugarloaf, Pa.) turned in team high scores of 11 over par as Hazleton finished in fourth place in the team competition. Despite finishing in the middle of the pack, Hazleton turned in four solid scores to finish with a total of 341, just five shots out of 2nd place. Backing up Hawley and Triano's efforts were freshman Eric Grodzicki (Nanticoke, Pa.) who carded an 87 and senior Zach Kyttle (Berwick, Pa.) with an 88 respectively. Penn State Fayette came in ahead of Hazleton, tallying 337 for third place, while Lehigh Valley notched a second place finish with 336. Taking home the top honors in the team competition was Penn State DuBois who dominated the field, winning by 18 strokes with a total of 318.
The course provided plenty of scoring opportunities and a number of players took advantage of the late summer conditions to turn in fine individual efforts. Brian Zinman of Lehigh Valley nabbed medalist honors with the day's best score of one over par, 73. Jonathan Wilson (Wilkes-Barre) and Alex Acree (Dubois) tied for second place with scores of 76, followed by Owen Groft (Mont Alto) and Daniel Smith (New Kensington) who turned in scores of 77 to round out the top five individuals on the day.
With the first match of the season in the books, Hazleton is in fine position to move up the leader board in the next event. The Nittany Lions head to Mountain Valley Golf Course on Wednesday, September 13 at the Penn State Schuylkill Invitational for the second bout of league competition.