State College, Pa. - Last week, sophomore Jeremy Harper (Mountain Top, Pa.) overcame a six shot deficit to capture the individual medalist honors at the Penn State University Athletic Conference Championships held on the Blue Course at University Park. Harper completed the task with a two-day combined total at 14 over par, shooting an 80 in round one, followed by a six over par round of 78 in the final round.
On day one of the tournament, Harper was plagued by errant tee shots and struggled to find the cup, registering four three-putts and a pair of four-putts on the day. Far from an ideal round of golf but the core of his game was well in tact and as a result, Harper regained his composure on the back nine and kept himself in contention. Lehigh Valley's Anthony Sawarynski posted a stellar round of 74 during round one to lead the tournament but Harper was looming on the leader board heading into the final round.
Despite the windy conditions during round two, Harper had a much better ball striking day during the final 18 holes of the contest. Harper secured two birdies on the front nine to card a 38 and begin his assault on the leaders. The sophomore ran into trouble after the turn with a bogey on hole ten followed by a double bogey at 11 but Sawarynski tripled the 1tth hole himself, leaving the door open for Harper. Harper settled in after the miscues and while the rest of field began to regress, the sophomore started racking up routine pars leading to a one stroke lead by the time the group reached the par three, 17th hole. Harper knocked his tee shot on the par three to just twenty feet from the hole, the only player amongst the leaders to do so. Harper cleaned up his par while the rest of the leaders bogeyed to give Harper a two stroke advantage heading into the final hole. That cushion proved to be more than enough as Harper scratched out a par on the 18th to win by two shots over Lehigh Valley's Ian Masenheimer and three better than Sawarynski. Harper finished the back nine at plus four but was just one over par on his final seven holes on his way to victory.
Harper captures Hazleton's first individual crown since Ty Morzilla won the PSUAC title back in 2014. Harper will look to repeat in the fall and contend for the team championship when the golf returns in the fall of 2021.
Top individual results from the PSUAC Tournament - May 10-11