Machulsky, golf team win titles
The Emmaus golf team wanted a postseason and title and some revenge. The Hornets got both, and more. The Hornets not only won this year’s team title, but they also crowned the team’s first boys individual champion since Brian Belden back in 2004.
The Hornets topped Northampton for the team title, 315-323, and senior Mitch Machulsky shot 75 and won the boys individual gold medal on the third hole of a playoff against Northampton’s Andrew Hozza Monday at Lehigh Country Club.
“I feel great,” said Machulsky. “It’s honestly the best round I’ve ever played.
“I really wanted to qualify for regionals. I just wanted to win the team. That was my main focus. Winning individual was a bonus. It turned out it was possible.”
Machulsky fought off one triple bogey and two double bogeys during his round to shoot 5-over par.
“Every time I had a big number, the next hole I came back with a birdie,” he said. “I stayed in there today. I kept on chipping away. And I birdied my last hole to send it to a playoff, even though I didn’t know it at the time.”
In the playoff, Machulsky and Hozza both bogeyed the first hole and parred the second (Lehigh’s No. 18). The Hornet senior won the title with a par on third playoff hole, which was played back on hole No. 1.
Machulsky hit 15 of 18 greens during his round. He had an usually-good warm up session. He hit the ball well on his first three holes, but his putter let him down at times. His round included a three-putt bogey on his third hole and a four-putt double bogey later in the round.
“Usually when I warm up I start of awful,” he said. “Today it wasn’t that bad. By the end of it I was hitting everything pure, perfect. It’s a totally different thing to take it out to the course.”
Machulsky and two teammates will compete in the individual part of next week’s East Regional Tournament at Golden Oaks Golf Course.
Hornet freshman Matt Zerfass shot 77 to finish in a three-way tie for third place and qualify for regionals. He carded a 35 on the front nine and a 42 on the back. He made one double, two birdies and seven bogeys in his round.
“I think I played pretty good,” said Zerfass. “I had a couple mistakes on the back nine, but overall I think I played pretty well.”
Zerfass said he didn’t feel pressure because his goal for the season was just to reach districts. He’ll take the same approach to next week’s tournament.
Hornet sophomore Michelle Cox, last year’s District 11 girls champ, came into the tournament after capturing her first league title last week. She took second place Monday, shooting 82.
Cox, Zerfass and Machulsky helped their team get revenge against Northampton. The Hornets’ Aiden LeBlanc carded an 81 to give Emmaus a team score of 315, while senior Luke Lanzone shot 84 at districts.
The team portion of the competition included four teams in Class 3A, Emmaus, Northampton, Blue Mountain and Southern Lehigh. But the Hornets, who won the EPC regular season, and Konkrete Kids, who beat Emmaus by tiebreaker for the team title at last week’s league tournament, looked at it as the gruge match for the 2018 season.
“We really wanted to win this today because this was on our home turf,” said Machulsky.
“Winning team districts is huge,” said Cox. “We get to play on Thursday at Silver Creek, which is now called Steel Club.”
If the Hornets win Thursday, they’ll compete as a team in the regional tournament next Monday.
At Monday’s District 11 Tournament, William Mirams of Notre Dame (East Stroudsburg) shot 67 to win the Class 2A boys title and become the first ever four-time District 11 golf champ. Moravian Academy won the Class 2A team title.
Stroudsburg’s Olivia Paltrow won the Class 3A girls title with a 72.