YORK — Holy Redeemer's Mariano Medico was already slated to play with his team in the PIAA State Golf Team Championships that start today after the Royals took home first place in the District 2/4 subregional team tournament.
Medico's seventh-place finish at the Eastern Regionals gave him an opportunity to compete in the individual championships, and while he didn't perform as well as he thought he could, Medico still relishes the opportunity.
I'm not disappointed (in my performance), because I got here, Medico said. I knew, to myself, I could have played a little better.
After shooting a 2-over 73 in the first round of the PIAA State Golf Championships, Medico shot a 6-over 77 to take a cumulative score of 8-over 150 and fifth place in the championships.
Medico set himself up nicely in the first round, tying for third place with Leechburg's Matt Barto. Medico rarely found himself in any significant trouble in the opening round, double bogeying only on the last hole of his outing. His performance on the other 17 holes, which included two birdies, two bogeys, and 13 pars, kept him competitive for the second round.
But the early rain that saturated the course added an extra level of difficulty not only for Medico, but for all the other golfers on the course.
It was raining the first three or four holes, Medico said. I teed off, and my club slipped out of my hands. I had to pitch out of the rough. You try to get through the rainy holes.
Medico uncharacteristically bogeyed the first two holes, and had some ground to make up even before he was able to make a move on the leaders.
I had a tough start today, Medico said. After five or six holes, I said to myself ‘I have to try to do something.' Then I went to make my move.
Medico bogeyed two more times on the front nine, including having to save himself after hooking his tee shot on the ninth hole.
You always say ‘Don't hit it right, hit left,' Medico said. When I did, it hooked on me.
Things only complicated when Medici's short game wasn't working for him early on.
The putts weren't dropping, Medico said.
Medico found himself in great position to move ahead with a short birdie putt on the 13th hole. When his shot barely missed the cup, Medico knew he needed a birdie to stay competitive.
When I missed the birdie putt on 13, I had to do something ridiculous, Medico said.
That ridiculous thing was birdie two of the next three holes. But he nearly negated those birdies when he hit an errant tee shot off of the 17th tee into the rough.
I hit a great shot on 17, but it went into the trees, Medico said.
With another bogey in tow, Medico went to the 18th and final hole of the day carding a combined score of 146. His par on hole 18 solidified his fifth place finish and earned him some nice hardware to wear around his neck.
Medico hopes to add to it when he helps his team out against the treacherous greens and deceptively difficult par 3's.
We'll try real hard tomorrow, Medico said. I'll give (my teammates) helpful tips. I'll show spots I got caught off guard in, and tell them to stay below the hole and not leave any side-hillers or low-hillers.
Above all, Medico feels good about his chances with Holy Redeemer.
I think we'll be up there (in scoring), Medico said.