Artesian-Arts

Ben Ortwein’s putter, Grace Sanborn’s irons, Evelyn Wong’s bathroom break and Jordan Barker’s chill mood lead to gold

Ben Ortwein spent hours during the COVID-19 pandemic putting in his basement.



a man holding a baseball bat on a field: Notre Dame-Green Pond's Ben Ortwein won the District 11 Class 2A boys golf tournament title thanks to a stellar round of putting Wednesday at Steel Club in Hellertown.


© Rick Kintzel/The Morning Call/The Morning Call/TNS
Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Ben Ortwein won the District 11 Class 2A boys golf tournament title thanks to a stellar round of putting Wednesday at Steel Club in Hellertown.

The Notre Dame-Green Pond junior was not pleased with that part of his golf game after winning the 2019 Colonial League title and …

“It was atrocious,” he said Wednesday. “It was so bad.

“I’m glad all those hours paid off.”

Ortwein completed a stellar round at the District 11 Class 2A golf championships with a 3-over-par 75 to beat Central Catholic’s Nathan Meyers by a shot for the gold medal.



a person swinging a golf club: Moravian Academy golfer Grace Sanborn reacts after draining a birdie put on the ninth green Monday during the Colonial League golf championships at Bethlehem Golf Club. r


© Rick Kintzel/The Morning Call/The Morning Call/TNS
Moravian Academy golfer Grace Sanborn reacts after draining a birdie put on the ninth green Monday during the Colonial League golf championships at Bethlehem Golf Club. r

The Crusader didn’t miss a putt inside of five feet until the last hole, when he knew he had two putts to win.

Ortwein’s round started by draining a birdie putt on the uphill, par-4 first hole. He birdied the par-5 ninth and 14th holes to straighten out his round.

Meyers had the lead until a double bogey on the par-3 16th, then finished bogey-bogey on a day when swirling, gusty winds made it difficult with club selection.

Ortwein, who parred the 17th to take the lead before securing the victory by matching Meyers’ 5 on the last hole, said experience allowed him to focus on the next shot.

“Being able to control your nerves and not let them get out of hand was good,” Ortwein said. “And having a lot of fun [playing]. We had a good group. Everyone was nice. That made it a lot easier to play.

“Once you got inside of 100 yards, it was basically get lucky [because of the wind]. I thought I handled it well.”

Ortwein, Meyers and Moravian Academy’s Joe Smith (79) claimed the three PIAA berths.

CLASS 2A GIRLS

PIAA qualifier: Grace Sanborn, Moravian Academy (76)

How she got there: The senior made a 20-foot slider breaking to the left for a birdie on 18 to finish off high school career-low tournament round.

“After last week, I wanted to make sure I stayed focus for the whole round,” Sanborn said. “Despite the two bogeys in the last four holes, I got the birdie back on 18. I was really happy about that.

“I was standing over my approach thinking,’ Just get it on the upper tier, two-putt and I’ll be happy. The birdie on top of that was just great.”

Up next: PIAA Golf Championships on Monday, Oct. 19, at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.

Of note: Sanborn, who started Wednesday’s round with six pars, plans to play Heritage Hills twice this weekend in preparation for the state tournament, then spend time working on different aspects of her game without over practicing.

CLASS 2A BOYS

PIAA qualifiers (3): Ben Ortwein, Notre Dame-GP (75); Nathan Meyers, Central Catholic (76); Joe Smith, Moravian Academy (79)

How they got there: Ortwein birdied Nos. 9 and 14, then took the lead with par on 17 to beat Meyers by one shot.

Up next: PIAA Golf Championships on Monday, Oct. 19, at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.

Of note: Ortwein shot 78 to tie for third at the Colonial League tournament at Bethlehem Golf Club.

CLASS 2A TEAM (1)

PIAA qualifier: Palmerton (332)

How the Blue Bombers got there: Though disappointed that no one qualified for the individual state tournament, Tyler Hager (81), Derek Rea (83), Connor Reinhard (84) and Josh Suto (84) led the steady, deep squad to a 13-shot win over Moravian Academy.

“Experience on the Lehigh Valley junior tour is why we succeeded today,” Palmerton co-coach Alex Knoll said. “They played tournament golf all year. They’ve been in tough conditions before. They’re trained to survive and grind, and that’s going to show in tough weather conditions and a tough golf course like this.”

Up next: PIAA subregional against the Districts 1-12 winner on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Philmont Country Club in Huntington Valley, Montgomery County.

Of note: Hager, who tripled the first hole Wednesday, righted the ship. The Colonial League tournament champion led the Blue Bombers to their second consecutive district team title and first Colonial League team title in two decades.

“It’s great to win again and get another chance to make it to states,” the sophomore said. “It would awesome if we could.”

CLASS 3A GIRLS

PIAA qualifiers (3): Evelyn Wong, Emmaus (76); Michelle Cox, Emmaus (76); Emma Shelby, Saucon Valley (86)

How they got there: Wong beat Cox in a one-hole playoff to secure gold. Cox is a returning state fourth-place finisher and district champion.

Up next: The PIAA tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at York’s Heritage Hills Golf Resort.

Of note: Wong regrouped after three-putting No. 18 by taking a bathroom break and reminding herself that golf for her is all about having fun.

“I told myself that I just had to bogey the last hole,” the Emmaus junior said. “Then I got to the scoring area and realized I was tied [with Cox], and I was like, ‘Oh, boy.’

“I went to the bathroom and I wanted to cry because I was so stressed. But even if I did make mistakes on 18 or 16 or whatever hole, the most important hole is now.”

Wong parred the playoff hole. Cox took a double-bogey 6.

CLASS 3A BOYS

PIAA qualifiers (5): Jordan Barker, Liberty (71); Jase Barker, Liberty (72); Chase Skrapits, Nazareth (75); Matt Zerfass, Emmaus (76); Jake Haberstumpf, Freedom (76)

How they got there: Jordan Barker overcame a double-bogey start to his round to finish at 1-under. He birdied 3, 5, 10, 14 and 16. Younger brother Jase birdied Nos. 1 and 7 to get to 2-under but bogeyed 10 and 12.

“I stuck to my game plan,” Jordan Barker said. “I didn’t try to hit any crazy shots. I came out yesterday to practice. I knew exactly what I was going to do. I executed pretty well except the first hole.

“My little brother was behind me. We were talking most of the day. He kept telling me that he was 2-under. I said, ‘I’m going to catch you.’ It was fun.”

Up next: The PIAA tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at York’s Heritage Hills Golf Resort.

Of note: Jordan Barker is Liberty’s first district champion since Doug Marcincin in 2005 and sixth overall. … Defending EPC and District 11 team champion Emmaus was without John Keba because of injuries. Keba averaged 75 last season as a freshman and teamed with Zerfass to win the John Wasser Cup in August. … Skrapits made a 40-foot put for eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. He hit a hybrid club from 225 yards out on his approach. … Haberstumpf needed to two-putt from 40 feet at the base of the two-tier 18th green to secure his state berth. He ran his first putt by about 10 feet above the hole before making it to keep him from a playoff with Liberty’s Jimmy Barker for the last PIAA spot.

CLASS 3A TEAM

PIAA qualifier (1): Liberty (305)

How the Hurricanes got there: Jordan Barker (71), Jimmy Barker (77), Matt Vital (78) and Mike Vital (79) continued their unbeaten season with a 46-shot win over Stroudsburg. It is Liberty’s second District 11 3A title (2017).

Up next: PIAA subregional vs. the District 1 champion either Oct. 14 or 15 at Steel Club.

Of note: District 11 has won just twice in this subregional in the 14-year history (Parkland in 2008 and Nazareth in 2016). Jordan Barker was part of Liberty’s 2017 subregional qualifier as a freshman.

District 11 Golf Championships

At Steel Club, Hellertown

GIRLS

Class 2A

1. Grace Sanborn, Moravian Academy: 76*

2. Brooke Powis, North Schuylkill: 104

3. Layna Warner, Nativity BVM: 121

4. Maddie Von Frisch, Weatherly: 128

Class 3A

1. Evelyn Wong, Emmaus: 76**

2. Michelle Cox, Emmaus: 76*

3. Emma Shelby, Saucon Valley: 86*

4. Madison Salter, Northampton: 88

5. Danielle Crenshaw, Parkland: 94

6. Ashlyn McCormick, Pocono Mountain West: 95

6. Mary Scully, Pleasant Valley: 95

8. Sydni Sundstrom, Parkland: 100

9. Natalie White, Bangor: 102

10. Victoria Fuss, Pottsville: 103

BOYS

(Top 10 finishers and ties)

Class 2A

1. Ben Ortwein, Notre Dame-GP: 75*

2. Nathan Meyers, Central Catholic: 76*

3. Joe Smith, Moravian Academy: 79*

4. Charlie Long, Central Catholic: 81

4. Tyler Hager, Palmerton: 81

6. Derek Rea, Palmerton: 83

7. Connor Reinhard, Palmerton: 84

7. Josh Suto, Palmerton: 84

9. Evan Eichenlaub, Moravian Academy: 86

10. Jeff Markosky, North Schuylkill: 87

Class 3A

1. Jordan Barker, Liberty: 71*

2. Jase Barker, Liberty: 72*

3. Chase Skrapits, Nazareth: 75*

4. Matt Zerfass, Emmaus: 76*

4. Jake Haberstumpf, Freedom: 76*

6. Jimmy Barker, Liberty: 77

7. Jack Lorenz, Lehighton: 78

7. Matt Ronca, Freedom: 78

7. Matt Vital, Liberty: 78

10. Michael Vital, Liberty: 79

*PIAA qualifier

**Won in a playoff

Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or at thousenick@mcall.com

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