Ryan Keyes leads Coughlin golf past Pittston Area

By Tom Fox - For Times Leader | August 20th, 2015 8:40 pm

BEAR CREEK TWP. — It would be hard to believe Ryan Keyes carded a triple-bogey on the first hole Thursday.

Especially after watching Coughlin’s No. 1 golfer dissect the 405-yard par-4 eighth hole at Wilkes-Barre Golf Club, dubbed the toughest on the course.

Keyes smoked his driver right down the pipe in the range of 275 yards, landing in the fairway. And later, showed amazing touch on the approach, checking his ball up on the green. His birdie putt slid just left of the cup for the two-putt par.

Now add to the fact that he played the hole in rain and wind.

Keyes was the medalist on the afternoon, shooting a 3-over 39 as Coughlin opened up the 2015 season with a victory over Pittston Area, 167-198.

“The guys fought through a few bad holes,” Coughlin coach Mike Galli said. “We shot a decent score for the first match, so that’s something to build off of. It’s nice to get a win.”

Yes, the score meant that Keyes pared the remaining eight holes on the course. Impressive, considering he played the final three holes in, at times, a driving rain.

“That seven on the first hole wasn’t too good,” Keyes said. “But that drove me to pick up my game and play better. And I did, keeping it at even par on the last eight holes. I’m proud that I was able to come back. I was a little nervous, but I got over it.”

Just watching the Crusaders’ top golfer around the greens, and you can tell he worked on his game at the Wyoming Valley Country Club all summer.

It’s not that he can’t crush a driver. He did that on several holes.

But it’s about giving yourself opportunities to score around the pin. And Keyes showed his touch is already in mid-season form.

He made a beautiful chip just off the fringe at No. 7 to about six feet to save par.

He lofted another picture-perfect approach 14 feet away on the final hole.

And each time, he was able to walk off with par.

“The summer was important for me,” Keyes said. “I was thinking about the season the entire time. I was working on shaping shots and hitting the driver down the fairway. You need those approach shots because they put you in position to score. Even if you hit a bad driver, you can still give yourself a chance with a good approach shot. I just want to keep improving, and hopefully, I’ll be able to make regionals.”

Coughlin showed how potent it will be in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 play.

Long-ball hitter Collin Krokos recorded a 42, while teammates Tyler Kurilla and Billy Mills each put a 43 on the scorecard.

And that’s not counting Josh Gartley’s round of 44.

“The kids understand what this season could be,” Galli said. “They told me that they believe they have a really good chance, and I second that. We might have a bulls-eye on our back, but we will take it. We have worked hard to be where we are at.”

For Pittston Area, it could be a season of growing on the course. Head coach Len Benfante lost star Tyler McGarry, the 3A District champ, and several other key starters off last year’s team.

“We have a lot of first-year players. They are not freshmen, but just first-year kids,” Benfante said. “It runs in cycles. We had a great run all the way back to Brandon Matthews and the crew after him. And last year, we had a nice team with Tyler and the kids surrounding him. It’s going to be a building process this year. The only disappointing part is I wish some more younger kids would have come out for the team.”

Benfante does have talented sophomore Allie Craig, who shot a team-best round of 44 Thursday. She was consistent off the tee, and started strong with a birdie on the first hole. And the score could have been lower, but she had a triple-bogey on the final hole, playing through steady rain.

“I’m playing in a new spot this year, and at times, it’s intimidating playing in the spot where Tyler was last year,” Craig said. “I wasn’t nervous. I play all summer and year round, so it wasn’t a big deal. We just have to continue to push to be better. That’s all you can do. Just keep improving.”

Brandon Seamon also carded a round in the 40’s for the Patriots, ending with a 46. Eric Fritz and Joe Carchilla rounded out the top 4 with scores of 52 and 56, respectively.

Holy Redeemer 162, GAR 220

Kenny Wallace led the way for the Royals as he finished just five-over par with a 38 as Holy Redeemer defeated GAR. Derek Answini finished with a 40, while Dave Iskra and Thomas Day each registered scores of 42.

Wyoming Seminary 163, GAR 220

Jarod Godlewski finished with the lowest score of the day at 35 as Wyoming Seminary topped GAR. Also scoring for Blue Knights were Liam Gilroy, 40, Noah Munley, 42 and Greg Godlewski, 46.

Meyers 182, GAR 220

Lee Falzone received medalist honors with a 37 while David Nargoski came in 11-over par to finish with a 44 as Meyers defeated GAR at Hollenback. Billy Norton and Kyle Zelinka each ended with a 51 for the Mohawks.

Wyoming Seminary 161, Meyers 183

Dom D’Anlsandro replaced Greg Godlewski from Wyoming Seminary’s first matchup and scored a 44 as the Blue Knigts defeated Meyers. Jarod Godlewski’s score of 35 stood as the day’s best score.

Coughlin 167, Pittston Area 198

Coughlin — Ryan Keyes, 39; Collin Krokos, 42; Tyler Kurilla, 43; Billy Mills, 43; Josh Gartley 44, Marco DeLuca, 54.

Pittston Area — Allie Craig, 44; Brandon Seamon, 46; Eric Fritz, 52; Joe Carchilla, 56; Chaz Yager, 57; Jeff Donnora, 58.

Holy Redeemer 162, GAR 220

at Hollenback, par 33

HR (162) — Kenny Wallace 38*, Derek Answini 40, Dave Iskra 42, Thomas Day 42.

GAR (220) — Dave Leco 42, Robbie Reimiller 57, Michael Bodosky 59, Grant Campbell 61.

Wyoming Seminary 163, GAR 220

WS (163) — Jarod Godlewski 35*, Liam Gilroy 40, Noah Munley 42, Greg Godlewski 46.

Meyers 183, GAR 220

MEY (183) — Lee Falzone 37*, David Nargoski 44, Billy Norton 51, Kyle Zelinka 51.

Wyoming Seminary 161, Meyers 183

WS (161) — Jarod Godlewski 35*, Liam Gilroy 40, Noah Munley 42, Dominick D’Alessandro 44.

MEY (183) — Lee Falzone 37, David Nargoski 44, Billy Norton 51, Kyle Zelinka 51.

Coughlin’s Ryan Keyes tees off on No. 9 at Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course in Bear Creek Township in Thursday’s match against Pittston Area.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_coughlinpittsgolf021.jpgCoughlin’s Ryan Keyes tees off on No. 9 at Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course in Bear Creek Township in Thursday’s match against Pittston Area. Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader
Jeff Donnora of Pittston Area hits from the heavy rough on No. 8 at Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course in Bear Creek Township in Thursday’s match against Coughlin.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_coughlinpittsgolf011.jpgJeff Donnora of Pittston Area hits from the heavy rough on No. 8 at Wilkes-Barre Municipal Golf Course in Bear Creek Township in Thursday’s match against Coughlin. Pete G. Wilcox|Times Leader
Ryan Keyes cards 39 for medalist honors

By Tom Fox

For Times Leader

Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @tlsports.


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