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Elk County Catholic's Darren Simons came up with a four-under-par round of 67 in the second round of the PIAA State Golf Tournament to finish the 36-hole event with a one- over-par score of 143 and a tie for third place. The tournament was held on Monday and Tuesday at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York, with 48 players participating.
"Yesterday (Monday) I didn't have any confidence in my driving, but today I was very confident with both my driver and my putter, and as a result I played very well," said Simons following the tournament. "I made very good contact with the driver today and was hitting the ball very straight, which helps when playing a course like this with the wind blowing.
"I made some long putts today and I missed a couple of short putts, but overall I was very pleased with the way I putted and played today," added Simons. "I had some great up-and-downs to save pars as I just felt very comfortable out there today. I really don't think I could have played any better than I did today."
Simons started the day in 18th place and finished in a tie for third place, a stroke out of second and four out of first place.
Only seven players were able to hit par or better on Tuesday, with Simons and the overall champion, Brandon Matthews of Pittston Area both carding the best score of the day, a 67. Ryan Prokay of Grove City (68), who finished tied for third with Simons, Garrett Browning of West Allegany (69) and Ken Sames of North Pocono (70) were able to finish under par for the day. Sames tied for third, while Browning tied for eighth. The only players to record an even-par round of 71 were Bo Lustig of Belle Vernon, who finished second, and Jesse Hazam of Mechanicsburg, who finished in 13th place.
The top 10 finishers all earned medals.
For more on this story see the Oct. 27 edition of The Daily Press.