Golf

Cornelius takes top spot at Elkdale as Penn-York tees off

Cornelius takes top spot at Elkdale as Penn-York tees off

After winning last year’s Penn-York Junior Golf stop at Elkdale Country Club, Spencer Cornelius made it 2-for-2 in taking the season-opening stop for the junior tour’s top boys division.

In the first of five stops for the tour this summer, Cornelius won the Penn-York boys’ Div. I (ages 16-18) trophy. His score of 74 — four strokes over par — cleared the field by four strokes over runner-up Curtis Barner, at 78.

Cornelius, age 17 and a high school senior-to-be from Bradford, Pa., admitted to being a bit disappointed by his score, only because he started so much better than he finished.

“I’m really not happy with it because I was 1-under through 14 and got some really bad breaks at the end, but you can’t really be that upset about winning,” he said. “As long as you get the trophy it’s alright.

“I started my round with two birdies, so it got me in a really good starting position.”

Cornelius called on prior experience at Elkdale, not just through Penn-York but throughout the golf season, to play the course well.

“I play here on my own time quite a bit, I already played in the Elkdale Open earlier this year and was successful,” he said. “I think it helped just to keep my round going smooth and not make any big numbers, avoid the big mistakes.”

A longtime P-Y player coming from Pine Acres Golf Course, Cornelius was last year’s boys’ Div. I runner-up behind Connor Alfieri. He’s glad to be back on the junior tour and playing locally.

“I think it’s a fun, relaxed tournament with good competition always,” he said. “It’s nice because I’ve been traveling a lot for tournaments, so it’s good to finally be around home and get to play with guys that I know and play a lot with.”

The 52nd year of the Penn-York league teed off with 96 junior golfers, both boys and girls, in four age groups on a hot summer morning with intermittent rainfall. League director Kyle Henzel said the 110 registered participants made this one of the strongest years for sign-ups in recent Penn-York history, particularly noting increased participation in the younger age groups.

Barner, from Kane, a fellow 17-year-old rising senior, is in his “sixth or seventh” year playing Penn-York.

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