BY JEFF FALK
LEBANON – The Cedar Crest golf team had very little margin for error. Fortunately, Tim Bomberger didn’t allow that thinking to alter his approach.
On Tuesday afternoon, during the annual contesting of the Lebanon County Scholastic Golf Championships, over Lebanon Country Club’s 6,361-yard, par-72 layout, it was Bomberger’s forgive-and-forget mentality that keyed him to the individual title and his Falcons to the team trophy. Bomberger carded a six-over par 78 and was the only player in the field break 80, as Cedar Crest claimed its third consecutive collective crown.
Time and time again, Bomberger put undesirable results in the past, re-focused and moved on to the next hole, the next swing. In his own way, he put a positive spin on damage control.
Bomberger received helping hands from teammate Trevor Firestone, who was the individual runner-up with an 80, and former champion Evan Dissinger, who contributed an 86. The Falcons amassed a three-person team score of 244, which was ten shots lower than Palmyra’s 254.
The Cougars were paced by Caleb Randall’s 82, Tyler Julian’s 83 and Braden Vernet’s 89. Elco came in third and Northern Lebanon fourth, while Annville-Cleona finished fifth and host Lebanon High was sixth.
Cedar Crest’s Skylar Hanford carded a 110 to win the girls’ individual competition by a dozen shots.
“I was hoping good things would happen,” said Cedar Crest head coach Rick Dissinger. “We didn’t have a fourth player, so we had to have three out of three, and there was a little anxiety. There was not a lot of room for error. Usually, you can have someone have a bad day.
“But I thought the guys handled it well,” continued Dissinger. “They believed they could be in a good position. They played great.”
“My back-nine score of 42 was a disaster. I three-putted five or six times,” said Bomberger, who started his round on the par-three ninth hole. “But I came out on number one and I was determined to put it all behind me. It’s all mental. I just had to get rid of it.
“I was one-over through six holes, and then that double bogey deflated me,” Bomberger continued. “And then at that point I though to myself, ‘What’s going on?’ The whole back nine, I couldn’t make a putt. After I made a putt on number one, I thought to myself, ‘I can make some putts’. And I did. And I made things happen.”
Bomberger matched par over his final eight holes. The highlight was a 102-yard wedge to the back of the green at the 398-yard, par-four fourth hole, and a subsequent ten-foot birdie roll.
“Par on this course is amazing,” said Bomberger, who finished second at last year’s event at Pine Meadows. “This place is not intimidating. But putts break where you don’t think they’re going to break. It’s very difficult around the greens.
“Obviously knowing you could win is motivation to win,” added Bomberger. “I knew Evan (Dissinger) was going to be a threat. To our senior group, it means a lot to win it. I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled for Trevor (Firestone). He’s been so close to breaking through. He has been due.”
“Over the last two or three weeks, he’s been playing very well,” said Dissinger of Bomberger. “He’s very comfortable. Golf is really mental. He just has the belief that he’s going to play well.
“Golf is a frustrating game,” continued Dissinger. “But he has the ability to put frustration behind him. It can balloon and snow ball. But he has that positive expectation that every swing is going to be good.”
Thanks to pars on three of his first four holes, Bomberger got to one-over par with a birdie at the 152-yard, par-three 14th hole. Bomberger refused to allow the fact that he went a total of five-over par over his next four holes to bring him down.
“It’s not The Masters, but I look forward to it every year,” said Bomberger, who was the medalist in two earlier Lancaster-Lebanon Section One matches. “We knew we had a shot to win. We don’t always have a shot to win in Section One. It’s nice to play with other kids in the County. I was looking forward to it.
“It’s huge. It’s huge for us,” Bomberger continued. “We knew this was it for us. It was awesome to be able to win it all. There’s nothing better than this.”
“It’s great to win it for this group of seniors, because they’ve been coming here for three or four years,” said Dissinger. “We don’t get many matches in Lebanon County. This isn’t our home course, but it’s in our home town. It was our seniors’ last shot at this. They have their name on that cup. A win is a win. If they’re going to keep score, you might as play well and win.”
Along with Evan Dissinger, Bomberger will be playing in the 36-hole District Three Championships at Briarwood East Golf Course, beginning on Friday. Bomberger competed in the event last season, but didn’t make the first-day cut.
“My goal is to make the cut,” said Bomberger of districts. “If I can break 78, that would be great. For my senior year, I can’t complain. It’s indescribable. To do what I’ve done is great. I just want to keep it going.
“It means a lot, especially being my senior year,” concluded Bomberger. “I knew I could win it. I knew I had a chance. It feels pretty good.”
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Lebanon County Scholastic Golf Tournament
1. Tim Bomberger (CC) 78, 2. Trevor Firestone (CC) 80, 3. Caleb Randall (P) 82, 4. Tyler Julian (P) 83, 5. Evan Dissinger (CC) 86, 6. Braden Vernet 89, 7. Kyle Rosengrant (E) 92, 8. Trevor Shirk (NL) 92, 9. Cody Tobias (E) 93, 10. Blaine Weaver (E) 95, 11. Ryan Biever (NL) 98, 12. Ryan Woelfling (E) 99, 13. Andrew Alquist (P) 100, 14. Tyler Schrader (AC) 100, 15. Mason Moore (AC) 106, 16. Billy Fellows (NL) 108, 17. Noah Gingrich (NL) 111, 18. Ben Miller (AC) 116, 19. Caleb Bridi (AC) 121, 20. Noah Brown (L) 145, 21. Liam Maguire (L) 150, 22. Timmy Spangler (L) 162
1. Skylar Hanford (CC) 110, 2. Dannika Boltz (E) 122, 3. Delaney Hess (AC) 128, 4. Annika Neufeld-Kreider (CC) 129, 5. Maddie Dietz (AC) 134, 6. Katie Blauch (LC)140, 7. Faith Kostow (LC) 151
1. Cedar Crest (244) — Tim Bomberger 78, Trevor Firestone 80, Evan Dissinger 86
2. Palmyra (254) — Caleb Randall 82, Tyler Julian 83, Braden Vernet 89
3. Elco (280) — Kyle Rosengrant 92, Cody Tobias 93, Blaine Weaver 95
4. Northern Lebanon (298) — Trevor Shirk 92, Ryan Biever 98, Billy Fellows 108
5. Annville-Cleona (322) — Tyler Schrader 100, Mason Moore 106, Ben Miller 116
6. Lebanon (453) — Noah Brown 141, Liam Maguire 150, Timmy Spangler 162
Past Team Champions
2015 – Cedar Crest
2014 – Cedar Crest
2013 – Cedar Crest
2012 – Northern Lebanon
2011 – Palmyra
2010 – Palmyra