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 NORTH LEBANON – Not sure if Dan Brown is just a really good partner or simply knows how to pick one. But right now, every putt he’s stroking is going in, every drive he’s hitting is straight down the middle and every decision he’s making about golf – on and off the course – is the right one.

 On a humid Saturday morning, over Pine Meadows Golf Course’s 5,734-yard, par-72 layout – some 20 days removed from winning the W.B. Sullivan Better-Ball with Jason Troutman – Brown teamed with new partner Ryan Woelfling to grab a share of the first-round lead, at the 28th annual Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners tournament. Feeding off each other, Brown and Woelfling fired a nine-under par 63 to tie the team of Tom Kintzer-Josh Kreiser atop the opening-round leaderboard.

 One shot back of the co-leaders was the team of Bill Massar, Jr.-Tyler Shank, who carded an eight-under 64. The tandems of Jim Gardner-Chris Gebhard and Tony Ebersole-Shawn Preis found themselves tied for fourth place after registering similar 66s.

 Four shots behind the co-leaders was the unit of Tyler Massar-Scott Heckard, and their 67. Defending champions Jesse Brown-Mike Potts, Randy Kohr-Chuck Scwab, Mat Rowe-Tom Eberly and Dave Albright-Ed Killian all posted four-under par scores of 68.

 The second and final round of the 36-hole tournament will be contested Sunday morning back at Pine Meadows.

  Brown has won this particular event three times in the past – in 2002, 2003, 2004 – with two different partners. For Woelfling, a 19-year-old college student, yesterday marked his first County Better-Ball-of-Partners experience.

  “We played really solid, tee to green, both of us,” said Brown. “I don’t really looking for anyting particular in a partner. I just want to have a good time. I looked at it like Ryan was playing in this for the first time and it could be a good stepping stone for him. I like seeing the younger guys come up and play well. Luckily we got paired up, and I was looking forward to it.”

 “I feel the biggest thing is, if you don’t have a good hole you can trust your partner to be there,” said Woelfling. “We didn’t really have too many bad holes. I don’t think Dan and I are going to have too many bad holes together. I feel like, ‘You can pick me up and I can pick you up.'”

 Brown and Woelfling started hot and ended hot, and played solid in between.

 Brown and Woelfing grabbed their share of the lead by birdieing the 301-yard, par-four fourth and eagling the 471-yard, par-five fifth, their two closing holes. Prior to that, Woelfing had rolled in a ten-foot birdie putt at the par-three 17th and Brown had struck for biride from a similar distance at the par-four Number 14.

 “Finishing birdie-eagle, that was a separator,” said Brown. “The nice thing about the better-ball is we get all the top guys from the county here. Any time you can play in the county, it’s always a good thing to support it. I just want to come out here and do my best.”

 “When I saw the pairings and saw I was playing with Jim (Gardner) and (Chris) Gebhard, that’s the big tournament,” said Woelfling of he and Brown’s playing partners. “We played well, but I think we left some out there. We started pretty well, but there was a stretch where we couldn’t get any putts to fall.”

 Brown and Woelfling got off to a strong start by birdieing four of their first seven holes.

 Woelfing converted a short birdie at their opening hole – the 444-yard, par-five sixth – before Brown contributed a seven-footer at the 304-yard, par-four eighth. Brown deposited a short birdie at the par-five tenth, then Woelfing drained a 15-footer from the fringe at Number 12.

 “When I grew up, it was with the older guys,” said Brown. “When I think about Ryan having an opportunity to be paired up with an older guy, I think it’s an opportunity for him to learn different things about the game.”

 Kintzer and Kreiser started their round even hotter. From Holes Two through Eight, they were a collective six-under par, thanks to four birdies, and an eagle at the par-five fifth.

  Then after making the turn, Kintzer and Kreiser added birdies at the par-five tenth, the par-four 14th and the par-five 18th.

  Massar and Shank began their round with a birdie at the par-four 14th. But during a span of eight holes – Numbers One through Eight – they were a combined five-under.

 Gardner-Gebhard’s round featured a birdie at the 114-yard, par-three ninth and an eagle at the par-five tenth. Preis and Ebersole counted eight birdies, eight pars and a pair of bogeys among their 66.











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 Lebanon County Better-Ball

 Past Champions

Player Name Score Course Year
Mike Potts and Jesse Brown 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2018
Justin Arnt and Skeet Wentling 66-64-130 Lebanon Valley 2017
Mike Schmidt, Jr and Pete Parpagene 63-66-129 Fairview 2016
Don Johnson and Rick Troutman 68-64-132 Fairview 2015
Brian Auman and Jim Gardner 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2014
Mike Schmidt Jr. and Ryan Weaber   Iron Valley 2013
Bill Massar Jr. and Dave Berkheimer 68-69-137 Monroe Valley 2012
No tournament due to flooding     2011
Steve Allwein and Mike Schmidt 64-68-132 Royal Oaks 2010
Jim Gardner and Brain Auman 60-65-125 Fairview 2009
Tom Kintzer and Greg Behney 66-65-131 Blue Mountain 2008
Stu Hanford and Don Johnson 64-67-131 Pine Meadows 2007
Perry Umlauf and Shawn Cooper 66-66-132 Royal Oaks 2005
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 62-67-129 Pine Meadows 2004
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 66-60-126 Fariview 2003
Dan Brown and Chad Schulze 61-65-126 Lebanon Valley 2002
Bob Wenrich and John Hacunda 70-64-134 Monroe Valley 2000
John Digiacomo and Blaine Peffley 64-67-131 Fairview 1999
Joe Faller and Phil Faller 65-74-139 Monroe Valley 1998
Jim Gardner and Jim Calhoun 68-67-135 Fairview 1997
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 70-64-134 Fairview 1995
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 65-68-133 Fairview 1994
Mark Ditzler and Tom Sherk 69-68-137 Fairview 1992
Jeff Pyles and Jeff Behney 70-68-138 Fairview 1991
Rick Troutman and Pete Gebhard 70-65-135 Fairview 1990
Joe Faller and Dave Kurtz 66-67-133 Fairview 1989
Bob Page and Bill Shoop 68-65-133 Fairview 1988




























































































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