LIMERICK - J.C. LaDow hit 11 fairways and 15 greens in regulation. In other words, there were few if any errant drives, lay-ups or approaches.
From tee to green, the Owen J. Roberts senior's game was nearly flawless.
But once he pulled out the putter and stepped onto the greens ... well, flawed may be more appropriate because four three-putts - the last coming from just off the 18th green - proved costly during last Thursday's second and final round of the District 1 Golf Championships at Turtle Creek G.C.
LaDow and Lower Moreland sophomore Robert Galbreath were tied atop the leaderboard going into the final hole and went shot-for-shot off the tee and laying up on the 577-yard, par-5. LaDow lofted a short iron just over the pond and onto the fringe, then Galbreath drilled his approach into the rough behind the green. Galbreath, whose deliberate pace seemed to unsettle LaDow and the other two members of their foursome, chipped down the slope to within seven feet. LaDow's putt came up about 2 1/2 feet short.
Galbreath sank his putt for par and, after LaDow missed, pumped his first into the air to celebrate the win.
"This is the worst feeling right now," said LaDow, who shared the first-round lead with Radnor's Sam Ryder. "I played well for 33 holes, but that's not enough. I didn't get it done. I'm just disappointed ... very disappointed."
Galbreath closed with a 1-over 73 for an even-par 144 total. LaDow's 70-75 left him a shot back, while Ryder finished third (146). Bishop Shanahan's Jordan Cowan was fourth (149), while North Penn's Duncan Zeiders took fifth (150) after surviving a playoff with Radnor's Mark Endres (150) and Downingtown West's Robbie Coyne (150).
St. Pius X senior Mike Flatley, who opened with a 76, stumbled to an 83 in Thursday's gusty winds and finished in a tie for 27th, missing the cut for next Monday's regional tournament at Golden Oaks C.C.
LaDow, who won an unprecedented third straight Pioneer Athletic Conference title two weeks ago, three-putted the third and ninth holes to go out with a 2-over 38. He got one of those strokes back with a birdie at the 332-yard, par-4 12th. But he gave that stroke back at the 16th, then came undone on the 18th ... and finished the round with a whopping 36 putts.
"I went out trying to shoot 72," LaDow explained. "I wanted to birdie the par-5s and try to make pars on the other holes, but I just couldn't putt. My putting has been bad for a while now. My distance control was the problem.
"On the last hole, I was about 2 1/2 feet away, and I aimed for the right edge (of the cup). I pushed it a little and it still broke toward the hole, yet I still missed it."
Flatley could relate to LaDow's putting woes, too.
"I hit my drives all right, but I had four three-putts," said Flatley, the area's only other survivor of Wednesday's first round. "I just wasn't putting well at all. I even lipped out three birdie putts on the back (nine).
"I felt if I shot a 76 or 77 I'd be (moving on to regionals). Then I heard during the round that the scores were going higher. So then I thought 80 or 81 would be all right, but ... "
NOTES ... LaDow was off Thursday night for the Golf Week Junior Invitational Tournament in North Carolina, where he'll play 36 holes Saturday and another 18 on Sunday. ... Radnor swept the boys' team title with a blistering 306, or 10 shots in front of runner-up Downingtown West. The lone local entry, PAC-10 champion Perkiomen Valley - with senior Dean Bell (87), sophomores Alex Patterson (88) and J.D. Cooney (89), and junior Dan Bisazza (90) - ninth with a 354. ... The top 20 boys and top 10 girls advance to Monday's regional shootout.
District 1 Golf Tournament
East Regional Qualifiers
at Turtle Creek Golf Club, par 72, 6,375 yards
Robert Galbreath (L. Moreland) 71-73-144
J.C. Ladow (O.J. Roberts) 70-75-145
Sam Ryder (Radnor) 70-76-146
Jordan Cowan (Bishop Shanahan) 72-77-149
Duncan Zeiders (North Penn) 72-78-150
Mark Endres (Radnor) 75-75-150
Robbie Coyne (Downingtown West) 77-73-150
Steve Dressel (Conestoga) 77-74-151
Justin Martinson (Kennett) 72-79-151
Amory Davis (Unionville) 76-75-151
Bobby Blanken (Downingtown West) 74-77-151
Jason Cohan (Radnor) 76-76-152
Jake Lebowitz (Lower Moreland) 78-75-153
Travis Gahman (Souderton) 76-77-153
Grant Kush (Council Rock North) 77-77-154
Matt Smith (Downingtown East) 74-80-154
Andrew Lawson (West Cheter East) 74-80-154
x-Chris McCabe (William Tennent) 75-80-155
x-Dave Goodman (Central Bucks South) 76-79-155
x-George Trosley (Ridley) 73-82-155
x-won on second hole of playoff
1. Radnor 306 (Mark Endres 75, Sam Ryder 76, Jason Cohan 76, Matt Spence-Godin 79). 2. Downingtown West 316; 3. Holy Ghost Prep 320; 4. Unionville 322; 5. Neshaminy 326; 6. Kennett 336; 7. Central Bucks East 348; 8. Upper Dublin 352; 9. Perkiomen Valley 354; 10. Harriton 356.
East Regional Qualifiers
n at Raven's Claw Golf Club, par 71, 5,377 yards and Turtle Creek Golf Club par 72, 5,131 yards.
Victoria Arena (Mt. St. Joseph) 73-78-151
Christine Shimel (Kennett) 75-80-155
Kelli Pry (Coatesville) 77-84-161
Ali Tutelman (Harriton) 77-85-162
Emily Endres (Radnor) 80-86-166
Jasmine Hughes (Pennsbury) 80-87-167
Jackie Calamaro (Radnor) 82-88-170
Avi Hockfield (Harriton) 82-89-171
Lynda Kwon (North Penn) 80-96-176
Emily Gimple (Mt. St. Joseph) 81-103-184