Hammonton High School golfer Noah Petracci finished third in individual scoring at the South Central Group III championship at Running Deer Country Club on Tuesday. The sophomore shot a 1-over-par 73.
Mainland Regional’s Michael Mitnick finished fourth after a match of cards, shooting a 2-over-par 74. The junior helped the Mustangs finish third in team scoring with a 332.
The top two teams and the top five individuals qualified for the Tournament of Champions at Hopewell Valley Golf Course on Monday.
Will Tone of Moorestown won the individual title, shooting a 1-under-par 71, and teammate Akhil Giri finished second (72). The Quakers won the team title with 297. Eleven teams competed in the sectional tournament.
West Windsor-Plainsboro North finished second in team scoring with 328.
Mitnick, a junior, qualified for the TOC as a freshman. But last spring, as a sophomore, he did not score low enough to advance to the statewide event.
“It was really great,” said Mitnick, 17, of Linwood. “I have been hitting the ball very well lately. It felt great to go out there and get a good score. The course was in good shape, a little soft (from the rain), but overall it was in great shape.
“I just went out there and played golf the way I know how to play. I’m really excited to compete in the Tournament of Champions.”
Hammonton coach Matias Spahn, along with the other coaches, are assigned to oversee a different group. So, the first-year coach did not know Petracci finished third until he went back to the clubhouse.
“I was really excited,” Spahn said. “I was really happy for him. He has been through three different putters this season, and the one he was using today he just started this past weekend. He has been struggling a bit on the green, but today he dialed it in.
“He is only a sophomore, so he really has a bright future ahead of him.”
Riley Mostecki (85), Madeline Kent (85) and Camille O’Halloran (88) were the other top scorers in Mainland’s third-place finish.
“It was very impressive,” Mainland coach Dan Reardon said. “I didn’t expect to be that close. The kids really came through and did a great job ... and we we really had a chance (only four strokes away from TOC).”
Hammonton’s Olivia Strigh shot an 86. Chad Syverston (93) and J.D. Calderone (96) were the Blue Devils’ other top scorers. Hammonton finished with a team score of 348.
Ocean City’s Luke Neff shot an 84, and teammate T.J. Stanton shot an 85. Kasey Clifford (91) and Josh Barnes (94) were the other top scores. The Red Raiders had a team score of 354.