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Gillam breaks school record as Tyrone splits with Mount Union and Bellefonte

n the first two matches of the season Jimmy Gillam flirted with the Tyrone Area High School low score for a golf round of 3-under par. Gillam came up one stroke short of tying the record in his first match, and a double bogey late in his second match thwarted his attempt Tuesday. Thursday, Gillam would not be denied. After being 1-under-par through nine holes, he shot a 4-under-par 32 on the back nine to break the 3-under-par mark by two.
The record, set in 1978 by Greg Ferguson, was shot at Sinking Valley Country Club, and because Thursday\’s match was at Mount Union, Ferguson still holds the home course school record.
Gillam\’s 5-under-par turned out to be a 69, the same score as Ferguson at Sinking Valley, because Mount Union\’s golf course is a par 74 and Sinking Valley\’s par is 72.
Gillam\’s record-breaking performance was not enough to earn Tyrone a sweep because of a great team effort by Bellefonte.
Denny Glunt struggled shooting a 42 on the front nine, but he got it together and nearly eagled the par-5 16th hole from 150 yards out on his way to shooting a 37 on the back nine for a 79.
Kyle Weller struggled even more than Glunt on the front nine, shooting a 44, but also shot a 37 on the back to post a score of 81.
Brandon Martz and Seth Krape both turned in solid scores of 88 and 89 respectively to assure that all of Bellefonte\’s scores that were counted were under 90.
Bellefonte\’s team score of 337 was enough to hold off a tough Tyrone team. Matt Brooks and Ryan Ruscio, both playing in their first match at Mount Union, had identical scorecards. Both shot 46 on the front and back for a score of 92.
Jason Tuskovich rounded out the scoring with a 97 to give Tyrone (4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain Athletic Conference) a total of 350. Fatigue may have played a part in Tuskovich\’s higher score as he scored a 10 on his final hole, the par-5 ninth.
While Bellefonte (3-3 overall and 3-1 in the MAC) did not have any golfers place above 89, Mount Union (0-5 overall and in the MAC) failed to have any golfers break 100.
Brenton Park came the closest, shooting a 102. Park had a hard time keeping his ball in bounds on the front nine on his way to shooting a 58, but to his credit, played much better on the back nine while shooting a 44.
Tate Pollack (111), Zak Walters (118) and Cody Kylor (123) contributed to Mount Union\’s final score of 454.
Meanwhile, Gillam, who scored lower on 18 holes than Tom Newingham (140; 72-68) of Mount Union did on his first nine, recorded his record breaking performance in some less than perfect conditions.
After paring the first three holes, Gillam had to deal with a green that was closed. The hole was moved to the fairway, and a circle was placed around the hole. If the golfers got the ball into the hole, they were given an automatic two-putt if they missed their first putt. Unfortunately for Gillam his second shot on the par-4 did not find the circle, and although his ºchip would have been close enough for an easy putt, the fairway was too damaged to actually putt on. Gillam\’s chip from the makeshift green did not find the cup, and he bogeyed his first hole of the day.
\”It was pretty ridiculous; I\’m not used to playing on something that bad,\” teammate Jamie Levinson said.
A great approach on the sixth hole led to a 6 foot birdie putt that Gillam sank to get back to even, but a sand bunker dropped him back to one-over-par a hole later.
On Mount Union\’s par-6 seventh hole, Gillam had an eagle putt. Unfortunately for Gillam, he had a bad lie on the green. He had to putt over many dead areas which had no grass on the green, but was able to tap in for birdie to get back to even.
On the par-4 eighth hole, Gillam got a lucky break when his ball narrowly missed going into the woods and landed on the next hole\’s tee box. Gillam chipped onto the green and two-putted on a tough green to save par.
Gillam began a string of three straight birdies with one on the ninth hole. His birdie on the 10th hole came after he recovered from a drive under a tree to chip within 8 feet.
Gillam added a 10 foot birdie putt on the par-4 11th hole, which he nearly reached on his drive.
After two pars, Gillam made his move toward the record with a birdie on the par-5 14th hole, and then he nearly aced the short par-3 15th hole before tapping in for a birdie that put him at 5-under-par with three holes to play.
Gillam barely missed a 30 foot birdie opportunity on the 16th hole and then managed to par a tough 219 yard par-3 17th hole.
A 12 foot birdie putt veered slightly off to the right on the par-4 18th hole, but the 5-under-par 69 was more than enough for the record.
\”It feels great, because it is a record that has lasted over 25 years,\” Gillam said when asked about breaking the record.
Tyrone\’s next action will take place Tuesday when they visit Indian Valley to take on the Braves, Penns Valley and Hollidaysburg.