Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) Junior Dylan Gooneratne entered the Suburban One League Championship Golf Tournament ranked at the top of the league — and secured the title with a win at Five Ponds Golf Club in Warminster on Wednesday.
"Entering the tournament ranked as the number one player carries a lot of pressure," said Head Coach Jeff Kavanagh. "To go out and shoot even par with that pressure is just a testament to all of his work and dedication."
In unseasonably warm weather with temperatures in the 90s, Gooneratne shot an even-par 71, leading the second place golfer by three strokes and third place by four. He went into the event after achieving a handicap differential of 0.11 throughout the season, which means in his best eight matches he averaged 0.1 over par.
In team play, where the best five scores count for the team score, Gooneratne's score contributed for PWHS in all 17 matches during the season and helped the team earn a wild card spot for districts at Wednesday's event.
"To top it all off, Dylan is humble, as well," said Coach Kavanagh about the League Champion and Team Captain. "After his round, I congratulated him and shared with him that we had won the wild card spot, and his smile and excitement for the team were greater than for his individual achievement."
PWHS teammate Jesse Stern shot an 82, which also earned him a spot as an individual qualifier for districts.
District 1-3A tournament begins on Monday, October 7, with the first round of individual play at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Limerick. Team competition and the final round for individual golfers is Tuesday. Winners from the event will go on to regionals where they compete for a spot in the state championship.
Good luck, Dylan and Jesse! Go Colonials!