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Golf: Quakertown’s Nick Joyce trail blazes at states

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It’s time to add “Panthers” to the golfing menagerie of birdies and eagles.
At the District One 3A golf championships at Limerick’s Turtle Creek Golf Course on Oct. 5, Quakertown sophomore Nick Joyce finished his round with a one over par 73. By firing a one under 35 on the back nine, Joyce finished the two-day tournament tied for 12th.
“After last year, I tried to work harder. I found what I struggled with at conferences last year,” Joyce shared, “and worked on that specifically to improve my game and get better for this year.”
The rounds punched Joyce’s ticket to the PIAA championships, making him the first Quakertown golfer to ever earn a bid to states. Joyce is also just one of 15 underclassmen among the 72 boys’ 3A state qualifiers.
“It feels great,” Joyce said. “I worked really hard on it and it’s really showing off. That means a lot because I get to represent the school.”
“It showed the kids in the school that golf is a viable sport. This year, we had 30 kids try out for the golf team. That’s more than Quakertown has ever had before,” Quakertown coach Steve Oltman explained. “When you get that many kids trying out, the competition becomes a little bit better in practices.”
It didn’t look like Joyce would make history when he was six over par on his first 11 holes at districts. But he calmly strung together three birdies over holes 12 through 16 to end his Monday in a competitive position.
“After hole 11, I told myself to just get over it. There are other holes where you can make up for it,” Joyce described. “My coach has told me to focus on one shot at a time. If you hit a bad shot, just forget about it. You can’t change it.

“I think, where I most improved, is my mental game,” Joyce continued. “Last year, I would get so upset after a bad shot that it would stay with me throughout the round. I’d have multiple blow up holes and that just ruins the whole round.”
“I definitely agree with Nick. His mental focus in the middle of a round of golf has been much, much stronger this year,” Oltman echoed. “He doesn’t let those bad swings get in the way of the rest of what he is doing.
“One of the big things that Nick has done to manage the physical part of his game is his distance control is so much better this year than it was last year,” Oltman added. “12 is a hole where, if you can control your distance on your tee shot, then you can manage that hole and obviously he did.”
Two other SOL products teed off at York’s Heritage Hills Golf Resort on Tuesday for the 3A individual championships. Like Joyce, CB West senior Kevin Lydon also shot a 35 on his second round back nine at districts and tied Joyce with a +4 score.
Runner-up Lydon was one of just two golfers to finish under par one week prior, at the SOL championships at Warminster’s Five Ponds Golf Club. Joyce came in third at two-over.
For the girls, CB East freshman Elle Lundquist stormed out of the gate with a one under 70 in the first round of districts. She finished in fourth place at one over par. Lundquist was just one of two freshman women to make states.
Lundquist turned the most heads at Heritage Hills. She birdied three of her final five hours to finish in fourth place in the state with a +4.
Lydon’s seven over par tied for 28th at states. He shot a three over par on his final 13 holes to overcome a sluggish start. Joyce tied for 70th in PIAAs.


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