Two from NTL make state golf.

By: Brett R. Crossley | Towanda Daily Review | October 17, 2017


FLEETWOOD, Pa. — One stroke throughout 18 holes might not seem like much, but it's been running through the mind of Sayre's Ryan Murrelle on and off for the last two years.

Murrelle entered Monday's East Regional Championship having missed the cut to states by a combined two strokes over the last two years. He could feel the bite of those two strokes throughout his day, but managed to finish with an 81. He wasn't exactly sure at the end of the day if it would be good enough, but after a tense set of minutes while the judges tallied the scores, Murrelle qualified by one stroke.

"My junior and sophomore year, I missed by one, but now I made it by one and it feels great," Murrelle said. "Missing it the past two years and making it by one is redemption."

Murrelle's chances looked slim after he posted a 43 throughout the first nine holes. He rebounded to shoot a 38 on his final nine to finish with the 81.

On the final nine holes, Murrelle made a run with three consecutive pars before ending his day with a birdie and par.

Once finished, it was time to wait it out as Murrelle and the rest of the golfers gathered to start watching the scores.

"They started to put up the mid-seventies, and I was sure I was going to miss it by one," Murrelle said. "Then high scores started to come in and I started to realize I was in. It's nerve-wracking to see the scores, but since I made it I can't complain. It's just awesome."

The conditions were once again tough. There was a strong wind throughout the day. The sun, which spent most of the day behind clouds, warmed the golfers a bit, but for the most part it was cold.

Wellsboro's Ben Barnett, who qualified with an 81, dealt with the conditions well. He finished with par on 10 of the 18 holes.

"The winds played a huge factor today," Barnett said. "It played hard for everybody."

Barnett felt the weight of the school and his coaches throughout the day, but came through time and again to punch his ticket to states. After opening the ninth hole slightly off the green, Barnett connected with a nice chip to give himself a manageable putt for Par, which he quickly hit.

"I put a beautiful chip on the ball," Barnett said. "I was happy with that. I really was."

Two golfers who just missed the cut were Cowanesque Valley's Austin Outman and Tanner Adriance. Outman missed by one stroke, but has plenty of time left to reach states. Much like Murrelle was able to do, Outman will have two more chances to qualify.

Outman opened strong, recording a par and chipping a ball in on hole No. 1.

"It really boosted my confidence," Outman said. "After that, I started making a couple more putts and playing a little better."

Athens' Nate Kennedy finished with a 92 in Class AAA and Towanda's Kourtney Dunn posted a 120 in girls' Class AA.


About the Author

Brett R. Crossley Author Bio
Brett R. Crossley

Brett Crossley has been covering sports in the area for more than decade. Through that work he has built close community relationships with athletes, coaches, and athletic directors. In 2013 and 2015 he won Keystone Press Awards for Sports Story of the Year. He has worked as a photographer, columnist, beat writer, and sports editor.