Clarion Area Golfers Have Fine Showing At Great Lakes Junior Golf Tournament Championship; Mckayla Kerle Wins Third Straight Individual Championship

Images courtesy of Jackie Kerle: Above Clarion Area 2022 GLJGT Tour Championship Tournament participants

The 2022 Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour concluded with the Edwards Jones Investments Tour Championship held Thursday and Friday, August 4th and 5th at Downing Golf Course in Harbor Creek.

Three Clarion Area Bobcat golfers, including Mckayla Kerle who won the Girls Overall championship as well as her third straight age group championship. Mckayla, who will be a senior this fall, claimed the 16-19 championship last year as well, and the 13-15 championship in 2020.

Mckayla shot rounds of 79 and 84 to secure the Girls 16-19 and overall championship, by two strokes. Elizabeth Deandrea of Erie was second in both with an 82-83 165 total. Fairview’s Cora Hirz took the 13-15 division with an 80-86 total.

Mckayla with her Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour Championship plaques. The blue plaque is for the season championship; the green plaque is for her Championship Tournament win.

Also competing for the Bobcats were two upcoming sophomores, Lucas Mitrosky, who had a fine showing in the tournament, placing second in the Boys 13-15 age division and Kameron Kerle, who instead of competing in the Boys 13-15 division moved up to face tougher competition in the 16-19 age division, finishing sixth in the division as well as overall.

Lucas recorded rounds of 84 and 79, for a for a 163 for his second place finish in the Boys 13-15 division and fourteenth overall. Lucas finished five shots off the 13-15 division pace of Fairview’s Laird Connor, who had a 78-80 165.

Kameron had rounds of 75 and 77 for a 152. The Boys 16-19 division and overall winner was Union City’s Josh James who carded a 70-76 146. Josh was the 2021 PIAA Class-2A State Champion.

Mckayla and Union City’s Josh James display their 2022 Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour Championship Tournament plaques.

Also earning enough points throughout the season to compete in the championship tournament, for Clarion, was Devon Lauer. Devon, who will be a junior, didn’t compete because he was on vacation with his family.

As for season standings, Mckayla was first in the Girls 16-19 division, Kameron was second in the Boys 16-19 division, Devon was 5th in the Boys 16-19 division and Lucas was fifth in the Boys 13-15 division. Points were based on the number of players and how you finished in the tournaments. 

The tour field of players primarily consists of junior golfers from the Erie area. The Clarion golfers are an exception, as they traveled multiple times a week during this competitive golf tour.

Mckayla, Kameron and Lucas also shared their thoughts.

Mckayla sees the Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour as a major benefit. “Playing in these tournaments has made me more comfortable and less nervous when I play in other tournaments. I like competitive golf and its fun to compete against other good female golfers.”

On moving up to play against tougher competition Kameron shared, “I liked playing with the older, more experienced golfers.

“At first I felt like I was pushed into playing up, but as the season went on I realized that playing in this division was only making me better. It’s not always about winning, but this experience will help me to win later on.

“Most of the my competitors this year are going into their senior year of high school or are starting college this fall. I was happy to see that I was able to post some decent scores and compete with them usually finishing in the Top Five.”

And Lucas sees the tour helping him to improve also. “It was great competition, and helped me progress my game more than anything else. Playing with/around such good golfers helped me identify the weak points of my game, so I know what I need to work on for my high school season.”

The Bobcats mentored by Head Coach Jay Kerle and Assistant Coach and wife Jackie. They are Mckayla and Kameron’s parents.

Jackie contributed to the much of the writing of this article.

Tour Championship qualifiers Devon Lauer, Kameron Kerle, Lucas Mitrosky and Mckayla Kerle at Oakland Beach Golf Club, earlier in the season.

She shared about the Coaches’ satisfaction with these student athletes’ Great Lakes Junior Golf Tour 2022 season. “Jay and I are proud of the time and dedication that these four kids put into these summer tournaments to prepare for the upcoming high school golf season.

“There were lots of very early morning car rides and long hot days on the golf course.”

Congratulations Mckayla, Lucas, Kameron and Devon!!!! You Make Us Clarion Proud!!!!

(Thank you to Jackie Kerle for her work on this article and her photos!!)