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At County Better-Ball, Young Lions Ben Feeman, Dylan Ramsey Roar

BY JEFF FALK

Editor

FREDERICKSBURG – You can call them ‘kids’ if you like. They really don’t mind.

In actuality, the term ‘young men’ would probably be much more age appropriate. Yet the way they performed suggests that they’re poised and mature grown men.

On a warm Sunday at the 6,037-yard, par-72 Pine Meadows Golf Course, the teenaged team of Ben Feeman and Dylan Ramsey stormed to victory at the 34th annual Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners tournament, presented by Wyomissing Optometric Center. Feeman sank a six-foot birdie putt at the par-five 18th hole to provide the winning margin, after Ramsey’s hot play on the front nine had propelled the Cedar Crest High School students and golf teammates to the top of the leaderboard.

For Feeman-Ramsey it all added up to a second-round score of 63 or nine-under par, a two-round total of 14-under par (130) and a one-shot margin over runners-up Dan Brown-Brian Auman, who totaled 67-64=131, and Bill Massar, Jr.-Matt Anderson, who counted 63-68=131. After firing a five-under par 67 on Saturday, Ramsey-Feeman had entered Sunday’s final round of the Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners event trailing leaders Massar-Anderson by four strokes.

Chris Gebhard-John DiGiacomo finished fourth with a two-day total of 68-66=134, or ten-under par. Coming in fifth was Justin Arnt-Skeet Wentling, who posted a 67-69=136.

With their triumph, Ramsey, a freshman, and Feeman, a senior, became one of the youngest teams ever to capture the championship of the popular Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners tournament. Not only did they accomplish the feat during their first time competing in the event, Feeman and Ramsey also did so on their first try playing in a competitive tournament as a team.

“I didn’t have many expectations,” said Ramsey. “I wanted to play well. I just wanted to have fun. I didn’t expect to win.

“I play golf to have fun,” continued Ramsey. “I tried not to play it differently. It feels good. I don’t feel uncomfortable being around (grown) men.”

Feeman drained short birdie putts at the 538-yard, par-five tenth hole and at the 354-yard, par-four 12th hole to get his side to eight-under for the day and 13-under for the tournament. But he and Ramsey parred the next five holes, before sinking the decisive putt at the par-five finishing hole.

“I had no idea where we stood,” said Ramsey. “When I play in events, I try not to know scores. I was just trying to play my game and help him (Feeman) too.

“I think the key was when one of us hit a bad shot or had a bad hole, the other made up for it,” added Ramsey. “We had a lot of bogeys, but none of them counted.”

“I thought the eagle at Number Five was the momentum changer,” said Feeman. “It was a feel good thing. But we played our game.”

That eagle was a 40-footer from Ramsey which came at the 480-yard, par-five fifth hole and catapulted his side firmly into contention. It was preceded by Ramsey’s three-foot birdie at the par-four second and his 15-foot birdie at the par-four fourth hole, and then followed by Ramsey’s short birdie at the par-four eighth hole and his 12-footer at the par-three ninth.

“That was one of the best nines I ever played,” said Ramsey. “I didn’t play it perfectly, but I hit the ball pretty well. I made some putts.

“Tuesday was the deadline (for entries) and Ben just brought it up to me,” Ramsey continued. “He said, ‘Do you want to play in it?’ I said ‘sure’. I’m glad I played. I had fun.”

“We were in the group behind them, and we could see them happy and fist-bumping,” said Auman of Feeman-Ramsey. “It didn’t matter, because we still had to play our games. But they’re the future. We’re all happy to have the younger guys coming up. We used to be the young guys in the (local) tournaments.”

Auman-Brown also made an early charge, getting their round to seven-under par for the day, and 12-under for the tournament, with Brown’s short birdie at the par-four 12th hole. But a bogey at tricky par-three 13th hole derailed their momentum, and they could only manage a couple of birdies over their final five holes.

“Shooting 64 should almost guarantee a win,” said Brown. “I would’ve thought that would be good enough. But Dylan and Ben shooting nine-under, that’s really good.”

“I missed some two-foot putts,” said Auman. “When you tee it up, you always want to have a chance to win. But making up four shots is tough.”

While first-round leaders Anderson-Massar didn’t necessarily come back to the field, neither did they expand upon their lead. Their second round on Sunday consisted of five birdies, 12 pars and one bogey.

With birdies at Numbers One, Four, Five and Six, DiGiacomo-Gebhard made the turn at four-under par for the day, eight-under for the tournament and very much in contention. But they experienced difficulties duplicating their hot start on the back-nine.

To purchase images in this article please email jeff@lebcosports.com.

Lebanon County Better-Ball-of-Partners Past Champions

Player Name Score Course Year
Chris Gebhard and Jim Gardner 63-61-124 Lebanon Valley 2021
Chris Gebhard and Jim Gardner 66-63-129 Blue Mountain 2020
Dan Brown and Ryan Woefling 63-64-127 Pine Meadows 2019
Mike Potts and Jesse Brown 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2018
Justin Arnt and Skeet Wentling 66-64-130 Lebanon Valley 2017
Mike Schmidt, Jr and Pete Parpagene 63-66-129 Fairview 2016
Don Johnson and Rick Troutman 68-64-132 Fairview 2015
Brian Auman and Jim Gardner 64-69-133 Pine Meadows 2014
Mike Schmidt Jr. and Ryan Weaber Iron Valley 2013
Bill Massar Jr. and Dave Berkheimer 68-69-137 Monroe Valley 2012
No tournament due to flooding 2011
Steve Allwein and Mike Schmidt 64-68-132 Royal Oaks 2010
Jim Gardner and Brain Auman 60-65-125 Fairview 2009
Tom Kintzer and Greg Behney 66-65-131 Blue Mountain 2008
Stu Hanford and Don Johnson 64-67-131 Pine Meadows 2007
Perry Umlauf and Shawn Cooper 66-66-132 Royal Oaks 2005
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 62-67-129 Pine Meadows 2004
Dan Brown and Andy Gibbons 66-60-126 Fariview 2003
Dan Brown and Chad Schulze 61-65-126 Lebanon Valley 2002
Bob Wenrich and John Hacunda 70-64-134 Monroe Valley 2000
John Digiacomo and Blaine Peffley 64-67-131 Fairview 1999
Joe Faller and Phil Faller 65-74-139 Monroe Valley 1998
Jim Gardner and Jim Calhoun 68-67-135 Fairview 1997
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 70-64-134 Fairview 1995
Pete Gebhard and Dave Kurtz 65-68-133 Fairview 1994
Mark Ditzler and Tom Sherk 69-68-137 Fairview 1992
Jeff Pyles and Jeff Behney 70-68-138 Fairview 1991
Rick Troutman and Pete Gebhard 70-65-135 Fairview 1990
Joe Faller and Dave Kurtz 66-67-133 Fairview 1989
Bob Page and Bill Shoop 68-65-133 Fairview 1988

 

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