Lucarelli Wins Golf Tournament at Messiah

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Christopher Lucarelli wasn’t too happy at the onset of yesterday’s Messiah College Falcon Classic when he found out that he would start on the par-5 seventh, at 555 yards the longest hole on the Blue Ridge Country Club course.

Christopher Lucarelli But the senior on the Muhlenberg men’s golf team was plenty happy at the end after shooting a 1-under-par 71 to win the tournament by two strokes.

Lucarelli was the first Mule to earn medalist honors since Zachary Oyer won the Messiah Classic in the fall of 2009. His score of 71 beat his previous collegiate best by three strokes.

The outstanding round by Lucarelli did not contribute to a strong team showing by Muhlenberg, which finished in 13th place in its first tournament of the year. The Mules did much better at the second competition, coming in fourth at the Moravian Fall Invitational.

“It just kind of happened,” said Lucarelli, the only golfer to break par at Messiah on a brutally hot day. “Every time I made bogey, I came back with a birdie. My motto this year is ‘Don’t make a 6 and don’t double any par 3s.’ That’s what I did and it worked out.”

Lucarelli said he started getting the feeling it was going to be a good day on his fourth hole, the par-4 10th, when he hit a 15-foot putt to save par. It was one of only three pars he had on the day, but he balanced his seven bogeys with eight birdies.

Christopher Lucarelli
The previous best finish for Lucarelli, at left with his plaque, was second at the Penn State Harrisburg Spring Classic in the spring of 2012.
Lucarelli came into the tournament on the heels of a spring in which he led Muhlenberg in stroke average and a summer in which he tied for sixth in the Lackawanna County Amateur and finished second in the match play tournament at his club.

“I feel like I’ve been improving steadily over the last three years, especially working on my short game,” he said. “I made some nice chip shots, but you have to have the putter.

“I played smart,” he added. “At number 15 I punched out and got a bogey instead of trying to do something heroic. It’s ok if you get a bogey but you don’t want to start getting double bogeys.”

The special day was made more special for Lucarelli because his parents were at the tournament. He also found meaning in the date of the tournament, recalling that he and his fourth-grade classmates made and sold stars to raise money for the families of the victims in the wake of the September 11 attacks 12 years ago.

Senior Chris DiMaio and freshman John Froberg paced the Mules at Moravian in a tournament interrupted by a lightning delay. DiMaio, who did not compete at Messiah, came in fourth with a 4-over-par 76. Froberg shot an even-par 36 on the back nine to place fifth with a 77, an improvement of 10 strokes from his first tournament. Both were the only golfers in the field to birdie the longest hole on the course, the 577-yard 14th.
Click for complete results: Messiah | Moravian