Alex Easthom wins Vulcan Invitational

Easthom on the first day of play

Alex Easthom, a West Liberty senior and golf team captain, took first place at the Vulcan Invitational on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6, leading the team to a second place finish. It was a successful weekend for the hilltoppers as Easthom took home first place individually and the West Liberty golf team took second place and missed out on first by one stroke.

On the first day, the toppers took on the red course at Cedarbrook Golf Club in Belle Vernon, Pa. Easthom, last year’s MEC golfer of the year, finished 6-under-par in the first round and 7-under-par in the second round. The 36-hole total of 129 gave Easthom a three-shot lead over the closest player, Mason Kidwell of Shepherd’s University.

The next boys in black and gold following Easthom were Howard Peterson and Bo Orecchio with 143 each. Adding in Noah Seivertson and Brendan Vucelich with 147 and 152, respectively, the toppers finished the first day in first place just one stroke below the University of Charleston.

The next day the teams took on the much more challenging gold course. Easthom finished with four-over-par, giving him a final score of 9-under-par 205 and a first place title. His closest competitors, Kidwell from Shepard and Victor Del Pozo Ramis from the University of Charleston, finished two strokes behind at 207.

Easthom had two huge shots that helped solidify his win. In the first round, on the eighth hole, Easthom hit driver to four feet allowing him to make eagle. In the third round, on hole 17, Easthom nailed the ball 140 yards to hit the flag. Easthom said he was pleasantly surprised by his win. There was no live scoring, and he thought he had thrown the game away the second day of play. Like many, Easthom struggled with the second course. He said it was a windy day and that this quirky course had a lot of shots that didn’t suit his eyes well. Still, Easthom was happy to receive his first, first place of the season, especially after being runner up in the topper’s first tournament.

Sophomore teammate, Orecchio, only has good things to say about Easthom after his big win. Orecchio said, “In my two years, I feel like Alex has always been our rock, we can always count on him to play well.” Orecchio continues on to say that not only does Easthom play well but he makes his team “want to play better.”

And play well the team did. Peterson, Orecchio, Seivertson, and Vucelich followed Easthom on day two with 218, 219, 220 and 239 leaving West Liberty just one shot shy of Charleston’s first place score of 859.

Orecchio, said that despite the second place title, the Vulcan Invitational was the “best tournament” since he has been here. He said he is “really excited about the direction the team is going.” Easthom believes that the toppers might even see a conference win this year.

The topper golf team plays again on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Mercyhurst Invitational in Erie, Pa. Easthom is looking forward to taking on the Lakeview Country Club course again after what happened at regionals there last year. Easthom was released from a two week contact quarantine the morning of the tournament, and feeling out of practice and unprepared, received 15th place. Easthom will be looking to change the narrative in Erie and replace that 15 with a much lower number this weekend.