Collectively, Misericordia University’s Zach Mulhern and Tyler McGarry have been the driving force behind the Cougars’ golf success this season.
Mulhern, a 2014 Wyoming Area graduate from Exeter, and McGarry, a 2015 Pittston Area graduate from Pittston, are the two top golfers for the college. Most recently, the duo received All-Conference honors following the 66th annual Middle Atlantic Conference Championships for the Freedom and Commonwealth Divisions.
McGarry, a freshman, finished second in the conference and was named the Freedom’s Rookie of the Year after shooting a shooting a two-day total of 159 at Hershey Country Club. His second place finished earned him First-Team All-Conference honors.
McGarry shot an 80 on the first day and a 79 on the second.
“Going into the final day I had a chance to win it so it was disappointing to not win it,” McGarry said. “I made a few mistakes. Being a freshman tying for second was pretty cool.”
McGarry said this was the first time he played at the course in Hershey and it was challenging.
As a senior at Pittston Area, McGarry was the 2014 Wyoming Valley Conference Class AAA Most Valuable Player. He won the PIAA District 2 Class AAA championship. He would late finished just two strokes from making the state tournament. However, he’s only been playing the game for around three years.
McGarry and Mulhern have become good friends over the past several years. McGarry was pleased to be able to get All-Conference honors with Mulhern.
“Him coming to Misericordia definitely helps us as a team,” McGarry said. “To make first- and second-team with him is something special. Next year we’re looking to get back there and go for a championship.”
Misericordia coach Paul Roman, who is in his first season as Cougars’ head coach, is the head golf professional at Irem Temple Country Club. He also served four years as assistant professional at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter. He said what McGarry has been able to do is nothing short of impressive.
“He’s an all-around athlete,” Roman said. “He gets it and knows exactly what he has to do on the golf course. Everything he puts his finger on he seems to get it.”
Mulhern enjoys transition
Mulhern, now a sophomore, began his collegiate career playing at Temple University. He spent the 2013-14 season playing with the Owls prior to transferring to Misericordia following that season.
At Hershey Country Club, Mulhern shot a two-day total of 164, earning him Second Team All-Conference honors. He followed up a first-round 86, with a second-round 78.
“This year was definitely different than being at Temple,” Mulhern said. “It wasn’t as time consuming and it was laid back. I think that helped me. I played really well other than a few rounds this year.”
Mulhern also described the course in Hershey as challenging. The Cougars will have the majority of the team back next year, for which Mulhern is excited.
“Being able to see the course gives us a leg up,” he said. “That will be our year to make a run at it.”
Mulhern is a former PIAA District 2 Class 2A finalist and Times Leader All-Star. He was on the brink of playing his way to the 2012 PIAA tournament during his senior season at Wyoming Area. He reached the Eastern Regionals that year, and was sent to a five-man playoff to decide the region’s final Class 2A spot at states.
He lost by a stroke, and it turned out to be his last high school event. Now at Misericordia, Mulhern said his golf game has only improved over the past few seasons.
Mulhern decided to come back to the area after changing his college focus from dentistry to nursing. Misericordia was the right fit, he said.
“At first, the decision had nothing to do with golf,” he said. “Then I saw they had a new coach and Tyler was going there.”
Roman said both McGarry and Mulhern are excellent student-athletes and they are a privilege to coach.
“I’m so honored to be the coach here,” Roman said. “It’s a great group of kids. Tyler and Zach are really good friends and they always work so hard on their games.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick