Shumaker battles competition, elements in WPIAL finals debut
The start of Monday's WPIAL Class AAA individual girls golf championship at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills was delayed almost two hours by fog.
When the competition started, Plum freshman Samantha Shumaker was among the 28 golfers to tee off.
When the dust settled, Shumaker finished tied for 26th with an 18-hole score of 105.
“I told her that it is a learning experience and a process to get to where the girls who are shooting in the low to mid 70s are at,” Plum head coach Keith Nonnenberg said.
“This was the first step in that process.”
Nonnenberg said that a number of girls were struggling with the course conditions on Monday.
“The course played very long, and it was very wet,” he said.
“The greens were a little faster than what they are used to. 3 Lakes' greens are not easy greens. They are pretty undulating. When you get downhill putts, they can get away from you really quick.”
Hempfield senior Janista Numpho-Frank shot a 4-over-par score of 76 to claim the WPIAL title.
She and six other golfers from the Class AAA field will advance to the PIAA Western Regional on Oct. 15.
Shumaker was the first female golfer from Plum to compete at the WPIAL individual finals since Joanna Trigoso in 1998.
Trigoso also qualified for the PIAA championship tournament.
Shumaker, who doesn't attend Plum but is cyber-schooled and takes classes online, was one of seven freshmen to compete at Monday's tournament.
She also was one of 11 golfers who qualified for the WPIAL finals from the Section 3-AAA qualifier on Sept. 20.
Plum sophomore An- drew Reynolds was one of 36 boys golfers scheduled to compete at the WPIAL AAA boys individual championship on Wednesday at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Wednesday's boys tournament was to be comple- ted past the deadline for this week's edition.
Twelve golfers from each of last week's three semifinals tournaments qualified for the finals.
Reynolds tied for eighth with an 18-hole round of 79 at the semifinal qualifier at The Links at Spring Church in Apollo.
“Both Andrew and Samantha work very hard at their games and take them very seriously,” Nonnenberg said.
“They are young and improving every day. Like Samantha, this tournament is a great experience for Andrew.”
The top 16 players from the AAA final advance to the PIAA Western Regional on Oct. 15 at Tom's Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge in Blairsville.
The regional tournament is a combined AAA and AA event, and the top 12 players from that competition will move on to the PIAA state championship at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York on Oct. 22 and 23.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.