WPIAL golfers fall just short of titles at PIAA championship
YORK — No PIAA individual golf championship gold medals will be heading west this year.
But the WPIAL was well represented in the medal count at the annual tournament that finished Tuesday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
Leechburg junior Matt Barto (Class AA) and Peters Township senior Tommy Nettles (Class AAA) each earned silver medals for their second-place finishes, while Canon-McMillan sophomore Lauren Waller (Class AAA) and Central Valley junior Macky Fouse (Class AA) won bronze medals for their third-place finishes.
Nettles, who shot a 1-under par 70 Tuesday, tied for second with Slippery Rock senior Brett Rinker (AAA). Nettles finished with a two-day total of 2-over 144, one shot behind Manheim Township's Craig Homberger, who won the Class AAA individual crown with a 143. Nettles started quickly and was 5-under through eight holes thanks to an eagle on No. 2. But a double bogey 6 on No. 9 stalled his momentum. Still, Nettles wasn't disappointed with his second consecutive second-place finish.
“I bogeyed a couple holes coming in, but this course has a tough stretch of finishing holes,” Nettles said. “I really played well all day. To shoot 1-under on that golf course, I have nothing to complain about. I'll take a second-place finish. It's still quite an accomplishment.”
Barto had the same feeling and was proud to place second after shooting a 2-over 73 to finish with a 147 over 36 holes. Fairfield's Isaiah Logue shot a 145 to win the Class AA individual title.
“I'm not really disappointed,” Barto said. “I did leave myself in a couple tough positions to make putts. I thought I hit good, but they were so hard to make. They were short sliders.”
Yough senior Alex Patricio, who won the Western Region tournament, said he believes people know who he is after his performance the past month.
“It was the most nervous I've been in a tournament in all my life,” said Patricio, who led after the first round and finished in fourth with a 148 after ending double bogey-bogey. “I handled it well until the last couple holes.”
Waller finished behind Herr, a two-time winner who tied an event record with a 140.
“I played in the team tournament last year and I shot 19 strokes better this year,” Waller said. “I knew I had some good scores in me. I have to continue to work hard.”
Hempfield senior Janista Numpho-Frank was just hoping to finish in the Top 10 at states. She was ecstatic that she earned a medal with her fifth-place finish.
“This is better than I expected,” she said. “The weather in the morning made it tough, but we all had to fight through it.”
Other WPIAL golfers earning all-state honors were: Indiana junior Matt Holuta (AAA), eighth place; Sewickley Academy junior Keenan Hickton (AA), sixth; Burgettstown junior Owen Miller (AA), ninth; and Central Valley freshman Maddy McDanel (AA), fourth.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.