Central Valley's McDanel to compete for Junior PGA title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Few golfers have had their game fall into place as neatly as Central Valley High School's Maddy McDanel.
Hardly any have done it at such a young age.
McDanel, 15, a rising sophomore, has won three prominent tournaments this year. The most recent of which earned her a spot in a significant national tournament.
McDanel won the Tri-State Section Junior PGA Championship on July 17 at Fox Run Golf Club in Beaver Falls. Doing so qualified her for the national Junior PGA Championship from July 30 to Aug. 2 at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va.
“I'm very excited,” said McDanel, who helped lead Central Valley to the WPIAL and PIAA Class AA girls' golf team championships last fall. “I'm just trying to play as well as I can down there. I've heard the course is very difficult, but my goals are still pretty high.”
McDanel is expected to be one of the youngest — if not the youngest — competitor at the Junior PGA Championship, which is open to players 18 and younger. To qualify for the event, she beat out the field of 16- to 18-year-olds at the Tri-State junior championship.
McDanel shot an even par 72 to win the 14-15 age group by seven shots. She then prevailed in a playoff to win the overall title, beating Central Valley teammate (and defending Tri-State Junior PGA champion) Macky Fouse to earn the national qualifier berth.
“We're pretty close and pretty good friends, but there was no drama, so it was fun,” McDanel said.
Fouse finished one spot ahead of McDanel at the WPIAL Class AA individual golf championship last fall, taking second to McDanel's third. A similar scenario played out at the PIAA championship that followed on Oct. 22 — Fouse, then a junior, placed third and McDanel fourth.
“Maddy's very dedicated and works very hard at golf,” Central Valley coach Larry Milosh said. “She really doesn't have any weaknesses — she drives it pretty long and straight, and she has all the attributes of a great player.
“Her and Macky are good friends, so they push each other, and the other girls on our team do, too. What they all have in common is motivation. (McDanel) is only going to be a sophomore in high school next year, so we are expecting really good things from her.”
McDanel, who first golfed when she was 8 years old, considers putting to be the strength of her game when she is playing well.
Her other tournament victories this year were in the girls' division at the Western Pennsylvania major of the International Junior Golf Tour at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in April and at the Golfweek Junior Tour stop at Avalon Lakes in Warren, Ohio, when she was the low scorer in her age group.
There probably will be many more wins in McDanel's future.
“I definitely want to golf in college,” she said. “I just really love golf and want it to be part of my (life's) career somehow.”
Chris Adamski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Valley golfer hopes nice guys can finish 1st
- Numbers down, but WPIAL teams boast top-notch golfers
- Gateway duo battles course, competition at section qualifier
- Hempfield senior Bagiatis captures WCCA golf title