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Plum golf team win two matches at Oakmont Country Club

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Gary Bills | For The Plum Advance Leader
Rich Rossi watches his ball sail down the fairway during a match with Riverview on Aug. 29, 2013, at Oakmont Country Club.

On Aug. 21, the Plum varsity boys golf team faced Franklin Regional at Oakmont Country Club.

The Mustangs fired a team score of 236 and beat the Panthers by two strokes.

Plum returned to Oakmont last Thursday and won again. This time, the team shot a collective 217 in its 57-stroke victory over the Raiders.

That 19-stroke improvement, Mustangs head coach Ron Richards said, is a perfect example of how the team continues to get better in the young season.

“You are talking about one of the top courses in the country,” Richards said.

“It's really nice that the membership at Oakmont gives those kids a chance to play there. The kids are always excited to play there, and they try to raise their games.”

Richards said the Plum players take nothing for granted when they step on the Oakmont course.

“Some of them will never play on that course again,” he said.

“They understand that and appreciate the opportunity.”

Richards said his players understand the need to be patient and focused playing Oakmont, because the course, in the past, has gotten the best of the top players to ever play the game.

“They know that on a course like Oakmont, you have to avoid turning one bad shot into several,” Richards said.

“They kept the ball in play and avoided some big numbers. They played very well there.”

Junior Andrew Reynolds leads the team in average so far this season. He shot a 35 at Oakmont against Franklin Regional and tallied a 36 against Riverview.

“Andrew is golfing very well,” Richards said. “He's doing what we expected him to do. He's been really consistent for us. He played a couple of outstanding rounds at Oakmont, shooting 1-under and even (par). It seems that on the better courses we play, the better he plays.”

Plum improved to 2-2 in Section 4-AAA play with a 200-255 win over Woodland Hills on Friday at Grandview Golf Course in North Braddock.

Richards said his team definitely is capable of breaking 200.

“It's nice to set goals like that,” Richards said.

“I knew we had a chance coming down the stretch (against Woodland Hills).”

Sophomore Samantha Shumaker shot a 36 and birdied the final hole in the match with the Wolverines.

“The kids are getting better each match,” Richards said. “The scores are coming down.”

Richards said Reynolds has been the most consistent and leads the lineup, but seven other golfers — Shumaker and seniors J.P. Predmore and Ryan Kuhn and juniors Justin Sovak, Rich Rossi, Tim McMullen and Tyler Arnold also are doing well.

“They know they have to score well to stay in the lineup,” Richards said.

“Talent and opportunities create an environment of competition.”

Plum is in the middle of a four-match-in-four-days stretch, weather permitting.

Plum was slated to host Penn Hills and Gateway at Willowbrook Golf Club on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, respectively.

The matches were to be contested past the deadline for this week's edition.

Plum steps away from section play with a match against Hampton on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Wildwood Country Club in Allison Park.

The Mustangs host Fox Chapel on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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