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Serra golfer Max Kaminsky matures, lifts his game

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 1:11 a.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Serra Catholic's Max Kaminsky reads a green during the PIAA Western Regional golf tournament at Tom's Run Golf Course in Blairsville on Monday, October 15, 2012.

Serra Catholic senior Max Kaminsky will return to familiar territory when he tees off at the WPIAL Class AA Individual Golf Championships at Sewickley Heights Golf Club on Sept. 25.

Kaminsky won the Class AA crown as a freshman three years ago, but will enter next Wednesday's championship round as a much different golfer.

“I really changed up how I play,” Kaminsky said. “I used to go for every par-five in two and try to hit a driver off every tee.

Kaminsky pointed out that he went to a conservative approach, sometimes hitting irons to get himself in play.

“I guess that happens with maturing over time and realizing you have to hit some lower clubs sometimes.”

That maturation process was a tough one at times for Kaminsky. As a sophomore, he made it back to the WPIAL Championships, only to finish near the bottom of the leader board.

He said he used his junior season to rebuild his mindset for this year and it has paid dividends, as he shot the low round of 72 at Monday's section 7-AA individual qualifiers at South Park Golf Course.

“In ninth grade he wins the WPIAL, blew everybody's mind, mine too — and then the next year it seemed like there was a lot of pressure on him, people were expecting him to do that again,” said Serra coach Kevin Kaminsky, who is Max's dad.

“He got a little bit older, a little wiser, a little stronger,” he said of his son's improvement. “He's hitting the ball a lot farther and (is) a little bit more confident.”

The putting green has been an area where Kaminsky's confidence has been evident.

His putting got him off to a quick start at the sectional qualifiers, allowing him to breeze through the remainder of his round,

“I played really well today (Monday),” Max Kaminsky said. “I knew that the target score was 81, and I just played the course about a week ago.”

After advancing to the PIAA Championships for the first time last season, Kaminsky's main goal is not to win his second WPIAL title next week, but to advance to the Western Regional qualifiers at Toms Run Golf Course, the stage before the state championships.

“I just want to qualify (for Western Regionals) more than anything,” he said. “Winning would be great, but I just want to shoot something maybe in the 70s to get myself in, but it's going to be really tough because I've never played there before.”

Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.

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