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Reynolds again making an impact for Plum boys golf team

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Gary Bills | For The Plum Advance Leader
Plum's Andrew Reynolds was one of 10 golfers to advance to the WPIAL semifinals from the Section 4-AAA Qualifier on Sept. 17, 2013, at the Pittsburgh Field Club.

Plum junior golfer Andrew Reynolds made an impact during the WPIAL individual golf tournament series as a sophomore in 2012.

He finished tied for second with a 78 at the Section 4-AAA qualifier at Meadowink Golf Club, and he qualified for WPIALs with a tie for 11th (79) at one of three WPIAL semifinals at the Links at Spring Church in Apollo.

Reynolds tied for 29th at WPIALs at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, and although he didn't advance past WPIALs, Reynolds got his name and his game on the minds of his competition.

He has picked up right where he left off last season and has led the Plum boys golf team in matches this season.

“I've been driving the ball a lot farther this season, and my short game has gotten better,” Reynolds said. “Everything is coming together.”

Reynolds had a team-best 39 average through Plum's first 10 matches, and that included his season best of 35 against Franklin Regional at Oakmont Country Club on Aug. 21.

He fired a 36 at Oakmont in Plum's win over Riverview a week later.

“Andrew's played some of his better rounds on the tougher courses we've played,” Plum head coach Ron Richards said.

“He's committed to improving. If we're not playing and practicing (as a team), I know he's out somewhere playing. Golf is a tough game. You can hit it well one day and then go out the next day and not have it. When he's not at his best, he's good enough to figure out what to do to post a number.”

Reynolds and five of his Mustangs teammates were scheduled to golf at the Section 4 Qualifier on Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Field Club.

The 18-hole round was to be completed past the deadline for this week's edition. The top five finishers at the qualifier, as well as any others who finish lower than the posted target score for the Pittsburgh Field Club, advanced to the WPIAL semifinals set for Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Reynolds and Plum golfed the Field Club against Fox Chapel in the season opener on Aug. 20, and Reynolds shot a team-best 41.

“I've been more and more comfortable each match. I've just played my game no matter which course I am on,” Reynolds said.

“I feel right now I can go pretty far. I have to take every shot and every hole one at a time. I can't look too far ahead.”

Richards said Reynolds doesn't carry a bad shot or bad hole to the next one, and that is something that has served him well.

“Everyone has to understand that they are going to hit bad shots,” Richards said.

“It's about staying away from that big number. Andrew understands that keeping the ball in play, playing to safe spots and knowing when to go after a pin and when not to are important to a good round.”

Reynolds said he not only is excited about his game, but he is pumped to see the team overall playing well and being pretty competitive — win or lose — this season.

“I think everybody is taking their games a lot more seriously this year,” he said.

Plum was 5-3 in Section 4 play entering this week, and the Mustangs return to action Thursday against Penn Hills at Green Oaks Golf Club in Verona.

Reynolds upped his game in the offseason with play in tournaments on tours such as the American Junior Golf Association and the PGA Junior Series.

He finished tied for third out of 72 golfers (75-71-146) at the AJGA event at Nemacolin Woodlands in early June.

Reynolds took part in the PA Golf Association Junior Championship at Hershey Country Club in early July.

He said that despite finishing 107th overall, it was a good learning experience for him.

“It was a good summer,” Reynolds said. “I got better simply playing and practicing every day. You have to do that if you want to improve. It really pays off.”

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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