Calmer Paunovich takes aim at WPIAL golf final
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Tyler Paunovich never has been a club-thrower, but he admits his aggravation has gotten the best of him on the golf course.
“When you get mad, you play worse,” he said.
These days, however, the Kiski Area senior plays the game with a much more level-headed demeanor. The bad shots don't seem to matter as much, and the next shot can fix everything.
“It all has to do with my mindset,” said Paunovich, who has been one of the area's most consistent players this season. “I have matured a lot on the course; I don't get mad as easily. Before, any bad shot and I'd get out of the round, especially if I missed putts. Now, I am a lot more relaxed.”
If all goes as planned Tuesday, Paunovich will get to play in his first WPIAL tournament. He is Kiski Area's lone representative in the Class AAA semifinal set to begin at 9 a.m. at Hannastown Golf Club.
The top 12 finishers advance to the WPIAL championship Oct. 2 at Diamond Run Golf Club. The top 14 finishers there qualify for the PIAA Western Regional Tournament Oct. 15 at Tom's Run Golf Course.
Paunovich said an example of his new attitude came in a match earlier this season at Saxon Golf Course. He was 2-over-par after two holes but collected himself and finished with a 34.
“He has the shortest memory of any golfer I've had, meaning he recovers so well after a bad shot. He's never rattled,” Kiski Area coach Matt Stasko said. “This is one of the best qualities a golfer can have in my opinion. Talent doesn't hurt either, which he has in spades.”
Paunovich was just 6-over through his first 11 matches this season and is averaging 38 for nine holes.
He shot 7-over 78 at the Section 4-AAA qualifier at Pittsburgh Field Club.
“I don't have to pressure myself,” he said. “My mindset is that if I drive it well and get the putter going, too, I am a little more confident.”
The medalist at the Section 4 qualifier with a 1-under 70 was Fox Chapel senior Patrick Sheerer, who is one of five qualfiers from his team playing at Hannastown.
Sheerer is seeking his first trip to the WPIAL tournament after making it this far as a junior.
“I feel like I am peaking at the right time,” he said. “I have been working on my game a lot at the range, and my swing started to click.”
Fox Chapel is 10-0 and could be on pace to win a team championship. But players who have moved on in the individual postseason have to switch back and forth from team to individual play.
“One day you try to make your number and you worry about yourself, and the next you're back with the team,” Sheerer said.
Sheerer is getting Division I college attention from several schools, including Bucknell, Cornell, Fordham, James Madison and Ohio. Division III Franklin & Marshall also likes his game.
Although it is never short on qualifiers, Fox Chapel hasn't had an individual boys golf champion since Adam Hofmann in 2006.
Plum's Andrew Reynolds is another local player to watch in the semis. He will be at the tournament at Youghiogheny Country Club. A junior, Reynolds will be looking for his second trip to the WPIAL finals. He placed 29th last season at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Plum's Adam Stawski was the last local player to win a WPIAL title (2008) from the larger-school classification.
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.
- Chryst named football coach at Wisconsin; Pitt AD Pederson fired
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB
- Son charged in dismemberment death of Penn Hills couple
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Penguins’ fight against mumps escalates
- Parent finds body in parking lot of Stanton Heights elementary school, prompting lockdown
- Steelers lookahead: Chiefs’ Charles injured but remains dangerous threat
- Regional public data center work underway with help from foundation’s $1.8M
- Pa. attorney general charges 10 in PennDOT fraud, kickback scheme
- Fed emphasizes patient approach on rate increases
- Squirrel Hill lawyer suspended from practicing until September
- U.S., Cuba patching torn relations with historic accord