Guzik leads Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional, Norwin boys golf qualifiers
By Doug Gulasy
Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Since Penn-Trafford sophomore Justin Guzik first played golf at the age of 9, the sport has become a big part of his free time.
“I don't really have a summer,” Guzik said. “It's usually always golf.
“I love it. Since I was 9 years old, I've always had a golf club.”
In all that time, Guzik had never recorded an 18-hole round under par. That changed last week, however, as Guzik shot a 1-under-par 71 at the WPIAL Section 1-AAA boys golf qualifier at Valley Green Golf and Country Club.
By posting the 71, which tied him for first at the qualifier, Guzik advanced to the WPIAL boys Class AAA individual semifinals, which took place Tuesday at three sites across Western Pennsylvania.
“It was pretty cool,” Guzik said of qualifying. “I just had to keep plugging away and doing what I've been doing for six years.”
Guzik said he putted well during the qualifier with the exception of a three-putt on the final hole that kept him from shooting a 69.
Norwin sent three golfers to the semifinals after juniors Kory Sandleitner and Seth Repicky and senior Kevin Zabelsky also posted qualifying scores at Valley Green. Sandleitner shot a 76, Repicky shot a 78 and Zabelsky a 79.
Competing at the Section 4-AAA qualifier at Pittsburgh Field Club, Franklin Regional sent two golfers to the WPIAL semifinals. Senior Matt Fisch tied for second at the qualifier after shooting a 3-over-par 74, and junior EddieZhang finished seventh with a 79. The qualifying score was an 81.
“Going out there earlier in the year (for a match against Fox Chapel) really made us feel we could get quite a few guys through,” Franklin Regional coach Jeff Traphagen said.
The WPIAL semifinals took place Tuesday at Hannastown Golf Club, Youghiogheny Country Club and Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. The top 12 golfers from each site advanced to next week's WPIAL individual finals at Diamond Run Golf Club.
“I've just got to stay focused and (not) let anything get in my head,” Guzik said. “I'm playing with two seniors and a junior, so they're all older than me. I'm the young kid in there. I've got to get that out of my head. But I think I'm ready for it.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5830, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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