Riley finishes as runner-up in WPIAL AA golf
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Two Charleroi golfers went 1-1 in playoff golf, but both advanced to the PIAA Western Regional Tuesday at Tom's Run.
Gunnar Riley and Mike Kondratik both picked up their tickets as a result of their play in the WPIAL Class AA Boys' Individual championships at Sewickley Heights Golf Club.
Riley, a senior, shot a 75 to finish tied for first overall with Leechburg's Matt Barto on the par 72 course.
On the first extra hole, Barto made a birdie to win the match and the title, leaving Riley as the runnerup.
Barto hit the left side of the fairway on the 390-yard par 4, knocked his 118-yard approach with a 52-degree wedge to seven feet and holed the putt.
Riley's approach went slightly over the green, forcing him to chip on for his third. He missed his par putt.
Barto is the first WPIAL repeat winner since Pine-Richland's Mike Van Sickle in 2003-04 and the first in Class AA since the league began awarding champs in each class in 2010. He matched early clubhouse leader Riley with a 3-over, 75, and the pair headed to the 10th tee shortly after their rounds for the playoff.
Kondratik, a sophomore, was in a more tenuous position. He was among a group of five golfers who shot 84 (40-44) and finished tied for 15th. All five went out in a playoff for the two remaining spots for the PIAA tournament.
Kondratik parred the first hole and the others made bogey, so he claimed the first spot. Eden Christian Academy's Carter Ehms won the second extra hole to take the last spot.
The top 16 golfers at Sewickley move on to the PIAA tournament.
Riley said he was pleased with his round (37-38), saying he hit some good shots all day.
“I maybe could have shot 73 or 74, but to shoot a 75 on that course and finish tied with (Barto) is OK with me,” Riley said.
“For a little while afterward, I was playing the ‘what if' game about this shot or that shot,” Riley said. “But, really, I'm happy with how I played. It was a great experience and a really nice track to play on.”
Meanwhile, California's Michael Luketich wasn't so lucky. He was one of the three players who shot 42-42-84 who lost in the playoff.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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