Riverside's Fox set to defend WPIAL Class AA golf title
WPIAL Class AA boys golf championship
9 a.m. Thursday, Allegheny Country Club
• Scouting the field: Defending champion Skyler Fox (above), a sophomore from Riverside, returns after shooting 2-under-par 69 in his sectional qualifier. He shot 2-over 72 to win the title last year, edging defending champion Jason Li of Sewickley Academy by one shot at Allegheny C.C. ... Tyler Brinker, a senior from South Park who finished tied for second last year with a 73, also is this year's the field. ... Thirteen players shot rounds in the 70s last year. Among them are returnees Tiger Hubbard (77), a Burrell junior, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic junior Trey Bartony (77) and McGuffey senior Hunter Donahue (78), who shot 2-under in his sectional. ... Just three players from Westmoreland qualified: Hubbard, Greensburg Central Catholic junior Zach Boote and Southmoreland senior Josh Redding, the Section 2 champion. ... Of the 41 players competing, 23 are seniors. ... In 2015, the WPIAL agreed on a 10-year deal to play the Class AA finals at Allegheny C.C.
• Who advances? The top 16 move on to the PIAA Western Regional Oct. 16 at Tom's Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge Resort. At the regional, the top 22 players advance to the PIAA finals Oct. 23-24 in York.
• Groupings to watch: Bartony, Peter Curan (Sewickley Academy) and Redding at 10:20 a.m.; Brinker, Casey Jones (South Side Beaver) and Donahue at 10:36; Fox is in the last group with McGuffey's David Chapman at 10:44.
• Past champions: 2016 — Skyler Fox, Riverside; 2015 — Jason Li, Sewickley Academy; 2014 — Chris Tanabe, Quaker Valley; 2013 — Matt Barto, Leechburg; 2012 — Matt Barto, Leechburg; 2011 — Brad Thornton, Shenango (Division II); 2010 — Max Kaminsky, Serra Catholic (Division II).