Valley golfer Clark dedicates senior season to grandfather
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With every center-cut drive that skids down the fairway and winding birdie putt that drops into the hole, Bill Clark gives a nod to the sky.
The Valley senior golfer has dedicated his senior season to his grandfather, Bill, who died in April at age 90.
“That's my motivation,” Clark said. “I mean, I'm a senior and it's my last year playing, but my main motivation is my grandfather. When I played (in the sectional tournament), I played for him. I went to his gravesite the night before.”
Clark will try to qualify for his first WPIAL championship appearance Tuesday when he plays in the Class AAA semifinal tournament at Seven Oaks Country Club in Beaver.
The top 12 finishers advance to the WPIAL Class AAA championship Oct. 3 at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Clark strives to make family members proud. He said his grandfather taught him the game. His father, John, is Valley's former coach.
“We always played together,” Clark said of his pap.
Clark shot a 2-over-par 74 last week to tie Shady Side Academy's Troy Berglund for medalist honors at the Section 8-AAA tournament at Saxon Golf Course.
Now, redemption awaits in the semifinal round. Last year, Clark shot 79 to get into a four-man playoff in the semifinal at River Forest Country Club — where he works, parking and cleaning carts.
“I feel like, the way I am playing, if I putt well, states might be in my future,” Clark said. “I am taking it day by day. I like how I am playing.”
Clark tied for low honors at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament earlier this season (77), but lost on a scorecard playoff at Latrobe Country Club.
Will Wears, Arnold Palmer's grandson, edged Clark for the title.
Who knows what happens if the two play extra holes?
“I think my swing is more under control,” Clark said. “I am hitting a draw now, and that's going well. I am hitting more greens. I used to hit a fade, but not I feel like I can shape shots a little better.”
Knoch will have a section-leading three players in today's field: Stefan Carlsson, Josh Bartley and Austin Miller.
“Austin is a nice surprise for us,” Knoch coach Rob Voltz said. “He put together his best round of the year (in the sectional tournament). He was excited about it. He shot a 41 on the front nine and was all stressed out. But he made it.”
Another semifinal, at The Links at Spring Church, will feature five local players: Fox Chapel's Charlie Friend, Jorden Alfery and Patrick Sheerer, Kiski Area's Adam Robison and Plum's Andrew Reynolds. The top 12 advance to the finals.
A third semifinal will be played at Cranberry Highlands.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Brookline 12-year-old crashes mother’s car
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Owner of Penn Hills tombstone business pleads guilty to swindling the bereaved
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Reports say 1 dead at Fort Meade gate crashing
- LaBar: WrestleMania 31 one of the best ever
- Crash, downed utility pole block intersection in Bridgeville
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense