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Plum's Reynolds' focus on golf pays off

| Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, 9:07 p.m.
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area's Adam Robison attempt a birdie putt on the par-3 sixth hole at The Links at Spring Church in Kiski Township during the WPIAL individual semifinal Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
Fox Chapel's Jordan Alfrey watches his tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole at The Links at Spring Church in Kiski Township during the WPIAL individual semifinals on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Eric Felack, Valley News Dispatch
Kiski Area's Adam Robison watches his tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole at The Links at Spring Church in Kiski Township during the WPIAL individual semifinal qualifier on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch

Plum sophomore Andrew Reynolds took up golf two years ago, giving up basketball and baseball completely.

Now, he can't get enough of the game.

Basketball has gym rats. Reynolds is golf's equivalent.

“I play a lot,” he said. “I play every other day at Willowbrook (Country Club). I don't do much else.”

Reynolds' allegiance paid off Tuesday at the WPIAL Class AAA semifinal tournament at The Links at Spring Church, as he shot a 7-over par 79 to earn a spot in next week's WPIAL finals.

Reynolds was the only Alle-Kiski Valley player to make the top 12 — out of 28 — and advance to the championship, set for Oct. 3 at Fox Chapel Golf Club.

“This was only my second round at this course,” said Reynolds, who hit the par-5 9th in two and made birdie. “I shot a 78 here in a practice round. I am only a sophomore, so I hope to get back here again. It's all a learning process now.”

Reynolds, a caddie at Oakmont, is Plum's first WPIAL qualifier since Adam Stawski in 2008. Stawski won the title that season.

“Andrew played well and kept the ball in play,” Plum coach Keith Nonnenberg said. “It's nice to see him get through. Nobody's done that since Adam.”

Latrobe senior Will Wears and Penn-Trafford senior Max Doran tied for low score at 2-over 74.

Wears, the grandson of Arnold Palmer, is among the favorites to win the WPIAL title. Palmer won two titles, in 1946 and ‘47.

Wears liked Spring Church, where he had only played nine holes previously.

“It's a nice track; what you see is what you get,” he said. “I had never played the back nine.”

Wears, who advanced to his fourth WPIAL final, said he is down to three college choices: Loyola (Md.), Rawlings and Wake Forest — Palmer's alma mater.

“I really want to win the WPIAL title, but I can't wait for high school golf to be over,” he said.

Wears and Palmer will play a team event together in December.

Fox Chapel had three players in the field, but only junior Jorden Alfrey challenged for a spot. He shot 80 and went to a three-man playoff for the 12th spot before settling on the alternate.

Kiski Area senior Adam Robison shot 87, while Fox Chapel juniors Charlie Friend and Patrick Sheerer shot 90 and 91, respectively.

Fox Chapel can now look forward to the WPIAL team playoffs. The Foxes are 13-1, with their only loss a 199-200 setback against Central Catholic.

“We're as deep as anybody,” Fox Chapel coach Bryan Deal said. “We have six or seven kids who can really go low. We hope to win the section first.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or bbeckner@tribweb.com.

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