Shumaker set for WPIAL AAA golf finals
In competitions over the first month and a half of the season, Plum freshman golfer Samantha Shumaker competed with the boys, as there is no Plum girls golf team.
But last Thursday, she was able to take out her clubs and hit the course with the top girls players in Section 3-AAA at a WPIAL qualifier at Saxon Golf Course in Sarver.
When it was all said and done, Shumaker found herself on the WPIAL qualifier list — one of 11 from the section who will compete on Monday at the WPIAL individual championship tournament at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills.
The top five from the section automatically advanced to the finals, as well as those who were within 20 strokes of Saxon's target score of 70.
Shumaker finished with an 18-hole total of 88, putting her in a tie for ninth with Penn-Trafford senior Morgan Rector.
Plum head coach Keith Nonnenberg said he doesn't think a female golfer from Plum ever has qualified for the WPIAL girls individual championship tournament.
“Sam played well,” Nonnenberg said.
“It wasn't her best round, but she did well enough to advance, and that's the name of the game at this stage.”
Shumaker was one of three freshmen from the section and one of seven freshman from the three sections overall to advance to WPIALs. A total of 28 golfers will compete Monday at 3 Lakes.
“For a 14-year-old freshman to qualify for WPIALs, that's a huge accomplishment,” Nonnenberg said. “She should be very proud of herself. I think she is capable of shooting something in the upper 70s.”
Mustangs sophomore Andrew Reynolds was scheduled to compete at one of three WPIAL Class AAA individual semifinals events Tuesday, and the qualifier was to conclude past the deadline for this week's edition.
Reynolds was one of 20 golfers competing at the Links at Spring Church in Apollo, and the top 12 from each of the three semifinals tournaments advanced to the WPIAL finals, set for next Wednesday at Fox Chapel Golf Club in O'Hara Township.
Reynolds shot an 18-hole score of 78 at the Section 4-AAA Qualifier last week at Meadowink Golf Course. The target score was 79, and eight golfers from the section moved on to the semifinals.
He shot a 40 on the front nine, and came back with a 38 on the back nine.
“The strongest part of Andrew's game is the ability to use his head and remain calm no matter what happens,” Nonnenberg said. “To shot a 40, and see the cut line of 79, some golfers might get worried. But Alex stayed calm, thought through his shots and was very consistent.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.