Upper St. Clair duo advances to PIAA golf tournament
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This season, Grant Engel and Thomas Steve served as Upper St. Clair's one-two punch on the golf course and the pair hope to continue their success in the PIAA state tournament.
Steve, third-place finalist in the WPIAL, and Engel, who finished seventh at WPIALs, qualified for the state championship after shooting 75 and 77, respectively, Monday in the PIAA Western Regional at Tom's Run Golf Course in Blairsville.
The PIAA individual championship is set for Oct. 22 and 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
Panthers' head coach Todd Flynn has seen great improvement in the duo's games and maturation, and despite USC failing to reach the WPIAL team finals, he said he is happy with how they performed.
“As far as proud, I'm already to that point,” Flynn said. “There's no coach out there any more proud of his kids than I am.”
Upper St. Clair shot its worst round as a team, Flynn said, at the WPIAL team semifinals at Butler's Golf Course in Elizabeth on Oct. 9. However, he said the school district will be well-represented in the state tournament.
“It was very rough for us to lose in the semis because we expected to go out there and, like coach says, teams aren't going to bow down to us,” Steve said. “We learned that the hard way. That should make us stronger for next year.”
Engel and Steve have become friends over the years, and their time on the golf course brought them closer.
But as each prepares to capture the highest honor in the state, they know that doing so means they'll have to beat each other.
“This year, every match we've played together, and it's been a great partnership,” Engel said. “We've been pretty dominant. Vying for the same spot (at states) will be difficult, but as a friend, whoever comes out on top deserves it, and I'm sure the other will be congratulatory.”
Added Steve: “We try to beat each other, and we know if we do we should be fine playing other kids. We've grown a lot the last few years getting to play together every day.”
In the offseason. Steve said he focused on improving his short game and Engel transformed his swing with the help of a swing coach to eliminate a 25-yard push hook.
For 16-year olds, Flynn said their demeanor allows them to be successful and recover in the event that they hit a bad shot.
“Thomas very rarely gets himself into trouble (on the course) so that is his strength,” Flynn said. “Grant, if he does get himself in trouble, he has the ability to scramble out of it and recover.
“They are both admirable tendencies to have. You don't want to be in trouble but they can get out.”
Brian Graham is a freelance writer.
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.
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers
- Pitt players support Rudolph for job
- Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
- Steelers’ Bell, Chiefs’ Charles elevating running back position in NFL
- Warning about cop-killer came moments too late
- Minor league report: Other prospects on Penguins’ radar
- Pitt survives Oakland’s upset bid with overtime victory
- Steelers notebook: Bell says he’s prepared to test Chiefs defense