Leechburg's Barto takes 2nd at PIAA championship
YORK — Matt Barto could have been pretty upset by missing out of a PIAA gold medal Tuesday, but he wasn't.
The Leechburg junior, who finished second at the PIAA individual golf championships, walked away from Heritage Hills Golf Resort with the hope a Class AA gold medal will be his next year.
He shot a 2-over-par 73 on Tuesday and finished with a two-day score of 147, just two strokes behind Class AA champion Isaiah Logue, from Fairfield, who shot a 145.
“I'm not really disappointed,” Barto said. “I did leave myself so many tricky putts. They were so hard to make. I thought I hit good, but they were so hard to make. They were short sliders.”
Barto said he knows what it will take to come back next year to win gold.
“I have to continue to work hard,” Barto said. “The only thing that hurts is the only one people remember is the champion. I'm happy I didn't play real bad. I stuck with it all day.”
Barto had one birdie, on hole 11, and had four bogeys.
“I came back from a horrible performance as a sophomore,” he said. “I just want to come back and win it next year.”
Valley senior Bill Clark, who was battling a cold, didn't have the tournament he was hoping. He finished 32nd in Class AAA after shooting 167.
“It was fun being out here, but not playing well put a damper on it,” Clark said. “It was fun competing against all the great golfers from the state.”
Freeport freshman Audrey Clawson couldn't be happier with her seventh-place finish in Class AA. Only the Top 5 girls receive medals, but Clawson knows a poor first round of 86 cost her. She shot an 80 during the second round and finished the two-day tournament with a 166, three shots away from a medal.
“I'm looking forward to next year,” Clawson said. “I played well all day and even had four birdies. I took high numbers on Monday. I was a little nervous, but I bounced back. I was more relaxed.”
No gold medals from the PIAA championships will be heading west this year, but the WPIAL was still well represented in the medal count at the annual tournament.
Barto (Class AA) and Peters Township senior Tommy Nettles (Class AAA) each earned silver medals, while Canon-McMillan sophomore Lauren Waller (Class AAA) and Central Valley junior Macky Fouse (Class AA) won bronze medals.
The top 10 boys in each classification and the top five girls earned all-state honors.
Other WPIAL golfers earning all-state honors were: Indiana junior Matt Holuta (AAA), eighth place; Sewickley Academy junior Keenan Hickton (AA), sixth; Burgettstown junior Owen Miller (AA), ninth; and Central Valley freshman Maddy McDanel (AA), fourth.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.