Fox Chapel golfers turn in solid performances at WPGA Amateur | TribLIVE.com
Other Local

Fox Chapel golfers turn in solid performances at WPGA Amateur

Greg Macafee
1373454_web1_GTR-WPIALAAAbgolf09-100318
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel’s Scott Bitar finished sixth at last year’s WPIAL Class AAA golf championship, which was at Oakmont Country Club.

The Fox Chapel golf program has been known to produce talented golfers, and over the past week a few of them got to test themselves at Oakmont Country Club for the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Amateur Championship.

Michael Marisco (2016 grad), Andrew Friend (’18), Gregor Meyer (’19) and Scott Bitar (’20) were just four of the current and former Foxes who took on the storied golf course.

Although the first place prize went home with Connor Schmidt, a golfer based out of Nemacolin Country Club, all four Fox Chapel golfers turned in solid performances.

Bitar and Friend, a sophomore at Central Alabama, were the highest finishers. They both shot 16-over and finished tied for 24th with two other players.

“The first two days were hard, so I just walked in there on the last day and I think I just played a little looser,” Friend said. “I was disappointed in the way I played to start off the week, and I just wanted to go out there and throw up something respectable and have fun with my dad on the bag.”

Back in October, Bitar shot a 78 at Oakmont Country Club during the WPIAL Class AAA individual championship, which was good enough for a sixth-place finish. He got off to a good start Monday and shot an opening-round, 4-over 75. He followed with scores of 78 on Tuesday and 76 on Wednesday.

The front nine was Bitar’s friend. He shot 36 on Monday and Wednesday, but got off to a rough start Tuesday and had five bogeys in the first six holes.

Friend might have been a little more comfortable than most of the golfers who were playing. He was one of three players with Oakmont listed as their home course; just a year ago, he carded a 68 at his home course, so he was feeling good heading into the week.

“Walking out onto your home golf course feels nice,” Friend said. “You have a lot more familiarity with the course, and I felt like I could win the tournament. But the back nine beat me up. I wish I would’ve just played a little more relaxed in those first two rounds.”

With 11 bogeys and two double bogeys, the Central Alabama golfer shot 6-over Monday and Tuesday but saved his best round of the week for Wednesday and shot 4-over 75. With a different approach for his final round, Friend had one birdie, three bogeys, one double bogey and shot a 1-over back 9 to finish off his round.

Marisco, who plays at Gannon and made a trip to the NCAA Division II championship this past year, finished tied for 32nd after shooting rounds of 79, 76 and 80. He was up and down throughout the week, carding at least two birdies in every round, but he also had 21 bogeys, two double bogeys and a triple bogey. Given the difficulty of the course and his unfamiliarity with it, Marisco was happy with his tournament play.

“I think it went pretty well, all things considered,” Marisco said. “It was only the second time I’ve played the course so I wasn’t too familiar with it. But it’s not a course where you are going to go out and shoot a bunch of pars. You’re going to bogey, and it’s a course that just eats up your mistakes, so you have to be pretty precise, and I feel like I did that pretty well this week.”

Marisco became the first Golden Knight to reach the National Championship since 2015 this past year. He is hoping a performance like this becomes a motivator for next season.

“It’s definitely something I’ll be able to use down the line,” Marisco said. “I’ll be playing in a couple more tournaments the rest of this summer to just kind of stay sharp and post some good scores and hopefully build up some momentum going back into next year.”

Meyer was the only golfer in the group not to make it past the cut on Tuesday. He put together an overall score of 15-over between the first two rounds and just missed the cut. It was an unfamiliar feeling for the recent Fox Chapel grad.

As a sophomore, Meyer took Oakmont Country Club by storm and shot a 1-under 70 to claim the WPIAL Class AAA individual championship. In October, Meyer placed fifth in the WPIAL championship, with a final round score of 77.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Other Local
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.