Kondratik closed as top Charleroi golfer
Charleroi golf coach Brian Corrin still laughs as he tells the story about Michael Kondratik's first competitive match as a freshman.
“He was on the driving range at Mon Valley Country Club,” Corrin recalled. There's a road about 75 yards away that runs through it and Mike was so nervous he couldn't hit a drive across the road. Back then, he had the tools, but he was just so damn nervous.
“And look how far he came.”
Kondratik finished his golfing career for Charleroi by placing seventh in the PIAA Class AA Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York earlier this week. His round of 82-77-159 made him the highest state finisher in Charleroi golf history.
“He was pretty disappointed after his first round when he was in 18th place, and then he didn't start off very well the second day,” Corrin said. “But on the back nine the second day, he shot even par and just missed a long birdie putt on the last hole.
“For him to come back like that on the back nine after full knowing he was out of it shows what he is made of. I was real proud of him.”
Kondratik was only the fourth Charleroi golfer to make the state finals in golf, following Gunnar Riley, Scott McCloy and Rick Cicci.
As a sophomore, Kondratik reached the PIAA Western Regionals, thanks to winning a playoff in the WPIAL finals. As a junior, he played in the WPIAL finals but failed to reach the state tournament.
As a senior, he was second in the WPIAL and capped that with an impressive finish at Heritage Hills.
“When he came off that last hole at Heritage Hills, the smile he had on his face was priceless,” Corrin said. “He didn't go there to lose, but he showed a lot of character. That smile is what I will remember most about him.”
Kondratik will continue playing golf at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. He will attend the same school as Riley and will major in professional golf management.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.