For the second year in a row, Ryan Skladany participated in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Golf Championship.
The Gateway graduate and sophomore at the Boyce campus of Community College of Allegheny County in Monroeville carded a four-round total of 331 to tie for 48th from June 4-7 at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, N.Y.
Skladany’s best round of the tournament came on Day 3 when he shot a 75
“The first couple of days, I was putting pretty poorly, and I couldn’t find the fairways,” Skladany said. “I did a little better with both on the third day, and that’s what you need to do to play well there. The way my mind works, I am never satisfied with my round. If I shoot a good score like a 70, I know I could’ve made one extra putt to shoot 69. I always see something I could’ve done better.”
The tournament featured a field of 90 golfers.
“I’m a below-scratch golfer normally, but that course is one of the toughest mental tests I’ve ever dealt with,” said Skladany, who placed 50th last year at the championships.
“There are a lot of holes where you can make some pretty big numbers. You have to pick the right spots to miss. I wasn’t happy with the way I played overall, but I am going to move on to the next.”
Skladany punched his ticket to nationals with a second consecutive Region XX Tournament title May 21 at Oakview Golf Club in Slippery Rock.
Fighting through back and knee issues, he finished with a low score of 149 to best 19 others over the two-day competition.
“With how I was feeling during the tournament, I felt I played great,” Skladany said. “The back and knee kind of flared up at the same time. I ended up kind of grinding through it. I wish I would’ve played better, but I was happy with the result.”
CCAC-Boyce golf coach Frank Kaufman, also the director of student life and coordinator of athletics at Boyce, said he was happy to see Skladany improve his game over the past two seasons.
“Ryan’s really dedicated himself to the game of golf and has the ability to go far,” Kaufman said. “He’s always practicing and working on the little things.”
Skladany will be back tournament action June 25 at Birdsfoot Golf Club for a qualifier to the 119th Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Amateur Championship.
A field of 84 players will play 18 holes with the hope of securing one of the 13 qualifying spots to the Amateur Championship, set for July 1-3 at Oakmont Country Club.
“Hopefully, I can turn things around a little bit,” Skladany said. “I love the Birdsfoot course. It’s wide open. I kind of hit the ball a long way, and I don’t know which way it’s going to go sometimes. The course fits my game really well. I am excited about playing it.”
Skladany said he is battling through a wrist injury ahead of the Birdsfoot qualifier.
“I’m hoping to get a good week of practice in before the tournament,” he said.
Skladany said he plans to also play a couple of amateur stroke-play tournaments in July and August.
“I just have to keep practicing and keep working on my game,” said Skladany, who is exploring the possibilities for his golf future beyond this summer.