Shady Side senior captures WPIAL girls title
Margaret Pentrack rode the unique, 60-foot elevator from the 17th green to the 18th tee Tuesday morning during the WPIAL girls individual golf championship at Pittsburgh Field Club in Fox Chapel.
Even in between holes, Pentrack seems to be on another level.
Pentrack, a senior from Shady Side Academy who is a member at the Field Club, took advantage of home-course knowledge and carded an even-par 73 to win her first WPIAL title by two shots over defending champion Rachel Rohanna of Waynesburg.
The North Carolina recruit shot a 1-under-par 35 on the back nine and hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
"I had a lesson on Sunday, and I was really hitting the ball well," said Pentrack, who finished third last season. "I felt really confident coming in today. With this being my home course, the situation couldn't have played out any better."
Pentrack, who once shot a 68 at the Field Club, was 3-under through five holes. She finished with five birdies, nine pars, three bogeys and one double bogey.
"It was one of those days where I felt like I could shoot in the 60s," Pentrack said. "I handled bad breaks and kept it going all day."
Rohanna, a sophomore who plays out of her family's Rohanna's Golf Course in Waynesburg, shot 1-under 36 on the front nine.
"I admit I felt a lot of pressure today as the defending champion," Rohanna said. "I played pretty well today, but I made four bogeys in a row (from holes 12-15). That hurt me."
The top 16 players qualified for the PIAA Western Regional tournament Monday at Tom's Run Golf Course in Blairsville.
From there, the top 11 players advance to the PIAA championship Oct. 23-24 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
"I think the regional tournament is a good idea because it weeds out the weaker competition," Rohanna said. "It will be an interesting tournament and it will be very competitive."
Highlands sophomore Courtney Kordes, making her second appearance in the finals, posted a 78 to take third place.
Only Pentrack, Rohanna and Kordes broke 80. The average score of the 35-player field was 89.8 on a course that demands shots from the fairway.
"I came here to have fun; I really didn't have any expectations for myself," said Kordes, who placed 13th last year. "I only played here once and I shot like an 89. I was happy with how I played."
Kordes, a third-degree black belt who plays three sports at Highlands, made four birdies, including a seven-footer on the par-3 18th.
Senior Laura Huber of Pine-Richland shot 80 to tie senior Lauren Glew of Mars for fourth.
Caryn Doege of Gateway (82), Marissa Glew of Mars (83), Jacquie Harris of Mt. Lebanon (83), Toni Crough of Mt. Lebanon (86) and Maria Battaglia of Laurel Highlands (87) rounded out the top 10.
Notes: Kathleen Tepe of Upper St. Clair made par on the first hole of a three-way playoff to take the 16th spot. Jen Snyder of North Allegheny finished second in the playoff and took the alternate spot. ... Danielle Morosco of Peters Township withdrew after playing 10 holes due to pain in her back. ... Lauren Hammel of Peters Township had the biggest turnaround, shooting 55 on the front and 43 on the back to place 26th.