Three juniors enjoy solid seasons
With their senior seasons approaching, three golfers from the East region appear to have plenty of incentive heading into the 2014 Class AAA golf season.
Central Catholic's Nick Cuny, Allderdice's Sasha Lobel and Hempfield's Javon Trout all had solid junior seasons that brought them to the PIAA Class AAA Individual Golf Championships a year ago.
At the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Diamond Run Golf Club, Cuny placed sixth with a 1-over-par round of 71. Lobel was one stroke behind with a 2-over-par total of 72, and Trout was eighth with a 73.
All three advanced to the Western Regional at Tom's Run in Blairsville where Trout finished fourth with a 2-over-par round of 74, and Lobel was in a three-way tie for sixth with a 4-over-par round of 76.
Cuny finished in a three-way tie for 11th with Upper St. Clair's Thomas Steve and Baldwin's Zach Taylor. But Cuny lost in a two-hole playoff for the final qualifying spot for the state tournament. Trout finished in a three-way tie for 18th place at the PIAA Class AAA state championship with a two-day total of 157. Lobel was 29th with a two-day total of 164.
Barto solves playoff format to win second WPIAL title
For Matt Barto, a second WPIAL Class AA Individual Boys Championship meant he had to do something that had never occurred throughout his amateur golf career: winning a tournament in a playoff.
But that's what the Leechburg senior did last September when he defeated Charleroi Area's Gunnar Riley on the first playoff hole at the tournament held at Sewickley Heights Country Club.
"I've gone into extra holes in match play, and I've never won," Barto said after shooting a birdie on the first playoff hole after he and Riley shot matching 18-hole totals of 75. "I've lost on three holes in a sudden-death playoff."
Riley ran into trouble on the playoff hole and had to settle for a bogey. All Barto needed was a par putt to win the title, but he drained a 7-foot birdie putt to win the playoff by two strokes.
"Making that putt is such an explanation point," he said.
The victory qualified Barto for the Western Regional Tournament at Tom's Run in Blairsville where he shot an even-par round of 72 to finish third. Barto finished his high school career by finishing 16th at the PIAA Class AA Individual Championship at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York with a an 18-over-par total of 160 for the two-day event. He shot rounds of 81 and 79.