ROSTRAVER TWP. — Belle Vernon’s Tyler Mocello limped around Cedarbrook Golf Course’s Red course, teammate Patrick Bush and Connellsville’s Ethan Rice found a way to hit the target score, and Uniontown’s Logan Voytish finished under par Monday in the Section 2-AAA qualifier to earn berths into next week’s semifinal.
Albert Gallatin’s Matt Karpeal and the Leopards’ Rogan Maloney also met the target score of 80 for a spot in next Monday’s Class AAA semifinal at Willowbrook Country Club.
Voytish had the round of day, shooting 1-under 70. The sophomore played the front nine in 1-over 36 and, sparked by an eagle on No. 13, finished the back nine in 2-under 34.
Voytish said the key to his round was his solid play on the green.
“I had 20 feet for eagle on No. 13. The way I was putting today, I would’ve had a tap-in birdie,” explained Voytish. “If I’m on the green, I’m safe.
“I was confident on speed. I just found one tempo and used it the whole day.”
Given the target score, the sectional was more about beating a score than the other golfers. Voytish said he didn’t get caught up watching his card, and expects to do the same with the 36-golfer cut moving onto the WPIAL finals at Nemacolin Country Club.
“I played myself,” said Voytish, adding, “I’m going to play myself, play the same way I played today.”
Karpeal went out in 36 and played the back in 38 to finish with 3-over 74.
“I’m really familiar with this course. I just wanted to keep it in play and make a couple putts,” Karpeal said of his approach. “Par is good today, that’s for sure. Birdies make you feel more comfortable.”
Karpeal finished with three birdies and a couple tough holes.
“I had a double (bogey) on No. 4. I lost my tee shot,” said Karpeal. “I was playing well until I had a three-putt on No. 15.”
Karpeal advanced through the semifinals last year to the district championship. He has higher aspirations this fall.
“Being a senior, my last year, I want a chance at states,” said Karpeal, adding, “I want to play my best.”
Belle Vernon teammates Mocello, Bush and Rogan Maloney all shot 78.
Mocello donned a brace on his right ankle after suffering an injury last Thursday in a soccer match. He originally thought the ankle might’ve been broken, but further examination deemed the injury to be a sprain.
The senior used a pushcart with playing mates Rice and Karpeal occasionally taking turns pushing the cart. Mocello also briefly used a crutch to help navigate the course.
“It’s a very bad sprain,” said Mocello. “Getting around the course was the toughest. It was hard.
“Just making it today was a good thing,”
Mocello had the basic approach of keeping the ball in play and avoiding big numbers on the green.
“I had no doubles (bogeys) today and had a birdie on No. 11,” said Mocello. “I actually hit the ball the better part of the round.
“It was hard on the greens (with the ankle injury). I have my routine.”
Mocello hopes to get a medical exemption to use a cart in the semifinals.
Bush said he was floundering a bit through the front nine, but received an “encouraging word” from coach Melvin Gouker.
“I was on the No. 8 tee box and coach Gouker gave me the kick in the butt I needed. He got my head into it, something kicked in.
“I made a good drive and another good drive, and made the putt. That got me into it.”
The second drive and putt led to a birdie on No. 10.
Bush had a “yes-no” relationship with his wedges.
“My wedges were the downfall of my game, but then they saved my game,” said Bush.
Bush advanced to the WPIAL final last year, and would like another shot after what he experienced last fall at South Hills Country Club.
“I had a triple, quad, quad. The trees were not my friend,” Bush said with a smile.
Maloney, a sophomore, had one poor hole on the front.
“I tripled No. 9. All in all, I thought everything was good,” said Maloney. “I felt good all day. I knew what to expect. I just went out and did it.”
Maloney has his sights set high.
“I’m going to make a run at states,” said Maloney.
Rice also had a moment or two when qualifying was in doubt, but gathered himself to match the target score, 80.
“I bounced back with two birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, and I almost chipped in for birdie on No. 12. That gave me a lot of confidence,” said Rice.
Rice said playing a scorecard instead of the leaderboard was different.
“(Playing for a score) definitely gets in your head. But, it keeps you up-to-date and you know what you have to do,” said Rice.
Belle Vernon’s Seth Tomalski shot 82 and teammate Mark Toth finished with 84. Uniontown’s Gage Brugger and Laurel Highlands’ Darren Dunn both shot 84.
Section 8-AA qualifier — Brownsville’s Daniel Sethman and Carmichaels’ Mason Lapana shared medalist honors with 5-over 75 at the section qualifier held at Chippewa Golf Course to earn a berth into the WPIAL Class AA Individual Golf Championship.
Waynesburg Central qualified its entire lineup with Evan Davis (76), Braden Benke (78), Matt Ankrom (78), Mason Switalski (80), and Hudson Pincavitch (84) beating the target score of 84.
The Mikes also qualified five golfers as Liam Lohr (78), Dustin Hastings (79), Rolin Burghy (80), and Nick Ricco (84) also met the target score.
Frazier’s Nixon Erdely (78) and Beth-Center’s Chase Malanosky (82) also secured a berth into the district championship at Allegheny Country Club.
Section 2-AA qualifier — Derry’s Hunter Jurica and Greensburg Central Catholic’s Wade Boyle shared medalist honors with 7-over 77 at the section qualifier hosted by Pleasant Valley Golf Club.
The Trojans’ Ashton Beighley (78) and Antonio Hauser (82) beat the target score of 85.