After placing second in section, Penn Hills golfer earns Oakmont tee time

Saturday, October 3, 2020 | 11:01 AM

Sophomore Lucy Brayton accomplished something many haven’t been able to do at Penn Hills. Brayton qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA Girls individual championship after her performance in the section tournament.

Brayton finished second after shooting an 85 in the Section 3-AAA tournament at Murrysville Golf Course on Sept. 23. Penn-Trafford’s Lauren Barber won the section by finishing with an 81.

Brayton, who had to hit the target score of 89 in order to qualify for WPIALs, is the first girls golfer at Penn Hills to qualify for WPIALs since Mallory Ruhling in 2007.

“We thought strongly that she could qualify for the WPIAL championship. Last year as a ninth grader, she missed out by two strokes. She had a bad hole down the stretch and it knocked her out,” coach Charlie Buttgereit said. “This year, she felt comfortable if she just played her game that she would get through and qualify. She shot a 42 on the front and 43 on the back. She was pretty steady and in control the whole day.”

The prize for qualifying for WPIALs for girls in Class AAA is a special one as the golfers will play a round at historic Oakmont Country Club on Oct. 8.

“I didn’t play my best at Murrysville, but I’m happy I qualified,” Brayton said. “To play at Oakmont is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a little bit nervous but definitely excited to take this opportunity to play 18 holes at one of the most famous golf courses in the U.S.”

In order to move on to the state tournament, Brayton will need to finish in the top 11 out of 35 golfers.

“Oakmont is known for their very fast greens that are elevated with several bunkers,” Brayton said. “I have to putt well and hope my irons will hold the greens. If I hit a bad shot or have a bad hole, I need to keep moving forward. I just want to enjoy the golf course.”

Buttgereit echoed similar thoughts on how Brayton should approach her first WPIAL appearance.

“I want her to concentrate on the next shot and stay in the moment,” Buttgereit said. “Don’t get frustrated. She’s a perfectionist. If you’re in trouble, just get out of it. I want her to play her game. If she doesn’t put big numbers up, she can play with these other girls.”

Brayton, who is a member of the Hill Crest Country Club, has been preparing herself for this moment basically all her life. Her father, Joel, qualified for the state tournament during his time at Penn Hills. Brayton’s father introduced her and her older brother, Joel, who’s a senior this season, to the sport.

“I think I have to go into it like a regular golf course,” Brayton said. “I just need to prepare my mind mentally, focus and concentrate. I need to take it hole by hole, shot by shot and just relax and enjoy the golf course.”

In the end, Buttgereit would like to see Brayton live by the team’s slogan: “Play hard, do your best, but enjoy the day.”


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