5 storylines to watch at the WPIAL Class AAA boys individual golf championship

Monday, September 30, 2019 | 6:37 PM

The WPIAL Class AAA boys individual golf championship will be Tuesday at Fox Chapel Golf Club.

The first tee times are at 8 a.m. and the last at 10:50. There will be 18 twosomes.

The top 14 finishers in the 18-hole tournament advance to the PIAA Western Regional on Oct. 15 at Tom’s Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge Resort in Blairsville.

Fox Chapel is not allowing carts on the course due to recent rain.

Full pairings here.

Live scoring here.

Here are five storylines to watch:

1. Another new champion

With the graduation of last year’s champion, Jimmy Meyers of Central Catholic, there will be a new Class AAA champion for the 16th straight year. There has not been a repeat champ in the classification since the WPIAL started recognizing Class AAA and AA (or Division I and II) champions since 2010.

The last large-school repeat champion was Mike Van Sickle of Pine-Richland (2003-04).

2. Fox hunt

Fox Chapel has three qualifiers in the 36-player field. The Foxes play their home matches at nearby Pittsburgh Field Club but know Fox Chapel Golf Club well. Foxes senior Scott Bitar is the top returning finisher from last year’s championship. He took sixth with a 7-over-par 78 at Oakmont Country Club. His teammate, junior Aidan Oehrle, was seventh with a 79.

Shady Side Academy and Peters Township have the most qualifiers with four apiece. Shady Side just won its third straight section title and its players could use home-course advantage to bring home a title.

Players will compete from the back tees.

3. On a roll

Pine-Richland senior Donnie Professori has to be considered one of the favorites after he won the Section 3 Tournament with a 73 at Hiland Golf Club and also was medalist at the semifinal tournament at Hannastown Golf Club with a 73.

4. Others to watch

Bitar won the semifinal at Willowbrook Country with a 72 but there were nine players within four shots of the lead, including Oehrle (75) and Central Catholic freshman Rocco Salviti (75).

When Professori won at Hannastown, 10 players finished within six shots. Among them were South Fayette senior Luke Lestini (74) and Belle Vernon senior Jake Caldwell (75). Lestini finished 10th last year.

5. Section champs

Eight section champions in the field include Greensburg Salem senior Jeff Mankins (Section 1), Belle Vernon freshman Patrick Bush (2), Professori (3), Franklin Regional junior Chuck Tragesser (4), Moon junior Justin Scally (5), Mt. Lebanon senior Myles Hamel (6), Lestini (7), and Shady Side Academy junior Adam Lauer and senior teammate Brice Delaney (8).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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