Franklin Regional girls golfers test their mettle in WPIAL postseason

Saturday, October 14, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Mark Twain is believed to have said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”

For Franklin Regional golfers Ali Boyle and Gianna Johnson, a stroll around Diamond Run Golf Club for the WPIAL Class 3A Championship on a perfect, sun-splashed October afternoon was a tune-up for the team postseason.

“Obviously we wanted to qualify for states,” Boyle said. “My chipping was a lot better (in the final round). The greens were firm and fast. The last four holes are really tough. It was nice to end with a par.”

Section 3 champion Franklin Regional, which has not lost a section match since the current seniors were freshmen, was gearing up for the WPIAL team finals Oct. 12 at Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver.

Franklin Regional, the three-time defending champion of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Championship, finished fourth in the WPIAL last year.

Coach Kane Daignault believed this team, which has not lost a match in three years — something to the tune of 43-0 — is the program’s best chance at a district title.

“There is nice balance from top to bottom,” he said. “The team has senior leadership, and we have several girls who contribute instead of just one good player.”

Boyle, a senior anchor for the Panthers, finished 12th in the WPIAL finals with rounds of 89 and 88 for a 33-over total.

Johnson, a sophomore, came in 17th (90-96).

“I was six shots better than the first round, so that was good,” Johnson said. “It was a great exprience. It’s a mental game out there, mind over matter. All the girls here are really good.”

Johnson was the WCCA individual champion earlier this season.

Boyle thought the team could contend with the WPIAL’s best because they quietly are a part of that group.

“If we all play smart and manage the course well, we should be OK,” Boyle said. “We definitely have a chance.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


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