Franklin Regional’s Johnson captures WCCA title with personal-best round

Thursday, September 7, 2023 | 8:08 PM

When Franklin Regional girls golf coach Kane Daignault was talking to Ali Boyle about her play during the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association tournament Thursday, she told him she didn’t think the team would win the title.

Daignault then informed her how sophomore Gianna Johnson played, which shocked Boyle.

Playing the best round of her career, Johnson ended up claiming the girls title by winning a scorecard playoff against Greensburg Central Catholic senior Izzy Aigner.

Both players finished the 9-hole event at Champion Lakes Golf Course with a 4-over-par 40 on the front nine. Most of the players avoided the heavy rain that fell around noon.

“I don’t know where they came from,” Johnson said. “I played consistent, and I avoided big mistakes.”

Her score was the best nine holes she played. Her best round this fall was a 44. She placed third in this tournament as a freshman with a 43.

The deciding hole was No. 4, where Johnson had a bogey 5 and Aigner had a double-bogey 6.

But Aigner played the final three holes at 4-over, which included a three-putt double bogey 6 from 3 feet on No. 9.

“I didn’t have any expectations,” said Aigner, who will be playing at Pebble Beach Golf Links in a Senior PGA Championship event Sept. 19-24. “I was relaxed and looking to have some fun. Those putts on No. 9 hurt.”

Aigner, thanks to birdies on Nos. 3 and 5, was even par through six holes.

Johnson clinched the win by making a par putt on No. 9.

“I was a little bit nervous coming into the event because I hadn’t been playing to my potential,” Johnson said. “But I played with confidence, and even if I had a bad shot, I stayed positive.”

Johnson said her putting was the key to her win. She had four one-putts, and the rest were two-putts.

“I really like this course, especially the greens,” Johnson said. “This was my first tournament win. I placed second in a PGA Isaly’s event at the Latrobe Elks.”

Hempfield’s Milana Yannascoli was third with a 42 followed by Penn-Trafford’s Saylor Kaminski with a 45 and Mt. Pleasant’s Emily Eutsey with a 45.

The rest of the top 10 were Franklin Regional’s Mia Snyder, sixth with a 46; Franklin Regional’s Ali Boyle, seventh with a 46; Ligonier Valley’s Addy Witcoski, eighth with a 48; Penn-Trafford’s Amanda Bobich, ninth with a 48; and Penn-Trafford’s Antolena Damico, 10th with a 48.

Franklin Regional grabbed the team title with 182 points followed by Penn-Trafford at 191, Greensburg Central Catholic at 196, Hempfield at 197 and Mt. Pleasant at 200.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at

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