Greensburg Salem’s Mankins captures Westmoreland County junior in playoff

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Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 7:01 PM


It’s been a busy week on the golf course for Greensburg Salem’s Jeff Mankins.

He’s competed in three tournaments and played 92 holes over the past four days. He capped off the week by winning his first Westmoreland County Golf Association’s Junior Amateur on Thursday at Latrobe Country Club.

Mankins, who will attend IUP in the fall, needed two extra holes to edge Franklin Regional senior-to-be Mike Wareham for the title. Mankins played in both rounds of the Tri-State Open on Monday and Tuesday and then 36 holes in the Tri-State PGA Junior Championship on Wednesday.

Wareham won the 36-hole Tri-State PGA Junior Championship on Wednesday at Willowbrook Country Club near Vandergrift at 2-over. Mankins tied for third at 6-over.

“I’m going to take a few days off,” Mankins said. “I’ve been playing in this golf tournament for the past six years and I haven’t had much success on this golf course. I’ve struggled here. It’s a hard golf course; you have to hit it straight.

“I started off solid. I made nine pars on the front nine and I had a good feeling. I kind of lost it a little bit on the back, but at the end of the day, I’m (happy) to win here.”

Mankins and Wareham each finished with a 5-over 77. Both had opportunities to win on No. 18 and on the first playoff hole, but winning putts would not drop.

On the second playoff hole, Wareham’s second shot ended up under a pine tree to the right of the green. His punch shot rolled over the green, and then he two-putted for double bogey.

Mankins’ drive ended up in the middle of the fairway and his second shot left him with a 30-foot uphill putt for birdie. He two-putted for the win.

“The entire day, I hit the driver really well,” Wareham said. “But in the playoff, I was off. I got off to a rough start, but bounced back well with birdies on Nos. 6 and 8.

“From No. 12 on, I felt it would come down to me and Jeff. I had my opportunities.”

Mankins’ up-and-down from the front bunker for par on No. 17 was big for him. He was forced to make a sliding downhill 5-foot putt.

Penn-Trafford’s Alex Turowski finished third with a 6-over 78 and Latrobe’s Mario Battaglia was fourth with a 7-over 79.

Turkowski rallied on the back nine after shooting an 8-over 44 on the front nine. He birdied Nos. 14 and 17.

Battaglia had a birdie putt lip out on No. 17 and was forced go for birdie to tie on No. 18, but his putt slid past the hole.

Penn-Trafford’s Nick Turowski took top honors in the 13-15 age division after shooting a 7-over 79. Franklin Regional’s Nolan Shilling placed second and Patrick Bush of Belle Vernon was third.

The top girls finisher was Greensburg Central Catholic’s Meghan Zambruno, who shot a 91.

Winning the team title was Frankin Regional with a three-man score of 242.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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