Junior tournaments allow Penn-Trafford’s Nicholas Turowski to work on short game

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Sunday, June 13, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Nicholas Turowski hopes to have his driver’s licenses in a year.

But the 15-year-old Penn-Trafford freshman is already a good driver — of the golf ball and not a vehicle, yet.

If Turowski wants to become one of the top young golfers in the WPIAL and beyond, he knows it will be his short game that has to improve.

Turowski and his older brother, Alex, were two golfers who helped Penn-Trafford qualify for the WPIAL team tournament last fall by finishing second to Norwin in the section standings.

Since the end of the season, Nicholas Turowski has been working on his game with the main emphasis being on his wedge play.

“If you want to be successful, you have to be good from 100 yards and in,” Turowski said. “I’ve been working hard trying to become a better player. The more I gain confidence with my short game, the more stress-free my round will be.”

Turowski is already seeing his hard work pay off.

He won a Hurricane Junior Tour event at State College by 12 shots June 5 and 6 and then qualified for the 45th PGA Junior Championship by placing second at the Tri-State PGA Section Junior Championship June 9 at Fox Run Golf Course near Beaver Falls. He shot a 3-under par 141.

He and Central Catholic sophomore Rocco Salvitti (Canonsburg) were the only qualifiers. Salvitti shot a 7-under 137.

His brother, Alex, and Pittsburgh native Carter Pitcairn finished at 1-under and will serve as alternates for Junior Championship event July 12-15, at Keney Park Golf Course in Windsor, Conn.

“I’m really excited to qualify for the championship,” Nicholas Turowski said. “It shows my hard work is paying off.”

This looks to be a busy summer for Turowski.

He was on the course every day the week of June 5. He played in the Hurricane Tournament (June 5-6), he played golf and worked on wedge play at Hannastown Golf Club with Mark Goetz (June 7), caddied for Jeff Mankins (June 8), played 36 holes (June 9) at the Tri-State PGA Section Junior Championship and then played in the Westmoreland County Junior Championship (June 10).

He said learning from Goetz, a West Virginia senior who just missed qualifying for the NCAA tournament, has been invaluable.

“Mark has taught me so much,” Nicholas Turowski said.

Turowski also switched to a new putter called Armlock. He said it prevents players from breaking their wrist through the stroke.

What impressed Nicholas Turowski about his game at State College was, even though he won the age 14-15 division with a 2-over par 146, he would have won the 16-18 division by two shots.

“That was big in my eyes,” Nicholas Turowski said. “It was probably my best two rounds of my career. That’s exciting.”

And his busy summer will continue. He’s playing in an AJGA event (Mahoning Valley, Boardman, Ohio) and hopes to qualify for two others later in the season, one at Southpointe Golf Club in Canonsburg.

He’s also attempting to qualify for the West Penn Amateur and the U.S. Amateur, which will be played at Oakmont Country Club in August.

“I just want to continue to get better,” Nicholas Turowski said. “There are a lot of people I’m chasing.”

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

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