Brady Pevarnik and Palmer Jackson are not only two of the top golfers in the WPIAL and state, they’re also good friends.
So, it was appropriate the past two Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association boys golf champions needed a tiebreaker to determine a winner in this year’s event Thursday at Latrobe Elks Golf Club.
Pevarnik, a senior at Latrobe and a Penn State commit, and Jackson, a senior at Franklin Regional and Notre Dame commit, each shot a 3-under par 69 to take medalist honors.
But Pevarnik was awarded his second consecutive title on a scorecard tiebreaker. Pevarnik, who lost a scorecard tiebreaker in 2015, birdied the fifth toughest hole, No. 3, to claim the win.
The matching 69s were a tournament-best score for each. Jackson won the title in 2016 and Pevarnik fell to good friend Mark Goetz of Kiski School, now a sophomore at West Virginia, in 2015.
Pevarnik started quickly, birding three of the first four holes. He finished with a 33 on the front nine.
“When I did that, I was thinking a real low score,” Pevarnik said. “But then I couldn’t get anything to drop, and Palmer caught me on No. 11 when I three-putted.”
Jackson birdied Nos. 5 and 8 on the front to finish at 34. On the back nine, Pevarnik bogeyed No. 11, but got a shot up when Jackson bogeyed No. 14. Pevarnik bogeyed the par-5 No. 15 when his drive got a little errant.
The two stayed tied the rest of the way, with both picking up birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 to finish the round.
“Brady jumped out right away, and I had to fight back,” Jackson said. “It was good playing against Brady because you knew where you stand. Both of us have bigger things ahead.”
Pevarnik and Jackson are both eyeing the WPIAL Class AAA tournament at Oakmont Country Club on Oct. 2 and likely the PIAA tournament at Heritage Hills Resort on Oct. 22 and 23.
“I pulled it together late,” Pevarnik said. “It was a solid round, and it’s really a great event to win.
“I wouldn’t say it was a relaxing win. We knew where we stood. It was a battle down the stretch. There was a lot of tension. We both knew it would be either one if us.”
Pevarnik said winning the county title on a course he grew up on was special.
“Neither of us played great. We left some things out there,” Jackson said. “Usually 3-under gets the job done. It was good to play against Brady because it’s always good to know where you’re competitor is at.
“We had so much fun playing. It was awesome. It was a little disappointing because I felt I could have played better.”
Greensburg Salem junior Jeff Mankins finished third with a 2-over 74. He shot a 1-under 35 on the back nine with a birdie on No. 10. Franklin Regional’s Chuck Traggeser was fourth with a 75, and Burrell’s Tiger Hubbard was fifth with a 75.
Belle Vernon’s Jake Caldwell (76), Penn-Trafford’s Cade Patterson (77), Latrobe’s Jared Stein (78), Franklin Regional’s Michael Wareham (78) and Mt. Pleasant’s Tim Pisula (79) rounded out the top 10.
Franklin Regional was team champion in Class AAA with a score of 389. Latrobe followed with a 399. The Class AA champion was Kiski School with a 419. Mt. Pleasant was second with a 421.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.