Leechburg’s Klasnick wants to build off momentum on Section 1-AA golf title

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | 10:46 AM


After a scintillating Section 1-AA golf final in which Leechburg’s Ken Klasnick defeated Burrell’s Jaxon Logut in the second sudden-death hole, the Blue Devils senior is preparing for the WPIAL individual finals Thursday at Allegheny Country Club.

Klasnick and Logut each shot a 92 on Sept. 20, at Lenape Heights Country Club near Ford City to set up the dramatic finish.

“I never felt adrenaline going through my body as I went to the first tee,” Klasnick said. “But I hit the ball 15-20 yards further than before. It went straight down the fairway.”

Leechburg first-year coach Hunter Howell said: “Ken had a great, confident drive. He really got after it. He had to make a tight putt but missed by 2 inches. The young gentleman from Burrell had a great chip shot from a horrible lie.”

Klasnick and Logut moved from the 10th hole to the 18th at Lenape Heights for the next sudden-death hole.

“The 18th is my favorite hole at Lenape,” Klasnick said. “There’s a big crowd standing at the top of the hill, and I knew that this was the time to do it. It was nerve-wracking.”

That day didn’t start out well for Klasnick, who four-putted the first hole but recovered to shoot 46 on both the front and back nine.

The golfers missed the targeted score of 84.

It has been a trying season for Howell, who grew up in central New York state around Binghamton.

Howell had to recruit two girls from the volleyball team and a soccer player to avoid automatic forfeits whenever possible. WPIAL rules require teams to have six golfers present at the start of each match.

The forfeits don’t affect individual golfers such as Klasnick, who would like to follow in the footsteps of the former Leechburg standout Cole Villa.

Villa finished second in WPIAL play last year, a match also held at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley Heights.

“At the start of the season, I and Leechburg athletic director Andre Carter challenged Ken to win the section and take after Cole. I should have made him a team captain earlier,” Howell said with a laugh.

Klasnick has been golfing for only about five years, taking up the game later than most.

“Cole Villa got me started for my ninth grade year,” Klasnick said. “I’m glad so far to accomplish something everyone can’t do.”

Klasnick is looking to get in a predetermined practice round early in the week to get accustomed to the course at Allegheny Country Club.

Klasnick also is an avid bowler, belonging to leagues out of Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum, and he plays hockey for the Armstrong Arrows.

At some point, Klasnick hopes to get into coaching golf on the high school level after attending college, where he wants to study real estate.

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