Norwin girls golfers polishing short-game skills

Friday, September 13, 2019 | 6:52 PM

The Norwin girls golf team does a lot of things well on the course. But the team has one weakness — the short game.

“I have five girls who can get from the tee to the green,” Norwin coach Mike Buscemi said. “But when they get near the green, they can struggle and pick up a few strokes.”

Buscemi said the Knights (3-6) have tried to get as much work as they can in at their home course at Victory Hills Golf Course, but it can be a struggle to do so.

“It is hard to get practice in sometimes,” Buscemi said. “We have matches sometimes three days a week. If we can get a little more work in there, it can help build some confidence. That is when we’ll see scores improve.”

Norwin’s No. 1 golfer has been Jules Crosby. The senior has averaged in the mid-40s throughout the season. She finished in second place at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association’s tournament Sept. 4.

“She is my workhorse,” Buscemi said. “No one works harder than her. She is at the practice facility when the match is over, working on her putting. She has also really improved her long game.”

From there, the team’s next three golfers are close in their skills. Senior Cecilia Fidley brings experience to the course, but junior Mallory Donofrio has pushed her for the No. 2 spot. Sophomore Jessica Bushik has shown promise throughout the season.

“We have three other girls battling for the fifth position,” Buscemi said. “They are all one stroke away from each other. Everyone is working hard.”

The Knights are focused on putting together a strong second half. Section 3-AAA has been highly competitive with Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional and Indiana all having strong seasons.

“It is a very difficult section,” Buscemi said. “Some of the teams are posting scores in the 170s or 180s. We’re right around 200. We’ve been under that once this season.”

Buscemi is challenging his players to lower their scores throughout the second half of the season. To accomplish this, he wants to see each golfer shave two strokes off her score.

“I think that is manageable,” Buscemi said. “It would make us a lot more competitive. I really feel that two or three strokes per person would give us a chance to win.”

On the boys side, the Knights (7-3) had a pair of golfers finish in the top 11 of WCCA boys golf tournament Sept. 12 at Latrobe Elks Golf Club.

Junior Trent Kablach finished in seventh place after shooting a 77. Junior Logan Divald finished 11th with a 78. Latrobe’s Jarred Stein was the top finisher with a 75 on the par-72 course.


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