Pine-Richland boys golfers qualify for WPIAL individual finals

Friday, September 27, 2019 | 7:20 PM

Pine-Richland golfer Donnie Professori is heading back to the WPIAL Class AAA individual final after shooting 73 to win the WPIAL Class AAA qualifier this past Monday at Hannastown Golf Club.

Professori will be joined in his third go-around at the championship by teammate Nick Piper, a junior who qualified after tying for fourth at the semifinal with a 77.

Coach Jeff Seybert sees the duo’s accomplishment as a byproduct of the dedication they have exhibited over the last year.

“It’s great to see, after all the time these guys put in,” Seybert said. “From November or December of last year, they started working together as a unit — just going to the bubble or wherever — and working.

“It’s great to see it pay off. Donnie, for him to get back to the finals, and for Nick Piper to get his first taste of the finals, it’s great. And for our younger kids, because we have a young team this year, they get to see that process and the amount of time and effort it actually takes to get to a WPIAL final. It’s a great example for them to follow.”

As a sophomore, Professori finished 12th at his first WPIAL Class AAA championship and PIAA qualifier. Last season, he took 15th. In both cases, the top 14 scorers automatically qualified for states. Now, after narrowly missing out on qualifying in his junior season, Professori is getting one more crack at qualifying for the state championship. And he said he is determined to top last year’s performance.

“Last year, we had a bunch of weather delays,” Professori said. “I can’t blame it on that, but maybe my focus just wasn’t where I needed it to be after all that.

“I had some unlucky breaks here and there, and that took me out of it a little. But this year, I’m aiming on getting to states.”

Professori also won the Section 3-AAA qualifier after shooting 73 at Hiland Golf Club. Piper and Luke Yackovich also performed well, hitting the qualifying mark of 80.

The WPIAL Class AAA individual boys championship was held earlier this week at Fox Chapel Country Club, after deadline for this edition.


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