Pine-Richland’s Donnie Professori caps successful season with state medal
Friday, October 25, 2019 | 5:18 PM
Last year, Pine-Richland boys golfer Donnie Professori fell just short of participating in the PIAA Class AAA boys golf tournament as his 15th-place finish at the WPIAL title event allowed him to qualify only as an alternate.
This year, Professori not only qualified but took home 10th-place honors at the event held Oct. 21-22 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
The senior had his share of ups and downs in the ultimate individual event of the Pennsylvania high school boys golf season but remained resolute enough to work his way to rounds of 73 and 76, totaling a 7-over par 149.
It was a performance that could be described as characteristic of the Rams top golfer, who said he’s placed extra emphasis on maintaining a high level of concentration in spite of the tumultuous nature of his chosen sport this season.
“I was just happy to get back to states this year because I knew last year, I played one of my worst rounds and missed qualifying, and I didn’t want that to define me,” Professori said.
“I knew I’d have to work hard to get back to states this year. I worked on keeping a strong focus the entire time. It was important to me because last year I lost focus. I had to work a lot harder on that this year — to stay mentally sharp throughout each round. It was, ‘Don’t give up. Focus on the positive instead of the negatives, and just keep looking forward.’”
The top 10 finish at states capped a successful season for the Rams senior. Professori captured first place at the Section 1-AAA qualifier before collecting a seventh-place finish at the WPIAL individual finals, a notable improvement from his previous career high of 12th as a sophomore. His 10th-place finish at states is also a significant jump-up from his 35th-place finish as a sophomore.
Still, Professori remains a perfectionist on the course. Even after turning in his best single-season performance as a high schooler, the senior holds himself to a high standard as he seeks to continue improving his game.
“I wish I finished a little bit higher because I know I didn’t perform to the best of my abilities this week,” Professori said. “I didn’t hit the ball great, I didn’t putt the ball great, but I went out there and grinded out what I could do. I’m happy for being able to do that, but I can still be better.”