Shilling captures Westmoreland County Junior tournament

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Thursday, June 22, 2023 | 7:18 PM


Nolan Shilling just got done competing in the West Penn Open on Wednesday, facing fast, slick greens for three days at Edgewood Country Club.

So the greens at Latrobe Country Club on Thursday for the Westmoreland County Golf Association Junior Championship weren’t as difficult, and the recent Franklin Regional graduate took advantage to capture his first title.

Shilling, who will attend Youngstown State this fall, shot a 3-over-par 75 to edge Penn-Trafford’s Nick Turowski, who won this event in 2021. Turowski, a rising senior, shot 5-over 77.

Norwin’s Alex Graham finished third with a 6-over 78, Frazier’s Nixen Erdely was fourth with a 7-over 79 and Greensburg Central Catholic’s Braden Riley and Wade Boyle followed with an 8-over 80.

The 13-15 age group was won by Kiski Area’s Max Mottura, who shot 80.

“Staying patient was the key,” Shilling said. “These greens weren’t as crazy as the ones at Edgewood.”

Shilling began his round with seven consecutive pars. After consecutive bogeys on Nos. 8 and 9, Shilling sustained his only hiccup of his round on No. 11 with a double-bogey 6.

“I missed the green to the left and then three-putted,” Shilling said.

He then regained control, birdied No. 15 and pulled away for the win.

“I gave myself chances at birdies early on,” Shilling said. “I played steady down the stretch. This is one of my favorite tournaments. There are always good players competing, and I’m friends with a lot of them. I also play for Mr. (Bob) Allshouse because he does such a great job running the tournament.”

Shilling lost in a three-man playoff in 2022 to Belle Vernon’s Tyler Mocello and Erdely. Mocello, who pulled his drive off No. 1 into the fairway on No. 18, hit his approach shot to within 2 inches of the cup for a tap-in birdie.

Turowski made a big blunder on No. 8 that cost him.

“I was 120 yards away from the green, and I pulled wedge into a bunker,” Turowski said. “Then I didn’t get out of the bunker and ended up with a triple-bogey seven. I was coming off a bogey, and I killed a drive. I was looking for a birdie.

“Other than that, I drove the ball well. I felt if I played my game, no one would beat me. I just made too many mistakes.”

Turowski and Shilling are playing in the Pennsylvania Junior tournament in Hershey. Turowski finished second in 2022. Turowski also qualified for the U.S. Juniors in late July.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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