Thomas Jefferson golfer Rossi finishes strong

Friday, December 1, 2017 | 11:00 PM

Adam Rossi ended his impressive golf career at Thomas Jefferson as a WPIAL finalist.

Rossi, a senior and four-year varsity golfer, placed 20th at the WPIAL Class AAA finals held at Nemacolin Country Club.

Rossi shot an 80 to finish at 10-over-par, which included two birdies on the back nine. He was one of five golfers who missed qualifying for the PIAA tournament by two strokes.

“I had a really fun senior season and a great end to my high school golf career,” said Rossi, who also advanced to the WPIAL finals as a junior. “I think the team, along with myself, played consistently good golf all season with a few letdowns.”

Rossi's strengths on the links are his short game, his play around the greens, and his wedges.

“I think a good short game is a huge fundamental of the game of golf,” he said, “and I focus the most on that. I practice my short game more than anything because that's where most of the game is played. My ability to chip and putt is how I score and possibly turn a bad hole in to a good one.

“Off the tee, I can get the ball out where I'd like it to go most of the time, but when I miss the green or have a scoring opportunity, I rely on my short game to get up and down or score and get a birdie.”

Rossi, who has a 3.4 GPA, plans to continue his golf career in college while majoring in professional golf management.

“I am still deciding on where I want to continue my academic and athletic careers,” he said.

The TJ linkster placed sixth at the WPIAL semifinal round held at Donegal Highlands Golf Course with a 1-over score of 73. He birdied two of the final three holes to clinch a berth in the finals.

Rossi, whose favorite club is the 4-iron, won his section qualifier at South Hills Country Club with a round of 75. The target score for qualifying for the WPIAL tournament was 82.

Thomas Jefferson advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament for a third year in a row, qualifying as a section runner-up.

The Jaguars lineup consisted of Rossi, sophomore Noah Pierce, seniors Alex Stuncard and Luke Warhola, junior John Piscitelli and freshmen Aiden Kelly, Rich Allen and Mark Stover.

“We placed second in our section with a disappointing loss to Mt. Lebanon at our home course at Butler's,” Rossi said.

TJ tied for first place with Mt. Lebanon in section play in 2016.

Rossi led the team in scoring for a second straight season with a nine-hole average of 37. He averaged 75 on 18 holes.

“I struggled at the beginning of the season trying to find a transition back into high school golf (nine holes) after a long summer of individual tournaments (18-54 holes),” Rossi said, “but eventually got back in the groove and shot some low scores when they mattered.

“My goal was to make it to states this year after a disappointing finish in the WPIAL final at Oakmont last year. Unfortunately, it didn't go that well at the WPIAL finals at Nemacolin.”

In the winter months, Rossi keeps active. He enjoys snowboarding and also participates in the PHARA basketball program.

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.


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