Turowski siblings turn in big day at Westmoreland Junior Amateur, with Nicholas Turowski winning

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Thursday, June 10, 2021 | 9:42 PM


The siblings, three years apart, sat within earshot of one another, along with some others in the field, while awaiting the official results of the annual Westmoreland County Golf Association Junior Amateur Tournament.

That’s not to say Alex and Nicholas Turowski didn’t already know who would finish atop the leaderboard Thursday at Latrobe Country Club.

“I had an idea I was going to win it,” said Nicholas, who was playing in the 13-15 Division. “They have a score sheet out there. After 10 holes, I had a one-stroke lead and was able to stretch it to four at the end. When I see a lead, I try not to lose it. In fact, I try to extend it.”

At 15, Nicholas Turowski, who just completed his freshman year at Penn-Trafford, shot 1-over-par 73 to earn the championship trophy and become the youngest player to win the event, which has been held every year since 1989.

“He beat me (Wednesday at the Tri-State PGA Section Junior Championship) to qualify for the (45th PGA Junior Championship),” Alex Turowski said of his younger brother. “He came in second. I came in third. We go back-and-forth.

“He’s playing very solid golf. He’s hitting an awful lot of putts, and he’s hitting the fairways. He’s had a solid year, and he’s going to continue to have a solid year.”

Nicholas wasn’t so sure the two highly competitive brothers would be as cordial when they returned home.

“He’ll tell me, ‘Congrats.’ I will say, ‘Thank you,’ ” Nicholas said with a wink. “End of conversation.”

Alex, 18 and committed to Division II Fairmont State, smiled at the notion.

“He wants to beat me as much and as often as possible,” Alex said. “We’re definitely competitive with one another. It could have been me, but I couldn’t be more happy that he won it because it’s still in the family. He represented us well.”

Nicholas said his confidence is soaring at a time when he still is learning the finer points of the sport.

“You definitely have to have drive,” he said. “It’s never accepting a loss. It’s having a loss drive you farther instead of having it push you down. When you lose, it should make you work harder instead of making you mad about it.”

Alex Turowski finished in a three-way tie with Michael Wareham of Franklin Regional and Ben Ritenour of Greensburg Central Catholic at 77 but settled for fourth place overall after Wareham won a three-way playoff for second to win the 16-18 Division, and Ritenour wound up third.

Ritenour, who was in the first group to go off at 8 a.m., produced the top score that stood until late in the tournament.

“There’s a lot of good players in this tournament,” he said. “I thought 77 was going to be kind of close, but I figured 75 would probably win it. It was rough waiting it out, but I’m happy with the way I played. I battled off the back after a rough front.”

It is a reminder of the challenging conditions for a course known as the home of Arnold Palmer.

“This is a frustrating place. It can wear you down,” tournament co-chair Bob Allshouse said.

Ritenour’s score wouldn’t hold up when when the trio of Nicholas and Alex Turowski and Wareham completed their rounds by mid-afternoon just as the rain appeared.

“It’s a very tight course, and the greens are extremely fast and very undulating,” Nicholas Turowski said.

Chase Crissman of Penn-Trafford shot 78 to put him in fifth place, and Tyler Morcello of Belle Vernon finished sixth with 79.

A pair of Franklin Regional products were next: Luke Kimmich seventh with 80 and Zach Abdallah eighth with 81.

Patrick Bush of Belle Vernon was ninth, also with 81 in regulation, and Nolan Shilling of Franklin Regional rounded out the top 10 with 83.

Penn-Trafford repeated as team champion after the Warriors posted the best score in 2020, with Alex Turowski shooting 78, and Nicholas Turowski turning in a 79.

“Two years ago, in the same tournament, I shot 96,” Nicholas Turowski said. “I’ve gotten that much better with a lot of practice. I’ve grown and gotten a lot stronger, so I hit the ball much farther now, and it makes golf courses completely different.”

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