WPIAL Class AAA girls golf championship preview: Players face tough test at Oakmont Country Club

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 4:41 PM

WPIAL Class AAA girls golf individual championship

10 a.m. Thursday, Oakmont Country Club, Plum

2019 champion: Isabella Walter, North Allegheny

The field: 35 players will compete over 18 holes for the district championship. The player breakdown by county is: Allegheny (17), Butler (5), Westmoreland (4), Washington (4), Fayette (3), Beaver (2).

Section champions: Lihini Ranaweera, Seneca Valley (Section 1); Adena Rugola, Uniontown (Section 2); Lauren Barber, Penn-Trafford (Section 3); Nina Busch, Fox Chapel (Section 4).

Who moves on: The top 5 finishers advance to the PIAA championships set for Oct. 19-20 at Heritage Hills Resort in York. The PIAA eliminated the Western and Eastern regional tournaments this year.

Inside the ropes: This is the first time the girls championship will be played at historic Oakmont, which has hosted a record nine U.S. Opens (2 U.S. Women’s Opens), three PGA Championships and five U.S. Amateurs. … Oakmont, known for its deep rough and fast greens, hosted the Class AAA boys finals two years ago. … Uniontown junior Adena Rugola had the lowest qualifying score with a 2-over-par 74. Rugola came back from offseason shoulder surgery. She made the WPIAL finals last year and finished fourth with an 80 at Diamond Run. … Fox Chapel junior Busch could be considered the favorite based on how she finished last year. She broke 80 for the first time with a 4-over 76 and took North Allegheny senior Isabella Walter to a playoff. But Walter won with a clutch, 12-foot par putt on the second extra hole. … Peters Township senior Ella McRoberts finished third last year (79), while other top-10 finishers — junior Paige Scott of Butler (81), junior Tori Slagle of Upper St. Clair (81), senior Rhianna Firmstone of Moon (82), junior Erin Drahnak of Fox Chapel (83), senior Tara Loughran of Oakland Catholic (83), and junior Lindsey Powanda of Mt. Lebanon (83) — also return to the finals. … Lihini Ranaweera of Seneca Valley is the only freshman in the field. … A North Allegheny golfer has won the last four titles. Caroline Wrigley won three in a row from 2016-18. … Penn-Trafford’s Lauren Barber and Firmstone are four-time qualifiers. … Peters Township and Upper St. Clair have the most qualifiers with three apiece.

Pairings: WPIAL link

Live scoring: WPIAL link

Past WPIAL champions:

2020 — Eva Bulger, Quaker Valley (AA)

2019 — Isabella Walter, North Allegheny (AAA); Eva Bulger, Quaker Valley (AA)

2018 — Caroline Wrigley, North Allegheny (AAA); Maddie Smithco, North Catholic (Class AA)

2017 — Caroline Wrigley, North Allegheny (Class AAA); Tatum McKelvey, Sewickley Academy (Class AA)

2016 — Caroline Wrigley, North Allegheny (Class AAA); Kiaria Porter, Central Valley (Class AA)

2015 — Marissa Balish, Hampton (Class AAA); Olivia Zambruno, Greensburg C.C. (Class AA)

2014 — Lauren Waller, Canon-McMillan (Class AAA); Olivia Zambruno, Greensburg C.C. (Class AA)

2013 — Lauren Waller, Canon-McMillan (Class AAA); Macky Fouse, Central Valley (Class AA)

2012 — Janista Numpho-Frank, Hempfield (Class AAA); Gillian Alexander, Jefferson-Morgan (Class AA)

2011 — Marissa DeCola, Butler (Division I); Emily Rohanna, Waynesburg (Division II)

2010 — Katerina Luttner, Fox Chapel (Division I); Emily Rohanna, Waynesburg (Division II)

2009 — Nadia Luttner, Fox Chapel

2008 — Nadia Luttner, Fox Chapel

2007 — Rachel Rohanna, Waynesburg

2006 — Margaret Pentrack, Shady Side Academy

2005 — Rachel Rohanna, Waynesburg

2004 — Megan Trachok, Upper St. Clair

2003 — Katie Trachok, Upper St. Clair

2002 — Katie Miller, Hempfield

2001 — Jordyn Wells, Bethel Park

2000 — Emily Shoplik, Fox Chapel

1999 — Lauren George, Uniontown

1998 — Lauren George, Uniontown

1997 — Jen Patterson, Bethel Park

1996 — Julee Sovesky, Neshannock

1995 — Jen Patterson, Bethel Park

1994 — Shannon Ruane, Gateway

1993 — Erin Suvak, Woodland Hills

1992 — Tara Adams, Latrobe

1991 — Staci Aber, Greensburg Central Catholic

1990 — Staci Aber, Greensburg Central Catholic

1989 — Colleen Scally, Moon

1988 — Staci Aber, Greensburg Central Catholic

1987 — Kelli Weaver, Latrobe

1986 — Jodi Figley, Hopewell

1985 — Jodi Figley, Hopewell

1984 — Jodi Figley, Hopewell

1983 — Jodi Figley, Hopewell

1982 — Michelle Michanowicz, Fox Chapel

1981 — Beth Huey, Laurel Highlands

1980 — Missy Berteotti, Upper St. Clair

1979 — Missy Berteotti, Upper St. Clair

1978 — Nancy Tomich, Upper St. Clair

1977 — Nancy Tomich, Upper St. Clair

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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