Kyle McClintock from Peters Township patiently waited in the clubhouse at Nemacolin Country Club.
A senior, he had been in the sixth of 12 threesomes and had carded a 74 during the WPIAL Class AAA boys individual golf championships.
As the other groups stumbled in, McClintock climbed the leaderboard. He finished tied with Fox Chapel’s Eli Yofan as runner-up to Penn Trafford’s Nick Turowski. A sophomore, Turowski shot an even par 70 to capture WPIAL medalist honors.
“I played well,” McClintock said. “I’m really happy.”
PT golf coach David Kuhn is more than delighted with McClintock’s performance. He said McClintock was a baseball player who came to golf his freshman year.
“In three years he has done a tremendous amount of work. He has gone from averaging 54 and never having played a JV match to now being the only senior on our team and qualifying for states,” Kuhn said. “I couldn’t be happier for Kyle. He’s a great kid and he works hard.”
McClintock benefited from his consistency. He shot 37s on the front and back nine, racking up three birdies and eight pars.
“My driver went really well, I had some really good saves, my putts were falling,” said McClintock. “When my driver is working, my confidence soars.”
McClintock led the list of local qualifiers for the PIAA tournament. The top 14 WPIAL finishers advanced to state championships to be held Oct. 18-19 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.
“Our first goal was for him to qualify for states,” Kuhn said. “But it was evident from where he was based on the scoreboard he wasn’t going to fall back but only end up placing high. It was a very pleasant thing to have him finish as runner-up. We are very excited for him.”
Mt. Lebanon senior Zach Dyke finished fourth and also gained a spot in the PIAA championship match.
Mt. Lebanon head coach Al D’Alo said Dyke was a late bloomer and worked hard to get his game to where it is today.
“The competition plays at a very high level,” D’Alo said. “So to advance you must not only have the talent but the players have to perform under pressure.”
Over the 6,68-yard hilly course in Belleville, Dyke made nine pars, one birdie and an eagle on No. 12.
“Where the greens were slick and undulating, Zach was sinking most of his make-able putts,” D’Alo said. “Putting can really give a golfer confidence but it can also take it away.”
D’Alo said he expects Dyke to fare well in the state competition because of his mental toughness.
“That’s Zach’s most admirable trait and I expect he will use it,” D’Alo said. “He plays with confidence, but doesn’t get too high or too low based on any one golf shot, hole score, or bounce.”
Three straight birdies on the Nos. 12, 13 and 14 holes ricocheted James Cavark to the seventh spot in the standings. A South Fayette senior, he finished with a 6-over 76 and qualified for the state tournament.
“It went well, except for a couple holes,” said Cavrak. “I hit it below the hole on 14 about five feet and made it. On No. 12, I hit it out of the rough and it was back right of the green. It rolled all the way back down and I made it going up the hill.”
Carter Pitcairn finished tied for ninth place with four other golfers and qualified for the PIAA finals. A Central Catholic senior and Upper St. Clair resident, Pitcairn posted a 77 score.