Marissa Malosh was just 10 years old when she first decided to join her father, Greg, and brother, Dom, in their backyard to hit some golf balls.
Six years later, the South Fayette junior is tops in the WPIAL.
On Oct. 7, Malosh shot an even-par 70 from the white, 5,477-yard tees at Hannastown Golf Club in Greensburg and captured the Class AAA girls individual title.
“Honestly, I’m really excited and happy,” said the 16-year-old daughter of Lisa Malosh. “I had a good day.”
Malosh’s previous experiences in WPIAL championship action had not been up to her current standard. She shot an 84 and finished 12th in 2019 and fired a 94 for another 12th-place showing in 2020.
“My last two years I messed up and ended up playing really bad,” Malosh said. “I got nervous on 17 and 18 and when I got to those last two holes this time I had no idea where I stood. That was good because I was able to control my mental game a lot more.”
Malosh gained composure on the greens by taking a little trip to Lake Mary in Florida last season where she attended the Mike Bender Elite Golf Academy.
For three months, she just golfed. She went from an 8 handicap to a scratch golfer.
“Everything about my game improved. How to approach shots, what to hit, chipping,” she said. “It helped me a lot.”
Malosh said she played smarter than she normally does. She said during the course of the match she knew her driver was getting away from her, so she took her time on her tee shots.
“I took that extra second and it paid off,” Malosh said. “I am usually more aggressive but I feel like I was able to know when to go for things and when to lay back.”
Malosh is not going to relax anytime soon.
As the WPIAL champion, she is already qualified for the PIAA tournament to be held Oct. 18 and 19 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort. It will be her fist trip to York for the championships.
“Honestly I just want to do well,” she said. “Even if I play bad, I want to have a good time and a good experience because I can learn a lot. There will be a lot of good players there.”
South Fayette’s Caroline McConnell, Mt. Lebanon’s Lindsey Powanda and Peters Township’s Allison Poon also qualified for the PIAA state championships.
McConnell tied for fourth place, carding a 75 while Powanda and Poon tied for sixth place with 76 scores.