Golfers drive team to a fifth place finish

Nathan Bottiger, Sports Editor

After a slow start and troubling weather conditions, four out of five Pitt-Johnstown golfers placed in the top 25 golfers at last week’s conference tournament.

Senior Kevin McDonald, junior Zack McQueen and senior Josh Miller placed in the top 25, and junior Mike Micionsky, squeaked into placing 25th, tying with three other golfers at the spot.

Pitt-Johnstown was able to take fifth out of 13 teams, and the team was only seven shots from tying for third place. The team totaled 641 strokes on the weekend.

Bluefield State College and Davis and Elkins College tied for first place with 630 strokes for the weekend.

McQueen was able to secure a 14th place finish and said he was happy with where he finished.

“I felt good,” McQueen said. “This game is all about confidence.”

McQueen said he and his teammates were able to further distinguish what their flaws are, which was one goal heading into the tournament.

“I could have putted better, but I am happy how I finished,” he said. “We all have a lot to work on. We all see flaws in our game.”

McQueen said their trouble spots were in their putting and short game, which was predicted before the tournament, and that the problems were due to a long winter.

McDonald lead the Mountain Cats during the weekend, placing second overall with a total score of 153. McDonald finished two strokes behind Ohio Valley’s Jorge Herrera, who took first place.

McDonald was also listed as an all-conference honorable mention, but said he was told that he was selected to the second team all-conference.

McDonald said, either way, he was happy to have received all-conference honors.

McDonald said the tournament’s first day was full of high scores due to windy weather and a rain that came later in the day but the team was able to muster together a solid second round.

“I’m definitely satisfied with our performance at the tournament.”

McDonald said placing four out of five in the top 25 golfers is a big accomplishment. There was a total 63 golfers competing at last week’s tournament.

“I’m proud of the guys for that,” he said. “That’s saying something.”

McDonald said his goals for the season are to have all five golfers in the top 25 at a tournament this season, but is satisfied with the momentum boost from their current accomplishments.

“It’s a big momentum-builder, heading into Philadelphia and our other tournaments.”

McQueen also said the accomplishment is an assured confidence-booster, but he is aiming his goals slightly higher for the team.

“I feel like we have a good enough team to all be top 20.”

Pitt-Johnstown has two remaining tournaments on their short spring season.

The team was to have played at Penn Oaks Golf Club, West Chester, Pa. at the West Chester University Invitational on Sunday and Monday.

Their final tournament is scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Invitational, hosted at the Indiana Country Club, Indiana, Pa.

McDonald said he is confident that Pitt-Johnstown’s golfers can improve on this performance and reach greater heights in these final tournaments.