Golfers expect to improve this season

Nathan Bottiger, Editor-in-Chief

Seniors Zack McQueen and Mike Macionsky led Pitt-Johnstown’s golf team, March 30 and 31 into a last place finish to start their spring season.

Pitt-Johnstown attended the West Liberty (W. Va.) University Invitational, which included 60 golfers at the Oglebay Resort, W. Va. The Mountain Cats finished last out of 11 teams, accumulating a 341 overall mark.

McQueen led the team, finishing tied for No. 29 with an 80; Macionsky followed behind by only two strokes, but those two extra strokes dropped him into a tie for the No. 37 spot.

McQueen said he was content with where he finished, despite encountering particular kinks in his game acquired through winter atrophy.

“I didn’t start very well, but finished strong,” he said. “The part of my game that always struggles coming into the spring season is chipping and putting. You lose touch over winter.”

Macionsky said he did not perform as well as he wanted.

“I fell apart mentally in the middle of the round,” he said. “I probably can contribute that to being a little rusty.”

McQueen struggled during the fall season, but seems to have an early grip this season.

“This is my last semester, so I have to leave it all on the course,” He said. “Top 10 finishes are my goal, and being in contention to win is a definite goal.”

McQueen said he and Macionsky took a trip to Florida over spring break to visit Pitt-Johnstown alumnus and former golfer Kevin McDonald.

McDonald was graduated last year, leaving McQueen and Macionsky to lead the team.

According to McQueen, McDonald now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., and he and Macionsky were able to play a few rounds with their former teammate.

“We were able to have our friendly competitions like we used to. Those competitions really jump started the season.”

Macionsky said it was good to get some practice, but it still can not completely prepare him for this season.

“Yeah, it was good to get some swings in, but tournament golf is completely different than just going out to play for fun.”

McQueen said he is trying to focus on the team’s individual performances, mentoring young teammates as the season continues.

“We are going to struggle, no doubt, as bad as it is for me to say that,” he said. “To say I expect for our team to win would be a lie, but to say that we will improve because of this season is something I fully expect.”

McQueen said he hopes to be a mentor through example. He said the younger players learn by watching him and Macionsky play, and asking questions when further explanation is necessary.

“They come to me and Mike with questions all the time. They are learning to have fun during the practice rounds and buckle down for the real rounds.”

Last weekend, the team was to travel to Penn Oaks Country Club, West Chester, Pa., for the West Chester University Invitational.

McQueen said the tournaments he’s been to thus far have been competitive and he expects an equal number of competitive golfers at every tournament.

“The (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) has good players.  I expect a lot of people to shoot a low score.”

He said his ultimate goal for this season is to win one tournament, but it will not come easily.

“(It will take) one of the best rounds I have ever played. A lot of focus and determination.”