Sunday, October 23, 2022 | 11:01 a.m.
Plum Sophomore Wes Lorish missed a trip to the United States last year, so heading into this season one of his main missions was to get to Penn State and compete against the best of State.
It was mission accomplished as he competed in the two-day PIAA Class 3A 36-hole Men’s Championship Tournament on October 17-18 on Penn State’s White Course.
Lorish finished tied with a group of golfers for 10th place and won a medal.
He shot 2 of 74 with one birdie, one bogey and one double bogey on Day 1 and followed that up with a 75 (two birdies, one eagle, five bogeys, one double bogey) to finish with 5 of 149.
The total was just one shot off sixth and nine shots off the pace of champion Dylan Ramsey of Cedar Crest in District 3.
“I thought I played a little more consistently on Monday, but on Tuesday I felt more comfortable because I got to know the course and my surroundings a little better,” Lorish said.
“It was my third time on the course in three days. Obviously, the expectation was to win, but I was happy with my place. I haven’t played my best golf, and I really think if I could have run a few more shots or made a few more putts, I could have been up there in contention.
Cooler temperatures prevailed at Penn State on Monday and Tuesday. Lorish said he also faced windy conditions at the start of his run on Monday.
“It was something I didn’t expect,” he said. “So I had to block everything, change the strategy of the club and keep everything downwind. I knew I had to relax and not overdo it and just play my game.”
Lorish was no stranger to big tournaments, but he said the PIAA Championships are a different animal.
“We actually had a shooting time scheduled for about an hour before we started, unlike the junior tournaments. It was much more organized,” he said. “It really helped me prepare for my tours.”
Lorish said his practice round on Sunday gave him a good idea of the course layout and a game plan for Monday and Tuesday.
“The course was relatively flat with lots of trees,” Lorish said. “The greens were quite nice. Overall it was a very nice golf course. I played pretty well on Sunday and my swing was good at the start on Monday. I was putting putts and hitting the shots I wanted to hit. It was also windy on Sunday, which helped me know how to handle the wind when it picked up on Monday.
Lorish went from a tie for ninth place in Section 4 qualifying at Willowbrook Country Club to a tie for seventh (75) in the first round of WPIAL at Champion Lakes and an overall tie for fifth place ( 8 over) after the final round at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley on October 6.
“I thought Wes handled the pressure of the state tournament really well,” Plum said coach Brian Dunaway. “It was a great step. I don’t think he could have hit the ball any better and he attacked the greens with confidence.
Lorish, who hopes to head south for a tournament starting as early as January, said he’s motivated to return to the United States next year and hopefully take the next step towards a title.
“I’m happy with my first experience in the United States, but now I know what it’s like to go this far, and I want to work to take the next step next year,” he said. declared.
In addition to his individual achievements, Lorish said he was thrilled to see how the entire Plum Boys squad fared in the post-season tournaments.
The Mustangs made their first appearance in the WPIAL Tag Team Finals since 1988 and placed fifth out of six teams with a score of 418 on Oct. 13 at Cedarbrook Golf Club.
Also representing Plum in the tag team tournament were senior Jake Pedley, junior Carson Yocca, second Tim Pease, and freshmen Tyler Pastor and Dan Caruso.
“It would be great to see some of our other guys coming to the States next year, and hopefully the whole team too,” Lorish said.
“It will be difficult to lose Jake, but everyone is back. It was a great accomplishment to come as far as we did. It had been 34 years, and no one else had been able to do it. We had high expectations because our team was quite strong. Now the motivation is there for everyone to play a lot of golf in the offseason and improve.
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