As the owner of a driving range in Center Township, Larry Milosh sees a lot of aspiring golfers visit the range at relatively young ages.
It did not take Milosh long to recognize that there was something special about Macky Fouse when she first visited at the age of 9.
"No question about it, you could see [Fouse's potential] right away," Milosh said. "With the driving range, I very rarely miss girls who have potential. A lot of families come to the range and sometimes you see a girl down there who looks like she can do it."
That potential was realized two weeks ago when Fouse won the Tri-State PGA Junior girls championships against a talented field of older competitors in the 16-to-18-year-old bracket.
Fouse turned 17 Saturday. Though she will be a junior in the fall at Central Valley, she competed against college freshmen with golf scholarships.
Fouse has qualified for the PGA of America's premier junior showcase event, the Junior PGA Championship beginning next Tuesday through Aug. 3 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Ind.
"She has a love for the game," Milosh said. "That is part of the reason she is so good. She is a very good athlete."
Fouse played soccer and basketball along with golf while growing up, but in high school she decided to focus on golf and the dedication has paid off. Fouse and her Central Valley teammates won back-to-back WPIAL Division II team championships. Milosh also coaches the Central Valley High School team, which has not lost a section match since before the Center-Monaca merger three years ago.
"She has had a wonderful two years of high school golf," Milosh said.
Fouse shot an 86 last year at the WPIAL championships at Long Vue Club in Penn Hills to qualify for the PIAA championships as a sophomore.
At her recent Tri-State PGA Junior girls championship win, Fouse shot a 75 and a 72 over 36 holes of golf in one day at Fox Run Golf Course near Beaver Falls. She won the event by two strokes, edging Marissa DeCola, a recent Butler Area graduate and Indiana University recruit. Kendall Allen, a recent Shady Side Academy graduate and Michigan State recruit, also was in the field.
"I thought I had a pretty good chance of winning," Fouse said. "I knew how good my group was and I was kind of nervous, but I was trusting my swing and it worked out. I was really excited because I know how good they all are, I have seen all their scores. I have looked up to them and to be able to hang in there and ultimately beat them, was exciting."
When Milosh started the girls golf program at Center High School, his daughter Samantha was the only golfer. As the team grew, it won a section title when Samantha was a junior. She went on to golf at Saint Francis and won a Northeast Conference championship.
"My daughter is really proud of the fact that she helped start this program," Larry Milosh said. "I think Macky is a little bit ahead of Samantha at this point."
Fouse spends a majority of her free time on the golf course. Last week she played in a three-day event in Mansfield, Ohio, where the winner advances to the national tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind., for which Fouse already has qualified.
"She doesn't have a weakness," Milosh said. "She has a very good short game and she is long off the tee.
"Her trouble sometimes is she doesn't hit it as straight as she wants to, but she is really long. [At the Tri-State PGA Junior girls championship] she was hitting it long and straight. She has the distance to play at the next level."golf - hsother