Leechburg junior wins title in style
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Matt Barto prefers to wear his blue-and-white checker pants to special golf events. He went conservative Monday, wearing plain gray pants.
But it still turned out to be a special event for Barto.
Barto, a junior at Leechburg, won the WPIAL Class AA individual championship at Youghiogheny Country Club in Elizabeth Township when he shot 1-over par 73.
"I took more of a modest approach with the gray pants, but I still wore my bucket hat," Barto said with a laugh. "I always wear that."
Barto was wearing a gold medal after shooting a 35 on the front nine and a 37 on the back. He had three birdies on the front.
"I can honestly say that I really executed just about every shot almost exactly as I wanted to," Barto said. "I played safe when I wanted. I was aggressive at times and that tended to pay off, too."
Barto has been climbing the ladder to the championship for three years. He finished seventh as a freshman and second a year ago.
"It really feels like I earned this because I've really worked to better my game as a whole," Barto said. "Not just to win this championship, but just to become a better player overall."
Three players tied for second with scores of 75 -- McGuffey senior Jesse Vensel, Shenango senior Darren Carone and Neshannock senior Matt Cioffi. Serra junior Max Kaminsky, who won the title two years ago, tied for 13th with an 82.
The top 16 players qualified for the PIAA western regional Oct. 15 at Tom's Run Golf Club in Blairsville.
First Published September 25, 2012 12:00 am