Plum grad Reynolds rises in Western Pa. golf ranks |
Other Local

Plum grad Reynolds rises in Western Pa. golf ranks

Bill Beckner Jr.
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
Plum's Andrew Reynolds hits his approach shot to the third green during the PIAA West Region Golf Championships at Tom’s Run Golf Course on Oct. 14, 2014, in Blairsville.
Steph Chambers | Trib Total Media
Andrew Reynolds of Plum during the final round of the West Penn Open Championship on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at Westmoreland Country Club in Export.

Andrew Reynolds left the pro shop last Wednesday at Westmoreland Country Club with a plastic drawstring bag dangling from his hand, the contents of which might seem ordinary to some.

Inside a box, inside the bag, inside the story, were a pair of brand new size 11 Footjoy golf shoes.

Here’s the catch: the shoes didn’t cost him a dime. But the size matched his finish.

Reynolds earned $185 in pro-shop credit after he tied for 11th at the three-day West Penn Open, quite the debut for the recent Plum graduate who has shown this summer that he is very much a part of the next wave of young Western Pennsylvania golf talent.

If the shoe fits.

“This (summer season) has been my best, easily,” said Reynolds, who played three steady rounds at the West Penn Open, carding scores of 72, 73 and 1-under 70 for a solid finish at 2-over-par 215. “I think my game is maturing, and I am thinking my way around the golf course more.”

Reynolds is headed to La Salle University and thinks he can compete for a starting position right away.

“If I keep playing the way I am, maybe (the No.) 1, 2 or 3 spot,” he said. “There are only two or three guys coming back. The key for me is staying on my own game.”

Reynolds’ summer to remember included solid play in several events featuring some of the region’s top pros and amateurs.

He tied for fourth at the WPGA’s Spring Stroke Play Championship at Sunnehanna Country Club, shooting a two-day total of 1-under 139. Renowned amateur Nathan Smith won the tournament at 5-under.

Reynolds also qualified for the West Penn Amateur, where he missed the cut, and reached the bracket-round at the Siegel Match Play before losing to decorated Oakmont amateur Sean Knapp in the first round.

Another area standout, incoming Gannon sophomore Matt Barto, a Leechburg graduate, can attest to Reynolds’ patience-first play. He caddied for his good friend at the West Penn Open.

“He has great confidence and gets in a great zone while playing,” Barto said. “It’s surprising more putts didn’t go for him because he played too good to be over par for three days.”

Reynolds, who said he could have scored much lower if not for some putting issues — several players, including champion Mike Van Sickle said the same thing — made nine birdies for the tournament, including five in his final round. He was 4-under on par 5s but 6-over on the par 4s.

“I think playing with a lot of the older guys has helped my game, too,” Reynolds said. “There are so many good players out here. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how (the West Penn Open) went.”

Reynolds said the Open will probably be his last event this summer before he heads off to college.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.