Piazza, Burke shine at SOSSA
There were few surprises Monday at the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association golf championship at Twenty Valley.
Locals Nolan Piazza of A.N. Myer and Kayla Burke of Centennial were the top male and female finishers, respectively.
Piazza fired a 70 finishing in a tie for top spot with Luke DelGobbo of E.L. Crossley and was awarded first place on the first tie-breaker, which was the lower score on the back nine.
Burke, meanwhile, shot an 80 to outdistance the field on the girls side.
The top boys team (Myer) and the top two individuals who are not members of the winning team, one in the Open Division (DelGobbo) and one in the High School Division (Jackson Strecker of Blessed Trinity with a 77), will qualify to play in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSSA) championships at Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Whitby on October 9-11.
The girls event is Oct 9-11 at Ambassador in Windsor.
Competitors were forced to deal with damp, windy conditions for most of the round.
“For the first five holes, the greens were very wet and then they dried out nicely and were running nicely by the end of the day. It was a little windy, but it was manageable,” Piazza said.
Piazza, a 15-year-old, Grade 10 student, admitted he had to adjust his game based on the elements.
“It makes a huge impact on the game plan, especially coming into today,” he said. “I’ve played this course more than 30 times. I was thinking about a game plan last night and then coming here in the morning noticing the rain and then changing it for what we needed to do today.”
Piazza, who won the Ontario junior boys championship this past summer, fired fours on the first eight holes of his round.
“I was trying to keep them in play. I didn’t lose a ball today so I was trying to keep it fairway-green, and then one-putt and go to the next,” he said.
Piazza’s short game saved him.
“I didn’t drive it well at all,” he said. “My iron shots into the greens were really nice and on 10-11-12 I made 10-11 footers for par which is when I needed it because that’s when the wind was blowing the hardest.”
Piazza combined with Ben MacLean (77), Marco Primerano (82) and John Romak (87) to help Myer place first with a score of 316.
“During a team event like this, I sort of wanted to know what the boys were doing but when I play in my tournaments I don’t really like to know what everybody else is at,” he said.
Piazza is looking forward to his first appearance at OFSAA.
“It means a lot to represent my school. It was something I really wanted to do,” he said.
DelGobbo, a 15-year-old, Grade 10 student, was given the SOSSA championship medal by Piazza
“I’m really happy (to go to OFSAA) and to technically tie Nolan,” he said.
It will be the Lookout Point member’s first time at OFSAA.
BURKE LOOKING TO MEDAL
Burke will be heading to OFSAA for the fourth time in her career. She is coming off a fifth-place finish last season.
“I want to medal this year,” said Burke, who is a member at Lookout. “There are some girls who are good and there is some competition so I just want to play my game and focus on myself.
Burke, a 17-year-old, Grade 12 student, figured she would do well if she played her game.
“I shoot consistently so I wasn’t really worried about it. I just wanted to play my game and do decently well,” she said.
Upon reflection, she wasn’t overly impressed with her round.
“My short game let me down today. It was not the greatest.”
She admitted it wasn’t the greatest day for golf.
“It was tough conditions. It was cold but it was nice that most of the time is wasn’t raining,” she said. “There were little spurts of it so it didn’t really affect things that way.”
Other girls advancing to OFSAA were: Vanessa Lin of Ancaster with an 82 and Sasha Baker of Dunnville (100) in the open category and Bailey Jacobs of Greater Fort Erie Secondary School (97), Sierra Gaspari of Notre Dame (101) and Sahara Zingano of Grimsby (103) in the high school division.
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