Last Updated: Thu Oct 05, 2023 - 1:04AM
Just a few holes prior to the turn at Valley Brook Country Club on Monday, Penn-Trafford’s Nick Turowski was in a tight battle with Upper St. Clair’s Connor McKenzie. Back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes allowed the Warriors senior to create separation, however, and he never looked back. Turowski capped off a stellar two-round performance, finishing at two-under par total to capture the 2023 WPIAL Class 3A Boys Golf Individual Championship.
With the triumph, Turowski claimed his second district crown, with the first coming in 2021. As a result, he joined elite company, becoming just the 12th boys’ golfer to win the WPIAL title twice.
“It was a great feeling,” Turowski stated. “Going down the stretch, I was getting pretty nervous because I knew what was at stake and it meant so much to me. When I finally made that winning putt, I just got a flow of emotions.”
Despite the nerves, Turowski’s margin of victory was comfortable, as he finished five strokes ahead of McKenzie, and eight strokes better than third-place finisher Hunter Swidzinski of Butler Area. Turowski fired an even-par 72 last week in the first round at Latrobe Country Club, and followed with a 70 on Monday in Canonsburg.
When Turowski captured gold as a sophomore in 2021, the WPIAL still utilized the old format of a single 18-hole round. Last year, however, the district expanded to two rounds approximately one week apart at two different courses.
“My preference is 100 percent 36 holes. I feel like more golf determines the best winner every single time,” he revealed. “Usually in tournament golf, it’s back-to-back days, so that’s something that’s very unique.”
The West Virginia University commit revealed that although he favored the new format, his run to the title this year felt much different than when he was an under-the-radar sophomore.
“I feel like this year’s WPIAL win, it took a lot more out of me mentally,” Turowski said. “I had a lot more pressure on myself, and I feel like I dealt with it pretty well.”
While he joins only Turtle Creek’s John Barkovich as two-time champs who won in non-consecutive years, there was another name on the list of multiple-time winners who drew Turowski’s attention – Greater Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer, who won in 1946 and 47.
“I think anytime you can put your name next to a great like Arnold Palmer, especially being right here in Westmoreland County, it’s very humbling,” he said
Turowski will now turn his attention to the PIAA Class 3A Championship, which will be held at Penn State University on Oct. 16 and 17. In 2021, Turowski finished in a tie for fourth at the event, while he tied for 23rd last year.
“I have enough confidence in my abilities that I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t win,” he noted. “I’m really just going to go into it and attack and try to make as many birdies as I can.”