Bound for states! Wilson shoots 76 for second in the West, trip to PIAA championships

Warren's Rachel Wilson will compete in the PIAA golf championships today and Tuesday.

BLAIRSVILLE – Warren senior Rachel Wilson is going to states!

The Dragon standout shot a 76 on Monday at the PIAA Class 3A Western Regional at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville, good enough for a second place finish. The top six finishers advance to the PIAA championships next Monday and Tuesday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center in York.

Wilson’s performance came on the heels of a dominating effort at the District 10 championships that saw her win by 19 strokes.

“She was happy,” said Warren coach Dan Passmore. “It was a tough day, cold and windy and the course was wet. I’m sure a lot of the girls there were hurt by the fact that the course played long, but that doesn’t bother Rachel.”

It was a less than ideal start for Wilson, as, beginning on No. 10, she double-bogeyed the Par 4.

Not to be deterred, however, Wilson came back and nearly aced the Par 3 11th, converting a birdie putt to get her round back on track.

“That’s the sign of a good player, anybody who backs up a bad hole with a good one.,” Passmore said. “She went the full circle. Right off the bat, you’re thinking this is it. She was never visibly was down, but just upset with the start she got – there aren’t a whole lot of holes you can give away.”

She closed her first nine holes in 39 and followed that up with pars on six of the nine holes on her second nine. She was two under on par three’s, birdieing No. 8 to go along with her birdie on No. 11.

She was tied for the lead after the first nine with Lauren Freyvogel of Pine-Richland and Caroline Wrigley of North Allegheny. Freyvogel shot 35 over her final nine holes to edge Wilson by two strokes (74), while Wrigley shot a 77, tying for third with Danae Rugola of Uniontown.

“Her length is a big asset and she putted great today,” Passmore said.

Jessica Meyers of Oakland Catholic and Natalie Welsh of Mars both shot an 80 to claim the final two spots at states.

Wilson, who played on the boys team this year due to a lack of girls, is the first Warren golfer to qualify for states in 15 years.

“This whole year was a perfect storm,” Passmore said. “I think it really benefited her to be on the boys team and play 18-hole matches. She was able to play more courses and get those under her belt.”