Fast play leaves Leechburg golfer Matt Barto with a long wait and a big win

September 27, 2012 by  

Matt Barto, a Leechburg, Pennsylvania junior, prefers a quick round of golf to slow play, as he showed on September 24 when he was among the first golfers on the course at the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) Class AA championship tournament. Tournament organizers no doubt used posters and flyers to help publicize the event.

The downside to finishing play first is that Barto, who enjoyed a solid lead over the rest of the field, then had to sit and wait for everyone else, all the time wondering if he was about to be bumped from the top spot on the leaderboard. After hours of suspense, Barto was able to relax when the round finished with him still on top. The tournament was played at McKeesport’s Youghiogheny Country Club, about 30 road miles from Leechburg.

The victory was made even sweeter by the fact that Barto was the runner-up in 2011. Barto said:

“[It was] great to get out early and fly like that.

“I don’t have a routine. I see the shot and hit it.”

His non-routine may be a method others should adopt, since it allowed Barto to start strong and stay ahead of the field the entire day. Leechburg golf coach Heath Shimer describes Barto as caring deeply about the game and wonders if he will ever coach another player of Barto’s caliber – a great compliment to the young golfer.