New Castle News

October 16, 2012

High School Golf: Neshannock’s Matt Cioffi advances to PIAA Championship

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Neshannock High’s Matt Cioffi is headed to state.

Cioffi, a senior, finished with a six-over par 72 at the PIAA West Individual Regional yesterday to advance to the PIAA Individual Championship.

The event, which took place at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville, featured 42 Class AA golfers, including two from Lawrence County. Shenango senior Darren Carone, 25th overall, missed the cut by three strokes, finishing 11-over.

“He did a great job on a tough course,” Neshannock coach Mike Kirkwood said of Cioffi. “Today had a little bit of rain and a lot of wind. Just being able to fight through it all was good to see.”

Cioffi finished eighth overall, one of the 20 qualifiers for the championship.

Kirkwood was impressed by Cioffi’s performance on the tough holes.

“The two, three, and four holes are pretty difficult and he birdied three of them,” Kirkwood said. “He started on hole seven and bogeyed 18, so he needed to finish strong. It was awesome for him to keep his composure.”

 For Carone, the opportunity to play in the regional was a great accomplishment.

“It was great to get there,” Wildcats coach John Dado said. “It’s disappointing not to move on, but he had a great year.”

Carone’s season was highlighted by a second-place finish in the WPIAL individual finals in September, advancing him to the PIAA West Individual Regional.

Carone began his round at the sixth hole and struggled with putting.

“He wasn’t getting accustomed to the speed of the greens,” Dado said. “He was three-putting a lot of holes.”

Despite the struggles, Dado is proud that Carone battled until the end and finished the match strong.

“He tried the whole time,” Dado said. “He didn’t give up. He even birdied the next-to-last hole.”

The PIAA Individual Championship will be held on Oct. 24 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center in York.