Cuny succeeds in match play
August 3, 2014
LIGONIER — Down the stretch, Nicklaus Cuny could picture the trophy. He had never seen one quite like it for the winner of a junior golf event. That’s what made it special when the Cranberry Township resident won the C.R. Miller Memorial Match Play Invitational Tuesday at the Rolling Rock Club. Cuny, a Cranberry Township resident who will be a senior at Central Catholic, closed out the win by beating Dom Stevens of Edensburg, 1-up. The trophy he had seen during the two-day, four-round tournament was finally his. “That was nice. I had never seen a trophy that big for junior golf,” Cuny said. “It was on the table next to the putting green from the beginning of my first round.” Cuny was one of three Cranberry Township residents in the event. Ross Bondo, who lost to Cuny 2 and 1 in the semifinals, eliminated the other Cranberry Township participant, Jason Yu Li, in the quarterfinals. Playing in the event was a new experience for Cuny. Before Monday, he had never attempted a match-play event. Cuny also missed an opportunity to play a practice round because he was at another tournament in Grand Island, N.Y. The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association always lets players play a practice round before tournaments. “I like it a lot. It was totally different,” Cuny said. “I wish our high school matches were match play. It changes the way you approach shots and how you hit them.” The new format didn’t shake Cuny, who fell behind two strokes in the championship round. Cuny said he lost the first hole in every round except for his first match. “I didn’t know how to play the format,” Cuny said. “It took me a few holes to realize what to do.” In the round of 16, he beat Javon Trout, of Greensburg, 2 and 1. Cuny also beat Alec Stopperich, of Venetia, 5-4 in the quarterfinals. Against Trout, he developed his strategy that he used throughout the tournament. “If my opponent hit a bad shot, I had to quit looking at the pin,” Cuny said. “I needed to look to make par.” Cuny, who has interest from Division III St. John Fisher (N.Y.) College, hopes to play collegiately. Now that he’s used to the format, he’d also like to play in another match-play event. “You play against the opponent instead of the course,” Cuny said.