Scranton Prep senior Matt Tressler earned a silver medal at the PIAA Class 2A Golf Championships. He shot a 2-under-par 69 — including a 5-under 31 in his final nine holes — but lost on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to North East’s Isaiah Swan when Swam birdied after hitting an improbable shot from a bush.
Here is more from Tressler’s Athlete of the Week interview:
Family: Father, Jim; mother, Erin; brother, Jimmy; sister, Annie
Other sports I play: Tennis
Favorite teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Steelers, Boston Celtics
Favorite food: Pizza
Athletes I admire: Brooks Koepka because of his mentality that he brings to the game and just having a carefree attitude. It’s something that I really admire. Another athlete would be Tiger Woods just because he’s the best to do it and there’s no one really that can compete with him when he’s in his own mindset. It’s something that every golfer chases.
Superstitions and rituals: Nothing too serious. I tend to use the same ball and the same markings on my ball. I put a black line on it and the same amount of dots. I tend to use the same type of gloves and everything like that.
One golf course on your bucket list: I’d have to say Augusta would be at the top of my list
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: Brooks Koepka, Rafa Nadal, Tiger Woods
You did that and you chipped in for a birdie on No. 8 to take the lead. Describe the shot: Well, at that point, I already had made five birdies on that side, which was unreal at that point. I kind of was in a dead spot. Either I was going to have 10 feet for par or that shot was going in. It was just unreal for that shot to go in and give me a one-shot lead, which I didn’t know at the time.
When did you start to think about winning the tournament? It started to settle in when I hit my tee shot on the ninth hole, which is a very daunting tee shot. Out of bounds left and water to the right. I put that one play and it did start to creep in my mind that I might just win this thing.
Instead, you wound up going to sudden death. What was your mindset heading into that? I had a different type of approach to that hole all week. I played up the opposite fairway and I played that hole just how I wanted to and it just didn’t end up working out. I can’t say I didn’t give everything I had.
After seeing Swan hit his improbable shot, can you appreciate it as golfer or are you mad that he hit a shot like that? In the moment, you have to kind of appreciate it. After the fact, it does start to hit like, Wow, I can’t believe he pulled that off. But you just have to appreciate it for what it was.
You and your teammates are participating in the PIAA Team Championships today. What do you guys have to do to be successful? Last year we lost by one to Sewickley Academy, which was a heartbreaker. What happened to me last week, also a heartbreaker. So we kind of have have a real hard mindset coming into this. We’re coming in here ready to take care of business. Everyone needs to do their job. Do you feel maybe the golf gods owe you one? It’s a thought, but the thought on our team is we have to earn everything we do. So we’re gonna go out there and earn everything. If a bounce here or there goes our way, we’ll take it. But we’re going to try to earn everything.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter