Mountaineer Pennanen wins high school state golf title

By Lisa Paine
The County Press Sports Editor
— Will Pennanen, a junior at Clarkston Everest Collegiate and Metamora resident, won the high school boys’ Div. 4 individual title June 8 at the Meadows at Grand Valley State University.
Pennanen, who is part of the cart crew at the Metamora Golf and Country Club, earned the title after carding rounds of 76 and 72 for a total of 148. He was the only one to shoot in the 70s during the tournament.
Conditions were not ideal, however, so the state title was even more of an accomplishment as far as Pennanen is concerned.
“I was the only one in the 70s the first day, and we had really tough conditions; it was super windy. So, I was happy with that score,” said Pennanen. “Day two, the weather was better, so it was easier to score. I made a lot of birdies. It was a good round.”
On top of his individual title, Pennanen helped Clarkston Everest win back-to-back state titles as a team.
“It was really nice to also have the back-to-back team titles,” said Pennanen. “This is my sixth year golfing. I picked it up during COVID and that’s when I got serious about it.”
Pennanen said he has a lot of summer tournaments. Then, his goal is to help Clarkston Everest three-peat as state champs and again earn the coveted individual title.
“I’m really looking forward to my senior season,” added Pennanen.
Pennanen said he likes that golf is an individual sport and also has a team aspect to it.
“You can always improve,” Pennanen added.
This isn’t the first high school sports title Pennanen has won, either. He also plays basketball and noted Clarkston Everest Collegiate won the Division 4 district title but then fell out in the first round of regionals this past winter.
In his spare time, Pennanen said he likes working out and hanging out with friends.
Pennanen has an 18-hole average of 75.3 and that matches his tournament scoring average.
His handicap is 1.2. He’s been on the varsity team at Everest for three years and describes himself as dedicated and quick to learn.
“I am interested in playing college golf at any level,” added Pennanen. “I am always willing to learn, improve, and make my team better.
On his online profile, Pennanen said three words that stand out about him as a golfer are dedicated, obsessive, and competitive.
Pennanen has also earned numerous high school honors. He was named First Team All-State after winning the Division 4 title, and his Clarkston Everest team was regional champs and state champs for the 2024 season. During his freshman season, Pennanen was named honorable mention All-State, All-Catholic and Clarkston Everest was conference champs, sectional champs, regional champs and placed second in the state meet that year.
At regionals this season, Pennanen was low medalist after finishing with a one-under par 71.
Last year in the Top50 Junior Championship, Pennanen shot an 80 on day one and followed it with a 76 on day two. In July 2023 at the Calbert Memorial Classic at Albion College, he carded a 76. At the American Junior Golf Association Cola Qualifier on July 3, 2023, Pennanen fired an 80 and did not qualify. In the Top50 tournament on June 26 and 27 he tied for fifth place after shooting 80-74.
In the June 19 Michigan Junior Am Qualifier, Pennanen was second alternate after carding 76 to tie for 17th place.
In the 2023 state championship, Pennanen tied for seventh as an individual after shooting 81-74 and Everest won the team title.
At the Petroleum Preview AJGA Qualifier, he shot 85 to tie for 33rd place. It was proceeded by an 81 at his high school tournament. Pennanen also fired a 76, 77 and 78 at other high school tournaments and was part of the Catholic League Championships where he carded 77. In the Oakland County Championships in 2023 he fired a 75 then was tied for third at theregional championships with a 72. His high school team won the team title last season and final feat of 2023 was qualifying for the Michigan Am after earning medalist honors with a round of 70.

Will Pennanen finishes his junior year at Clarkston Everest Collegiate as a golf champion. Photo: Provided by Mary Roselli/Everest Collegiate

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