WPGA takes back the Palmer Cup

Posted Saturday, September 20, 2014 •   • 

For the first 12 years of the Palmer Cup Matches against the Tri-State Section, PGA of America, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association had never won the Palmer Cup. Since the competition was first held at Latrobe Country Club in 1996 the Tri-State record is 15-3-1.

But the last seven years have been a different story. The WPGA’s record on this period is even with the Tri-State at 3-3-1. The teams halved in 2008.

With the WPGA down in nearly all of the afternoon matches it looked like a monumental comeback was imminent by the Tri-State. The WPGA teams of Nathan Smith and David Brown, and Perry Graciano & Doug Gradwell, won crucial points to secure no worse than a tie with 8 points.

Nine points are needed to win the Palmer Cup outright.

The Tri-State has dominated the Four-Ball matches over the years and this year was no different. The WPGA needed just two points of the seven available in the afternoon to secure a victory and take back the Palmer Cup for the first time since 2011. (more)

Sam Saunders earns PGA Tour card

Posted Monday, September 22, 2014 •   • 

Sam Saunders, Fort Collins, CO, will play the PGA Tour in the 2014-15 season that starts next month. Saunders is the grandson of Arnold Palmer.

In the top 40 on the Web.com Tour money list most of the year, the former Clemson University golfer played very well down the stretch. His season was highlighted by five top tens and a 69.96 scoring average. He earned $201,392.

Saunders joins Washington, PA, native Steve Wheatcroft, who gained his card by finishing in the top 25 on the regular season money list. Wheatcroft won the Albertson’s Boise Open, his second Web.Com Tour victory, and earned $193,219.

Saunders is ranked 13 and Wheatcroft is 36 among the 50 Web.Com Tour players who received their PGA Tour cards.

Rankings determine how many competitions players earning their PGA Tour Card such as can enter during the first part of the new season. This is Saunders’ first season on the PGA Tour and Wheatcroft’s fourth. (more)

Wheatcroft secures 2015 PGA Tour card

Posted Monday, August 25, 2014 •   • 

Steve Wheatcroft will return to the PGA Tour next season for the third time in his thirteen year career. He finished 19th on this season’s Web.com Tour money list with $183,411 and won the Albertson’s Boise Open in July. It was his second Web.com title. The tour’s regular season concluded in Portland on August 24. The top 25 on the money list prior to the season ending playoffs received PGA Tour cards.

Wheatcroft, 36, was born in Indiana, PA, and resided in Washington, PA, until he began his quest for the PGA Tour. He won the 2004 West Penn Open at Westmoreland Country Club. A walk-on at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, he experienced a top notch college golf career before turning professional in 2001. (more)

Nathan Smith's quarterfinal finish in U.S. Amateur best this century

Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 •   • 

When Nathan Smith advanced to the quarterfinals in the U.S. Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club August 11-17, he was the first since Sean Knapp in 1998 at Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester.

Korea's Gunn Yang won this year's championship.

U.S. Amateur champions from Western Pennsylvania are Arnold Palmer, 1954 at Country Club of Detroit, S. Davidson Herron, 1919 at Oakmont Country Club, William C. Fownes, 1910 at The Country Club, and Eben Byers, 1906 at Englewood Golf Club.

Other top finishers in the Amateur:
1905 - D. P. Fredericks, semifinals at Baltusrol Golf Club
1907 - William C. Fownes and Eben Byers, semifinals at Euclid Golf Club
1914 - William C. Fownes, semifinals at Ekwanok Golf Club (more)

Hall of Fame Committee selects 2014 class

Posted Monday, June 9, 2014 •   • 

At its May 13 meeting, the Hall of Fame Committee selected five standouts for this year’s class. The honorees are Frank Fuhrer Jr., Dorothy Campbell Hurd, Carl Kauffmann, Jim Simons and Roy Vucinich. This group will be formally recognized at the WPGA’s Fall Players Dinner in October.

Frank B. Fuhrer, Jr.

Frank B. Fuhrer, Jr., has shown love and deep interest in golf since he was a boy in East Brady. His father founded Ridgeview Golf Club, now known as St. Jude. A lifelong golfer with a handicap as low as three, he and his brother Richard won the 1960 WPGA Brothers Championship. He played golf, soccer, basketball and baseball at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, where he earned thirteen varsity letters and his bachelor’s degree. He then attended the University of Pittsburgh Katz Business School for graduate work and earned a master’s degree in Organizational Behavior in 1951. He has generously supported both schools financially as a major part of his philanthropic profile. In golf, he is the area’s premier financial benefactor. His significant support includes both the Tri-State PGA Section and the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association. The Fuhrer Invitational is the top purse for area golf professionals. He has sponsored the Association’s team matches with other golf associations since 1994. In addition to supporting local golf, he sponsored the Family House Invitational from 1984-1997, a two-day event that brought PGA Tour stars to the area. The event raised over $3 million for Family House. (more)


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