Bob Ford receives Bob Jones Award
It was quite a week for Bob Ford during the U.S. Open Championship at Erin Hills.
The long-time head golf professional at Oakmont Country Club was presented with the Bob Jones Award by the United States Golf Association on Tuesday.
The Bob Jones Award is the USGA’s highest honor. Ford is the first PGA club professional to receive it. He joins Arnold Palmer, Fred Brand, Jr., and Carol Semple Thompson as individuals from Western Pennsylvania who have received this award.
Ford also served as the starter on the first tee for all four rounds of the championship, and has been named the starter on the first tee during the U.S. Open for life. (more)
Six move on the path toward Erin Hills
The site of the area’s first U.S. Open Local Qualifying Round of the season has a history of resisting good scores by the region’s top amateurs and professionals.
On May 3rd Wildwood Golf Club was no different. And the U.S. Open Trophy made an appearance on its way to Erin Hills.
A mix of cold, wet, and windy weather, and a traditionally tough golf course with lush rough and fast greens, kept some of the area’s finest players from the low scores they are accustomed to posting.
A field of 40 players, 14 professionals and 26 amateurs, started at Wildwood with the hope of claiming one of the two spots to move one step closer to the championship.
Only 15 players broke 80. (more)
Two P.J. Boatwright, Jr. Interns begin internships with WPGA
The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association has selected two students to serve internships this season as part of the P.J. Boatwright, Jr. Internship Program from the United States Golf Association. Both have a long history and knowledge of the game of golf.
Kyle Page will work primarily in championship administration. He is a Psychology major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an Evans Scholar. He has worked at St. Clair Country Club for eight years as a caddie.
Chris Chao will also work primarily in championship administration, and will assist in communications. He is a recent graduate of Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, where he majored in music and was president of the university’s club golf team. (more)
Nathan Smith wins Spring Stroke Play for the ninth time
BEALLSVILLE – It turns out the Masters isn’t the only annual rite of spring.
Pittsburgh’s Nathan Smith won the West Penn Golf Association’s Spring Stroke Play Championship at Nemacolin Country Club Tuesday.
The two-shot victory over four players tied for second was his third straight in the event, his fifth in the last six years and his ninth overall. This championship has now been played 24 times and Smith has won a third of those.
Sean Knapp has won it three times (1998, 2000 and 2001) and Rick Stimmel (1996 and 2014) are the only other multiple winners.
Smith couldn’t come up with an explanation for yet another win after he signed his scorecard, which showed him posting rounds of 69-68 for a three-under par total. (more)
Team component added to Net Championships
The WPGA Handicap Committee has voted to add a team component to the Men’s and Women’s Net Championships. The competitions will be held on Tuesday, September 5, at South Hills Country Club.
The format for each will be 18 holes of Net Stableford Stroke Play. Each player’s Handicap Index® as of September 1 will be used for the competition.
All golfers entered into either competition will also be representing their home club as part of the Member Club Challenge. The three highest point earners from each club will count toward the club’s score. Prizes will be awarded to the team champions. Contestants in both the men's and women's competitions from the same club will be competing together for their home club. (more)
117th West Penn Amateur Championship - Sunnehanna Country Club, June 26 & 27