Saunders in playoff at Puerto Rico Open
Sam Saunders, grandson of Arnold Palmer, shot 72-72-69-68--281 in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open. He was in a five-man playoff with Alex Cejka, Jon Curran, Tim Petrovic, and Emiliano Grillo. The competition was held at Trump International Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, March 5-8.
On the first playoff hole, the par-five 18th, Curran, Petrovic, and Grillo recorded pars. Cejka holed a 20-foot birdie putt leaving Saunders with a ten-foot birdie put to tie Cejka and extend the playoff. Saunders putt missed on the right edge resulting in Cejka's first PGA Tour win. (more)
Berkley Hills joins Association
The WPGA Executive Committee has accepted the Member Club application of Berkley Hills Golf Course, Johnstown. The nine-hole public facility opened in 1938. (more)
Steve Wheatcroft, best start ever on PGA Tour
One of Washington, PA, native Steve Wheatcroft's best shots was duly recorded on CBS television during the final round at Pebble Beach on Sunday. His second shot on the famous 18th par-five struck the flagstick and stopped about four feet from the hole. Wheatcroft, who had started on #10, holed the putt and went on to shoot 71. His 71-70-67-71--279, tied him for 51st place.
Wheatcroft won the 2004 West Penn Open just before he began the quest for the PGA Tour. He has his playing privileges for the fourth time on the PGA Tour due to a top twenty money list finish on the Web.Com Tour last season. This is his best start ever. He recorded a tie for second place at the Humana Challenge, near Palm Springs, and has played in nine events, making the cut seven times. (more)
Sirak wins PGA Journalism Award
New Castle native Ron Sirak was honored by the PGA of America with their 2015 Lifetime Award in Journalism on January 28. An editor for Golf Digest and Golf World, Sirak will be recognized April 8 at The Masters Tournament during the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) annual awards dinner.
Sirak will join Latrobe’s Doc Giffin in receiving a prestigious award at this dinner. Giffin will receive the Richardson Award, the GWAA’s annual recognition. The president of GWAA, Sirak won the Richardson Award in 2008.
Sirak commented that he was particularly pleased to be recognized for his work in women’s golf, the LPGA in particular, and the business side of the game. When the WPGA started its Hall of Fame in 2013, Sirack emceed the dinner at Oakmont Country Club where William C. Fownes, Jock Hutchison, Arnold Palmer, Carol Semple Thompson, and Lew Worsham were inducted. The evening’s highlights included Sirak’s introduction of Palmer and his conversation with Palmer and Semple Thompson. (more)
Giffin wins 2015 Richardson Award
Donald W. “Doc” Giffin, in his 49th year as Arnold Palmer’s primary staff assistant, is the recipient of the 2015 William D. Richardson Award, presented annually by the Golf Writers Association of America. He will be recognized at their awards dinner during The Masters Tournament on April 8.
Giffin’s prior employment in journalism includes The Pittsburgh Press, 1953-62, as a golf writer, then beginning in 1963 as Press Secretary for the PGA Tour until he went to work for Palmer. Giffin indicated he was “perfectly content” working for the Tour when Arnold Palmer approached him in 1966. He commented that Palmer “wore me down” with his request for Giffin to become his traveling secretary, observing “how could I say no?” (more)
WPGA Spring Seminar:
"Planning for the Future of Golf Course Maintenance & TPP Users Forum"
The WPGA Spring Seminar is open to all interested individuals. The program is complimentary to all attendees from WPGA Member Clubs. Club staff members and club members serving on their respective Green and Golf Committees are encouraged to attend. The general session will include a discussion on course playability and sustainability by USGA Agronomist Elliott Dowling. Attendees will need to choose between two breakout sessions as they will be held simultaneously.
"Planning for the Future of Golf Course Maintenance"
This session aims to inform superintendents, club green committee members and club board members about the future of golf course maintenance.
"Tournament Pairing Program & (TPP) User Overview"
This session will focus on informing golf shop staffs of the basic functionality and advanced functions available to them in the Tournament Pairings Program. (more)