U.S. Open coverage - Here

Congratulations to the USGA & Oakmont Country Club for a great U.S. Open Championship. And congratulations to the winner, Dustin Johnson.

Thompson makes comeback to win West Penn Amateur

Posted Friday, June 24, 2016 - By Mike Dudurich •  • 

Dan Thompson certainly knows how to make a comeback.

Thompson decided to become a professional golfer in 2007, working first at Indiana Country Club as an assistant under Dan Braun.

He was at Hannastown Golf Club for a year and then gave one of the mini tours a shot, the ETour.

“The competition was fantastic, but it was kind of an eye-opener for me,” Thompson said. “I came to the conclusion that maybe I just wasn’t prepared to play at that level.”

The three-time West Penn Open champion had a decision to make and he opted to apply for reinstatement as an amateur. That process lasted from 2013 until August 2015 when his reinstatement became official.

And how did Thompson, a Johnstown resident, celebrate his new status?

In his first stroke play event as an amateur, he made a bit of history by winning the 116th West Penn Amateur at Bedford Springs Resort. (more)

Two scholarships awarded for 2016-2017 school year

Posted Friday, June 24, 2016 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

The Scholarship Committee of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association has selected two students to receive a scholarship of $4,000 to begin this fall.

Bailyn Bench has worked at Treesdale Golf & Country Club for the last four years as a server. She is presently a freshman at Penn State University where she is studying chemical engineering.

Audrey Clawson has worked as a caddie at Oakmont Country Club since 2012. She is a graduate of Freeport Area High School and plans to attend The Citadel in the fall.

Each student has outstanding overall qualifications in terms of work at a WPGA Member Club, academics, and extra-curricular and community activities.

Both will join the nine students presently receiving WPGA Scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year. The WPGA Scholarship Committee’s commitment to these students is $44,000 for next year. (more)

Nine days of golf complete: From the desk of Mike Dudurich

Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 - By Mike Dudurich •  • 

The 11th United States Open dominated the headlines last week and it turned out to be quite a show at Oakmont Country Club.

After a soggy start with heavy thunderstorms drenching the historic layout with three inches of rain from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday night, Oakmont held up just fine against 156 of the best golfers in the world.

It wasn’t easy for Dustin Johnson but he was able to break through to become a major champion with a solid final round performance.

The United States Golf Association announced that the championship will return to Oakmont in 2025. When that happens, OCC will become the first site to host an Open 10 times.

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The two days following the end of the Open, the area spotlight shifted to Bedford Springs Resort, the site of the 116th West Penn Amateur. (more)

Dan Thompson wins West Penn Amateur in record fashion

Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Sometimes saving par with a lengthy putt on a par-5 can help make a champion. Johnstown’s Dan Thompson made that putt on the ninth hole of the final round, and went on to shoot 66 to become the 116th West Penn Amateur champion on the par-72 Old Course at Bedford Springs Resort.

Thompson posted an opening round 71 and followed with rounds of 68 and 66 for a championship record in relation to par 11-under total of 205, and a four-stroke victory over Arnold Cutrell, Adam Hofmann, and Luke Miller.

David Brown holds the championship scoring record of 202 on the par-70 Nemacolin Country Club in 2004.

Thompson made 15 birdies and 4 bogeys during the championship. He parred the tenth in the second round, and proceeded to birdie six of his final eight holes for a championship record 29 on the inward nine in nearly 90 degree heat. (more)

Arnold Palmer, 1960 U.S. Open champion, Cherry Hills Country Club

Posted Sunday, June 19, 2016 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Prior to the final round of the 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, Colo., Arnold Palmer asked long-time golf writer for the Pittsburgh Press, Bob Drum, if he thought a 65 would be enough to win.

Drum told him, “It would not do you any good.”

In Palmer’s words, the comment “burned [him] up,” so much so that that he couldn’t finish his lunch.

Palmer started the final round seven shots behind third-round leader, Mike Souchak, and tied for fifteenth. He wasn’t even considered to be in contention, and not just by Drum.

That changed in a hurry. (more)