Nathan Smith and Jordan Spieth, 2011 Walker Cup teammates: From the desk of Mike Dudurich
Watching Jordan Spieth dominate the Masters like it has rarely been dominated, I wondered if there was any Western Pennsylvania connection with the boy wonder.
A text message to Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh’s own and one of the premier mid-Amateurs in the game, confirmed he not only knows the 21-year-old phenom, but has played many rounds with him.
“I’ve played with him a lot and we were on the 2011 Walker Cup team,” Smith said. “He’s one of the reasons we hung in there. There’s just something about him.”
Smith played with Spieth in various big-time amateur events prior to the kid from Dallas turning pro in December 2012.
Most memorable was that Walker Cup when the United States team won, 14-12, with Spieth grinding out a 3-2 singles win on the final day. That edition of amateur golf’s Ryder Cup was held at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland. (more)
Pace of Play Policy established for 2015
With the ever increasing importance of pace of play in golf, the Championship Committee of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association has formally approved a Pace of Play Policy to begin in 2015. The policy will operate on a group based two checkpoint system. Players will be required to adhere to the guidelines set forth at each competition. Checkpoint clocks and officials will be stationed on the ninth and eighteenth greens at each competition. An additional clock will be placed on the sixth and fifteenth greens; this clock has no status and only serves to remind the player of their position with regard to their upcoming checkpoint. Additionally, we would appreciate contestants cooperation in returning their nine hole scores at these checkpoints in an effort to keep scores up to date in our tournament software for web viewing and field information. (more)
Golfers with local ties record top finishes
Greensburg native Rocco Mediate finished third with 68-67 - 135 in the rain shortened Champions Tour competition held at TPC Sugarloaf in Georgia April 17-18.
At the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage, held at Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, Brendon Todd shot 73-66-63-67 - 260, 15-under par, to finish fourth April 16-19. Todd played at Rolling Hills Country Club as a youngster.
Having two players each in the top four on both the Champions Tour and PGA Tour the same week is among the best dual performances among area players in our history. (more)
Casual Golf Days schedule completed
The Association presents a Casual Golf Day program that allows members, men and women, to play in a WPGA organized outing. These non-competitive rounds increase the Association's visibility to more members, most who aren't likely to play the WPGA competition schedule. West Penn Golf Association's goal is to provide, through Casual Golf Days, opportunities for members of all skills to enjoy a round of golf at a WPGA Member Club they may not typically have a chance to play.
This program allows WPGA members to show up alone and meet new people or sign up a "regular" group for a great day of golf. This is no-pressure fun golf. Casual Golf Days offer everyone an enjoyable WPGA event, whether they are scratch golfers or those still establishing handicaps. (more)
Every season starts with the Masters: From the Desk of Mike Dudurich
Part of it is that golf fans haven't had a major championship to get into since last August.
Part of it is that this is the first major championship of the professional golf season and has become something of the official start of spring in areas like Western Pennsylvania where it sometimes seems like the snow will never go away.
Not long after the 2015 Masters champion has been determined, the golf season will kick off with the 16th West Penn Amateur Public Links at Cranberry Highlands Golf Course. Did you know that Robert Rohanna of Waynesburg, who has done very well in the current Golf Channel's Big Break, won the WPGA Public Links twice as a youngster?
And while the best players in the world will move on Sunday to the next stops on their respective tours, championship golf in Western Pennsylvania will move to center stage. (more)
2015 season underway, thank you for your continued support
On behalf of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, our Executive Committee, official family, volunteers and staff, we would like to express our thanks to you for your continued support. Your support of the Association is fundamental to us carrying out of our mission. The WPGA family is a network of 130 Member Clubs - of varying types of golf clubs and organizations - and nearly 28,000 golfers. Active support of Member Clubs and individuals is vital to the Association's well being, and this support is much appreciated.
Courses are opening and entries are being processed for the upcoming championship season. The Association has hosted several meetings and workshops already this year that have been well attended by interested and engaged audiences - Course Sustainability, and an overview on our tournament management product, the Tournament Pairing Program (TPP) provided by at no cost to WPGA Member Clubs, at Green Oaks Country Club on March 19, a Junior Golf symposium at Oakmont Country Club on March 26 covering the efforts of the Association to promote Junior Golf in the region, and a Handicap Seminar conducted by the United States Golf Association (USGA) on April 1 at Oakmont. Thank you for your participation. (more)