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

Posted June 23, 2016 - By Mike Dudurich,
Freelance writer and host of The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan Saturday mornings from 7-8 AM
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDudurich

Dan Thompson at the 2012 West Penn Open at Fox Chapel Golf Club.

The WPGA has retained Mike Dudurich to write a blog for its website. The opinions and observations contained within are his own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Association.

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.

* * *

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.

And those two days were certainly memorable for Johnstown’s Dan Thompson, who became just the 12th player in West Penn Golf Association history to claim the West Penn Open and West Penn Amateur titles.

Thompson got better with each round, 71-68-66 for a 205 total that was good enough to win by three.

He won the Open in 2007, 2009 and 2012. He applied for reinstatement to amateur status and received that last August.

Three players tied for third: Arnie Cutrell of Greensburg, Adam Hofmann of Fox Chapel and Luke Miller of Peters Twp.

* * *

How about the week Greensburg’s Arnie Cutrell had? The 51-year-old finished in a three-way tie for second in the West Penn Amateur at Bedford Springs Resort, four shots behind winner Dan Thompson.

Cutrell then went to Philadelphia’s Applebrook Golf Club on Wednesday to compete for a spot in the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Golf Club in August.

He emerged from a five-for-one playoff spot to get the last of three spots in the Senior Open. Playing in the last group of the day, Cutrell got in with style. On the final hole, he zipped a wedge into the green, used the backstop behind the pin and brought the ball back to five feet from the cup.

He drained that putt and then two-putted for par on the same green six playoff holes later to get to Scioto.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Cutrell said. “The conditions were so tough on the front nine I honestly was thinking about packing it in.”

* * *

Mike McGuire and Joe Ruby obviously are very comfortable in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s four-ball competition.

The duo, McGuire from Hannastown and Ruby from Nemacolin Woodlands, won the 24th Senior Four-Ball Championship’s Super-Senior Division by five shots at Schuylkill Country Club this week.

The victory was their third straight in the event and they accomplished it with an opening-round 65 to open up a five-shot lead. The final round started slowly with bogeys on the fourth and seventh holes. A birdie on the eighth got the team going and they cruised to the victory.