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WPGA Senior Series #4 • September 25 - Hannastown Golf Club

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Waiting game no longer - Knapp wins U.S. Senior Amateur

Posted September 4, 2017 - 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 •  • 

As he walked out of the clubhouse at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis last Thursday afternoon, a promotional poster for the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur caught Sean Knapp’s eye.

He noticed a picture of Dave Ryan, the defending champion, who lost his chance to defend when Knapp defeated him in the semifinals. Knapp took a couple more steps before he stopped.

“It was then that I realized next year, my picture was going to be on that poster,” Knapp, 55, said. “That’s when it started to be real.”

It actually became official a few hours earlier when Knapp defeated two-time champion Paul Simson of Raleigh, North Carolina, 2 & 1, to win the Senior Amateur.

Calling Knapp’s victory significant would be like referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s as a fairly successful football team. With his win, Western Pennsylvania players have won 12 of the 14 individual championships the USGA conducts. The only two that haven’t been won by someone from the area are the U.S. Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links.

But for the man himself, the hard-earned victory was a combination of a significant personal accomplishment and what he hopes will be a springboard to even greater things on the national senior amateur stage. (more)

Brown takes medalist honors in U.S. Senior Amateur Championship

Posted August 28, 2017 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Updated 8/31/17 at 12:37 PM - Finals

Sean Knapp wins the 2017 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.

After 36-holes of stroke play, Ligonier’s David Brown posted a 6-under total of 138 on rounds of 68-70 to claim the top spot in the match play draw that begins today at The Minikahda Club in Minneapolis, MN by two shots. Brown will face Scott Smith of Houston this morning in the first round.

This is the first time Brown has competed in the U.S. Senior Amateur after having qualified at Ledgerock Golf Club in Mohnton, PA where he was also the medalist.

Brown has won six different WPGA championships and 10 titles, including the West Penn Amateur three times, the Mid-Amateur twice and the Senior Amateur once. He has previously qualified for the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Mid-Amateur five times.

Prior to this year, Brown has only made match play in a USGA championship one other time, at the 2002 U.S. Mid-Amateur where he advanced to the Round of 16 after claiming the final spot for the draw in a playoff. (more)

Mercer captures first WPGA title in Mid-Amateur Championship

Posted August 29, 2017 - 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 •  • 

The 30-year-old had a birthday a couple weeks ago and celebrated in a great way for a golfer Monday. Mercer played in the 32nd West Penn Golf Association at Green Oaks Country Club, but not only played in it, he won it.

The victory was Mercer’s first in a WPGA event, cause enough to celebrate, but he also realized the larger significance of that win.

“It’s always a good feeling if you can beat a field like this one,” Mercer said. “This is a good field, plenty of tough guys here. But there’s a lot of history in this event and it’s great to be a part of it.”

The roster of champions in the Mid-Am is dotted with names of the best amateurs since 1985. And it has been dominated by the very best amateurs. Sean Knapp has won it nine times; Nathan Smith, John Jones and Arnie Cutrell have each won it three times.

That adds up to 18 titles by that trio in the 32 years it’s been held. (more)

Five selected for induction into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame

Posted August 15, 2017 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Hall of Fame Committee has selected five outstanding champions and contributors to the game from the region for induction into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 includes Jack C. Benson, Jr., Fred Brand, Jr., David Brown, Arnold Cutrell and Perry Del Vecchio. This year’s induction ceremony will be held at St. Clair Country Club on September 28.

Fred Brand, Jr. is one of two players to win the West Penn Junior and West Penn Amateur championships in the same year (1927). Brand also won the Junior in 1925, and the Amateur again in 1941. A member of many golf clubs throughout the country, Brand won club championships at eight different clubs plus numerous senior titles. Brand was instrumental in the founding of the WPGA Scholarship Fund in 1941. A former president of the WPGA in 1955, the Pennsylvania Golf Association in 1961, and the Tri-State Section, PGA of America, he also served on the United States Golf Association Executive Committee from 1958-1969. Brand served as unpaid WPGA Executive Secretary from 1938-1949, and was a member of the PGA of America’s Advisory Board for 35 years. In 1997, the USGA awarded him its highest honor by naming him the recipient of the Bob Jones Award. Brand is also a member of the Tri-State Section PGA Hall of Fame. (more)

Team WPGA captures first Williamson Cup title by 11 shots

Posted August 9, 2017 - 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 •  • 

FOX CHAPEL – There were audible sighs coming from each of the West Penn Golf Association’s four players who competed in the 54th Williamson Cup matches Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Field Club.

Those sighs could have been analyzed a couple different ways. They could have been a result of playing 36 holes in a tough regional competition on a very difficult course set-up in a way that local professional golfers would have been tested.

No, that wasn’t it.

It could have been the sighs were expressions of anticipation for the post-match barbeque and celebration.

No, that wasn’t it, either.

Those sighs were the expressions of four young men accomplishing something that had never been done previously by a WPGA team.

Mark Goetz, Palmer Jackson, Louis Olsakovsky and Brady Pevarnik combined to win the Williamson Cup matches for the first time ever. The WPGA team won by 11 shots over the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 425-436. (more)

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2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Sectional Qualifying • September 27 - Sewickley Heights

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