117th Amateur Championship returns to Sunnehanna Country Club

Posted June 24, 2017 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

Defending champion Dan Thompson leads a field of 78 at Sunnehanna. Photo Western Pennsylvania Golf Association

A field of 78 will gather at Sunnehanna Country Club to compete for the William C. Fownes Trophy in the 117th Western Pennsylvania Amateur Championship next week.

Sunnehanna will host the West Penn Amateur for the third time, one week after conducting the 64th Sunnehanna Amateur. Oakmont’s Sean Knapp won the first in 2000 during a record streak of six consecutive victories (1998-2003). Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh won the second in 2007 that began a streak of his own with four consecutive championships (2007-2010).

117th Western Pennsylvania Amateur Championship Media Guide

Knapp has played in the Sunnehanna Amateur a record 26 consecutive years, and Smith won the event in 2011. Smith is the only player from Western Pennsylvania to win the tournament.

Knapp has won a record 38 WPGA championships, and is followed by Smith with 26. No other player in WPGA history has won more than 16.

Both Knapp and Smith were inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015.

A combination of 196 exempt and qualifying players registered for the championship. The only championships when more entered were held at Oakmont in 1999 and 2011 with 260 each.

The field is lead by Johnstown native and defending champion Dan Thompson. Thompson posted an opening round 71 in last year’s championship 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.

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.

David Brown holds the championship scoring record of 202 on the par-70 Nemacolin Country Club in 2004 and will compete at Sunnehanna.

Additional former champions in the field include Rick Stimmel in 1997 at the Pittsburgh Field Club, Greg Podufal in 2012 at The Kahkwa Club and Trent Karlik in 2014 at Penn State Golf Courses.

Oakmont and Allegheny Country Club have each hosted the most Amateurs with 13 each.