Matt Mattioli hitting a shot at Treesdale

Fox Chapel grad takes top spot at first WPGA Open qualifier
By Josh Rowntree, Director of Communications • June 11, 2024

GIBSONIA — Matt Mattioli had multiple motivations Tuesday. And that was more than enough.

Mattioli, a rising senior at Miami (Ohio), shot a 2-under 70, taking the top qualifying spot at the WPGA’s first 121st Open Championship qualifying round at Treesdale Golf and Country Club.

The final number ended up looking quite dominant. Not only was Mattioli the lone score under-par on the day, but he cleared the second-best mark by five strokes.

“The first two holes, I thought I hit it in some pretty good spots, but made some careless mistakes around the greens,” he said. “But I made good birdies on 5 and 6 to get back to even, and I made a birdie on 7… I just kind of settled down and let it come to me.

“The greens were great. I putted really nicely today. And I hit the driver well. So I made some of those shorter holes a little more gettable.”

Mattioli came in with a little experience at Treesdale — in a sense. It had been a while, and his lone competition rounds came on the nine holes not used in Tuesday’s contest.

“I’ve played the Orchard Course before in high school,” he said following his round on the Lakes and Grove courses. “But I actually didn’t get to play a practice round for either of these courses. So, it was cool to come out and play a good number.”

Mattioli is not only balancing a double major in finance and accounting, as well as a summer internship, but he is also using his final summer of college golf as fuel to his fire. His RedHawk teammates are doing the same.

“We had a good season, but there’s a lot left on the table,” he said. “We finished second in the MAC Championship this year, so guys are getting hungry this summer and getting ready to come back and hopefully put together a good year next year.

“My game feels like it’s in a good spot, but I’m still hoping to put some things together a little more.”

Events like WPGA qualifiers and championships have become key for college players like Mattioli, who get the tough test of Western Pennsylvania courses and the strong fields that occupy them.

“It means a lot,” he said. “You want to stay fresh and you want to be playing as well as you can. These qualifiers are a great test before you get to the actual event.

“All of the guys in college are playing a pretty rigorous summer schedule, so as much experience as you can get, and getting comfortable in those pressure situations, is obviously going to build a little more familiarity with the situations at hand in the big time events.”

Following WPIAL and PIAA team championships at Fox Chapel High School, Mattioli began his collegiate career Wittenberg University, where he went on to become an NCAA PING All-American in the 2021-22 season.

He then transferred to Miami, which has given him a chance to not only compete at a higher level, but to also run into plenty of other top-tier Western Pennsylvania players at the collegiate level.

“I was teammates with Scotty Bitar, who went to Fox Chapel with me,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to be at Miami for a year, too. We see a lot of West Penn guys.

“Rocco (Salvitti), Palmer (Jackson), Gregor Meyer, Amani D’Ambrosio. We see all of these guys and we’re all great buddies, so it’s cool to bump into those guys and have a little competitive flare going into it.”

Mattioli is unsure if he will go for a career in golf or put those degrees to use when he’s done at Miami a year from now, but a good summer and fall on the course could persuade him to stick with golf a while longer.

Next, he gets to attack that goal, as well as a course he knows quite well in Indiana Country Club, which will host the 121st WPGA Open Championship July 22-24.

In 2021, he finished second in the West Penn Amateur, just a stroke behind champion Tanner Johnson — a fellow member of the MAC at Ohio University.

“Obviously the expectation is to go in and do the things that I can do well and control the controllables,” said Mattioli, who has made the cut in three straight WPGA Open Championships. “Results are never really in my mind when you play in the tournament, but you want to play well.

“Indiana is a course where I finished second at the West Penn Am, but lost by a shot… I’m eager to get back up there and put up a good week, and hopefully get some revenge.”

In all, 18 qualifiers earned spots for the West Penn Open Championship next month. A playoff determined the bottom of the qualifying group, as well as the alternate position.

For more information on the 121st WPGA Open qualifying rounds, click here.

Click here for the Live Leaderboard.

For media inquiries, please contact WPGA Director of Communications Josh Rowntree.

About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and nearly 37,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund and Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.