Rocco Salvitti putting at Sunnehanna Country Club

Salvitti leads local contingent at Sunnehanna Amateur
By Mike Dudurich • June 13, 2024

WESTMONT - The day couldn’t have been much better. Bright sunny skies, warm temperatures, a slight breeze and a golf course that was firm and fast and, with few exceptions, was unrelenting in its defense of par.

And that’s why Sunnehanna Country Club is what it is. It’s been a tremendous home for 83 years to the Sunnehanna Amateur and when the difficulty of the layout is added to weather conditions, it is a great test.

Ben Warian, of Stillwater, Minnesota, hardly had any issues with the layout, posting a 5-under par 65 that included birdies on 16, 17 and 18.

Cameron Huss of Kenosha, Wisconsin, finished at 4-under 66 and is one shot out of the lead heading into today’s second round. His round included four birdies and an eagle (on 11).

They were two of 35 players who turned in under-par scores in the opening round.

Palmer Jackson, who recently completed his fifth year at Notre Dame, had a single bogey on his front nine and had two bogeys and two birdies on the back for a 71.

“It was a good day for scoring, and you can see some guys played really good,” Jackson said. “There were some new pins out there today and the changing conditions made it difficult at times.”­­­

Rocco Salvitti, playing in his first Am, put up a couple birdies on the back nine and posted an even-par round of 70.

“I thought it was good,” Salvitti said of his round. “I hit 16 greens and I had good speed with my putts on the greens. I hit a lot of great putts, just didn’t make many.”

When asked about his nerves in the first round of a tournament the magnitude of this one, Salvitti was very matter of fact.

“I was very comfortable. I kept it light out there,” he said. “I had my typical pre-tournament nerves, but once I got out there it was good. I knew what it was going to take, regardless of the conditions. Even par was a very good round.”

Gregor Meyer overcame a tough start of three bogeys in the first six holes and made two more on the back. But he was able to grab a pair of birds on the back and finished with a 73.

J.F. Aber, making his first start in this elite event, double-bogeyed the second hole and had a 38 on the front. But he played a much cleaner back nine and posted an even-par round of 70.

Chuck Tragesser, making his first start in the event, made four birdies, but also made seven bogeys, include six in a row on the back to shoot 73.

It was a tough day for Sam Lafferty of Hollidaysburg, a national member at Sunnehanna. He bogeyed the first and third holes and then double-bogeyed the fourth. Playing in front of family and friends, Lafferty finished with a 91 that included five double bogeys and five bogeys.

Like the first round, today’s second round will begin at the same time the first round did, 8 a.m.

Pairings will remain the same as the first round, tee times will be adjusted according to the scores.

After Thursday’s round, the field will be cut to the low 60 and ties for the final two rounds.

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 34,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund and Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.