Claudette Graham elected 98th WPGA president

Posted October 12, 2017 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Seven Past Presidents attended the 2017 Annual Meeting. From left, Mark Caliendo, 2016-2017, Cliff Lyon, 2005-2006, Dario Cipriani, 2010-2011, George Anderson, 2008-2009, Claudette Graham, 2017-2018, Tim Fitzgerald, 2014-2015, Dave Kuhar, 2011-2012, and Jim Boughner, 2013-2014.

Claudette Graham, Allegheny, was elected President during the WPGA Annual Meeting at Montour Heights Country Club on September 19. She succeeds Mark Caliendo of Montour Heights as the 98th WPGA President in the Association’s storied and lengthy history.

Graham is the first woman to serve as WPGA President and the tenth from Allegheny Country Club.

The remaining officers are Tim Slavish, Pittsburgh Field Club, Vice President; Rud VanHorn, Hickory Heights, Secretary; and Dan Johnston, Treasure Lake, Treasurer.

Graham was first elected to the Executive Committee in 2009. She is a long-time volunteer for both the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, the Women’s Golf Association of Western Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania State Women’s Golf Association. She has been involved in many Association activities and committees including Handicapping, Hall of Fame, and Governance, and has served as a Course Rating Captain since 2002. For WGAWP, she has served as a board member in 1994-95, chair of Course Rating Committee since 2002, and she served as chair of the 2013 Nominating Committee. And with PSWGA, Graham served as a board member from 2001-04 and as secretary from 2004-06. (more)

Brown repeats as Senior Amateur champion with impressive showing

Posted October 11, 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 •  • 

SEWICKLEY – There are many ways to win a golf tournament.

A late-round barrage of birdies, an opponent’s collapse, start-to-finish domination or even a final-hole birdie to back door the title are all possibilities.

And then there’s shooting a 29 on the first nine of a 36-hole event and then trying to keep it in play for the last 27 holes.

Say hello to David Brown, the 2017 West Penn Golf Association Senior Amateur champion.

“I was trying to hold on after that first nine,” Brown, of Ligonier, admitted after following up his opening-round 66 with a 69 on Tuesday at the spectacular Allegheny Country Club. He finished with a 10-shot victory over Bob Paris of Erie, who posted rounds of 73-72.

He was in that position because once he got to the final round with a seven-shot advantage over four other seniors, it was evident nobody in the field was capable of making a serious run at him. (more)

Rohanna wins Symetra Tour Championship

Posted October 11, 2017 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Waynesburg native Rachel Rohanna won the Symetra Tour Championship on Monday at LPGA International Golf Club in Daytona Beach. The Ohio State University standout shot 69-65-69--203 for a one-stroke victory and a $30,000 winners check, the largest of her career. It was her second career Symetra Tour title.

Rohanna moved into the lead for good after posting a 7-under 65 in the second round.

Heading into the Symetra Tour Championship Rohanna was 26th on the tour money list. She had played well in the final part of the season with six top-20 finishes in her last seven events.

The victory moved Rohanna to 11th on the final money list, one spot away from securing a LPGA Tour Card for the upcoming season. The showing earned her a place in the finals of LPGA Tour Qualifying that will also be played at LPGA International next month. (more)

Wheatcroft retains PGA Tour card

Posted October 10, 2017 - By Western Pennsylvania Golf Association •  • 

Washington, PA, native Steve Wheacroft played 17 events on the PGA Tour during the 2016-17 season. He made nine cuts, with a tie for tenth in Memphis his best. Wheatcroft’s earnings were $309,518 that left him 173rd on the money list and 179th on the FedEx Cup points list.

In attempting to secure PGA Tour status for 2017-18, Wheatcroft played in four events in the Tour Finals. The field of 144 from the the top-75 players on the money list, and the players ranked 126-200 from the PGA Tour money list, competed for 25 PGA Tour cards for the upcoming season. The top 25 were determined by money won in these four events to advance to the PGA Tour. (more)

Team WPGA posts fourth consecutive win in Palmer Cup

Posted September 22, 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 •  • 

LATROBE - Over the 22-year history of the Palmer Cup matches, the West Penn Golf Association has not compiled a particularly sparkling record. The best amateurs in the association lost the first 15 times before getting a bit of success by forging a tie in the 16th playing of the event.

They’ve turned that around by winning the last four meetings, including Thursday’s triumph at Latrobe Country Club.

The amateurs put on their best show in the event, beating the club pros 13-4. It was the largest margin of victory by a WPGA team and was fueled by an 8.5-1.5 advantage in the morning singles that put the Tri-State team in an inescapable hole. (more)

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)

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The championship season has ended. Thank you to all that participated and to all of our Member Clubs who assisted us. See you all next year.