David Brown wins first Senior Amateur, National Championships in Pennsylvania: From the desk of Mike Dudurich
Posted June 4, 2016 - 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
David Brown, 2016 West Penn Senior Amateur champion
The WPGA has retained Mike Dudurich to write a blog for its website. The opinions and observations contained within are his own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Association.
South Hills Country Club had never hosted the West Penn Senior Amateur Championship until last week. And based on how things worked, it was well worth the wait for the event, which began in 1929.
David Brown of Ligonier won the Senior Amateur for the first time, shooting rounds of 72-72--144, two over par. He got to that total by making a birdie on the 18th hole of the second round.
Finishing a shot behind was Stan Namola of Beaver at 145, but it was interesting how the two players arrived at their final totals. Namola birdied the 365-yard, par four 17th hole to get to two-over, but bogeyed the final hole, allowing Brown to win.
Finishing third was Michael Cushman of Pittsburgh, who had an interesting rollercoaster ride in his rounds of 72-74--146. In the first round, he shot a 40 on his first nine, including bogeys at Nos. 7-8-9. But he caught fire on the back, making four birdies and one bogey for a 32 and a round on 70.
He started on the back in his second round, posting two bogeys and three birdies for a 34. As he made the turn, he was in the lead by a shot. He then proceeded to bogey four holes on the back, made no birdies and finished with a 40.
A great deal of attention has been paid to the 116th U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, as it should be.
But did you know three other USGA national championships will be played in the state before 2016 concludes? The U.S Women's Amateur will be held at Rolling Green Golf Club, in Springfield; the U.S. Mid-Am will be held at Stonewall Links, Elverson, and the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur will be held at The Kahkwa Club, Erie.
If you watched the tournament previously known as the Colonial Invitational, now called the Dean & DeLuca Invitational, you probably saw one of the young players on the PGA Tour, Kyle Reifers, contending over the weekend.
You didn't have to look too closely to notice the green, yellow and white umbrella of Arnold Palmer's on one of the panels of Reifer's hat.
I've asked about the significance of the umbrella and even my source of sources, Arnold Palmer's long-time right hand man, Doc Giffin, didn't have a clear answer other than Reifers was a star golfer at Wake Forest, the same place Palmer played some pretty fine college golf.
Westmoreland Country Club has had some big names as professionals and assistants. Johnny Bulla, Ed Furgol and Jim Ferree were the pros and the Hebert brothers, Lionel and Jay, were assistants.
If you get to play Wildwood Golf Club in Allison Park over the next couple months, keep your shots out of the bunkers on the fourth hole.
One of them has a roped-off area in the bunker and if your shot lands there, you get a drop in the bunker.
Why? Well, it happens that a mother turtle laid eggs in an area she carefully dug out and then covered the eggs near the lip of the bunker. It took her about four hours to complete that task.
Defending champions Pittsburgh's Nathan Smith and partner Todd White of South Carolina were knocked out of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot in the round of 16, losing to Drew Allenspach and Matthew Van Zandt, 2 & 1. In the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball at Streamsong Resort, Jeannette native Katie Miller and partner Kristen Obush were knocked out by Angelina Kim and Brianna Navarrosa, 3 & 2.