Cutrell qualifies for U.S. Senior Open, Hughes wins 96th West Penn Junior: From the desk of Mike Dudurich

Posted July 1, 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

96th West Penn Junior Champion, Cole Hughes, with Junior Committee Chair, Bob Barrett.

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.

It looks as though Greensburg’s Arnie Cutrell will be the lone representative from Western Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Golf Club next month in Columbus, Ohio.

A sectional qualifier was held at Westmoreland Country Club on Wednesday with one spot on the line and that went to Dave Bunker of Woodbridge, Ontario after his round of 70. The first alternate was Kevin Vanderberg of Syracuse who also shot 70, but lost in a playoff.

Joe Boros of Treesdale G&CC is the second alternate after posting 71.

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Cole Hughes, a senior-to-be at Indiana High School, used some home-course advantage to win the 96th Junior Championship Wednesday at Indiana Country Club.

Hughes posted rounds of 72-71 to edge Tanner Johnson of Venetia and Louis Olsakovsky of Upper St. Clair by a shot. Michael Lubrani of Belle Vernon finished fourth with a 4 over, and Jimmy Meyers of Wexford and Mark Goetz of Greensburg tied for fifth place with scores of 5 over.

Those five qualified for the C.R. Miller Memorial Match Play Tournament, which will be played at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown from July 26-27. The match play tournament fields the top 16 junior golfers from the region in a four-round single elimination tournament.

“It’s definitely good,” Hughes said. “I was a little nervous there. I didn’t think I was going to get it done.”

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Hughes wasn’t the only Indiana Country Club member to grab a significant trophy this week.

Rutgers University’s Matt Holuta knocked out medalist and top seed Chris Crawford in the semifinals, 1-up, and beat 14th-seeded Chad Warmbein of Hickory Heights Golf Club, 2&1 to win the 13th R. Jay Sigel Match Play Championship at St. Davids Golf Club in Wayne, Pa.

"My mindset in match play was just to not give any holes away," Holuta said. "I wanted to take advantage when I could and try to make some birdies, but overall I wanted to just not take myself out of a hole early."

Two other Western Pennsylvanians did not have such great experiences in the Siegel.

Nathan Smith, who won the event in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015, and Arnie Cutrell, the 2005, 2006 and 2008 champion, were both eliminated relatively early.

Smith won his match in the round of 16, beating James Kania Jr. of Overbrook Golf Club, 2 and 1, but was knocked off by the top seed, Christopher Crawford of Spring Mill Country Club in the quarterfinals, 3 and 2.

Cutrell, on the other hand, was upset by Chad Warmbein of Hickory Heights Golf Club, 1-up, in the round of 16.

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Two weeks ago, Caroline Wrigley of Wexford qualified for the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur July 18-23 at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J.

She added another destination to her summer golf travels this week when she won the Tri-State Junior PGA Championship at Fox Run Golf Course in Beaver Falls. Her winning total of 74-68—142 earned her a trip to the 41st Junior PGA Championship at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rhode Island Aug. 9-12.

Palmer Jackson of Murrysville (68-69—137) won the boys event to get into the national championship as well.