Williamson Cup Matches to begin, professional tours update
From the desk of Mike Dudurich

Posted July 14, 2015 - 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



2015 C.R. Miller Match Play Invitational champion, Palmer Jackson, is congratulated by WPGA Championship Director, Matt Rusinko, after his final match victory

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.

There’s something good going on in Western Pennsylvania golf. It may be in its infancy, but there is growing evidence that a resurgence is starting to take place in boys golf.

It’s been a while since there have been dominant young golfers in the WPGA, but the tide might be turning in that regard.

There are a pair of 14-year-olds who have raised eyebrows across the landscape of the West Penn Golf Association and, as good as they are at this age, the future looks very bright. Brady Pevarnik of Latrobe and Palmer Jackson of Murrysville are first and second in the WPGA Junior Honor Roll, but there a good number of other youngsters who are showing much potential as well.

Pevarnik became the youngest golfer to make the cut in the West Penn Amateur a couple months ago, Jackson won the C.R Miller Memorial Junior Match Play Invitational at Sewickley Heights last week.

What these youngsters have accomplished borders on amazing and is hopefully the harbinger of things to come for them and the WPGA. They along with Mark Goetz of Greensburg and Jason Li of Sewickley will represent Western Pennsylvania for the WPGA in the 2015 Williamson Cup Matches at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, PA next week. They will take on junior teams from 10 other Golf Associations from around the Northeast and Canada.

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Nice finish by Washington, Pa. native Steve Wheatcroft last week in the Quicken Loans National. He posted rounds of 65-73-68-68 and won $147,400, pushing his season earnings to $964,509 and jumping him to 93rd on the money list.

That performance followed a T8 at the John Deere Classic.

If history holds true, it has taken about $1 million to finish in the top 125, allowing a player to retain his card for the next year.

Wheatcroft hasn’t been able to pull that off, but he’s in really good shape as the PGA Tour season quickly winds down.

He’s in the middle of a nice stretch, getting hot at the right time. After missing four straight cuts, he's posted two top-15s in four starts.

Waynesburg’s Rachel Rohanna is hanging in there on the Symetra Tour money list. The top 10 finishers on that list earn their LPGA Tour cards for 2016 and Rohanna is ninth this week. She’s earned $39,481 and is involved in a tight race with seven tournaments left.

And how about the hot streak Mike Van Sickle is on?

Playing on the MacKenzie Tour or PGA Tour Canada depending on your preference, Van Sickle is 28th on the Order of Merit (money list). After winning the West Penn Open at Westmoreland Country Club a couple weeks ago, Van Sickle went to Calgary the next week and posted a tie for 10th in the ATB Financial Classic, earning $4,375.

He’s posted four top-20 finishes in six starts in the Great White North.

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Kudos are in order for a pair of Western Pennsylvanian senior who are in the midst of outstanding seasons.

Perry Graciano won the 56th Pennsylvania Amateur Championship’s senior division this week at Longue Vue with a 36-hole total of 141.

Graciano is a member at Edgewood Country Club but has played a lot of golf at Longue Vue.

“I consider this place my second home," Graciano said. "I've been coming here a long time and I love this place."

Graciano rolled in a 60-foot bomb for birdie on the par-three 12th that moved him to three-under par the day. He finished with rounds of 72 and 69, good enough to beat Thomas A. Bartolacci Jr. (74-71) for a four-shot victory.

The other guy that’s been playing well this year is Dave DeNezza of Hannastown Golf Club, who won but it wasn’t easy. He and Lee Lykens of Indiana Country Club and Joe Ruby of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort all finished at 10-over for the two days.

It took four playoff holes, but DeNezza prevailed as the State Super-Senior champ.