West Penn Foursomes Championships complete, WPGA & USGA kick off Play-9 Days: From the desk of Mike Dudurich

Posted May 11, 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



2016 West Penn Fred Brand Foursomes champions, Malcolm Spatz & Jonathan Thomas

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.

Congratulations are in order to a pair of two-man teams who won prestigious West Penn Golf Association events this week at Longue Vue Club in Verona.

Malcom Spatz and Jonathan Thomas put together rounds of 70-72ó142 on the 6,578-yard, par 70 course to win the 62nd Fred Brand Foursomes by a shot over Grant Engel and Steve Thomas (72-71–143). Six-time Fred Brand champions Sean Knapp and Nathan Smith finished third after rounds of 73-72–145. That duo posted eight bogeys and a double bogey over the course of 36 holes and made just five birdies. Darin Kowalski and Arnold Cutrell tied Knapp and Smith for third.

2016 West Penn Semple Century Foursomes champions, Joel Mazur & Bob Ofcharka

The 21st Semple Brothers Foursomes Championship was competed simultaneously at Longue Vue. The team of Joel Mazur and Bob Ofcharka registered a two-shot victory with rounds of 71-78-149, while John Rodney and Ray Seemiller put up totals of 75-76ó151. Mark Bope and Chick Wagner finished third with a 74-80ó154 total. Joe Corsi and Paul Schlachter were a shot back in fourth (80-75ó155) and John Benson and Don Erickson’s total of 80-77-157 was good for fifth.

The USGA continues its commitment to its 9-hole recreational golf playing format, a program golfís ruling body in the United States began to push in 2014.

The program encourages people to play nine holes on six scheduled PLAY9 Days throughout the golf season, each on the ninth day of each month through October. But there’s also emphasis to playing nine holes whenever it’s convenient. The USGA believes a nine-hole round has several tangible benefits. It requires a shorter time commitment; it can be less intimidating; nine-hole scores can be turned in for handicap purposes; and a nine-hole round is cost-effective.

According to the USGA, nine-hole golf facilities make up more than 30 percent of public courses in the U.S. and 90 percent of the 18-hole public facilities offer nine-hole rates.The USGA continues its commitment to its 9-hole recreational golf playing format, a program golf’s ruling body in the United States began to push in 2014.

The program encourages people to play nine holes on six scheduled PLAY9 Days throughout the golf season, each on the ninth day of each month through October. But there’s also emphasis to playing nine holes whenever it’s convenient. The USGA believes a nine-hole round has several tangible benefits. It requires a shorter time commitment; it can be less intimidating; nine-hole scores can be turned in for handicap purposes; and a nine-hole round is cost-effective.

According to the USGA, nine-hole golf facilities make up more than 30 percent of public courses in the U.S. and 90 percent of the 18-hole public facilities offer nine-hole rates.

West Penn Golf Association members have an opportunity to experience other clubs in the association thanks to WPGA Play Days. This program offers members and friends the opportunity to play other member clubs they might not otherwise have access. Cost of a round at one of the participating courses is $40.

The schedule for 2016 is: May 26 - Windber Country Club; June 9 - Hill Crest Country Club; June 23 - Lake View Country Club; June 28 - Seven Oaks Country Club; July 12 - The Country Club of Meadville; July 28 - Pleasant Valley Country Club; August 3 - Willowbrook Country Club; August 17 - Scotch Valley Country Club; August 23 - Greensburg Country Club; August 30 - Seven Oaks Country Club; Sept. 14 - Summit Country Club; Sept. 29 - Pleasant Valley Country Club; Oct. 6 - Somerset Country Club; Oct.14 - Bedford Springs Resort.

A pair of Pittsburgh golfers received nice telephone calls recently. Adam Hoffman and Mitch Mercer had finished as first alternates in a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Nemacolin Woodlands last September. But when another team withdrew from this year’s event in the last couple weeks, Hofmann and Mitch Mercer were added to the field. The two will play at Winged Foot Golf Club May 21-25. They’ll join another Pittsburgher, Nathan Smith, there. Smith and partner, Todd White, won the inaugural Four-Ball Championship last year at the Olympic Club.