Oakmont’s champions in the West Penn Open

Posted February 21, 2017 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

Katie Miller, Devin Gee, Bob Ford and Tod Pierce after the awards ceremony following the 2016 West Penn Open Championship at Longue Vue Club.

When Devin Gee won the West Penn Open last July at Longue Vue Club, he became the fourth Oakmont Country Club head golf professional to win the championship. Emil Loeffler won at Allegheny Country Club in 1920. Lew Worsham won the championship three times. Worsham won at Westmoreland Country Club in 1953, at Baldoc Hills Country Club in 1956, and at Oakmont in 1958. Bob Ford won in 1979 at Rolling Hills Country Club.

The champions list also includes seven Oakmont members. Willlam C. Fownes, Jr. won in 1904 at Oakmont and in 1921 Stanton Heights Country Club, John Birmingham at Green Oaks Country Club in 1964 and in 1972 at Westmoreland, Frank Fuhrer, III, at St. Clair Country Club in 1986, John Jones in 1993 at Westmoreland, and Bob Friend, a professional who played the PGA Tour, in 2006 at Totteridge Golf Club. Sam Parks won the 1940 title at Shannopin Country Club while head professional at South Hills and then became an Oakmont member in 1947. Also an Honorary Member, Arnold Palmer won at Fox Chapel Golf Club in 1957.

Three additional Oakmont employees also won the Open. Walter Loeffler won in 1923 at Oakmont. Billy Anderson won at Allegheny in 1997, as did Sean Farren in 2003 at Willowbrook Country Club. Both Anderson and Farren were assistant professionals at the time of their victories.

The Loefflers are the only brothers to ever win the West Penn Open. Walter worked on the maintenance crew for Emil, the golf course superintendent from 1916-48. Emil was also the club professional from 1927-47. Fourteen golfers with Oakmont connections have won eighteen Opens on twelve different courses in ten different decades. Birmimgham, Fownes, and Worsham are multiple winners.

Members of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame include Birmingham, Ford, Fownes, Jr., Fuhrer, III, Palmer, Parks and Worsham.