Twelve former champions lead West Penn Open field
Posted July 23, 2017 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact
Defending champion Devin Gee holing his final putt in the 2016 West Penn Open Championship
After nine years, the 113th West Penn Open Championship will return to Butler Country Club for the ninth time. The West Penn Open was last conducted at Butler in 2008 when Nathan Smith claimed for the Harry Millholland Vase as champion.
In WPGA championship history, 12 players have won both the West Penn Open and West Penn Amateur championships. Four have won both in the same year, the last being Nathan Smith in 2008.
Five-time champion Roy Vucinich (1977, 1978, 1985, 1993, 2005) won his fourth title at Butler in 1993. Vucinich is tied with Jock Hutchison (1909, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1915) and Perry DelVecchio (1927, 1928, 1932, 1934, 1935) for most titles.
Former champions also in the field include Arnold Cutrell (1990), Jim Cichra (1995), John Aber (1999), Brent Johnson (2000), Rick Stimmel (2002), Bob Friend (2006), Kevin Shields (2010), host professional, Rob McClellan (2011), two-time champion, Mike VanSickle (2013, 2015), and defending champion, Devin Gee (2016).
Starting in the penultimate group at Longue Vue last year, Gee overcame a 3-shot deficit to claim a 2-shot victory over VanSickle. Gee birdied the 54th hole and added another three in his final round 2-under 68 to complete the championship as the only player under par.
The field includes 51 amateurs and 33 professionals. The field of 84 was determined from a 182 entrants through exempt players and qualifying rounds at Treesdale Golf & Country Club and Willowbrook Country Club.
Dan Thompson holds the 54-hole scoring record of 203 (64-67-72) at Fox Chapel Golf Club in 2012, and Joe Klinchock holds the 36-hole scoring record of 133 (69-64) in 1998 at Tom’s Run, Chestnut Ridge Resort. Jon Mills holds the championship record for one round of 62 at Indiana Country Club in 2014.
The West Penn Open changed to 54-holes and added qualifying rounds for the championship in 2012.
Tee times begin at 7:30 AM on Monday and 7:15 AM on Tuesday. After the second round the field will be cut to the low 32 players and ties for the final round Wednesday morning.
Butler will play par 70 at 6,680 yards. Admission is free and open to the public.