Five selected for induction into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame
Posted August 15, 2017 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact
The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Hall of Fame Committee has selected five outstanding champions and contributors to the game from the region for induction into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame. The Class of 2017 includes Jack C. Benson, Jr., Fred Brand, Jr., David Brown, Arnold Cutrell and Perry Del Vecchio. This year’s induction ceremony will be held at St. Clair Country Club on September 28.
Jack Benson, right, with Ben Hogan at South Hills CC.
Jack C. Benson won 13 WPGA championships. He won the West Penn Amateur six times in three different decades from 1934-1954. Only two players have won the championship more. An annual contender in Association team competitions, Benson won the inaugural West Penn Four-Ball in 1939 with L.R. Siebert and the team successfully defended in 1940. In 1958, Benson also won the Four-Ball with his son, Jack, Jr. He won the WPGA Father & Son four times, once with his father and with sons Jack, Jr. (twice) and George. A longtime member of South Hills Country Club, Benson, and his son, George, hold the record for most club championships at South Hills with 12. He advanced to the semi-finals of the 1951 U.S. Amateur Championship. The West Penn Spring Stroke Play trophy is named in his honor.
Fred Brand, Jr. is one of two players to win the West Penn Junior and West Penn Amateur championships in the same year (1927). Brand also won the Junior in 1925, and the Amateur again in 1941. A member of many golf clubs throughout the country, Brand won club championships at eight different clubs plus numerous senior titles. Brand was instrumental in the founding of the WPGA Scholarship Fund in 1941. A former president of the WPGA in 1955, the Pennsylvania Golf Association in 1961, and the Tri-State Section, PGA of America, he also served on the United States Golf Association Executive Committee from 1958-1969. Brand served as unpaid WPGA Executive Secretary from 1938-1949, and was a member of the PGA of America’s Advisory Board for 35 years. In 1997, the USGA awarded him its highest honor by naming him the recipient of the Bob Jones Award. Brand is also a member of the Tri-State Section PGA Hall of Fame.
David Brown has won six different WPGA championships for a total of 10 titles. The first came in 2002 in the Father & Son. Brown went on to win the Amateur three times from 2004-2013, the Mid-Amateur in 2003 and 2014, the Senior Amateur in the first year of eligibility in 2016, and the Semple Brothers Century Foursomes in 2011 and 2012. In 2010, Brown won his first Pennsylvania Golf Association event at the 2010 R. Jay Siegel Match Play, and he won the championship again in 2012. Brown followed this by winning the Senior Art Wall Jr., Memorial in 2016. Brown qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in 2012 and has played in five U.S. Mid-Amateurs.
Arnold Cutrell has won 16 WPGA titles in his career and seven different championships. He won his first in 1980 in the Boys, followed by the C.R. Miller Match Play in 1981, the Four-Ball four times from 1986-2008, the Open in 1990, the Fred Brand Foursomes three times, 1997-2013, the Mid-Amateur three times from 2004-2011, and the Semple Brothers Century Foursomes three times from 2006-2013. His win tally in WPGA events ranks third. Cutrell has also won seven Pennsylvania Golf Association titles including the R. Jay Siegel Match Play Championship three times, 2005-2008, the Art Wall Memorial four times from 2011-2016, and the Father & Son Championship in 2011. Cutrell has qualified for eight U.S. Mid-Amateurs, four U.S. Amateurs, the first in 1982, and the U.S. Senior Open in 2016. In 2004 and 2006, Cutrell was named WPGA Player of the Year.
Perry Del Vecchio started his golf career on the greens crew at Oakmont Country Club. In 1927, Del Vecchio was named the golf course superintendent at Greensburg Country Club and golf professional in 1927. Del Vecchio won West Penn Open five times in eight years from 1927-1935, and is tied with Jock Hutchison and Roy Vucinich for the most titles in championship history. He also won the first Tri-State Section, PGA of America Championship in 1931 and went on to win it another three times from 1931-1941. He also worked as a golf course superintendent. Del Vecchio played in the 1927 and 1935 U.S. Open Championships at Oakmont Country Club and finished tied for 15th in 1927. He finished runner-up in the Pennsylvania Open at Oakmont in 1934. In 1928, Del Vecchio advanced to the quarterfinals of the PGA Championship. Del Vecchio is also a member of the Tri-State Section Hall of Fame.