Final Round of 2018 WPGA Amateur Championship scheduled
By Mike Dudurich • July 4, 2018
Mike is a freelance writer and host of The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan Saturday mornings from 7-8 AM. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDudurich.
An unprecedented weather situation has forced the West Penn Golf Association to make a difficult decision regarding its oldest championship.
When a ferocious thunderstorm popped up quickly late Monday afternoon during the second round of the 118th West Penn Amateur Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club, second-round play was suspended. When the severe storm continued to rage for over 90 minutes with heavy rain, strong gusts of wind and sharp lightning, two things became apparent.
Safety had become an issue of paramount importance as players and fans were stranded on the course with rising water making it very difficult to rescue them. Flooding happened so quickly that golf carts could not cross Fox Chapel Road to bring those stranded back to the clubhouse.
Less important at the time was the completion of the event, but it was definitely something that had to be decided.
With the help of local firefighters and Fox Chapel Golf Club staff, all those stranded were safely gotten off the course, although the last players didn’t get back to the clubhouse until nearly 9 p.m.
“At that point, golf become secondary,” Teasdale said. “We needed to get everybody back in safely and that was a difficult process.”
And on Tuesday afternoon, at about the same time a champion would have been crowned after the completion of the 54-hole event, WPGA Executive Director Terry Teasdale announced the organization’s decision on how the event would be completed.
The Amateur will become a 36-hole event, with all second-round scores from Monday being wiped out and the second round will be played August 20 at Fox Chapel GC. A variety of solutions were discussed within the organization before a decision was reached.
“Having an 18-hole championship would be unprecedented,” Teasdale said. “The idea of moving it to another venue was also briefly considered, but we advertised the championship will be played at Fox Chapel and that’s what we’re doing. We will identify a champion at Fox Chapel.”
Because of scheduling problems both at Fox Chapel and the WPGA, the first date possible was August 20.
“We understand the difficulties this decision might present, but we think it’s the best solution for the WPGA, the Amateur Championship and our overall championship program,” Teasdale said. “We stand by the decision and want this to be the best possible outcome.”
All 84 players who entered the Amateur will be invited to come back and participate, although Teasdale understands that circumstances might preclude everyone from getting back to play the second round.
The first-round leader was Adam Hofmann, who posted a 66. Four players shot 67, including seven-time Amateur champion Sean Knapp. The reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion needs one more win to tie W.C. Fownes with eight titles.
About the WPGA
Founded in 1899, the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region. Started by five Member Clubs, the association now has nearly 200 Member Clubs and 33,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund.