Play suspended in 2018 WPGA Amateur Championship
By Mike Dudurich • July 3, 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.
FOX CHAPEL – There was some spectacular golf played in the first round of the West Penn Golf Association’s Amateur Championship Monday at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
Adam Hoffman birdied five holes and bogeyed one to post a 66, one shot better than a quartet of other players.
There was some spectacular, no make that horrific, weather that dominated things during the second round. Just past the halfway part of the round, the weather siren sounded for the third time, but unlike the other two times, the skies immediately darkened and a ferocious thunderstorm pounded the entire Fox Chapel area.
The storm continued for nearly an hour and a half, leaving in its wake flooded streets and intersections throughout the community. The most damage, however, may well have been the golf course, which took a terrific beating.
As darkness fell, the course was underwater. Not puddles of standing water but raging rivers of water that raced down the middle of the first and 18th fairways. A creek that crosses the 18th fairway had overflowed several times over, giving the appearance of whitecaps in the middle of the fairway.
A group of spectators also were stranded out on the course, necessitating a fire truck being dispatched to rescue them.
Obviously, no further golf was played Monday and there will be none played Tuesday, either. A decision will be made by WPGA officials as to what will be done to finish the championship.
So, when the competition starts again Hoffman will have a one-shot leave over that group of four that’s led by Sean Knapp.
He’s been on quite a run recently, and on the run a lot recently. He competed in the USGA’s Celebration of Champions the day before the first round of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock a few weeks ago and then drove nearly all night to Johnstown to play in the Sunnehanna Amateur the next day.
He received an exemption into the U.S. Senior Open because of his U.S. Senior Amateur victory and spent last week in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor Resort.
After not making the cut, he tried to change his flight home to Saturday but that was cost prohibitive. As a result, he didn’t get back to Pittsburgh until 2 a.m. Monday, but was on the first tee at 8:36 a.m.
Part of the reason he was on the tee was he is one Amateur victory from tying William C. Fownes William C. Fownes with the most victories in the event with eight.
“The clock is ticking and my window is closing (to win for the eighth time,” Knapp said. “This is very important to me.”
Knapp’s success in Amateur is amazing. He’s played in 31 of these and has finished in the top 10 28 times. Twenty-two of those years he’s finished in the top five, has never missed a cut and has had only one finish was higher than the 11th.
“I’ve been in the final group the last two years and didn’t make it happen,” Knapp said. “And that’s why it’s still so important to me.”
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.