Connor Schmidt named Frank Fuhrer III Award recipient
By Mike Dudurich • June 29, 2019
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.
Connor Schmidt has something of a unique approach to golf.
“For me, it’s not really about awards or that sort of thing,” the 21-year-old said. “I’m addicted to winning, to working hard to get even better.”
But coming off the season he had as a third-year player at Drexel University, awards followed. He had the lowest stroke average in the Colonial Athletic Association of 71.4, was a three-time CAA Player of the Week, a second-team All-CAA and was on the CAA All-Tournament team.
And now perhaps the most significant of the awards he’s won this year, the West Penn Golf Association’s Frank Fuhrer III College Player of The Year.
“It definitely means a lot to win to win this award,” Schmidt said. “He’s a big name in the West Penn Golf Association. It really is a big deal to win this award.
Fuhrer III was an outstanding collegiate and amateur player. He was an All-ACC and All-American player at the University of North Carolina from 1977-81. He was recently named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team along with another western Pennsylvania legend, Arnold Palmer, who played golf at Wake Forest University.
Fuhrer was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame in 2016.
The collegiate season Schmidt had this year was remarkable. As a team captain in 2019, he played 23 rounds in 11 events, putting up a school and course record of 63.
His high level of play was not limited to collegiate events. He was the 2018 Pennsylvania Amateur champion, the Western Pennsylvania Spring Stroke Play champion and the 2019 Lonnie Barton Invitational, Wildcat Invitational and Pennsylvania Dressler Memorial champion.
A Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management major at Drexel, Schmidt has two years of academic eligibility remaining and one year of golf eligibility left. He was on the Drexel Dean’s List 4 of 7 semesters thus far and received the CAA Commissioners Academic Award for all 3 seasons.
“Right after the college season, the Dressler was held at the Drexel course so it was cool to win on my home course,” said Schmidt, who starred at Peters Twp. High School. “I played in the U.S. Four-Ball Championship and my partner and I missed match play by a shot. It’s been a good year.”
Schmidt, who is a member at Nemacolin Country Club, was excited this year and last to watch a teammate qualify for the U.S. Open.
“That is definitely one of my goals every year, and it really gets me going,” he said. “One of the coolest things about it is that anyone with the proper handicap can sign up and potentially play in the biggest tournament in the world. Just to see someone I know in there is really cool. It’s definitely another motivating factor.”
The 2018 Fuhrer III winner also came from the eastern part of the state, Andy Butler of Villanova.
Schmidt will receive the award in the fall at the Association’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Champions Dinner October 9 at Oakmont Country Club.
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.