Eight advance in Match Play Invitationals
By Mike Dudurich • July 26, 2021
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.
Safe to say Monday provided quite an introduction to match play for Chuck Tragesser. The soon-to-be freshman at the University of Rhode Island caught on quickly, however, controlling his two matches to advance to this morning’s semifinals of the 47th C.R. Miller Match Play Invitational at Hannastown Golf Club.
Tragesser is a big strong young man and can send the golf ball long distances as he did in both his morning match against Scott Jordan (a 4&3 victory) and the 3&2 win over Jack Urban in the quarterfinals.
“Yeah, my driving is definitely a weapon,” he said with a big of a smile. “I just have to tighten the wedges up a little.”
Tragesser made three birdies on the front nine against Urban, shooting a 33. The rest of the round featured a collection of pars until Tragesser closed him out. He had a unique experience on the 16th hole where he pulled his tee shot so far left that it came to rest on the far side of the first fairway.
“It wasn’t all that bad of a place, though,” Tragesser laughed. “I had 134 yards left uphill to the green.”
In his opening-round match, Urban knocked off Alex Turowski, a Hannastown member, in 19 holes. That victory came on a long-range putt on that first playoff hole.
Competing in this morning’s semifinals, in addition to Tragesser, are Weston Warden, who posted the largest margin of victory on the day, 8&6 over Sam Gaffney; Nolan Shilling, who recorded a pair of 2 & 1 victories and Adam Lauer, who required 21 holes to get past Wes Lorish in the quarterfinals.
The Third WPGA Girls' Match Play Invitational was contested in conjunction with the C.R. Miller, eight girls playing quarterfinal matches in the afternoon. Advancing to this morning’s semifinals were Lihini Ranaweera, a 7 & 6 winner over Katie McGuigan; Victoria Witouski, who defeated Meghan Zumbruno in 19 holes; Ella McRoberts edged Ella Zambruno, 1-up and Marissa Malosh, a 7 & 6 winner over Paige Meyers.
Ranaweera will be a sophomore at Seneca Valley High School in just over a month, making her 15 years old. She played on the girls varsity team as a freshman and continues to work hard to improve her game.
“I love it,” she said with a big smile. “I know I have things to work on and I’m doing that. I travel a lot to play in events, rattling off Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina as places she’s competed in.”
Ranaweera said her drives travel around 200 yards and that she and her dad, who is her coach, are working on that.
“He put a club in my hands when I was around 6,” she said. “My game is straight and accurate and trying to keep it clean.”
The semifinals for both boys and girls will get underway at 8 a.m. with the finals starting at approximately 1 p.m.
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.