From left: Sara Klinchock, Women's Amateur Champion, Colleen Meyers, Senior Women's Amateur Champion with WPGA President, Dan Johnston, and Betty Minnotte, Super-Senior Women's Amateur Champion

Klinchock, Meyers and Minnotte capture Women's Amateur Championships
By Mike Dudurich • August 30, 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.

Sometimes things just work out.

Such was the case last Monday at Ligonier Country Club where the 14th Women’s West Penn Amateur and the 5th Women’s Senior Amateur were contested.

Sara Klinchock won the 14th Women’s West Penn Amateur at the club where her father was the golf professional for 22 years. That stint ended just a year ago when he was named the professional at Sunnehanna Country Club in Westmont.

Sara, who started her Masters studies at Saint Francis University on Monday but didn’t attend her first class because she was busy winning her first West Penn Golf Association event.

On the course, of course, where she grew up learning and playing the game of golf.

“I’ve only played here maybe 3 times in the last couple years,” Klinchock said after the results became official and showed her 78 to be the winning score. “It was really special to come back. I saw a lot of friends from my time here and it was a lot of fun.”

She’s adopted a no-looking-at-her-phone policy while she plays, a policy imposed on players during her time at SFU. She had no idea where she was on the scoreboard for most of her round Monday. Until ….

“I didn’t really get nervous until the 14th fairway when I looked back and saw another cart following our group,” Klinchock said. “I said ‘oh, oh. That has to mean something’s happening.’”

Indeed, it was. She had a comfortable lead over playing partner Christina Lewis of Olde Stonewall Golf Club and while they didn’t know it at the time, they were to finish winner and runner-up, but would have to wait for the rest of the field to finish to make that official. Lewis finished at 82.

The waiting was extended by a small thunderstorm cell that popped up and dropped a quick dousing of rain that halted play for a short period of time.

“I feel like I can get excited now,” after getting the good news. “I’m pretty satisfied with my performance today. I didn’t make any birdies, but I felt like I kept things under control.”

As she reminisced about her golf experiences growing up, she talked about the one constant: her dad.

“He’s been awesome,” she said. “He’s been a great teacher and there are times when I’m playing, I can hear him giving me instruction. It’s been awesome.”

Colleen Meyers of Oakmont Country Club won the Senior Amateur with a score of 79 and Betty Minnotte of Longue Vue won the Super-Senior with a score of 96.

The event was first played in 1999 designed to create a competition for women’s club champions from WPGA member clubs. It expanded to all women in the area who met the Handicap Index requirements.

The championship trophy was named for the late Judy Oliver, who won the inaugural championship. Oliver’s long-time friend and rival, Carol Semple Thompson won the title in 2004. While the event was stopped in 2008, the women’s Am returned in 2017, when the Senior Women’s Amateur and Super Senior Amateur were added.

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.