Ellis, Knapp, Warden, and Ranaweera crowned WPGA Players of the Year
By WPGA • December 3, 2021

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is proud to name Jimmy Ellis its 2021 Player of the Year. It has been a long time coming for Ellis, who has been one of the most consistent players in the region over the past few years. And consistency was the name of the game for him again in 2021. Ellis finished 3rd in the 121st WPGA Amateur Championship at Indiana Country Club, which included a bogey-free 4-under par 67 in the final round. He followed that up with a T-4th place finish at the 108th Pennsylvania Amateur Championship at famed Merion Golf Club. Later in the season, Ellis finished in a tie for 3rd in the 36th WPGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Chartiers Country Club and in a tie for 2nd a month later at the 28th Pennsylvania Middle-Amateur Championship hosted by Allegheny Country Club. On the national scene, Ellis made it through first-stage qualifying for the U.S. Open Championship, when he medaled with a round of 67 on a cold and rainy day at Butler Country Club. Ellis also qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, where he made it to the match play as the 12 seed before eventually falling in the first round.

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is also proud to name Sean Knapp its Senior Player of the Year for the fifth consecutive year. Knapp finished as the runner-up in both the 90th Western Pennsylvania Senior Amateur Championship at The Country Club of Meadville and the 62nd Pennsylvania Senior Amateur Championship at the Country Club of York. Knapp also posted a T-11th place finish at the 121st Western Pennsylvania Amateur Championship and finished 10th at the 36th WPGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Chartiers Country Club. Nationally, Knapp made it to the Round of 32 at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Detriot and qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club, making it through a strong field of 144 players at Sunnehanna Country Club.

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association would also like to name its Boys and Girls Junior Players of the Year, Wes Warden and Lahini Ranaweera. Wes Warden became just the sixth player in WPGA history to win the WPGA Junior Championship and the C.R. Miller Junior Match Play Invitational in the same year. Warden defeated Wes Lorish in a playoff at Willowbrook Country Club for the 101st WPGA Junior title. A month later, Warden rolled through a field of the region’s best 16 boys at the 47th C.R. Miller Match Play hosted by Hannastown Golf Club, eventually defeating Nolan Shilling in the final 1 up. Lahini Ranaweera was also victorious at Hannastown Golf Club, where she knocked off some of the region’s best girls at that 3rd WPGA Girls’ Match Play Invitational. She defeated Marissa Malosh in the final 2&1. She also finished in 4th at the Tri-State PGA Junior Championship with a two-round total of 7-over par.

The WPGA would like to congratulate these four Player of the Year recipients. We hope everyone looks forward to another successful WPGA Championship season in 2022.

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.