Goetz, Jackson, near lead at Sunnehanna
By Mike Dudurich • June 17, 2022
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.
The tornado warnings were gone, as were the heat and humidity and dark clouds.
A consistent wind played a key role in cleaning out the atmosphere but when it was time for the Sunnehanna Am to begin the third round that 20 miles per hour wind jumped at times to close to 40. The winds were strong enough to fell a small tree near the ninth tee and quickly started getting into the players’ heads.
“It was really tough out there today and I was proud of how I handled the elements,” said Mark Goetz, who posted a 69 to make a move up the leaderboard. “You really had to think your way around the course today.”
Goetz moved up to a tie for 7th place on the scoreboard and is eight shots behind the guy who has led or co-led all three rounds. ‘That guy’ is Bryce Lewis, who plays for the University of Tennessee golf team. Lewis has a three-shot lead and will try to hold off the 13 players who are under par for two rounds.
Chase Sienkiewicz was the unofficial man of the day honors, when he masterfully took the classic Sunnehanna course to the tune of four birdies, one eagle and not a single of bogey. After a pair of mediocre rounds, the 63 moved him into a tie for 38th with 18 holes left.
Goetz was pleased with his round of 69, as was playing partner Palmer Jackson. Those rounds kept the pair in the top 10 on the board, tied for 7th.
“This was another I was thankful for having played in the Big 12,” Goetz said. “Wherever you go in that conference there’s wind and you have to learn quickly how to play in it. Like I said, it helped me on some short putts.”
The only man from Western Pennsylvania to win the Sunnehanna Am since it became an elite event had a tough day on Saturday. Nathan Smith struggled to a 76 and put him in a tie for 53rd, barely making the cut.
Three Western Pennsylvania Golf Association players failed to make the cut, which fell at six over par.
Sean Knapp (+10) and Gregor Meyer (+18) were the two players who didn’t get into Sunday’s final round.
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.