David Brown (L) and Don Erickson (R) were crowned Senior Champions at Green Oaks Country Club.

Brown and Erickson crowned Senior Champions
By Mike Dudurich • October 11, 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.

David Brown’s ball-striking on Tuesday in the final round of the 91st West Penn Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship was spectacular. He hit all the shots, kept the ball in the fairway and hit a truckload of greens in regulation.

And he even admitted that had he performed as well on the greens as he did getting to the greens, he would have posted a much better score than 70.

“It was the same thing yesterday,” Brown said after capturing the title for the third time. “My putting has been off and on for the last several years. Today it was just good enough.”

On one of the best fall days that could be expected, Green Oaks Country Club was a spectacular host. In great condition for the field of guys aged 55 and older, Green Oaks played plenty tough with only two players – Brown and runner-up Rick Stimmel were able to post rounds under par.

Brown started the round without a bogey for 10 holes. But he made one on the 429-yard uphill 11th. But he came right back with a birdie on the 12th and made no other birdies. He parred in from there, but every time he looked around, playing partner Stimmel was nipping at his heels.

“And the putting didn’t get any easier when you have someone like Rick breathing down your neck,” Brown laughed. “Honestly, my putting has been better this year, but it’s still a test for me.”

“He played well, really well,” Stimmel said. “He made some big putts, especially the one for par on 16, even though it’s tough making them when the heat’s on.”

Stimmel rebounded from a bogey on the third hole but came right back with a birdie on the fourth. He battled through the back nine and stayed within touch of Brown until making bogeys on three of his last five holes to derail his shot at his first WPGA Senior title.

“It’s nice to play with the person you’re trying to catch, that’s for sure,” Stimmel said.

Stimmel is the longest senior off the tees these days and offered up three examples.

“I hit pitching wedge into No. 8 (a 321-yard par four), hit 9-iron in No. 13 (469-yard par five) and 9-iron into No. 15 (501-yard par five),” Stimmel said. “Sure, it’s an advantage, but it’s not much of a one if you don’t take advantage of it with the next shot.”

It’s been a big year for the “first-year” senior, who turned 55 this year.

He won the overall division as well as the Senior Division of the Art Wall Jr. Memorial Championship this year, his fourth Pa. Golf Association title.

Stimmel also won the Tri-State PGA Senior Amateur this year and finished second in the race for Player of the Year in Pennsylvania.

“You know it almost feels like turning back the clock,” he smiled.

For Brown, it was an opportunity to take home another piece of crystal as well as solidify his place on the list of all-time best senior amateurs in the WPGA.

The Super-Senior Amateur was held at the same time at Green Oaks and it was won by one of the WPGA’s outstanding players for many years, Don Erickson of Indiana Country Club. He and runner-up Bob Allshouse shot identical rounds of 73-74 and needed a playoff to decide the title. Erickson did so, winning the playoff on the second extra hole.

“It was funny because once we got into the round, it kind of took a match play feel with Rick and I,” Brown said. “It wasn’t, of course, but felt like it because we were paired together. This is the best I’ve ever seen Green Oaks. It was awesome to play.”

The Senior Amateur was an 18-hole competition for many years and was changed to 36 in 2000. The 18 and 36-hole records were set in 2005 by Paul Schlachter with 69-68—137.

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.