Griffin Hansberry with the Percy Preston Trophy after winning the 103rd WPGA Junior Championship at the Links at Spring Church

Hansberry is the 103rd WPGA Junior Champion
By Mike Dudurich  • June 13, 2023

Regardless of what many golfers believe, the sun doesn’t always shine on the golf course. And on the day that Griffin Hansberry won his first major West Penn Golf Association event, the 103rd West Penn Junior, he spent plenty of time tiptoeing through the raindrops.

Turns out his fancy footwork was just enough to outlast his two closest competitors, Nolan Shilling of Oakmont, and Nick Turowski of Hannastown, over a long, soggy day at the Links at Spring Church in Apollo.

“I was hitting it all around the pin all day, but just didn’t make enough putts that I thought I should make,” Hansberry said. “But I guess I made enough to win."

Hansberry put together rounds of 72-69 to post a three-shot victory over Shilling, who posted 74-70-144, Turowski, who finished with 73-71, also 144.

The conditions were less than ideal as the field had to go through an hour rain delay that started just before the first shots were scheduled to be hit. And when play did get started, the rain persisted for the first four holes.

“Yeah, it was a little tough out there,” said Turowski. “Early on, I had 30 feet for eagle and four-putted for bogey. It was one of those days when I never really got into my rhythm, and I lost a little confidence. Tee-to-green for 36 holes was flawless. I really kind of felt I had a good chance to win.”

Shilling, a 2023 graduate of Franklin Regional High School, and will play college golf at Youngstown State and was equally as critical of his game.

“For me, my game wasn’t as good as it had been,” he said. “Griffin played really well and my focus was staying patient out there. I thought as tough as it was, that 74 would have been the lead. I just wanted to post a good round in the afternoon.”

And it might have been, but for Hansberry’s 72.

“I played pretty well,” Hansberry said. “I hit 33 of 36 greens and had 32 putts in the first round and 33 in the second.”

While his closest competitors were never really able to be any real heat on him – Shilling made three bogeys and just one birdie in the afternoon. Turowski, who’ll be a senior at Penn-Trafford, had three bogeys and two birdies in that round. Hansberry, on the other hand, had five birdies in the afternoon round.

“Sometimes it can be hard playing with the lead, but the big thing is trying to keep the momentum you have. You can’t stop there,” said Hansberry, who’ll be a junior at Chartiers-Houston this year.”

And how did Hansberry celebrate his first WPGA victory?

“I went home, ate some pizza and was in bed by 10 o’clock,” he laughed.

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 34,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund and Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.