Team WPGA at Latrobe Country Club with the Palmer Cup

Team WPGA recaptures Palmer Cup
By Mike Dudurich  • September 18, 2023

Both teams come into the Palmer Cup every year with clear and totally equal goals in mind.

The team of professionals from the Tri-State Section PGA wants to beat the West Penn Golf Association amateurs every time they tee it up.

And the WPGA team would like nothing better than to flex their muscles and knock off the guys who play golf for a living.

The event was held again at Latrobe Country Club, as it has been since 1996. While the man for whom the annual event is named was not present (Arnold Palmer), his spirit remains and is definitely felt by the competitors.

“They played well and we didn’t,” said John Aber, the golf professional at Allegheny Country Club after his team came up a few points short. “As a team we got off to a good start, but the amateurs played better. One thing that’s a constant here, I missed Mr. Palmer greatly. I think about him the entire day and I just miss him.”

The day was a great one for golf, with bright, sunny skies serving as a perfect back round for a match that was tightly contested and not clinched until late in the afternoon singles. West Penn left Latrobe Country Club with a 10-7 victory, the first win for the amateurs in the last five meetings.

Overall, the pros have won 19 times, the amateurs seven and there have been two ties.

But this is one competition that isn’t totally defined by wins and losses. It’s an ongoing tribute to what Palmer meant to the game, how his spirit lives on and the example he set throughout his glittering career.

But even with all of that, there are still some special wins.

The Turowski brothers, Alex and Nick, were members of the WPGA team and were paired together in the opening four-ball match of the day against Brett Carman and Steven Hopley. The brothers dropped a 3 & 2 decision, which certainly wasn’t how they had it planned.

“I feel sorry we didn’t win as a team in the morning,” Alex, a junior at Fairmont State University, said. “But it was good to get it together and both of us got wins in the afternoon.”

Their singles wins played a key role in the amateurs’ overall victory but came at something of a cost for Nick. His high school team at Penn-Trafford had a key match the same day as the Palmer Cup, forcing a tough decision.

“It was a hard decision but I had to do this,” he said after his win. “This is a big event and nothing is guaranteed for the future.”

And as luck would have it, the Warriors dropped their final high school match of the season, and as a result, failed to make the playoffs.

“It’s a great day, it really is,” said Kevin Shields, one of the stalwarts on the professional side. “It’s a fun competition and we get to see guys we haven’t seen much over the summer. I’m pleased to be a part of it.”

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.