Brand Foursomes champions Zander Gibson and Jack Urban (L), and Semple Century Foursomes champions Arnie Cutrell and Jeff Hovanec (R).

Former college teammates earn Brand Foursomes win
By Josh Rowntree, Director of Communications  • May 6, 2024

VERONA – There was little unfamiliarity when Jack Urban and Zander Gibson met each other on the practice green Monday morning at Longue Vue Club.

The duo wasn’t a random pairing, by any means. In fact, at one point the two college rising seniors shared a dorm room.

Urban and Gibson let youth be served Monday, registering the day’s only round under par — a 2-under 138 — to claim victory in the 70th Fred Brand Foursomes Championship.

“It’s definitely a good positive to take into our senior years,” said Gibson, who golfs at Eastern Michigan. “We’ve got one more year left and are trying to make the most of it. Winning something like this… there’s a lot of good players in this field and a lot of good teams who showed up to play.”

While Longue Vue provided the field a difficult track with its slanted fairways and quick greens, the former teammates at Rider University found a groove in their second 18 holes, posting a 4-under 66 through the alternate shot format.

“The afternoon, we hit it good off the tee, said Urban, an Upper St. Clair grad who now competes at Radford. “The morning, we didn’t hit it good off the tee and were playing out of the rough. It was nice to play out of the fairway in the afternoon so that we could get some better iron shots. And we made a couple more putts in the afternoon.”

What makes the performance even more impressive is that the young play

That pair finished tied for second with Nicholas Gordon and Kevin Koerbel at 1-over, and Gibson and Urban got plenty of looks Stimmel and Kowalski — they were in front of the more experienced pair the entire day.

“We started off, and they were ten feet out on every hole,” Urban said. “We thought, ‘oh man, they’re going to destroy everyone today.’ We kind of kept an eye out and played our game. We decided to not look at the scores for a couple holes on the back nine."

Gibson, a northeast Ohio native who drained a ten-foot putt for birdie on the team’s final hole, tried to stay focused with such talented golfers breathing down their necks.

“It was tough, for sure,” said Gibson, who somewhat infamously banked a shot off the clubhouse and then chipped in at Edgewood Country Club during last year’s West Penn Open. “I stopped looking at the leaderboard. (Urban) looked more than I did, for sure.”

But the final glance netted a happy reaction, as the two friends and former teammates, turned teammates-for-a-day, were able to link up for some more memories on the course.

“It was awesome,” said Urban. “We were roommates for two years. This kid, I did everything with him. We went to practice, ate every single meal together. This was fun.”

29th Semple Century Foursomes Championship

A strong front nine during the second round lifted the tandem of Jeff Hovanec and Arnold Cutrell to victory in the 29th Simple Century Foursomes Championship.

The pair made three birdies during that stretch, helping overcome a 3-over first round with a 1-over showing in the final 18.

“We stayed away from the high numbers, although we did make a double (bogey) on 9 (in the first round),” said Cutrell, a member at Hannastown Golf Club. “But we only made one double all day.

“We made some bogeys, but made some birdies and tried to keep it around par.”

The Semple Century Foursomes Championship is for players age 50 and over. Finishing second was Bob Crnjarich (Allegheny Country Club) and Bill Rosemeyer (Butler Country Club).

“Bob and Billy were two up on us, so it got us focus on the back nine,” added Cutrell. “We were trying to make birdies and trying to catch them."

Cutrell felt that understanding the movement of the greens was a plus for he and Hovanec, a Greensburg Country Club member.

“The greens were firm,” Cutrell said. “They’re usually a little quicker, but they still had enough pace that you had to be careful."

The combo of Todd Renner and Rob Stoops placed third in the competition.

Click here for the Full Leaderboard.

For media inquiries, please contact WPGA Director of Communications Josh Rowntree.

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 nearly 37,000 members. The WPGA conducts 14 individual competitions and 10 team events, and administers the WPGA Scholarship Fund and Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.