The 12th hole at clubhouse at Fox Chapel Golf Club

WPGA125: C.R. Miller Memorial returns to Fox Chapel for 50th Anniversary
By Josh Rowntree, Director of Communications • June 30, 2024

50 years ago, Ritchie Miller established a match play competition for local junior golf players as a way of honoring his father, Charles R. Miller.

Five decades later, the C.R. Miller Memorial Match Play Invitational has become one of Western Pennsylvania’s marquee events for top junior players.

Monday, the competition returns to its roots at Fox Chapel Golf Club for the 50th anniversary of the C.R. Miller Memorial with an exciting field of competitors vying for the Pressly T. Craig Bowl. It will also host the 5th WPGA Girls Match Play Invitational.

“The WPGA is delighted to return to Fox Chapel Golf Club for the C.R. Miller Memorial and Girls Match Play Invitational,” says Terry Teasdale, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association. “For years, Fox Chapel was a great home to this event, which has become a fixture in the junior golf community in the region. To return to the Club for the 50th anniversary of this competition is a special nod to its storied history.”

Until 1995, the C.R. Miller Memorial was held annually at Fox Chapel Golf Club. That year, the WPGA began to organize the event, which has changed locations yearly, while selecting some of the region’s top clubs and courses for play.

“It was a big deal here over the course of time,” says Alex Childs, the current Head Professional at Fox Chapel Golf Club. “Now that’s it’s rotated, it resonates every so many years when it comes back to the Club. It resonates for Mr. Miller and all the things he was doing for junior golf.”

Through the years, many of the top players in the region have competed for — and won — the C.R. Miller Memorial.

Most notably, recent Notre Dame graduate Palmer Jackson won the event three times, becoming the only player to do so. But Jackson is far from alone when it comes to premier plays to win the C.R. Miller.

Nathan Smith, Walker Cup Captian in 2025, took home the C.R. Miller Miller in 1995 at Allegheny Country Club. Justin Smith, prior to playing at and becoming the head coach at Minnesota and earning a spot in the school’s Hall of Fame, won the Pressly T. Craig Bowl in 1998.

An interesting family connection will occur in this year’s C.R. Miller Match Play. David Fuhrer, fresh off a victory in the 81st PAGA Junior Championship last week, will compete at Fox Chapel.

Fuhrer’s uncle, Frank Fuhrer III, was the first-ever champion of the event in 1974. Six years later, another uncle, Steve Fuhrer, claimed a win of his own in the competition.

Four years following Steve Fuhrer’s victory, John A. Aber won the C.R. Miller. His son, J.F., is now an accomplished golfer in the region who is set to compete at Marshall University this fall and who has played in the C.R. Miller previously.

Arnold Cutrell, who won this year’s 29th Semple Century Foursomes Championship and is a standout senior player in the area, triumphed in 1981. Future professional Mike VanSickle was victorious in 2004 at Oakmont Country Club, as well.

Fox Chapel Golf Club has hosted the competition twice since it began rotating host clubs. Tommy Leech claimed victory in 2010 and Jackson took the title in 2017, the second of his three wins.

The format of the competition has maintained the same through the years with top-ranked junior golfers from Western Pennsylvania receiving an invitation to play in the four-round competition. The competition begins with the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals Monday, with the Semifinals and Championship match Tuesday. Each round will consist of 18 holes of match play.

“It’ll be a fun golf course to play,” says Childs. “It’s not difficult from the teeing area, but it gets a little more difficult with placement on the green. So it’s a good match play golf course in terms of competing on the greens and making long putts. You certainly can be out of the hole and, the next one, come in and play and be competitive from that point on.”

A year ago, Trevor Todd of Indiana Country Club won the C.R. Miller Memorial on his home course, defeating Nick Turowski 3 & 2 in the final match.

Both Todd and Turowski — this year’s WPGA Junior Champion — will compete Monday.

Other participants will be Aaron Didjunas, Hunter Swidzinski, PJ Germano, Ty Hartman, Connor McKenzie, Jack Sacriponte, Ravi Desai, Michael Quallich, David Fuhrer, Jacob Crissman, Neil Joon, Rocco Bautti and Henry McCrady.

Ultimately, the competition begins an exciting month of golf at Fox Chapel Golf Club. The U.S. Senior Women’s Open will take place in the final week of July and into the start of August.

“This sort of catapults into the Women’s Senior Open,” says Childs. “It’s a series of different big events as the golf course gets primed for a bookend of big events."

To see the matches and results for the 50th C.R. Miller Memorial Match Play Invitational, click here (GGID: 24WPGAMATCHPLAY)

5th WPGA Girls Match Play Invitational

Following no competition in 2023, a deep field will participate in the 5th WPGA Girls Match Play Championship at Fox Chapel on Monday.

This will be the first time that Fox Chapel Golf Club has held the girls’ side of the event.

In 2022, Samantha Milosh won the title at Latrobe Country Club. Other winners include Lihini Ranaweera, Danae Rugola and Caroline Wrigley.

The 2024 field includes Clara Koteski, Gabby Deviate, Emma Mrkonja, Morgan Monteverde, Nora Urrea, Baustin Bitar, Ava Calandra, Olivia DeGori, Mya Morgan, Sophia Severns and Grace Windfelder.

To see the matches and results for the 5th WPGA Girls Match Play Invitational, click here (GGID: 24WPGAMATCHPLAY).

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 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.