Butler Country Club professional Rob McClellan, the defending champion, leads a field of 78, 45 professionals and 33 amateurs, into the PNC West Penn Open, to be played at Fox Chapel Golf Club on July 9-10. The new format, now identical to the West Penn Amateur, calls for the field to play 36-holes on day one, with the low 32 and ties playing the 3rd and final round on Tuesday. McClellan is grouped with newly crowned West Penn Amateur champion Greg Podufal, Erie. His 65-70-72–207 at The Kahkwa Club in Erie was the only score under par, a three stroke victory.
In addition to McClellan, the ten former Open champions in the field include Kevin Shields, ’10; Nathan Smith, ’08 (am); Dan Thompson, ’07 & ’09; Bob Friend, ’06, five-time winner Roy Vucinich; Rick Stimmel, ’02 (am), John Aber, ’99, Jim Cichra, ’95, Arnold Cutrell, ’90 (am); and Bob Ford, ’79. Vucinich is tied with Jock Hutchinson and Perry DelVecchio each with five Open titles. McClellan won the Tri-State Section and PNC West Penn Open last year, the first player since Vucinich in 1977 to achieve this.
The championship was preceded by qualifying rounds at Churchill Valley on June 21 and Oakview on June 25. The starting field is half exempt players and half from qualifying rounds in the total entry of 148 contestants.
Fox Chapel plays as a par-70 at 6700 yards.