The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association named its Players of the Year at the Association’s annual Players Dinner yesterday at Butler Country Club. Sean Knapp is the Player of the Year, Grant Engel is the Junior Player of the Year and Paul Schlachter is named Senior Player of the Year.
Knapp’s accomplishments include finishing ninth or better in the West Penn Amateur, Open, Public Links and Mid-Amateur Championships. Other highlights include qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open Championship for the second time and advancing to the round of sixteen at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. He also recorded three state championship victories that includes the Pennsylvania Mid-Amateur, Public Links and Art Wall Jr. Memorial Championships. This is the fourteenth time Knapp has been named Player of the Year since the honor was created in 1994.
Members of Men’s Honor Roll include in chronological order: Nathan Smith, Arnold Cutrell, Artie Fink, Jr., Trent Karlik, Ronald DeNunzio, David Brown, David DeNunzio, Rick Stimmel and Nicolas Milito.
Engel’s season was highlighted by his consistency throughout the season. He was runner-Up in the Junior Championship, a semi-finalist at the C.R. Miller Match Play Invitational and was a member of the Frank B. Fuhrer Team that represented the Association in the Williamson Cup matches.
Engel edged 2011 and 2013 Junior Champion Brent Rodgers. Finishing third on the Junior Honor Roll was 2013 WPIAL Champion, Corey Long, and Thomas Steve and Luke Miller finished tied for fourth.
Rodgers, Long and Steve also competed on the Williamson Cup Team.
Schlachter’s season highlights include winning the Pennsylvania Senior Match Play Championship, a fifth place finish in the West Penn Senior Amateur, fourth in the Pennsylvania Senior Amateur and third in the Sunnehanna Senior Invitational. This is ninth time he has been honored as Senior Player of the Year.
Schlachter edged Don Erickson, III, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the USGA Senior Amateur in 2013, and was followed by John Rodney in third, Stan Namola, Jr., in fourth and Perry Graciano and Joe Corsi in a tie for fifth on the Senior Honor Roll.