By Mike Dudurich, Freelance writer and host of The Golf Show on 93.7 The Fan Saturday mornings from 7-8 AM – Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeDudurich
Western Pa. will be represented in the U.S. Senior Open at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, Calif., June 25-28.
Joe Boros, Saxonburg, the long-time golf professional at Treesdale Golf & Country Club, was the only player to break par at Wildwood Golf Club in a Senior Open Sectional Qualifier Wednesday, shooting 70. Bob Friend of Pittsburgh shot 71, Sean Knapp of Oakmont and Bob Ford of Oakmont finished with 72s.
Friend is the first alternate, Knapp the second.
“I hit a lot of fairways and that is really important at Wildwood,” Boros said. “I wasn’t hitting punch shots or scrambling around. I thought 67 might be the number, but it didn’t turn out that way. I’m really looking forward to getting there. It ought to be a lot of fun.”
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There are a lot of golfers who would love to be Nathan Smith right now.
The 36-year-old had a nice week, winning the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Spring Stroke Play at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown, and then finished tied for tenth in the 26th playing of the Pennsylvania Four-Ball Championship at Indiana Country Club.
If that wasn’t enough, he aced the 208-yard par-3 third hole in the final round, using a 5-iron.
He and Joshua Sapolich of New York, long-time friends, posted rounds of 67-67, but couldn’t catch up to the red-hot duo of Craig Hornberger and J.D. Dornes from Lancaster County, who finished 63-64.
Three teams finished tied at 131, two of the three from Western Pa. Nicolas Milito (Jeannette) and Rick Stimmel (Pittsburgh) shot 65-66 and Grant Engel (Pittsburgh) and Thomas Steve (Pittsburgh) put up 62-69.
The team of David and Ronald DeNunzio of Greensburg matched the low round of 64 in the second round.
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The area was shut out in a sectional qualifier for the U.S. Women’s Open held at Butler Country Club on Monday. Two spots in the Open were up for grabs and Nikolette Schroeder of Avon Lake, Ohio and Lori Adams of Burlington, N.C. got them after they and Christine Meier of Rochester Hills, Mich. finished at 148. Schroeder won the playoff and Adams was second. Meier is the first alternate.
The best finisher from Western Pa. was Rachel Rohanna, but she struggled to rounds of 75-80.
Others from the area who came up short of qualifying were: Mia Kness of Venetia (158), Madison McDanel of Aliquippa (164), Shannon Gramley of Sharon (164), Lauren Waller of Canonsburg (168), Marissa Kirkwood of New Castle (169) and Allison Park’s Marissa Balish of Allison Park (174).
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Zack Ross, a native of Greensburg, made it through local qualifying in Florida and will compete in the sectional qualifier in a couple weeks.
Ross, a freshman at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, was co-medalist with a score of 72 at the Club at Emerald Hills in Jupiter, Fla.
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The United States Golf Association that Wednesday, July 29 with be its second annual Play9 Day. After a successful first year, the USGA hopes to include more facilities and more golfers to gain momentum with the idea that playing nine holes is better than not playing at all.