Cutrell and DeNezza win state titles, WPGA completes championship season with Four-Ball

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

The WPGA has retained Mike Dudurich to write a blog for its website. The opinions and observations contained within are his own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the Association.

A pair of Westmoreland County standouts finished their Pennsylvania Golf Association seasons off with a flourish this week.

Greensburg’s Arnie Cutrell came back from three shots behind to successfully defend his title at the 11th Art Wall, Jr. Memorial Championship at Schuylkill Country Club. Cutrell made three birdies early in his second round and added another at the 11th hole to get to two-under par and finished his round with five pars.

“I hadn’t played a practice round here, and that would have been a big help with the difficulty of these greens. I’m proud of the way I was able to play solid down the stretch and come away with the win,” Cutrell said.

Dave DeNezza of Greensburg completed a sweep of 2015 Pennsylvania Super-Senior division championships with a 10-shot victory in the Art Wall, Jr. Memorial.

How’s this for a summer? He won the Super-Senior Match Play at Scotch Valley in May; He won the Super-Senior Amateur at Longue Vue Club in a four-hole playoff and then hammered the rest of the field this week. In addition to those events, Denezza won the West Penn Super-Senior Amateur and the Semple Brothers Foursomes with partner Bob Allshouse. He and Allshouse will defend their 2014 West Penn Senior Four-Ball title at Mystic Rock on Monday.

“It’s an honor to be able to play in these events and the success I’ve had is a real treat. Schuylkill is a tough golf course where you need to control the ball and hole putts. It’s going to come down to making good par saves and I putted well this week and I think that was the difference,” said DeNezza.

A pair of big days on the schedule next week at Nemacolin Woods Resort in Farmington.

On Monday, the West Penn Four-Ball will be held for the 74th time on the Mystic Rock Golf Course. At the same time, the 5th Senior Four-Ball Championship will be contested on the same course.

Chuck Nettles and Jimmy Ellis are the defending champions in the Four-Ball while Bob Allshouse and Dave DeNezza are the defending senior champs.

The next day, sectional qualifying for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship for both divisions will be held on the same course.

You may remember Allison Park’s Nathan Smith and partner Todd White won the inaugural National Four-Ball in May and two teams from Nemacolin Woodlands will advance to the 2016 finals.

The USGA sent a team of staffers to Oakmont Country Club Monday to provide a bit of a preview of the 2016 U.S. Open and while there haven’t been a large number of changes there since the last U.S. Open in 2007, there are some very interesting ones.

All around the historic layout, areas leading into fairway bunkers have been cut down, encouraging even slightly offline drives into those penal bunkers.

The 194-yard par-3 sixth hole has always been difficult and will be even more so next year with the addition of 1,000-1,200 square feet of green on the back. That provides three or four more hole locations.

Another 4,000 (approximately) trees have disappeared from the grounds. It’s possible to stand on the patio of the clubhouse and see every hole on the course with the exception of the 17th tee.

Oh, it’s going to be fun in mid-June next year.

Both the men’s and women’s US Senior Amateurs will be contested this weekend. The women’s event will be at Hillwood Country Club in Nashville, Tenn,. while the men will be playing at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Twp., N.J. The tournaments run from Saturday through Thursday. Area competitors include Paul Schlachter of Bridgeville and Courtney Myhrum of Fox Chapel.

Two hundred and fifty years is a long time. That’s a brilliant statement, isn’t it?

Next year will be the Omni Homestead Resort’s 250th anniversary and there is a year’s worth of celebrations in the works at the Hot Springs, Va. retreat. Homestead is the place where Sam Snead’s career got started and all you need to do is walk around the historic hotel to learn a great deal about Snead and his career.

A great place to visit, less than five hours from Western Pa.

Did I mention how much I enjoy fall golf?

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To foster, promote and advance the interests and the true spirit of the game of golf throughout Western Pennsylvania.
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