Golf notebook: Tri-State Section PGA Open, Sunnehanna Amateur on schedule

·4 min read

Jun. 14—Golf fans around the area couldn't ask for a better week of competition.

Monday is the start of the Tri-State Section PGA Open, which will be held at Wildwood Golf Club in Allison Park. Pros and amateurs will compete over two days.

Oakmont Country Club pro Devin Gee is the returning champion. He won last year's two-day event at Williams Golf and Country Club in Weirton, W.Va.

Rick Stimmel is entered in the Open and the 68th Sunnehanna Amateur, which begins Wednesday. Preston Summerhays is the returning champion. At 18, he was the youngest player to win the event in 2020.

The four-day event at Sunnehanna Country Club in Westmont ends Saturday. Other local players in the prestigious tournament are Sean Knapp, Nathan Smith, Palmer Jackson, Mark Goetz and Connor Schmidt.

This is the 30th consecutive year that Knapp will play in the tournament.

The week concludes with the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, South Course, in San Diego, beginning on Thursday.

Young gun

Nicholas Turowski had a big week.

The 15-year-old Penn-Trafford freshman wants to become one of the top young golfers in the WPIAL and beyond. He knows it his short game that has to improve.

Turowski and his older brother, Alex, were two golfers who helped Penn-Trafford qualify for the WPIAL team tournament last fall by finishing second to Norwin in the section standings.

Since the end of the season, Nicholas Turowski has been working on his game with the main emphasis being on his wedge play.

"If you want to be successful, you have to be good from 100 yards and in," Turowski said. "I've been working hard trying to become a better player. The more I gain confidence with my short game, the more stress-free my round will be."

Turowski is already seeing his hard work pay off.

He won a Hurricane Junior Tour event from June 5-6 at State College by 12 shots and then qualified for the 45th PGA Junior Championship by placing second at the Tri-State PGA Section Junior Championship on June 9 at Fox Run Golf Course near Beaver Falls. He shot a 3-under-par 141.

He and Central Catholic sophomore Rocco Salvitti (Canonsburg) were the only qualifiers. Salvitti shot a 7-under 137.

On Thursday, he became the youngest player to win the Westmoreland County Golf Association Junior Championship after shooting a 1-over 73.

Shared title

Pittsburgh native Justin Collins and Ari Papadopoulos of Poland, Ohio, tied for the Tri-State Section PGA Golf Galaxy Open. Each shot a 3-under 68 at Connoquenessing Country Club in Ellwood City.

Collins had six birdies during his round. Papadopoulos had three birdies.

Devin Gee, Christopher McKnight and Jim Cichra tied for third at 2-under.

Lemieux's son medalist

Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux's son Austin was the medalist at the WPGA Open qualifier at Diamond Run Golf Club.

Lemieux shot a 4-under 67 to edge Talon Kriebel of Glengarry Golf Links in a playoff. Kriebel also shot a 67.

Others to qualify for the 118th West Penn Open on July 19-21 at Westmoreland Country Club include David Brown, Rob Stoops, Aiden Oehrle, Justin Hand, Ryan Ferry, Mike Marron, Bob Ford, Weston Warden, Daniel Joseph, Michael Wareham, J.F. Aber, Jeff Schmigel, Kevin Lazzaro, Josh Leibfreid, Jacob Shamblin, Sane Kelley, Zach Pilossoph, Gregory Franko and Matt Mattioli. Alternates are Joel Mazur and Casey Dornin.

Jackson wins state match play

A pair of college players dueled for the Pennsylvania Golf Association's 18th R. Jay Sigel Match Play title Thursday.

Notre Dame rising junior Palmer Jackson, the former PIAA champion from Franklin Regional, held off Patrick Sheehan, a junior-to-be at Penn State, 2 and 1, to take the state championship match at Sewickley Heights Golf Club.

Jackson, who plays out of Hannastown Golf Club, nearly got to face one of his fellow members in the finals.

Greensburg's Mark Goetz, who just finished his senior season at West Virginia, was defeated by Sheehan in the semifinals, 3 and 1.

Jackson outlasted six-time Sigel champion Nathan Smith of Brookville, 2 and 1, in the other semifinal. Sheehan, a Doylestown native who calls Talamore Country Club his home course, impressed Jackson, who won the state Class AAA title in 2018 while Sheehan finished third.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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