Local golfers recognized

Two area golfers have upcoming competitions based on their play this season.

Mike VanSickle, Gibsonia, winner of the 2013 and 2015 West Penn Opens, has advanced to the final stage of the Web.Com qualifying. This is the second straight season VanSickle has advanced to the finals. He is scheduled to compete for full time status on the Web.Com Tour on December 10-13 at PGA National Champions GC, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, winner of four USGA Mid-Amateur Championships and 23 Association conducted competitions, was recently inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame. Smith was selected for next spring’s Concession Cup, a match of mid-amateurs and senior amateurs representing the USA vs. Great Britain & Ireland. The match is scheduled April 20-24 at The Concession Club, Bradenton, Florida.

Nathan Smith was selected as the Pennsylvania Golf Association Player of the Year, he edged Greensburg’s Arnold Cutrell, who finished second in the points standings.

Perry Graciano, Pittsburgh, finished second in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Player of the Year rankings, edged out by ten points after winning the WPGA & PAGA Senior Amateur Championships in 2015. Number one on the points list was Thomas Bartolacci, Philadelphia.

The following players were honored as the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Players of the Year during the Association’s Hall of Fame/Players Dinner at Chartiers Country Club on October 14.

Junior – Brady Pevarnik, Latrobe, one of the youngest juniors ever to receive this award at age 14.

Men’s – Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, seventh overall and second in a row.

Senior – Paul Schlachter, Bridgeville, eleventh overall.

Frank Fuhrer, III, Collegiate Player of the Year – Will Betts, Leechburg, who plays for University of Hartford, CT.

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WPGA Green Operations Survey receives award

The Association’s 2015 Green Operations Survey was recognized by the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA) at its recently concluded Annual Conference. The publication received an IAGA Gold Tee Award in the Education and Player Development category for small associations.

The survey has been published for nearly twenty years. The WPGA was among the first state and regional golf associations to distribute such a publication. Among larger associations, Massachusetts Golf Association also received a Gold Tee Award for their green operations survey. The MGA was in contact with the WPGA as they developed theirs.

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Teasdale named Executive Director

The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Executive Committee has named Handicap Director Terry Teasdale as the new WPGA Executive Director. He will replace retiring Executive Director Jeff Rivard on January 1.

“I am excited and humbled to be named Executive Director of this organization,” Teasdale said. “I have had the privilege of serving the game of golf in this region for nearly eighteen years and feel very fortunate for this opportunity. I very much look forward to working with our volunteers and committees as the Association moves forward.”

Teasdale began employment with the Association in 1997 in the newly created position of Handicap Director. He previously worked at Shannopin Country Club in Pittsburgh. Among his duties was working closely with the club’s handicap program.

Since Teasdale began his tenure as Handicap Director, the Association has doubled its Member Clubs and number of golfers with a Handicap Index. He has served on numerous USGA committees related to handicapping including Handicap, Handicap Procedures, GHIN Services and USGA Handicap Manual Drafting. The Association has won several USGA service and growth awards during Teasdale’s tenure related to the USGA’s Golf Handicap & Information Network (GHIN). As Handicap Director, he has led the entire program including certification and licensing of Member Clubs, course rating and club relations, and he designed and implemented the Association’s hardware program.

“I would not be here without the tutelage of Jeff Rivard,” Teasdale said. “He brought me into golf administration, and he has taught me not only dedicated service to the game but the business of golf. For this I am truly grateful.”

Additionally, he has performed duties in championships, committee management and support, financial management, junior golf, and implemented several technology initiatives including data base management, communications, presentations at workshops and seminars, social media platforms, and authorship of the Association’s web-site. He has also worked closely with the Women’s Golf Association of Western Pennsylvania in championship administration.

A native of Meadville, he and his twin brother Eric, the golf professional at Shannopin, led the Meadville Area High School golf team. Teasdale holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Teasdale will be the Association’s fifth Executive Director. He has been preceded by Clarence “Buddy” Overend, James Potts, Albert J. Luppino, and Jeff Rivard.

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Rachel Rohanna secures LPGA Tour card for 2016

It’s been a stressful few months for Rachel Rohanna on the Symetra Tour. The top ten players on the tour’s money list receive LPGA Tour privileges for the upcoming season. Rohanna, a Wayneburg native, has been around #10 for most of this summer and fall. All was on the line in the Symetra Tour’s final competition, the Tour Championship, October 15-18, at the LPGA International’s Jones Course in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Rohanna’s 70-71-69-73–283 was t-24 in the Tour Championships for a check of just over $1500. Her finish resulted in a tenth place standing on the money list, qualifying her for the LPGA Tour next season. She birdied the final hole of the competition. She was $284 ahead of the #11 player on the money list with winnings of $53,867.

Rohanna’s season included a victory at the Sara Bay Country Club in Sarasota, Florida, last spring, and five top tens. Her best round of the season was a 63. Her 2015 statistics were impressive including a #2 ranking in driving distance. This was Rohanna’s third season on the Symetra Tour following an outstanding college career at Ohio State University where she was an All Big-Ten selection twice. She received the Association’s Frank Fuhrer, III, Award as the area’s outstanding collegiate player in 2009-10 and 2011-12. She qualified for the West Penn Open twice, once making the cut, the only woman ever to achieve this feat.

As an amateur she recorded several top finishes in USGA women’s amateur championships, including medalist honors at the 2010 Women’s Amateur. Her 65 at Charlotte Country Club still stands as the lowest 18 hole score in a women’s USGA amateur championship. She is the first area woman on the LPGA Tour with full privileges since Missy Berteotti, who recorded a tour victory in 1993.

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Ron Moehler elected Association President

During the Association’s Annual Meeting at Wildwood Golf Club on October, 5, leadership changed hands as Ron Moehler, Chartiers, was elected President during the Delegates Meeting. He replaces the retiring Tim Fitzgerald, Oakmont. The remaining officers are Mark Caliendo, Montour Heights, Vice-President; Claudette Graham, Diamond Run, Secretary; and Tim Slavish, Pittsburgh Field Club, Treasurer.

Moehler, first elected to the WPGA Executive Committee in 2006, is a past president of Chartiers Country Club. He has been involved in Green Committee activities with his club, the Association, golf course superintendents’ organizations and the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council. He is a senior staff member of The Pipitone Group, a Pittsburgh area marketing firm that specializes in graphic design and copywriting. A Johnstown native, Moehler is a graduate of Bishop McCourt High School in Johnstown and Penn State University.

Newly elected members of the Executive Committee are David Malatak, Sewickley Heights, Glen Miller, Somerset, and Barbara Russell, Oakmont. In addition to Fitzgerald, other members who retired are Joe Hughes, Penn State, and Duncan Sargent, Oakview.

In addition to the officers, the following members comprise the 2015-16 Executive Committee: James Beck, Butler; Ken Flisek, Nevillewood; T. R. Gatti, Indiana; Dan Johnston, Treasure Lake; Terry Kenny, South Hills; Randall McCombs, Fox Chapel; David Malatak, Sewickley Heights; Glen Miller, Somerset; Tim Nettles, Rolling Hills, Bob Paris, Erie; Barbara Russell, Oakmont; Jim Toras, St. Clair; Colleen VanDruff, Green Oaks, and Rud VanHorn, Hickory Heights.

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