The first day of August was a remarkable day at the 6,325 yard, par 71 Berkshire Country Club. Forty-six golfers played 36 holes to determine this year's Pennsylvania Amateur Champion. After the first round, two players, Nathan Smith of Pinecrest CC and John Sweeney of Conestoga CC, had separated themselves from the field. Smith held a one-shot lead after firing a three under-par 68, his third consecutive under-par round. Sweeney had even-par 71 for a three-round total of 207, six-under par.
Pete Toole of Meadia Heights GC, the runner-up in this year's Philadelphia Amateur, climbed the leaderboard in the third round with a 68. He stood eight shots back of Smith's lead at one over-par , 214, when the fourth round began. Playing in the first group of the afternoon, Toole exploded on the front nine. After birdies at the first two holes, he made a short eagle putt on four and closed the nine with birdies at the sixth and the eighth. He was two shots back at the turn, and the leaders were just starting their rounds. Toole bogeyed the par three eleventh, but made gimmie eagle at the twelfth to climb to six under par and join the lead for the first time in the tournament.
His only mistake came on the thirteenth, a long par four with a severe back-to-front sloping green. After crushing a drive to within 150 yards of the green, he hit what he thought was an excellent short iron approach. When the ball stopped spinning, however, he was left with a difficult uphill chip. He took four shots to get down from in front of the green, and seemed to have lost his chance. But the young man would not be held back on this day. He bounced back from the double bogey with short birdie putts at the fourteenth and seventeenth and reached the eighteenth green with a chance to break the course record. He wasn't able to convert, but his final round seven-under par 64 was enough to tie Ben Hogan's 54 year old record and put him in the lead in the clubhouse. Two hours later, Toole was crowned this year's champion.
Pinecrest CC member Nathan Smith and Conestoga's John Sweeney tied for second, two shots behind at 280. Jason Moyer of Bent Creek CC was alone in fourth at 281. Renowned amateur Sean Knapp finished fifth and local favorite and Berkshire member Chip Lutz finished in a tie for sixth with Philadelphia Country Club's Chet Walsh five shots back at 283. Defending Champion Michael McDermott finished at six over-par, 290. Next year's championship will be contested at Oakmont CC, near Pittsburgh.