Pittsburgh, Pa. - Blaine Peffley, 19, of Lebanon CC captured his first Pennsylvania Amateur Championship by firing rounds of 65 and 67 today at the par-70 Fox Chapel Golf Club. Sean Knapp of Longue Vue Club was runner-up for a third time after posting rounds of 67 and 70. Peffley started the day three strokes back of first round leader Chip Zimmerman but after shooting a five-under 65 in the morning's second round he stood only one stroke back. Peffley, playing in the group in front of Zimmerman, started out slowly in the afternoon but caught fire on the back nine with birdies on four of his last five holes.
"After two years of struggle [at college], it finally all came together. I'm happy to be home, comfortable." Peffley plans to transfer to the University of Maryland after spending two years at the University of Arizona. "I feel more comfortable on the East Coast." His record in the Amateur, 4th in 2002 at Oakmont CC and tied for 12th last year at CC of Scranton, certainly back that statement up as does his course record 61 on his home course last week.
Asked why he didn't use a caddie this week, Peffley responded with a chuckle, "Can't afford one. How's that [for a reason]?" Peffley also turned down the opportunity to play a practice round and he thinks it may have benefited him. "The course played completely different than it did over the weekend. They said it was hard and fast."
Both Knapp, the 1997 champion, and Zimmerman struggled in the afternoon. Neither player was able to string together enough birdies to catch Peffley. Arnie Cuttrell of Totteridge GC finished in third place with rounds of 67-69-69. Zimmerman finished in fourth place and Rich Berglund of Oakmont CC rounded out the top-5 finishing at 3-under par 207. Greg Pieczynski posted the low round of the afternoon with a 66 and Michael Bancroft had the only hole-in-one of the week on the 156 yard, par-3 11th hole.
This was the seventh time the PA Amateur Championship was hosted by Fox Chapel GC with the last time coming in 1992. Next year's Amateur Championship will be held at Huntingdon Valley CC outside of Philadelphia.
Results to follow