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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Wheatcroft takes Pennsylvania Open in playoff

ELVERSON, Pa.-Steven Wheatcroft, a mini-tour pro from Washington, Pa., parred the first extra playoff hole to edge Kevin Shields, an assistant pro from Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, to take the Frank B. Fuhrer Pennsylvania Open Championship on Wednesday at Stonewall (par 70, 6,699 yards).

Wheatcroft carded a birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 451 yards) in regulation to force a tie with Shields before earning the victory in the playoff with a par. Both players finished at even-par 210 for the three rounds.

"I knew I had to hit something close the first time," said Wheatcroft, 25, a regular on the Gateway Tour. "I figured if I made a birdie and he made a par Iíd force a playoff. Then he made the best up and down Iíve ever seen considering all the pressure and circumstances."

On 18 the first time around, Wheatcroft, playing before Shields, knocked a 7-iron from 174 yards to four feet to put the pressure squarely on his competitor. Shields, who blocked his drive into the right rough, but still with a decent lie, blew his second shot over the brick wall guarding the left of the green. A miraculous up and down by Shields saved par and sent the Open into a playoff for the second consecutive year.

In the playoff, Shields again blocked his drive right, but this time into the thick fescue.

Wheatcroft placed his drive in almost the identical spot as he did in regulation.

Shields could only punch out and Wheatcroft dropped his 7-iron, this time, to about 15 feet left of the flag. Wheatcroft failed to get up and down and Shields netted a par for the win.

"Iíve been fighting [my swing] all year long," said Shields, 31, of Pittsburgh, Pa. "Itís an under plane puff fade. Once I hit it once, itís a disease."

Shields controlled the Pennsylvania Open for the majority of the day.

He built a five-shot advantage after nine holes, playing the front side in 4-under-par 31. He birdie No. 1 (par 5, 511 yards), No. 2 (par 4, 389 yards), No. 4 (par 4, 370 yards) and the difficult eighth (par 4, 430 yards).

Wheatcroft, who was the second-round leader, a shot clear of the field at 2-under-par entering day three, struggled. He bogeyed No. 2 and No. 3 (par 5, 564 yards). A four-putt on No. 8 (par 4, 430 yards), in which he missed a six-inch bogey effort and finished with a double, seemed to end any chance at the title.

"I lined up and got set and hit it square right," said Wheatcroft of the short bogey miss. "I thought I was out of it after that."

On No. 9 (par 3, 219 yards), momentum started to swing, though. Wheatcroft chipped in from the right greenside bunker, about 60 feet away, for birdie.

On No. 10 (par 4, 395 yards), an errant drive to the right started Shields downfall. He finished with a bogey.

Another over par score on No. 13 (par 4, 455 yards) for Shields, a missed five footer from the left side of the flag, resulted in another bogey.

On No. 16 (par 4, 463 yards), Shields, in effect lost the tournament. He blasted his drive over a wall on the right side of the fairway. He made a bogey with his provisional but with a penalty finished with a triple bogey seven.

"I was thinking good all day," said Shields, "but I was waiting for the [fade] shot to come up."

For the victory, Wheatcroft earned $10,000. Shields netted $6,000 for second place.

Chris Lange of Overbrook GC was the low amateur, finishing in a tie for fourth at 3-over-par 213.

Frank B. Fuhrer Pennsylvania State Open Championship

Stonewall

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Name

Club

RD 1

Rd2

Rd 3

Total

Steven Wheatcroft**

Unaffiliated

71

67

72

210

Kevin Shields

Nemacolin CC

68

71

71

210

Brian Kelly

Bucknell GC

70

73

68

211

Travis Deibert

Unaffiliated

69

71

73

213

Christopher Lange

Overbrook GC

69

72

72

213

Mark Sheftic

Sunnybrook GC

73

70

70

213

Bob Ford

Oakmont CC

70

76

68

214

Rick Stimmel

Unaffiliated

72

75

67

214

Rob Shuey

GC at Felicita

72

72

71

215

John D. Mazza

Montour Heights CC

75

72

69

216

Paul A. Oglesby

Merion GC

73

71

72

216

Tom Ryan

Plymouth CC

72

72

72

216

Eric Williams

Honesdale GC

73

71

72

216

Jim Cichra

Island Sports Center

73

77

67

217

Adam Decker

Links Driving Range

74

72

71

217

Mark DiGiacomo

Lebanon CC

74

69

74

217

Mark Borkovich

Alcoma GC

74

68

76

218

Lynn Thomas Kilduff

Huntsville GC

75

71

72

218

Chad Perman

Philadelphia Publinks

70

75

73

218

John Samaha

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

76

70

72

218

Paul Schlachter

The Club at Nevillewood

69

76

73

218

John Sweeney

Conestoga CC

80

69

69

218

Logan Terry

Plymouth CC

72

75

71

218

Mike Moses

Concord CC

77

73

69

219

Dave Roberts

Cedarbrook CC

74

73

72

219

William Smith

Chambersburg GC

72

71

76

219

Graham Dendler

Merion GC

74

74

72

220

Rod James

Gulph Mills GC

75

73

72

220

Jim Buch

Unaffiliated

77

71

73

221

Michael Larkin

Deer Run GC

71

78

72

221

Wayne Phillips

Lehigh CC

76

72

73

221

Ed Blechschmidt

Whitemarsh Valley CC

77

72

73

222

Joshua Lewis

Philadelphia Cricket Club

76

73

74

223

Michael Rinker

Eagles Mere CC

75

73

75

223

Jon Rusk

Unaffiliated

76

72

75

223

Vincent Zachetti

Unaffiliated

76

72

75

223

Gary Hardin

Northampton CC

76

74

74

224

David West

Whitford CC

72

78

74

224

Chris Hoyle

Llanerch CC

74

75

76

225

Michael Moffat

Commonwealth National GC

72

74

79

225

James Bohn

Bucknell GC

76

74

77

227

Gary Daniels

Aronimink GC

74

76

77

227

Scott Edwards

Cool Creek GC

76

73

82

231

Mike Rossi

Golf-In Learning Center

73

77

91

241

Brian Leib

Hanover CC

72

77

WD

Failed to Qualify:

Christian Bartolacci

Jericho National GC

76

75

151

Joe Boros

Treesdale G & CC

78

73

151

George Forster

Radnor Valley CC

77

74

151

Michael Grabosky

Berkshire CC

77

74

151

Drew Panebianco

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

76

75

151

Blaine Peffley

Lebanon CC

77

74

151

Mark Powell

Du Bois CC

74

77

151

John Spina

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

74

77

151

Steve Wager

Conestoga CC

76

75

151

Chip Zimmerman

Pittsburgh Field Club

78

73

151

Michael Brown

North Hills CC

71

81

152

Scott Ehrlich

Meadowlands CC

73

79

152

Michael Funk

Rolling Green GC

79

73

152

James Gardas

Honesdale GC

78

74

152

Wesley Hollis

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

74

78

152

Andy Latowski

Unaffiliated

78

74

152

Gregory Ulp

CC of Harrisburg

77

75

152

Dick von Tacky, Jr.

Wanango CC

76

76

152

Clint Deibert

Doylestown CC

76

77

153

Joe Makowski

Little Mill CC

74

79

153

Marc Mandel

White Manor CC

77

76

153

Jim Smith, Jr.

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

75

78

153

Jeff Daniels

Unaffiliated

74

80

154

Barry Erenrich

The Club at Nevillewood

79

75

154

Rick Gibney

Colonial CC

79

75

154

Patrick Hardin

Northampton CC

77

77

154

Logan Riester

Diamond Run GC

76

78

154

P. Chet Walsh

Philadelphia CC

78

76

154

John Allen

Sunnybrook GC

77

78

155

Anthony Bonargo

Doylestown CC

77

78

155

Geoff Forcino

Waynesborough CC

75

80

155

Stuart Hanford, Jr.

Fairview GC

75

80

155

Alex Knoll

Bethlehem GC

82

73

155

Anthony Sarko

Brookside CC

80

75

155

Billy Stewart

Llanerch CC

79

76

155

Keith Evans

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

83

73

156

Doug Kingston

Saucon Valley CC

79

77

156

Paul Kouch,Jr

Torresdale-Frankford CC

81

75

156

Joseph Cordaro

Edgewood CC

79

78

157

Geoffrey Kelowitz

Mahoning Valley CC

78

79

157

John Klinchock

Ligonier CC

78

79

157

Stu Michaels

Clearfield-Curwensville CC

79

78

157

David Richards

Bent Creek CC

76

81

157

Richard Thon

The Springhaven Club

79

78

157

Ron Weaver

Meadia Heights GC

78

79

157

Mark Wiley

Meadia Heights GC

75

82

157

Michael Decapua

Northampton CC

77

81

158

J.R. Delich

White Manor CC

76

82

158

Dave Fields

Silver Creek CC

79

79

158

Brian Gillespie

St. Davids GC

81

77

158

Joe Klinchock

Chartiers CC

81

77

158

Pete Malonoski

The Springhaven Club

76

82

158

Robert Shutte, III

Unaffiliated

81

77

158

Zack Amole

Galen Hall CC

84

75

159

Kevin Cloud

Applebrook GC

83

76

159

Jeremy Graham

Frosty Valley CC

83

76

159

Mark Matricardi

Talamore at Oak Terrace CC

75

84

159

David Smith, Jr.

Yardley CC

84

76

160

Tom Spano

Spring Hollow GC

78

82

160

Bill Kindoll

Heidelberg CC

85

76

161

James Newlon

The Springhaven Club

83

78

161

Robert Ockenfuss, Jr.

Indian Valley CC

84

77

161

Hugh Reilly

Huntingdon Valley CC

84

77

161

Jim Simmons

Stonewall

82

79

161

Peter Carmain

Applebrook GC

81

81

162

Robert Leeman

Conestoga CC

84

78

162

Thomas Dell

Lancaster CC

82

81

163

Russell Harbold

Foxchase CC

84

79

163

Matthew Montgomery

Hannastown GC

80

84

164

Marty Nowicki

Silver Creek CC

83

81

164

Tom Piersanti

Radley Run CC

85

79

164

Greg Bedell

Unaffiliated

82

83

165

Richard Franklin

Stonewall

87

79

166

Richard Nuse

Foxchase GC

88

78

166

Patrick Hennigan

Waynesborough CC

89

78

167

Garrett Stempfer

Wildwood GC

82

85

167

Zach Ichter

Conestoga CC

81

87

168

Bill Wilkinson

Riverside GC

85

83

168

George Forster, Jr.

Radnor Valley CC

82

87

169

John Donnelly

Concord CC

88

83

171

Rick Flesher

Berkleigh CC

81

90

171

Arthur Kania, Jr.

Overbrook GC

WD

Steven Wojnar

Unaffiliated

WD

John Pillar, Sr.

CC at Woodloch Springs

WD

Alex Maguire, Jr.

Brookside CC

WD

Sam McFall

Waynesborough CC

WD

Scott Phillips

Blue Ridge CC

WD

** Won In Sudden Death Play-off

 

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