Greensburg’s Goetz beaten by incredible shot at state amateur

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 | 10:27 PM

Mark Goetz might be thinking the golf gods are against him.

For the second consecutive week, Goetz had a possible victory taken from him by an opponent on the final hole.

A week ago, Gregor Meyers chipped in to win the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Open title at Westmoreland County Country Club. Goetz was the clubhouse leader.

Wednesday at historic Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia, the West Virginia senior and Greensburg native was leading by a shot when Carlisle’s John Peters holed out from a 193 yards for an eagle. Peters will be a freshman at Duke.

Second-round leader Patrick Sheehan had a chance to tie Peters, but he missed a 6-foot birdie putt.

“It was unbelievable,” Goetz said. “It was crazy. I didn’t see it because I was talking to someone when I heard a roar. I said what happened.”

Goetz shot a 1-under-par 69 to finish at 1-over 211. Peters finished at even-par 210.

“It’s a testament to it’s never over until it’s over,” Peters told the Pennsylvania Golf Association. “I wasn’t even thinking about it (going in). Obviously, there’s a bit of luck there. I was waiting for some kind of clap, but I thought it was long, and then we heard a big hurrah. I’ve never experienced anything like that. It’s just a tremendous blessing.”

Peters Township’s Jimmy Ellis, who won the Pennsylvania Open in 2020, was in the running until a bogey on No. 17. He tied for fourth a 2-over 212.

Goetz and Briarwood’s Brandon Berry were the only golfers under par during the final round.

“I played great this week,” Goetz said. “I had a good gameplan, and I followed it. Tuesday’s round (2-under 68) was the best round I played all year.

“Merion is extremely difficult. It’s very demanding, and I commend the staff. It’s not easy.”

He played the front nine 1-over but birdied No. 10 and No. 15 to go 1-under.

Goetz survived a scare on No. 16 when he hit into what is described as “the quarry.”

His drive on the 429-yard 16th landed in the quarry. He then hit an incredible shot to reach the green, where he was able to save par.

“I was only 126 out, and I hit it well,” Goetz said. “I was able to save par.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at


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