Invitational brings competitive golf, emotional remembrance to Fox Chapel

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Friday, September 20, 2019 | 9:20 AM


Sunny skies and comfortable temperatures greeted golfers from Fox Chapel, North Allegheny and Latrobe on Thursday at the Pittsburgh Field Club for the annual Fox Chapel Richard Cullinan Invitational.

The event each year brings together some of the top high school golfers for what turns out to be competitive competition.

It also affords the opportunity to honor the memory of a former Fox Chapel student and member of the Foxes golfing family gone too soon.

Richard Cullinan, a four-year varsity golfer at Fox Chapel, died in a skiing accident during his senior year a decade ago.

His name was added to the invitational, coach Bryan Deal said, in recognition of his commitment to Fox Chapel golf.

Fox Chapel senior Scott Bitar, on behalf of the players and coaches from the three schools, presented Heather Cullinan, Richard’s mother, with flowers in a ceremony prior to the competition.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this amazing event,” Bitar said. “I’ve loved playing in this my four years with all the special moments, the emotion, and getting to see Mrs. Cullinan each time. Hopefully, it can keep going for years to come.”

Heather said her emotions on this day are lifted and supported by the appreciation everyone, especially the golfers, has for this event and for the memory of her son.

“It’s really heartwarming,” she said. “There’s just something special about it. I hope it can carry on for many years.

“Some of the parents, they don’t have to keep coming back. Their kids have graduated. They live lives everywhere else. But they come back and support this event and they want to remember Richard. The hardest part sometimes is thinking that people are going to forget Richard, but they don’t. Many people open up their arms and are not afraid to share their feelings.”

Fox Chapel Red, led by a 3-under 33 from senior Amani D’Ambrosio, placed first out of the four teams with a five-player score of 182.

Bitar added a 35 for the victors, while junior Aidan Oehrle and senior Matt Mattioli each carded a 36.

North Allegheny ended runner-up at 211 as senior Scott Fitzgerald posted a team-best 41.

Senior Arnold Vento and sophomore Owen Delaney shot 40s to pace Fox Chapel White to a third-place 216.

Latrobe tallied a team score of 217 as senior Colten McCutcheon fronted the Wildcats with a 38.

“There is great respect among the programs for the talented golfers each has,” Deal said. “It makes for great competition every year. They all understand and appreciate this event.”

It was the fourth year for these four teams to compete in this event at the Field Club.

“This is the one chance we get to go 12 deep with two teams,” Deal said. “It gives some of the younger kids a chance to play this golf course, which is awesome.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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