Knapp ready for Sunnehanna Amateur

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 | 9:50 PM

The roar of thunder Tuesday morning woke Oakmont’s Sean Knapp from his sleep.

So he decided to look at his phone and call up the weather radar, and he saw a blotch of red hanging over Johnstown.

Knapp screen-shot the radar and sent it to friend Nathan Smith with the words, “it wouldn’t be a Sunnehanna week without crazy weather.”

The 69th annual Sunnehanna Amateur begins Wednesday at Sunnehanna Country Club in Westmont, and Knapp and Smith, along with Palmer Jackson, Mark Goetz, Tanner Grzegorczyk and Gregor Meyer — all from the Pittsburgh and four members of Hannastown Golf Club — are in the prestigious field.

This is the 31st time Knapp has played in the tournament and 29th consecutive.

“This isn’t about me. It’s about this tournament,” Knapp said. “I believe it ranks sixth amateur tournament in the world. It’s got a great field.”

Knapp is hoping for hot and dry conditions, which he said will level the playing field some with the elite ability of some of the younger players.

“I’ve played golf with Palmer and Mark, and they are playing at an elite level,” Knapp said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if either won the tournament. I’m just privileged to be part of it.”

Knapp, Goetz, Jackson and Meyer are members of Hannastown Golf Club.

“That’s a neat thing about the tournament is that four members from the same club are playing,” Knapp said. “That’s truly exciting, and I’m looking forward to the competition. It’s one of my favorite tournaments.”

The field will play four rounds, with the final round Saturday.

Gee wins Aber Memorial

Oakmont pro Devin Gee won the Dr. John Aber Memorial Golf Classic on Tuesday, edging out Greensburg amateur Kevin Fajt by a shot.

Gee shot a 5-under-par 135, which included a 5-under 65, during Round 1. Fajt had two rounds of 68 to finish at 4-under 136.

Amateurs Justin Griffith, Darin Kowalski and Nate Platt tied for third at 3-under 137.

The event was held at Allegheny Country Club.

Trio claim Mailey Junior titles

The 55th annual Tom Mailey Junior Golf tournament was held Monday at the Latrobe Elks Golf Club, and three players were crowned champions in their age divisions.

The winners were Nick Thomas (ages 17-18), Michael Kingerski (15-16) and Rocco Harris (14-and-younger).

Thomas shot an 83. The runner-up was Gavin McMullen, who shot a 93 in the 17-18 age group.

Kingerski was the tournament’s medalist, shooting an 82 and edging Luke Lentz, who shot an 83 in the 15-16 group. Harris’ winning score was 123.

The event is held in honor of Tom Mailey, a 1958 graduate of Latrobe High School and a 1962 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Mailey was an outstanding scholar-athlete. He lost his life in an automobile accident in Columbus, Ohio. He was attending Ohio State graduate school, earning his master’s and doctorate in nuclear physics.

Jackson/Fajt win county event

Palmer Jackson and Kevin Fajt teamed up to win the Westmoreland County Better Ball by shooting a 9-under 61.

The winners put together a run of eight consecutive birdies (holes 8 thru 15) at Hannastown Golf Club.

Mark Goetz and Matt D’Amico finished second with a 65, and Michael Wareham and Nick Turowski finished third with a 67.

Scott, Salvitti win Tri-State Junior event

Paige Scott and Rocco Salvitti took top honors at the Tri-State Section PGA Junior Championship at Fox Run Golf Course.

Scott shot a 1-over, two-round score of 145. She edged out Lindsey Powanda, who shot a 2-over 146.

Placing third was Erin Drahnak with a 3-over 147, and Lihini Ranaweera, Adena Rugola and Marissa Malosh tied for fourth with a 4-over 148.

Salvitti shot a 5-under 139, which included a 6-under 66 during the first 18 holes.

Wes Lorish and Nolan Nicklas tied for second at 3-over, and Nick Turowski and David Fuhrer II tied for fourth at 2-under 142. Wes Warden was sixth with a 2-over 146, and Nolan Shilling and Luke Gronbeck tied for seventh with a 5-over 149.

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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