Murrysville’s Palmer Jackson fires 63 to move into contention at Sunnehanna Amateur

Friday, June 14, 2024 | 7:58 PM

They call the third round of a golf tournament “moving day.” It’s a day when golfers try to put themselves in contention to win a championship.

For Notre Dame grad and Murrysville native Palmer Jackson, it was a day he made a big move up the leaderboard Friday at the 70th annual Sunnehanna Amateur at Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown.

He shot a 7-under-par 63 and to move into second place, a shot behind Max Herendeen, who is at 10-under.

Jackson sits at 9-under 201, tied with Jase Summy and Zac Jones.

The 2019 Franklin Regional grad had seven birdies, including a round-ending pair on Nos. 17 and 18. His other birdies were on Nos. 1, 8, 9, 12 and 13. He shot a 1-over 71 during Wednesday’s first round and a 3-under 67 during Thursday’s second round. He has 13 birdies and four bogeys during his three rounds.

“Sunnehanna is a difficult course, but (Friday) the setup was more getable,” Jackson said. “I took advantage of my birdie looks and kept momentum going all day. It was about as stress free as I could have asked for.”

Jackson’s Notre Dame teammate, Rocco Salvitti, a Central Catholic grad and Canonsburg native, began the round tied with Jackson at 2-under. But unlike Jackson, who made the huge jump, Salvitti fired a solid 1-under 69 and is tied for 22nd at 3-under.

Sewickley Academy grad J.F. Aber is tied for 53rd heading to Saturday’s final round at 1-over. He also shot a 1-under 69 in the third round. Franklin Regional grad Chuck Tragesser is tied for 59th at 2-over. He shot an even-par 70.

The prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur has drawn some PGA greats. Rickie Fowler (2007-08) is a two-time champion. Other notable winners were Collin Morikawa (2016), Billy Andrade (1986), John Cook (1977 and 1979), Scott Verplank (1984 and 1985) and Brad Faxon (1982). Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Craig Stadler and Tiger Woods also have played in the tournament.

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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