A last name famous to golf fans around the world claimed victory at the 2021 Frank B. Fuhrer Jr. Invitational on Wednesday — but the first name isn’t what you might expect.
A few days after missing the cut at the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship, Chase Koepka won the Fuhrer at Pittsburgh Field Club on the first hole of a playoff against Patrick Flavin. Chase, a touring pro himself, is the younger brother of four-time major-championship winner Brooks Koepka.
Murrysville native and Notre Dame golfer Palmer Jackson finished third, just a couple of weeks after a strong showing at the Sunnehanna Amateur in Johnstown, as covered live by Pittsburgh Golf Now.
Koepka got off to a slow start with a 1-over 71 on Monday, but jumped ahead with a four-under 66 in the second round, carding birdies on 16, 17, and 18. Entering Wednesday’s final round, Koepka held a tight lead over young Pittsburgh pro Jack Katarincic and last year’s champion Dan McCarthy, but a 74 and a 75, respectively, took them out of contention.
Koepka came to the 17th two strokes ahead of Flavin. But the hole had proven dangerous for Koepka all week, as he recorded bogeys on it in the first and third rounds. The hole got the best of him again, with a double bogey suddenly setting up a tie at the top.
A lengthy weather delay pushed the playoff back, and Koepka’s par on the first sudden death hole against Flavin wrapped things up.
TRI-STATE PGA ISALY’S JUNIOR TOUR
Kyle McClintock from Venetia won the Tri-State PGA Isaly’s Junior Boys 17-18 division with a 2-over 73 at the Cedarbrook Golf Club in Belle Vernon.
Pittsburgh native Alexander Jones finished second at 4 over, as a double bogey on the final hole cost him a chance at a playoff.
In the Girls 16-18 division, Erin Drahnak from Glenshaw narrowly defeated Rhianna Firmstone by one stroke. Pittsburgh’s Tara Loughran came in third at 4 over.
Pittsburgh native Connor McKenzie emerged victorious from a packed leaderboard in the Boys 15-16 division, with five players within three strokes of him. McKenzie came through in the clutch, birdieing No. 15 and recording pars on the final three holes.
Plum native Wes Lorish shot a 2-over 71 to win the Boys 11-14 section, and Venetia’s Ellie Benson won the Girls 11-15.
Following the Fourth of July weekend, the Tri-State Junior PGA will resume on Tuesday, July 6 at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley.