I’ve no doubt that my colleagues at The Buffalo News and The Niagara Gazette will do Richy Werenski’s win the justice it deserves. Werenski plays for a perennial ACC favorite at Georgia Tech. He clearly has game, something that the Niagara Falls Country Club does a fine job in identifying. In 2009, Brendan Gielow won the abbreviated tournament in a playoff, then made a contribution to the USA side in the Walker Cup at Merion. In 2010, David Chung took control late and then went on a tear, winning the Western Amateur soon after and finishing runner-up at the US Amateur. In 2011, Patrick Rodgers eagled his way to a coming-out party and was rewarded with a spot on the 2011 USA Walker Cup side. Now we have Richy Werenski, who…
Does it seem like I’m about to write that column? I won’t. Instead, I’ll write the headlines that might have been written, about players who might have won the 2012 Porter Cup, but didn’t.
Denny McCarthy Rides Low 4th Round To Victory
First-round leader Denny McCarthy, the affable Cavalier from UVA, led the 2012 Porter Cup twice~after round one and, more importantly, after round four. The Marylander completed his march to victory with a five-under par 65, tied for low round on Saturday.
(Alas, it wasn’t to be. Werenski didn’t make a bogey until the 68th hole of the tournament. Hard to top that.)
Rodgers Defends Title At Porter Cup 2012
It might be an Olympic year, but Patrick Rodgers will remember it for his defense of the Porter Cup. Rodgers played steady golf all week, never higher than 69, and held off all challengers to his 2011 title.
(Also fiction. Rodgers’ 69 in round three hurt him immensely, as he gave away ground when he needed to make it up. He never found that low 60s round that typifies the Porter Cup champion.)
Cameron Smith Becomes Youngest Champion Since Imada
Move over, Ryuji. Aussie Cam Smith laid the foundation with a Friday 63, then followed it up on Saturday with a round that was just enough to bring him a green jacket and a cup named Porter.
(Smith needed back-to-back 63s to catch Werenski; his Saturday 69 got him a solo 4th finish, still extraordinary for the youngster.)
And the list goes on. Justin Thomas did what we didn’t expect him to do: lose his game in the final round. A 76 dropped him from 2nd to t15. Curtis Thompson and Matthew Stieger both shot no round higher than 69; the feat earned them t9 and t5 finishes, respectively. If you don’t go low at Porter Cup, you don’t win. Scott Harvey, as close to a sentimental choice as there was, went the wrong way on Saturday, dropping from t3 to t13 with a four-over 74. And James Blackwell, the wunderkind who might have, could have, should have…never did.
In the end, 16 birdies, 1 eagle, 1 bogey and 54 pars were enough to win a championship in Lewiston. A Yellow Jacket buzzed a Cavalier and a Cardinal and flew out of town full-handed.