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DeNunzios carry on with golf game during trying times

When David DeNunzio of Jeannette begins play at the U.S. Amateur today outside of Milwaukee, someone familiar will be carrying his golf bag -- his twin brother, Ronald.

This is the first time David DeNunzio has qualified for the U.S. Amateur, which will be played this week on two courses (Erin Hills and Blue Mounds) in Erin, Wis.

The DeNunzios have had arguably the best summer of their careers under dire circumstances. Their mother, Denise, died May 26 after a five-year battle with brain cancer.

Her death came four days prior to the twins winning the 57th annual Fred Brand Foursome.

"She got to see the trophy," David DeNunzio said. "There isn't a day that we don't think about her. I know she had a hand in getting me here.

"She may not be here in body, but she is in spirit. She'll be with us for every round and every shot."

Denise DeNunzio's passion was walking the golf course while her boys played, watching and encouraging them. She also found time to read a book during their rounds.

"She finished quite a few books over the years," Ronald DeNunzio said. "We miss her a lot, and there are times we break down on the course. It was great having her ride along in the carts during the tournaments."

David DeNunzio will play two rounds of medal play. He hopes to finish in the top 64 to advance to match play competition Wednesday.

"My goal is to make it into the match play," David DeNunzio said. "If I do that, anything can happen. I've been hitting a lot of fairways, and I just hope I can make some putts.

"These courses are set up tough. I'll have to play well."

The DeNunzios have had quite a year. David and Ronald recently won the West Penn Brothers tournament; David and his dad, Ron, won the West Penn Father and Son Championship; and Ronald DeNunzio recently was the club champion at Greensburg Country Club and played in the Sunnehanna Amateur.

David DeNunzio isn't the only golfer from Western Pennsylvania playing in the tournament. There are five others, including one of the top amateurs in the country in Nathan Smith, who was recently named to the Walker Cup team.

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