Brown wins West Penn Amateur in playoff
David Brown has a vivid memory of the first time he played a round of golf at Butler Country Club.
It was a father/son event back in the late 1970s, and his dad, the late Marshall Brown, correctly predicted he was going to make a 30-foot putt on No. 18.
David Brown, 52, didn't need 30 feet to win his third West Penn Amateur title Tuesday, just 10.
After he drained his uphill birdie putt on the second playoff hole, he watched Bo Lustig's six-foot downhill putt lip out, giving him the victory in the 113th annual tournament.
Brown, an Upper St. Clair resident, and Belle Vernon's Lustig were tied at 1-under-par 209 after 54 holes. Brown also won the West Penn in 2011 at Oakmont Country Club and in 2004 at Nemacolin Country Club.
“I love coming to Butler to play golf,” Brown said. “It's fun to compete, and it's fun to win.
“I can still remember that day my dad and I played here. I can remember his voice. I was thinking if he could do it, I can do it.”
Brown's putter proved to be the difference.
He started the final round a shot behind Bradford's Joshua Stauffer. But Brown played a steady round, and Stauffer struggled after a double-bogey on No. 6. Brown made an up-and-down on No. 17 from a fairway bunker to save par, while Stauffer struggled to a 5-over 75.
“I had to make a few putts. I put myself in jail a few times and had to dig out of it and then had to make par on No. 18,” Brown said. “There was a lot of work up until then.”
He said a three-putt bogey on No. 15 was a case of nerves.
“Both of us had tough putts for birdie on the first playoff hole, but I'm glad I made birdie on the second hole,” Brown said. “I didn't want to watch him hit a 340-yard drive on the par 5 next hole.
“I had the easier putt on the second playoff hole. It was straight up hill, and he was above the hole. It's not a comfortable feeling when you're up there.”
Lustig began the day four strokes off the lead and shot a 3-under 67 to tie Brown. Sean Knapp, bidding for his eighth title, came to the final hole tied for the lead. But a muddy ball on his second shot to the green led to a bogey for Knapp, who finished third at even-par 210
After Brown and Lustig had pars on the first playoff hole (No. 18), the two went to No. 1.
“This stings more than I thought,” Lustig said. “Going into it, I said, ‘You made it this far. If you come in second and lose, it's no big deal.' But once that putt lipped out on No. 1 … I'm really disappointed, but I'll get over it.”
Lustig, 20, made a birdie from the trees on No. 16 to tie for the lead. He hooked a gap wedge 165 yards to within eight feet and made the putt and then made an up-and-down par on No. 18 after overshooting the green.
But it ended up being a frustrating round because Lustig had a couple of putts and a chip lip-out.
“On No. 5, I had a chip hit the pin and then missed a four-foot putt,” he said. “That was a two-stroke swing, and there were a couple other putts that I just missed.”