Former Sooner Beau Titsworth sets course record during 116th WPGA Open Championship
Just like the weather throughout the day, the golfers who were competing at the 116th WPGA Open Championship at Valley Brook Country Club on Wednesday experienced a series of peaks and valleys.
Well, most of them.
From the start of the day, former Oklahoma Sooner and Pittsburgh transplant Beau Titsworth set the 6,683-yard course on fire and came away with a Valley Brook Country Club course record, shooting a 10-under 62. The previous record was 63, set by Bob Meyer in 2002.
“I made the putts I needed to make, and I got a lot of momentum and just kept building momentum,” said Titsworth, who leads the tournament at 13-under par. “I didn’t hit it stellar, but I was able to keep it in play and score on scoring holes and not make any mistakes. I thought that was the big thing.”
Titsworth tallied 10 birdies and eight pars and never really found himself in any trouble. At one point, Titsworth birdied five straight holes.
“I made three birdies to finish my first seven, because we started on hole 12, and then I was able to birdie the next two,” Titsworth said. “At the point I had a pretty good feeling, and I knew there were some scoring holes coming in, and I was able to take advantage of most of them.”
With a three-stroke lead heading into the final round, the rest of the field will have to play catch-up Thursday. Seven golfers are within eight shots of the lead, including TJ Howe.
After shooting a 69 in the first round, Howe stepped up his game Wednesday and carded a 7-under 65 to stay within earshot of Titsworth at 10-under through two rounds.
After scoring par on all four par 5’s during the first round, Howe capitalized on solid second shots and a few putts during Wednesday’s round that allowed him to birdie four of the five holes.
“I was putting myself in good position on the par 5’s yesterday, I just didn’t capitalize,” Howe said. “Today, (Wednesday), it was the same thing. I hit my second shots where I needed to, I was just able to hole a couple shots.”
Penn-Trafford alum Dan Obremski also finds himself in the mix heading into Thursday’s final round. After shooting 68 Tuesday, Obremski turned in another score of 4-under Wednesday, battling through a series of ups and downs to do it.
Obremski began his round with a birdie, bogeyed his fourth hole and then responded with an eagle.
“I feel like I was able to roll the ball pretty well today and I was able to make a few putts today,” said Obremski, who is in third place at 8-under. “But I also feel like I left a few out there, as well.”
Robert Morris alum Matt Gruska turned in the third-lowest round of the day at 5-under 67, which catapulted him into a tie for fourth at 6-under. Gruska said he had been hitting his driver well, but wasn’t following up well with his wedges. On Wednesday, he was able to capitalize on some close wedge shots and birdied three of his final five holes.
“I’ve been hitting my driver really well for the last two days, but my wedges, I mean they have been OK, but they haven’t been good,” Gruska said. “So today, I was able to hit a few close and then made a couple putts coming down the stretch which made it nice.”
Alec Stopperich, Brett Young and Matt Holuta, all sit tied for fourth with Gruska at 6-under. After an even-par round Tuesday, Peters Township alum Tom Nettles rounds out the top eight after shooting a 5-under 67.
The final cut was set at 2-over, which whittled the field to 32 players. They will tee off for the final round starting at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, with the leaders heading out at 10.
Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .