Knapp, Smith, Schlachter grab state player of year awards
The usual suspects took home the postseason hardware, or as the Pennsylvania Golf Association calls them, “The Yinzers.”
Nathan Smith, Sean Knapp and Paul Schlachter, all from Southwestern Pennsylvania, were player of the year recipients in their respective divisions after successful seasons.
They all clinched titles based on a points system.
Smith, a Brookville graduate and Bridgeville resident, won the William C. Fownes Player of the Year for the second straight year — and sixth time since 2003.
Knapp, of Oakmont, claimed his second consecutive Fownes Senior Player of the Year award.
Schlachter, of South Fayette, won the Fownes Super-Senior Player of the Year.
Smith, who plays out of Pinecrest Country Club and Wildwood Golf Club, won the Jay Sigel Amateur Match Play Championship, and tied for third in the 105th Amateur Championship.
Knapp, a new member at Hannastown Golf Club, played an elevated schedule after winning the U.S. Senior Amateur last year. He continued to play well, and dominated the senior division by more than 700 points.
Knapp, 56, played in the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur, U.S. Senior Open, and U.S. Senior Amateur, and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball. He won the 12th Senior Amateur Match Play Championship and eighth West Penn Amateur. He also tied for 12th in the 105th Amateur Championship.
Despite suffering a hand injury in September that sidelined his golf game for a month, Knapp came back to win the West Penn Senior Amateur on October, becoming the first player to win the West Penn Amateur and Senior Amateur in the same year.
Schlachter, 69, won the Super-Senior title at the 59th Pennsylvania Senior Amateur Championship. He is a four-time winner of the Association’s Senior Player of the Year. He has 16 PAGA wins.
Schlachter also played in the U.S. Senior Amateur.
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BillBeckner.