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DeNezza's mastery of par-3s lead to victory

| Saturday, July 9, 2005

There was no secret formula to Dave DeNezza's Westmoreland County Senior Amateur victory Friday at Greensburg Country Club.

"If you can hit the par-3s, you can shoot a good round here," he said. "I just happened to play well on the par-3s today."

DeNezza, 57, of Greensburg, birdied four of the six par-3 holes on the classic layout for a 1-over-par 71 and a two-stroke victory over Bob Fontanesi of Greensburg.

Bill Baloh of Herminie took third with a 73 and Jim Alcorn of Irwin finished fourth with a 79.

DeNezza, currently the 62nd-ranked senior in the nation in the "Golfweek" standings, had the putter working all the way around. He three-putted only one green while one-putting 10 times during his 27-putt round.

However, the key was hitting the greens on the par-3 holes. He carded birdies on the par-3 third, seventh, 15th and 18th holes.

"The course was in excellent condition," DeNezza said. "The greens were superb -- some of the best I've played all year. There are a lot of undulations on these greens. Despite the fact it has six par-3s, it's not an easy golf course."

DeNezza put his name on the county senior amateur trophy for the second time. He also won in 2001 at Norvelt Golf Club.

DeNezza credits his 20-degree Callaway utility club for giving him the distance and accuracy to attack the 231-yard seventh hole and the 201-yard 15th.

"I've always had trouble hitting long irons, but these utility clubs have turned my game around," he said. "You don't have to be afraid of long par-3 holes, and you can use it on long approach shots into par-4 holes."

DeNezza plans to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur next month. Two years ago, NeNezza qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur at the Virginian in Bristol, Va., where he advanced to match play.

DeNezza, who serves as postmaster in Whitney, said he plays about four rounds a week.

"I don't practice a lot, but I play a lot," he said. "I don't like to go out to the range and beat golf balls unless I'm working on something."

DeNezza described himself as a self-taught golfer who got hooked on the game as a 9-year-old caddie at Mt. Odin Golf Course in Greensburg.

Westmoreland County Senior Amateur


at Greensburg Country Club (par 70)

Overall champion - Dave DeNezza, 71.

Open Division: 2. Bob Fontanesi, 73; 3. Bill Baloh, 73; 4. Jim Alcorn.

Low Gross 50-59 Division: 1. Bob Fontanesi, 73.

Low Gross 60-65 Division: 1. Bill Baloh, 73; 2. Jim Alcorn, 79.

Low Gross 66 & Over Division: 1. Harvey Porter, 91; 2. Ted Wohlin, 96.

Low Net 50-59 Division: 1. Dave DeNezza, 68; 2. Bob Fontanesi, 73.

Low Net 60-65 Division: 1. Bill Baloh, 73; 2. John Stepinski, 77.

Low Net 66 & Over Division: 1. Ted Wohlin, 71.

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