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Divots: Rotz overcomes hurdles to begin Pa. Open title defense

August 10, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- — The 97th renewal of the Pennsylvania Open begins Monday at Commonwealth National Golf Club in Horsham, Pa., where Chambersburg’s Clayton Rotz hopes to successfully defend his 2012 championship and claim the Arnold Palmer trophy.

The former Chambersburg High School and Louisiana State University star, who now resides in Baton Rouge, La., is back home for a little golf, something he has not been doing much of this entire season.

“I was sick and I’ve had some nagging injuries so I’m just getting back to full health,” Rotz said.

Playing on the NGA Tour, Rotz has made only one cut, mostly due to his physical stature, which included a couple of broken fingers (hardly the recipe for a successful golf swing).

“Things haven’t gone too well, but I hopefully am over the problems and have been practicing harder than ever,” Rotz said. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

“(Winning the Open) was very important and I was playing well at this time last year,” Rotz said. “I expect to contend.”

Rotz fired a pair of 66s to open the tournament and his final-round 73 gave him a three-stroke victory at Nemacolin Woodlands.

Waynesboro’s Chad Bricker, the 2006 Pa. Amateur champion, finished in a tie for 28th place last year and will also be in the field, teeing off at 8:10 a.m. Rotz starts his round at 8:40.

After the first two rounds, a cut to the low 40 scores and ties will move on to Wednesday’s final round.

Other news
** For many Augusts, Beaver Creek pro Dirk Schultz has competed in the PGA Middle Atlantic PNC Championship with an eye toward qualifying for the national event the following year.

Making it through a 36-hole cut to Wednesday’s final round and qualifying for the 2014 PNC will be Schultz’s goal beginning Monday at the Golden Horseshoe in Williamsburg, Va.

He has qualified eight times, most recently one year ago that got him a position in the PNC last month in Sunriver, Ore.

Schultz had a successful venture to Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, Va., on Monday and Tuesday at The Holden Cup Pro-Am.
In the Pro Series on Tuesday, Schultz took first place with a strong 6-under-par 66, his second win of the year.

“Considering it was against my peers in the chapter, this is as big a win in the last 10 years I’ve had,” Schultz said.

** Hagerstown’s Ashley Grier recently finished in a tie for second place in the MSGA Assistants Championship at Piedmont Club in Haymarket, Va.

Grier, shot a 3-under-par 141 for two days with rounds of 72 and 69.

On Thursday, Grier shot a 74 and tied Randi Miller at the top spot before winning the first hole of a playoff for the EP Pro Women’s Championship title.

Grier, now an assistant pro at Columbia Country Club in Columbia, Md., won the event for the second straight year.

 ** The 27th Mid-Amateur Championship, conducted by the Maryland State Golf Association, takes place Monday and Tuesday.

Local players in the field include Greg Henry, Ken Lampard, Steve Ligi, Randall Finn and Ray Sheedy, who plays out of Beaver Creek and is the defending champion.

The tournament will be played on the West Course at Baltimore Country Club.

** Chris Hafner, John Troxler, Keith Shindle and Jim Grumbine are the foursome that will represent Beaver Creek in Monday’s MSGA Club Team Net stroke play championship.

The tournament will be played on the tough South Course at Woodmont Country Club.

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