Stultz will be missed among local golf enthusiasts

Central Pennsylvania’s golfing community lost one of its pillars earlier this week with the passing of Scott Stultz.

The Hollidaysburg-native was a standout on the Penn State golf team for legendary golf coach Joe Boyle before graduating in 1959. According to Bob McGregor, Stultz was the area’s first ‘scratch’ golfer, and he would go on to become the dominant force in area golf events throughout the 1960s.

Stultz’s many golfing accomplishments included club championship titles at Blairmont (1965,66,67), Park Hills (1967) and Scotch Valley Country Club (1990,91), the 1966 Central Counties Individual Championship and a record four Blairmont Invitational titles (1960,61,62,65), the most prestigious event in our area.

Stultz was unable to play golf in recent years but could still be found at Scotch Valley golf course on most summer days where he remained the Hollidaysburg Golden Tigers No. 1 golf fan.

When I first met Stultz more than 35 years ago, he was known for presenting an intimidating persona. After getting to know him, though, his true personality couldn’t be denied. Stultz was one of the kindest, most-thoughtful, intelligent gentlemen I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. Anyone who knew him well delighted in sharing the same sentiment.

In recent years, Stultz was extremely kind to me as a source of historical golf information, spending countless hours of his time recounting the innumerable events I would quiz him on.

The golfing community will sorely miss Scott Stultz … I know I surely will.

Cheating accusation

It’s almost unheard of for a professional golfer to accuse a fellow pro of cheating — especially in a public forum. However, that’s exactly what PGA Tour pro Joe Dahmen did earlier this week when he shared what happened during the final round of the Quicken Loans National Event on Sunday.

Using his Twitter account, Dahmen accused fellow touring pro Sung Kang of taking an improper drop on the tournament’s par-5, 10th hole.

The shot in question involved a 200-yard carry over a water hazard, and when his ball landed short, Kang claimed the ball had actually crossed the hazard and bounced back into it.

Dahmen vehemently denied Kang’s claim, which allowed for a drop right next to the green instead of nearly 200 yards further back.

Tour officials were called in to referee the situation since the two pros were in disagreement. With no video evidence, the officials allowed Kang to proceed on the honor system, enabling him to take the favorable drop adjacent to the green. From there, Kang promptly saved his par and finished in a tie for second place (high enough for Kang to qualify for the British Open).

Subsequent reports by tournament volunteers seem to confirm Dahmen’s view that the ball never crossed the hazard.

It’s commendable that Dahmen took such a strong stance — it’s every golfer’s responsibility to protect the field and to make sure that fellow competitors are abiding by the rules. I’m not sure I would have done it in such a public a place as the Twitter world, but you have to respect Dahmen’s commitment to what he believed in.

Hinish qualifies

Iron Masters’ Spencer Hinish recently qualified for the West Penn Open after surviving a playoff for the final spot during play at Green Oaks Country Club in Verona.

Hinish finished regulation play with an even par score of 71 and sank a 15-foot par-saving putt on the first playoff hole to stave off elimination. Hinish finally claimed his spot with a 30-foot birdie putt on the event’s third playoff hole. This was the first-ever WPGA event for Hinish, who teamed with his father, Ron, to win the 2016 Iron Masters Best-Ball event.

I’ve been fortunate to play a good bit of golf with Hinish over the past several years, and I must say that he has as much raw talent and potential as any golfer in the area. Earning a spot in this year’s West Penn Open is especially exciting as the tournament will be held at the historic Oakmont Country Club (July 16-18).

Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. He can be reached at gltr777@atlanticbb.net.

COMMENTS