LEWISTON, N.Y.- Western New York gets a hit of national spotlight throughout the golf world this month. Over 80 men from around the world will compete in one of the nation's biggest amateur golf tournaments. The 55th annual Porter Cup gets underway at the Niagara Falls Country Club starting July 24th.
Two big Porter Cup names join this year's contest. Tournament Director Steve Denn said he's happy with the turnout of golfers for the 2013 competition. "We're pleased that our past two champions are going to be joining us. In 2011, Patrick Rodgers won so he's going to be coming back trying to win his second Porter Cup. Also defending champ Richy Werenski is going to be in the field as well so we're excited about the field and excited for the tournament," said Denn.
Both Werenski and Rodgers are 21 years old. Werenski will be a senior at Georgia Tech in the fall. This is the defending champion's second Porter Cup. Rodgers is going into his junior year at Stanford.
2013's Porter Cup may put a little more pressure on the players. Steve Denn explains why this tournament could impact future rounds for these players. "The field is shaping up nicely it's a Walker Cup year this year so it puts a little bit more importance on summer tournaments like the Porter Cup. We've got an A list field of players," said Denn. Another name to look out for in this year's Porter Cup is Michael Kim. He was the 2013 NCAA player of the year at the University of California and he'll be a junior in the fall.
This year's field has some other notable names important to the Western New York area. Right now, there are five local players set to compete in the Porter Cup. Michael Carrig is a 2013 Canisius graduate from Buffalo is playing in his second Porter Cup. Orchard Park native Jonathan Clark, Austin Nowak from Lancaster and Patrick Sheedy Jr. from East Amherst are all participating in their first Porter Cup. Finally, Raman Luthra, 29, also from East Amherst will get his fourth try at a Porter Cup Championship. Luthra graduated from George Washington University in 2007.
If players find success in this tournament, it could have a huge impact their career. Steve Denn has seen what the Porter Cup can do, especially just a year ago from last year's champion."It's huge you look at a guy like Richy Werenski last year. I would consider it one of the bigger upsets that has won the Porter Cup. But right after that he gets exemptions into a number of other amateur tournaments and he becomes kind of a household name in amateur golf circles. It certainly boosted his amateur career and his profile," Denn explained.
It all gets started on Wednesday, July 24th with the first round. The tournament goes until the 27th, ending with an awards ceremony to close out the weekend.