The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

June 13, 2013

Cavalier, Moran savor Sunnehanna experience

JOHNSTOWN — Golfing at Sunnehanna Country Club is nothing new for Joe Cavalier and Brady Moran.

Cavalier won the club championship in 2012, which earned the Ebensburg resident a first-round starting time Thursday at the 60th Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions.

Moran, a recent graduate of Richland High School, is the reigning Greater Johnstown Open champion. That tournament was contested at Sunnehanna and Moran’s finish gained him entrance into one of amateur golf’s signature events.

“Having the opportunity to represent Johnstown, where I’ve lived my entire life, is a great honor. This tournament is legendary,” Moran said after completing the first round with a nine-over par 79. “I could feel it at the first tee, and I was just happy to get my drive off the tee. After that, I got settled in.”

Chances are none of the 83 competitors know the course better than Cavalier, who finished with a first-round score of 80.

“I really didn’t feel like that was an advantage. Really, (the other players’) games makes up all the advantage I might have being here,” said Cavalier, who added he’s been a member at Sunnehanna for 9-10 years. “The course plays differently.”

One thing Sunnehanna membership provided for Cavalier during the first round was an absence of jitters.

“It was fun. I had a great time,” Cavalier said. “I thought I would feel worse, but I felt pretty good for my first time playing in this.”

Moran, who will golf at Indiana University of Pennsylvania this fall, is using the tournament as an opportunity to learn from some of the best college golfers. And, like Cavalier, Moran has hopes of playing into the weekend.

“This is by far the best competition I’ve faced. Every single person here is good,” Moran said. “If I hit smart shots into the greens, play position golf and make my five-footers, I hope to be around.”

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