LEWISTON, N.Y. (July 27, 2013) -- If you didn’t know any better, you’d think you happened upon the latest mini-tour stop.
The ropes, the parking, the shuffling galleries. The only difference? Perhaps the players on the course are a tad bit better than those at your typical mini tour event.
And so it goes for the Porter Cup, one of the amateur game’s best events.
What makes the Porter Cup different than, say, the Northeast Amateur, the Sunnehanna or any of the other summer invitationals hosting the cream of the crop in the collegiate and amateur golf worlds?
Tournament director Steve Denn thinks it might be the perfect location.
“Buffalo doesn’t have a tour stop,” he said. “Aside from Oak Hill and the PGA Championship this year, this is the best golf our area will see.”
There’s no doubt that the location is also marquee for the families and friends of the players that make up the field.
“Being so close to Niagara Falls is great for us,” Denn said. “It makes for a nice vacation for people visiting.”
There’s no official attendance records as the event is free to the public. But judging from the gallery sizes making their way across the course --- and the fact that it’s been that way since Wednesday’s first round --- it’s safe to say the Porter Cup is a well-attended event.
The event, of course, isn’t only different and appealing to fans; it’s a winner in the eyes of the players, too.
“To me, it’s about the people,” said Skip Berkmeyer, who played in his ninth straight Porter Cup. “Here, they’re great and that’s what it’s all about. There might be better courses on the rotation but not better people.”
Fellow mid-amateur Todd White, a player under consideration for one of the USGA’s two designated mid-amateur spots for September’s Walker Cup, echoed the sentiment.
“It’s a great field but the people here are so nice,” White said. “We have a lot of good events and courses to play but if the community isn’t involved, it loses something. To see some of the large groups following the final groups is a testament to how they think of golf in the Niagara area.”