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Lancaster, Pa. – On a beautiful early summer day, the Philadelphia PGA traveled into Amish Country and Lancaster County for the 2018 edition of the Conestoga Classic. Even with the heavy rains that came through overnight the golf course was in near perfect condition.
Playing in the tournament’s first pairing, 2017 Conestoga Classic runner-up Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) posted the tournament’s first under par score with a 2-under (68). Bergstol carded three birdies and two bogeys on his outward nine to make the turn at 1-under. As he played his way back to the clubhouse Bergstol carded two additional birdies and one bogey to post his second 1-under split en route to his 2-under overall number.
With the rest of the field to play, Bergstol needed to watch the leaderboard to see if his number was good enough for a win. However as group after group finished it looked as though the closest anyone would get would be even par. The first player to post an even par score was Alex Knoll (Bethlehem Country Club). Knoll had two birdies and two bogeys on his round to finish at even par. The next to join Knoll at that number was Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club). Although Steinmetz had four birdies on his day, his four bogeys would ultimately bring him back to even par. The final player to finish at even par was Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook Country Club). McCormick got off to a fast start with birdies on his first three holes but that is where his luck ran out. McCormick went on to post a bogey on his ninth hole as well as a double bogey on the par-4 12th hole to join the players at even par.
However a player in the tournament’s next to last group had his own plan. Greg Matthias (Tavistock Country Club) played a near perfect round of golf as he made his way around the 6400 yards long golf course. Matthias carded four birdies through his first nine holes to make the turn at 4-under. Matthias quickly added a fifth birdie on the par-5 10th to get to 5-under par. Matthias’ lone bogey came at the par-4 13th hole but he quickly recovered to post two additional birdies on holes 14 and 16 respectively giving him a final score of 6-under (64) and his first Philadelphia PGA points win.
“I felt really good coming into today’s tournament,” said Matthias. “I need to thank my head professional Pat Butkus for helping me out with my posture and putting leading into the round. I had a couple of early birdies and that gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the day. This is my first Section win and it feels great to join the long list of tournament winners in the Philadelphia Section. I also have to thank Robert Leeman and the membership and staff of Conestoga Country Club for their support of this event.”
Leading the way in the tournament’s senior division was a trio of players who all finished with scores of 1-over (71). John Allen (Huntingdon Valley Country Club), Rob Shuey (Colonial Golf Club), and Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York) shared the top spot and will split the first place points in today’s event.
The Conestoga Classic also featured a super senior division. Finishing in the top spot in the super senior division was Don DeAngelis (Center Square Golf Club). DeAngelis carded a 1-under (69) to finish three shots clear of division runner-up George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club). Rounding out the top three was Bill Sautter (Philadelphia Cricket Club) who finished with a score of 3-over (73).
Matthias also took the top spot in the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) event which was taking place at the same time. Matthias once again finished four shots clear of tournament runner-up Brian Bergstol.
The Section would like to thank the members and staff of Conestoga Country Club for hosting our event as well as our tournament sponsors, Jani-King, Golf Max and the PGA Tour.
The Philadelphia PGA will return to action on Tuesday, July 3 at Applebrook Golf Club for the Connelly Cup – Head Professional Championship.
Egg Harbor Township, N.J, – On a near perfect late spring day, 36 teams traveled to the New Jersey shore and Hidden Creek Golf Club for the annual Atlantic City Team Stableford Championship. The championships pairs one PGA Professional with three amateur partners playing a stableford points system competing in both a Net and Gross division.
In the Net division a local team made a late surge to grab the crown. Mark Parson (Harbor Pines GC) and his partners Darren Matik, Casey Klingert, and Alex Clark finished with a total score of 91 points beating out a pair of teams that finished with 86 total points. All members of the team contributed to the overall score but it was the net birdie, eagle, eagle finish on holes 16-18 that sealed their victory.
The team of John Kulhamer (Green Pond CC) and his amateur partners Jason Wilson, Charlie Leon, and Tom Lusto repeated as Gross division champions with an overall score of 77 points. Each member of the team carded natural birdies leading to their two point victory.
The Philadelphia PGA would like to thank our tournament sponsors the Lincoln Motor Company and Morell Studios for their support of the AC Stableford Team Championship. The Philadelphia PGA also thanks the membership and staff of Hidden Creek Golf Club for their continued support. There is a one week break on the Philadelphia PGA calendar with tournament action resuming on Monday, June 25 with the Conestoga Classic.
As a note, twelve members of the Philadelphia PGA will be competing in the 51st PGA Professional Championship June 17-20 at the Bayonet and Black Horse Courses in Seaside, CA. Be sure to follow all of the coverage on www.phillypga.com.
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Pine Hill, N.J. – Heavy overnight rains threatened to cancel the 2018 installment of the Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship but fortunately this year’s event was played at Trump National Philadelphia which boasts a nice sandy soil helping to drain the water quickly. The Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship is the fifth points event on the Philadelphia PGA calendar and is played as an individual stroke play event. The field featured more than 100 Professionals from across the Section and also included members of the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) who were competing in the PAO event which was held in conjunction with today’s Championship. As a note some PAO members were competing in both of the day’s tournaments.
Philadelphia PGA veteran Mark Sheftic (Merion GC) was the first player to separate himself from the field. Sheftic got off to a fast start birdieing four of his opening nine holes. However, as Sheftic played the inward nine he found some trouble on the par-3s, posting a bogey on each, and only found red figures one additional time ultimately finishing with a score of 3-under (68).
However as play turned to the afternoon Sheftic saw his spot at the top of the leaderboard disappear. Fresh off of his win at last week’s 33rd Burlington Classic, Brett Melton (Radley Run CC) was looking to continue his good fortunes at today’s Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship. After an opening hole birdie, Melton found some trouble at the difficult par-4 3rd hole posting a double bogey. However, that would be his only blemish of the day. Melton carded five additional birdies, bringing his total to six, most of any player in the field and finished his round at 4-under (67).
With players still on the course, Melton needed to watch the leaderboard to see if his lead would be good enough to give him his second win of the year. One player in the afternoon forced Melton to watch the leaderboard extra close as he was making a charge up the leaderboard. Michael Tobiason (Deerfield GC) posted four birdies on his outward to make the turn at 4-under. As he made his way back to the clubhouse, Tobiason was able to find another birdie to quickly take a one shot lead. Unfortunately that is where the luck ran out for Tobiason as he bogeyed two of the last three holes to finish at 3-under (68), two shots behind Melton and in a second place tie with Sheftic.
In the senior division, Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) took home the top spot with a score of 2-under (69). Ingraham overcame some early struggles to finish one shot clear of second place finisher Dave Quinn (Philmont CC). Rounding out the podium in the senior division were a pair of players tied at 1-over (72). The first to reach the number was Greg Farrow (Deerwood CC) and was eventually joined by Terry Hertzog (CC of York) who was playing in the tournament’s next to last group.
The super senior division saw a new winner for the first time in the young season. Greg Farrow’s 1-over (73) was good enough for a two shot victory over a trio of super seniors. George Forster (Radnor Valley CC), Gary Hardin (Northampton CC), and Don DeAngelis (Center Square GC) all finished with scores of 3-over (74) to share second place.
Played in conjunction with today’s Championship was a tournament bearing the same name for the Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO). Leading the way in the PAO Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship was Brett Melton (Radley Run CC) who’s 4-under (67) was good enough for a one shot win over Michael Tobiason and Billy Stewart (The ACE Club) who both finished with scores of 3-under (68).
Congratulations to Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook GC) who aced the par-3 2nd hole at Trump National Philadelphia. McCormick used a 7-iron on the par-3, 160 yards long hole to accomplish the feat, his first in competition.
The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors, Jack Jolly & Son and Golf Pride Grips who came out to today’s event. The next event on the Philadelphia PGA calendar is the Atlantic City Team Stableford Championship on Thursday, June 14.
Westampton, N.J. – The second and final round of the 33rd Burlington Classic Pro-Am presented by Beneficial Bank was played on Monday, June 4 at Burlington Country Club. After the opening round Pro-Am, all PGA Professionals and the top three amateur participants returned to complete their 36-hole stroke play tournament.
“The Burlington Classic is a great celebration of the club, its membership and the PGA Professionals of the Philadelphia Section”, said John Hanuscin, Burlington Classic Tournament Chairman.
The second round got underway at 8:40 am with the tournament leaders George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club), Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Club), and Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club) playing in the event’s final pairing at 1:00 pm. With each player posting an opening round 2-under (68) the tournament was sure to provide some fireworks for the gallery of Burlington CC members gathered to watch the action.
Although there were several players within striking distance of the leaders as the tournament progressed, it became a four man race among the overnight leaders and Andrew Turner (Sunnybrook Golf Club). Playing in the second to last group, Turner made his way around the course posting three birdies and four bogeys en route to a 36-hole score of even par (140). While the score would not be good enough for a first place finish it did give Turner a spot in the top three.
Sharing the overnight lead meant Steinmetz knew exactly what was in front of him as he played his second round. After a few early bogeys Steinmetz recovered with three birdies in a four hole stretch to get himself to 3-under for the tournament after the fourteenth hole. However after a double bogey and bogey on holes 15 & 16 respectively, Steinmetz would drop back to even par for the tournament, which is where he finished for a share of third place with Turner.
Both Melton and Forster made the turn with scores of 1-over still sharing the lead as they played the back nine of Burlington Country Club. Forster jumped out to a two shot lead with birdies on holes 10 and 13 but a bogey on the par-4 15th would bring Forster back within striking distance.
With two holes left to play, Melton knew he had to make a move to catch Forster who was still holding a one shot lead. After a great drive, Melton only had 108 yards left to the green. As he grabbed his wedge, he hoped to hit it close and make birdie to join Forster at 2-under. Melton did more than hit it close, he put it in the bottom of the cup. Melton’s eagle vaulted him into the lead as the group headed to the 18th hole. After each player found the fairway off the tee, both found the green in regulation. However, neither was able to convert their birdie putt and settled for par meaning Melton held on to his one shot lead and was crowned the 33rd Burlington Classic Pro-Am presented by Beneficial Bank champion.
“First and foremost I want to thank Mike Mack and the entire staff at Burlington Country Club”, said Melton. “They did a great job getting the course ready for us to play and with the weather we had it was in great shape. As for the tournament I just tried to stay as patient as possible. I knew I needed to do something over the last couple of holes and to hole out for eagle was a bonus. It’s an honor to join the list of winners to have won this event in the past.”
However all was not lost for Forster as his 2-under (138) was good enough for three shot win over second place finisher Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club) who finished at 1-over (141). Rounding out the top three in the senior division was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club) was posted a two-day total of 4-over (144).
Forster also took the top spot in the tournament’s super-senior division which is open to Philadelphia PGA Professionals aged 60 or older.
Congratulations to amateur Eric Sulock who was awarded the Marotto Medal as the tournament’s low amateur after a posting a two-day total of 18-over (158). The Marotto Medal is named in memory of longtime Burlington Country Club member Ron Marotto, who was instrumental in starting the Burlington Classic Pro-Am presented by Beneficial Bank.
The Section would like to thank the membership and staff of Burlington Country Club, title sponsor Beneficial Bank, as well as tournament sponsors Adidas golf, Jani-King and TruMark Financial. The next event on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar is the Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship at Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia.