Month: October 2018

Philadelphia PGA’s 2018 Season Comes to an Unofficial End at Annual Fall Meeting

Bethlehem, Pa. – Each season a pair of meetings bookend the Philadelphia PGA season and on Monday, October 29 the Section held its annual Fall Meeting signaling the unofficial end to the 2018 season. This year’s Fall Meeting was held at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pa. and brought together more than 200 Philadelphia PGA professionals. Section meetings allow leadership to discuss the business of the Philadelphia PGA as well as to publically recognize Section professionals for their accomplishments.

The meeting was highlighted by presentations from each of the Section’s Executive Committee members recapping the all facets of Section operations. Additionally, the Section also formally recognized the three newest members of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame; Tom Carpus, Pete Micklewright, and Herb Jewson. With the announcement coming in late September this was the first time for these individuals to be introduced in front of their peers. Previous Hall of Fame Press Release.

The meeting also featured presentations from several of the Section’s Fall Meeting sponsors; Cobra/Puma Golf, Signature Golf, Golf Cart Services, Open Rounds, and the Section newest partner the SVS Wealth Management Team at Morgan Stanley. Finally Dr. Wang of the Rothman Institute spoke on the best practices for preventing and treating golf related injuries.

The Section also recognized several players for the year-long performances by handing out the Player of the Year awards. Leading the way on the Omega Player of Year presented by The Haverford Trust Company points list was newly crowned Section Champion Billy Stewart (The ACE Club). Stewart’s season included several top-10 finishes culminating with his first Section Championship. He also won the Philadelphia Open all leading to his first Player of the Year title. Stewart finished ahead of a couple of past player of the champions in Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Club) and Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club) who finished second and third respectively.

On the senior side, Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club) was awarded the Robert “Skee” Riegel Senior Player of the Year, his first senior player of the year title. It also marked the first time in seven years that a new name was atop the senior player of the year leaderboard. McNabb had multiple senior wins but none was bigger than his first Senior Section Championship title in August. Also by virtue of his finish at the Senior PGA Professional Championship, McNabb qualified for the 2019 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club next May. Rounding out the senior player of the year awards were Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club) and George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club).

In the newly created Super Senior Player of the Year points list, George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club) was crowned its inaugural champion. Finishing in second place was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club) while Don DeAngelis (Center Square Golf Club) rounded out the podium.

The Section’s Howard “Ike” Turner Most Improved Player went to Michael Wheeler (Whitford Country Club) who improved more than 100 spots from his 2017 finish on the Omega Player of the Year presented by The Haverford Trust Company points list. Wheeler also lowered his scoring average by more than four shots finishing with a scoring average of 74.86 during the 2018 season.

At the conclusion of the meeting 68 two person teams made their way to beautiful Saucon Valley Country Club for the Fall Meeting Pro-Pro Scramble. With the size of the field teams were split between Saucon Valley’s Old and Grace courses where they competed in separate events. Leading the way on the Old Course was the pair of Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Resort) and Joe Kogelman (GolfTEC – Moorestown) who posted a 9-under (62) to win by one shot. On the Grace Course it was the team of Michael Caldwell (Bidermann GC) and Keith Clawson (Bidermann GC) who took home the top spot after posting a 12-under (60).

Fall Meeting Pro-Pro Scramble

Little Captures First Match Play Title

Lafayette Hill, Pa – For the third and final day of the 2018 Match Play Championship the Philadelphia PGA returned to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. After two exciting days of golf the field was whittled down from having 64 players to just four all looking to capture the 2018 season’s final point’s event.

In the morning semi-final matches Brett Melton (Radley Run CC) beat Billy Stewart (ACE Club) 2 up and Michael Little (Lookaway GC) beat Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford CC) 3&1 to set up the final match of Brett Melton and Michael Little.

Little seemed to have the match under control after 9 holes, he was 2 up. After 13, Little was 4 up with 5 holes to go but Melton started to mount a comeback. Melton won 15, 16, 17 to be back by one with one to play. The par 5, 18th green proved to be too difficult for Melton when he 3 putted to lose the match.

“I want to thank Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for a great last three days, the course was in great shape. I played 6 tough matches against great players and it feels good to win the final event of the season. I would also like to thank Chuck Rininger and the members of Lookaway Golf Club for letting me play and I am looking forward to the next year.” Michael Little (Lookaway GC)

Congratulations also go to Billy Stewart (ACE Club).  By making it to the semifinals he was able to lock up the Omega Player of the Year for the 2018 season.

The next event on Philadelphia PGA calendar is the annual Fall Meeting which, this year, is being held at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA. The meeting is a chance for the Section’s officers to update the membership on all business matters. Following the meeting there will be a Pro-Pro Scramble at Saucon Valley Country Club.

The Section would like to thank the membership and staff at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for their hospitality during the week. The Section also thanks event sponsors Omega and the PGA Tour for their continued support of our tournament program.

Final Match Play Bracket

Final Four in Match Play Championship

Lafayette Hill, Pa. – The third and fourth rounds of the 2018 Match Play Championship were played on a near perfect fall day at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. After surviving the tournament’s first day, 16 players returned in hopes of continuing their success for a second consecutive day.

The third round started in the morning where 16 players battled for a spot in the fourth round in the afternoon. The players that made it through to the next round were Greg Farrow 17. (Deerwood CC) versus Rich Steinmetz 9. (Spring Ford CC), Zachary Kempa 36. (Chester Valley GC) versus Michael Little 5. (Lookaway GC), Brett Melton 3. (Radley Run CC) versus Zack Oakley 11. (Waynesborough CC).

After grabbing a quick lunch, the remaining 8 players returned to the golf course for the quarterfinal matches. The first Pro to punch their ticket to the semifinals was Rich Steinmetz. Steinmetz defeated Farrow in their match 1 up. Steinmetz will play Michael Little (Lookaway GC) who defeated Kempa 4&2. Billy Stewart would defend his number 2 stop by defeating Swartz 2&1. Stewart will play Brett Melton who defeated Zac Oakley 4&3.

The third and final day of the Match Play Championship will be held Wednesday, October 24. The final four players will get their semifinal matches underway in the morning with the championship match set to be played in the afternoon.

The Philadelphia PGA continues to thank the membership and staff of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for their support of the Match Play Championship. The Section also thanks our tournament sponsors Omega and the PGA Tour for supporting the Philadelphia PGA tournament program.

Turnpike Cup Returns to Philadelphia

Fleetwood, Pa. -Twenty-four golf professionals arrived at Moselem Springs Golf Club yesterday morning ready to tee it up in the Turnpike Cup.  This event is match play with two teams of twelve representing the Philadelphia Section PGA and the New Jersey Section PGA.  Unfortunately for both teams, mother nature had other ideas, covering the entire course with the first frost of the season.  After an hour delay, the matches finally began.

The Philadelphia Section was represented in the first match by Mike Moses (Concord CC) and Bill Sautter (Philadelphia Cricket Club) playing as the two seniors for the team.  They were followed by Billy Stewart, (ACE Club) current leader in the race for Omega Player of the Year, with Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn and GR), Trevor Bensel (Overbrook GC) with Tony Perla (Phila PGA), Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) with Scott Reilly (Philadelphia Country Club), Steve Swartz (Out Door GC) with Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook GC) and Kevin Nicholson (Phila PGA) with Rob Shuey (Colonial GC).  Each team played a four-ball match (better ball of partners) against the New Jersey team, while playing an individual match against one of the partners simultaneously.  There was a total of 18 points up for grabs with the Philadelphia team needing 9 1/2 points to win the Cup back.

The matches were all very close, but, in the end, the Cup is back in Philadelphia, for the first time in three years, with a 12-6 victory.

We would like to thank Manager/Director of Golf at Moselem, Eric Shillinger for hosting this event and Dunning Golf for supplying today’s uniforms.

The final event in the race for the title of Omega Player of the Year will be the Match Play Championship which will begin on Monday at Whitemarsh Valley CC and conclude with the finals on Wednesday afternoon.

DiMarco and Kogelman Capture Second McQuiston

Philadelphia, Pa. – The 15th annual McQuiston Sr. Pro – Jr. Pro Championship was held at Bala Golf Club on Thursday, October 18th. The event, named in honor of longtime PGA Professional and past Philadelphia PGA President Henry McQuiston, pairs one senior PGA Professional (age 50 and older) with one PGA Professional in a four-ball, better ball of partners, tournament. This is the first year the event has been played without Henry McQuiston as he passed away shortly after the event last year.

On a chilly, fall afternoon 30 teams gathered at Bala GC, which is the only private golf facility within Philadelphia city limits, to compete in this annual event.  With the tournament’s shotgun start, scores were coming in fast at the end of the day with the score to beat a 6-under par (62). The team posting the low score of the day was John DiMarco (Laurel Creek CC) and Joe Kogelman (GolfTEC Moorestown). The duo shot 3-under par (30) on the way out and had 3 back-to-back birdies on the back nine to shoot 3-under par (32) for a total of 62 for the tournament.

One stroke back, in 2nd place was the team from The ACE Club, Linda Nevatt and Billy Stewart finishing at 5-under par (63).  The pair posted six birdies with only one bogey to finish 5-under-par.Three teams tied for 3rd place posting a score of 4-under-par (64) Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook GC) and Dave Quinn (Philmont CC), Mark Sheftic (Merion GC) and Rick Flesher (Applebrook GC), Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn and GR) and Terry Hatch (Hidden Valley GC).

The Section would like to thank the membership of Bala Golf Club for their support of this great event. Additionally, the Section thanks Vineyard Vines and Mr. Cory Creland for providing gifts to all participants. The Philadelphia Section PGA will be back to action to face the New Jersey Section tomorrow at Moselem Springs Golf Club for the Turnpike Cup.

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Bergstol Blisters Course En Route to Shawnee Open Victory

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Shawnee on Delaware, PA – The 67th installment of the Shawnee Open was played on Sunday, October 7 – Monday, October 8 at historic Shawnee Inn and Resort. The tournament, which first began in 1912, features a venerable list of past champions. Although the tournament has been postponed for a variety of reasons throughout its history, it has been contested every year in its current format since 1998 (2006 & 2011 flooding canceled tournament). This year’s tournament featured forty-five competitors from across the Philadelphia Section.

The opening round of the tournament felt less like an October afternoon and more like a late summer day. Playing in the tournament first pairing, Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn) posted the number for everyone to chase. Bergstol posted seven birdies and one double bogey en route to an opening round 5-under (67).

At the end of the opening day his closest competition came from a trio of players who finished with scores of 3-under (67). The first to reach the number was current Omega Player of the Year Points leader Billy Stewart (The ACE Club). Stewart was quickly joined by Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club) and 2007 Shawnee Open champion Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range). Four additional players sat just three shots back after finishing with scores of 2-under (70) on day one.

As play headed into today’s second round, the weather changed dramatically with temperatures hovering around 60 degrees and an on and off misty rain. The weather didn’t cool off Bergstol however as he added another great round with six more birdies and an eagle finishing with a stretch of five threes in a row for a second round score of 8-under (64) and a two-day total of 13-under (131). Bergstol’s pursuers tried to keep pace but in the end his impressive score proved too much to overcome.

After getting it to 5-under for the day, Billy Stewart found some trouble on the par-3 16th hole and dropped back to 4-under for the day and 7-under for the tournament, which is where he finished at the end of the day. Although he did not match Bergstol at the top of the leaderboard, Stewart’s 7-under (137) was good enough for a solo second place finish.

Trailing Bergstol by two shots heading into the final round, Dave Quinn was within striking distance if he could put together a solid round. Quinn did manage to card four birdied in the second round but a double bogey on the tenth hole dropped him from contention and he finished with a 36-hole total of 5-under (139) giving him a fourth place finish. While Quinn fell short in the regular division his 5-under (139) was good enough for the top spot in the Senior Division.

The biggest move of the day came from Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook Golf Club). McCormick followed up his opening round 1-under (71) with an impressive 5-under (67). McCormick played a flawless second round highlighted by five birdies helping him to vault into a third place finish with a two-day total of 6-under (138).

Rounding out the podium behind Quinn in the Senior Division was Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club). McNabb finished five shot better in his second round moving him six spots up the senior leaderboard and into a second place finish. Finishing third in the senior division was George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club) who followed up his opening round even par finish with a second round 2-under (70) giving him a 2-under (142) total. Forster also took the top spot in the tournament’s Super Senior Division.

The Section thanks the membership and staff of Shawnee Inn and Resort for their continued support of the Philadelphia PGA and the tournament program. The Section returns to action on Thursday, October 11 at Bala Golf Club for the McQuiston Sr. Pro – Jr. Pro Championship.

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Ambrose and Turner Edge the Field at the Fall Pro-Pro Championship

Elverson, Pa. – After a seemingly endless summer of rain, a well-deserved day of sunshine greeted all the teams in the field at French Creek Golf Club for the Fall Pro-Pro Championship. The Pro-Pro Championship pairs two PGA Professionals together in a Four Ball or better ball of partners event. Adding some fun to today’s event, the Philadelphia PGA took a page from the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic and introduced teams with music selected prior to the event.

Setting the pace early in the tournament was the pair of Sam Ambrose (Aronimink Golf Club) and Andrew Turner (Sunnybrook Golf Club). The team got off to a nice start with birdies on three of their first nine holes. However, the pair really made their mark on the back nine at French Creek carding two eagles and two birdies posting 6-under on the inward nine to finish with a team score of 9-under (62) and would now have to wait and see if their score was good enough for a win.

Although teams came close, at the end of the tournament no team was able pass Ambrose and Turner for the top spot. However, a pair of teams shared second place after finishing one shot behind the first place team.

The first team to finish with a score of 8-under (63) was John Allen (Huntingdon Valley Country Club) and Trevor Bensel (Overbrook Golf Club). As a team, Allen and Bensel carded one eagle and eight birdies. Unfortunately for the pair it was a pair of bogeys, including one on the penultimate hole that ultimately dropped them from contention.

The second team to finish with a team score of 8-under (63) was the pair of Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) and Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club). With a birdie on their first hole, Ingraham and Quinn got off to a fast start however they only managed to add two more birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 3-under. The duo did have more luck on their inward nine carding five additional birdies but their luck ran out on the 17th hole and in the end they fell one shot short of the leaders.

The Section thanks the membership and staff of French Creek Golf Club for hosting the Fall Pro-Pro Championship. We also thank our tournament partners Club Prophet Systems, Sun Mountain, Morell Studios, Evolve Golf, Anderson Ord, and the PGA Tour for supporting the tournament program,

The Section gets back to action tomorrow, Tuesday, October 2 for the annual renewal of the Philadelphia Challenge Cup Matches. The event pits 12 Philadelphia PGA Professionals against 12 of the top amateurs from the Golf Association of Philadelphia in a Ryder Cup style event. This year’s matches will be played at Lehigh Country Club.

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