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Blue Bell, Pa. – On Monday, October 23, the Philadelphia PGA season came to an unofficial end as the Section held its annual Fall Meeting, which, this year, was hosted by Cedarbrook Country Club. The meeting brought together nearly 225 Section Professionals to discuss the Section’s business affairs from the past year. One of the most important issues on the meeting slate was the Section’s biennial elections.
With names brought forth from the Section’s nominating committee, the Section conducted elections for both the Executive Committee and six district directors. The Section is excited to announce that the following Professionals were elected by acclamation to serve the members of the Philadelphia PGA.
President – John Rogers, PGA – Victory Golf
Vice President – Jeff Kiddie, PGA – Aronimink GC
Secretary – Patrick Shine, PGA – Commonwealth National GC
Director of Section Affairs – Chip Richter, PGA – Carlisle CC
Director of Tournaments – Robert Hennefer, PGA – Indian Spring GC
District 1 Director – Kevin Duffy, PGA – Riverton CC
District 2 Director – Anthony Malizia, PGA – Bidermann GC
District 3 Director – Jason Gebhart, PGA – Outdoor CC
District 4 Director – Dustin McCormick, PGA – Glen Brook GC
District 5 Director – Brett Nelson, PGA – Moselem Springs GC
District 6 Director – Eric Schultz, PGA – Sunnybrook CC
District 6 Director – Eric Kennedy, PGA – Overbrook CC
The Executive Committee gained two new additions as both Robert Hennefer and Chip Richter moved from their District Director roles to join the team. With the exception of Eric Kennedy, the remaining elected District Directors will all be serving their first terms. Finally, after his two year run as President of the Philadelphia PGA, Ian Dalzell will now serve as the Section’s Honorary President while John Pillar will join the ranks of the Section’s Past Presidents.
The Section was also privileged to have PGA of America President Paul Levy in attendance to serve as the meeting’s keynote speaker. Levy addressed the meeting attendees touching on various important topics affecting all PGA Professionals before opening of the floor to questions.
In addition to the conducting the business of the Section, the meeting is also a chance for the Section to recognize all of the year-end award winners. Leading the way on the Omega Player of the Year Points List was first time winner and Section newcomer Brett Melton (Radley Run CC). Melton had multiple wins in 2017 including the Pro-Am for Wishes and the Shawnee Open. Melton was also awarded bonus points for finishing with the season’s lowest scoring average, 69.44, also giving him the DeBaufre Scoring Average crown. Melton finished 300 points ahead of second place finisher Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) who in addition to multiple top ten finishes also claimed victory at the Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship. Rounding out the top three was Dave Quinn (Philmont CC) who earned a win at the 2017 Conestoga Classic.
Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) continued his streak as the Robert “Skee’ Riegel Senior Player of the Year award bringing his consecutive title streak to eight in a row. Ingraham had multiple senior wins which in the end propelled him to a more than 1,000 point lead in the senior player of the year race. Finishing second to Ingraham was Dave Quinn (Philmont CC). Quinn also had multiple senior wins in 2017 however none was bigger than his first Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship. Newly minted senior player, John Pillar (CC of Woodloch Spring) rounded out the top three in his first year of eligibility.
The Section’s Howard “Ike” Turner Most Improved Player went to Michael Caldwell (Biderman GC). Caldwell improved his position on the Omega Player of the Year points list by nearly 100 places to finish 2017 in the 40th position. Caldwell also dropped his scoring average by three shots while increasing his tournament participation.
The Section’s Comeback Player of the Year went to Billy Stewart (The ACE Club). After finishing inside the top 10 on the 2015 Omega Player of the Year Leaderboard injuries plagued Stewart during the 2016 season. However the time away did not hurt Stewart this past season and even though he had not played competitive golf in over a year, he was nearly a top 10 player in 2017 finishing 12th place on the final Omega Player of the Year standings.
After the meeting was adjourned almost 50 two person teams headed out to compete in the season’s final event, the Fall Meeting Foursomes. The foursome format was select drive-alternate shot and in the end the pair of Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) and Jason Calhoun (Univ. of Pennsylvania) finished at 4-under (68) to earn a one shot victory over the field.
Concordville, Pa. – For the third consecutive day the Philadelphia PGA returned to Concord Country Club to for the 2017 Match Play Championship. After two exciting days of golf the field was whittled down from 64 players to just four all looking to capture the season’s final point’s event.
The first semifinal match featured Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club) and Trevor Bensel (Huntingdon Valley Country Club). Early in the match the players battled back and forth with each gaining no more than a hole advantage. However with a win on the short par-4 5th hole, Bensel grabbed a 1-up lead and would never relinquish it back. In the end, Bensel closed out Farrow on the 17th hole to win 2&1 and advanced to the finals.
In the second semifinal match Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) w battled the 2017 Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic champion Andrew Turner (Sunnybrook Golf Club). After winning the first hole to grab a quick 1-up lead, Bergstol did not win another hole until the par-5 14th hole. After taking the lead on the 4th hole, Turner increased his advantage to as much as 4-up before closing out Bergstol on the 16th hole to win 3&2 and set up a finals match with Bensel.
Bensel’s road to the finals featured wins over John Rudolph (2&1), Mickey Sokalski (2-up), Tom Michaels (2&1) and Jakob Gerney (4&3) before his win over Farrow in the semifinals. Turner had wins over Jimmy Maack (5&4), Carson Solien (4&3), Michael Caldwell (4&3) and Dave Quinn (1-up) before beating Bergstol to advance to the finals.
As the finals match got underway, Bensel got off to a quick start with a win on the first hole to grab a quick 1-up lead. However, his lead did not last long as Bensel dropped the second hole to Turner after making a bogey. But after that dropped hole, Bensel went on to win five consecutive holes to lead the match 5-up through seven holes. Turner cut into the lead with a win on the par-3 8th hole before the pair traded pars on the 9th hole giving Bensel a 4-up lead after nine holes.
After making the turn, the pair traded wins with Bensel grabbing the 10th hole and Turner winning the par-3 11th with a birdie. After halving the 12th hole the pair once again traded holes with Bensel winning the par-4 13th and Turner grabbing the par-5 14th. The pair both parred the par-3 15th hole but with the match dormie the halved hole gave Bensel the match 4&3. The win was Bensel’s first Philadelphia PGA tournament win.
“It’s definitely exciting to get my first Philly PGA tournament win”, said Bensel of his Match Play win. “I play matches with the guys at Huntingdon Valley all the time so it’s a format I am comfortable with. I played well in my early matches which gave me a lot of confidence. I want to thank Mike Moses and everyone at Concord Country Club for a great week as well as all of the tournament sponsors for their support.”
The Section would like to thank the membership and staff at Concord 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.
The next on the Philadelphia PGA calendar is the annual Fall Meeting which, this year, is being held at Cedarbrook Country Club. The meeting is a chance for the Section’s officers to update the membership on all business matters. After the meeting will be the Fall Meeting foursome event, the final tournament of the 2017 season.
Concordville, Pa. – The third and fourth rounds of the 2017 Match Play Championship were played on a near perfect fall day at beautiful Concord Country Club. After surviving the tournament’s first day, 16 players returned in hopes of continuing their success for a second consecutive day.
The morning highlights included the continued run of Mike Furey (Mahoning Valley Country Club) who upset the top overall seed Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Cub) 4&3 to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in his career. That was the only upset in the morning matches as the remaining seven matches all went to the higher seeded player.
After grabbing a quick lunch, the remaining 8 players returned to the golf course for their quarterfinal matches. The first player to punch his ticket to the semifinals was Trevor Bensel (Huntingdon Valley Country Club), who as the 36th seed is the lowest remaining seed to advance. Bensel managed to advance after beating match play veteran Jakob Gerney (Trump National – Philadelphia) 4&3. The next player to join the semifinals was Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) who battled Ingraham to a 1-up victory which included both players making impressive birdies putts on their 18th hole. Next to join the semifinals was Andrew Turner (Sunnybrook Golf Club) who battled from three holes down to overtake Quinn and win the match 1-up. The final player to advance to the third day was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club). Farrow battled Furey through four extra holes to ultimately win the match on the 22nd hole.
The third and final day of the Match Play Championship will be held Thursday, October 20. The final four players will get their semifinal matches underway at 9:00 AM with the championship match set to be played in the afternoon.
Despite not making it past today’s third round, Brett Melton still managed to earn enough points to secure his first Omega Player of the Year point’s title. Melton will be formally recognized for his performance at Monday’s Fall Meeting at Cedarbrook Country Club.
The Philadelphia PGA continues to thank the membership and staff of Concord 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.
Philadelphia, Pa. – The annual McQuiston Sr. Pro – Jr. Pro Championship was held at Bala Golf Club on Thursday, October 12. The event, named in honor of longtime PGA Professional and past Philadelphia PGA President Henry McQuiston, pairs one Sr. PGA Professional (age 50 and older) with one PGA Professional in a four-ball, better ball of partners, tournament. With a shotgun start all teams got their rounds underway at 12:00PM with teams battling tough fall-like weather throughout the day.
As teams began to finish, the pair of Jim Muschiltz (Southmoore Golf Club) and Sean Szerencsits (Southmoore Golf Club) quickly rose to the top of the leaderboard. The pair got off to a shaky start as they traded a birdie for a bogey on their opening holes. However, they turned things around quickly adding seven additional birdies including five on holes 1-9 to finish with a team score of 7-under (61).
Unfortunately for the pair their time alone at the top of the leaderboard did not last long. The duo of Dustin McCormick (Glen Brook Golf Club) and Dave Quinn (Philmont Country Club) managed an equally impressive score of 7-under (61) to join in the fun. McCormick and Quinn also got off to a slow start but in the end managed to card eight birdies, including a stretch of four consecutive on their last four holes, against one bogey to share the top spot.
With both teams tied at 7-under at the end of regulation they headed back out to the 18th tee for the first hole of the sudden death playoff. After their approach shots all four players found the green meaning each team had two putts for a birdie. The putts from both McCormick & Muschiltz came up just short before Quinn drained his 15 footer for birdie. Despite his best effort, Szerencsits’ birdie putt just missed as it rolled over the left edge giving McCormick & Quinn the title.
Rounding out the podium Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) and Andy Watters (Talamore GC) finished two shots back in solo third place with a score of 5-under (63). The duo is a perennial favorite and with each player contributing to the overall team score it is no surprise that they have finished inside the top-5 each of the past three years.
The Section would like to thank the membership of Bala Golf Club for their support. Additionally, the Section thanks Vineyard Vines and Mr. Cory Creland for providing gifts to all participants. The Section will return to action on Tuesday, October 17 for the Match Play Championship at Concord Country Club.
The Fall Meeting on October 23rd will take place at Cedarbrook Country Club. Our Keynote speaker will be PGA of America President, Paul Levy. President Levy will discuss the past season and the upcoming PGA Annual meeting along with other Association and industry trends. Please be sure to join us as we close the 2017 Season, celebrate the great play of our Section and Junior Tour Members and hear from our Association’s Leadership.
The deadline to register for the Fall Meeting is Monday, October 16th at 5:00pm. The registration fee will increase by $25 after the deadline so if you are planning on attending please register as soon as you can.
Golf will follow the meeting and a light reception will follow golf. In addition, please see the 2017 Fall Meeting NEW Business Form (Download). If you would like anything to be discussed, please submit the form prior to the October 18th, 2017 deadline.
Please take this opportunity to register for the meeting on line:
We look forward to seeing all of you.
Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pa. – The 2017 edition of the Shawnee Open was played at the historic Shawnee Inn & Resort. The Shawnee Open has been in existence since 1912, although not always run by the Philadelphia PGA. This year’s edition of the Shawnee Open was the 12th event in the race for the Omega Player of the Year presented by the Haverford Trust Company and was originally scheduled to be played as a 36-hole tournament. However, persistent rains ultimately shortened the tournament to an 18-hole event which still allowed the Section to crown a champion.
Playing early in the first round, past champion of the Shawnee Open Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club) set the pace. Sheftic played bogey-free carding five birdies along the way to post an impressive 5-under (67) and quickly positioned himself at the top of the leaderboard.
Not far behind Sheftic, Mike Furey (Mahoning Valley Country Club) also found some magic in the tournament’s opening round. Furey was able to overcome a bogey on the final hole of his outward nine by carding four birdies as he made his way back to the clubhouse. Those four birdies combined with two birdies on his opening nine holes got Furey to the 5-under (67) number allowing him to join Sheftic at the top of the leaderboard.
Unfortunately for both Sheftic and Furey there was another player in the field who played a near perfect round of golf. Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Club) was playing in his first Shawnee Open but his performance was that of a seasoned veteran. Melton made the turn at 1-under par but that is when things got exciting. Melton added five additional birdies on consecutive holes (12-16) and finished the opening round with a score of 6-under (66).
Although the tournament was shaping for an exciting day two finish, the work done by Melton in the tournament’s opening round ultimately allowed him to capture his second Philadelphia PGA title (Pro-Am for Wishes). The win also vaulted Melton into the top spot on the Omega Player of the Year leaderboard with only the Match Play Championship left to determine this year’s player of the year.
Although Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) came up just short in the tournament’s main division after finishing at 4-under (68) he did manage to walk away with a two-shot victory over John Pillar (Country Club of Woodloch Springs) in the tournament senior division, further increasing his lead in the Robert “Skee” Riegel Senior Player of the Year race.
The Shawnee Open was the fourth and final event to feature a super senior division. The super senior division was sponsored by Jani-King and only Philadelphia PGA Professionals age 65 or older are eligible. Finishing in first place in the super senior division was Gary Hardin (Northampton Country Club) who finished at 2-over (74) one shot ahead of Bill Sautter (Philadelphia Cricket Club).
The Section would like to thank the staff of the Shawnee Inn and Resort for their support of the event as well as our event sponsor Golf Cart Specialties.
1 Brett Melton Radley Run CC 35-31--66 -6 T2 Mark Sheftic Merion GC 34-33--67 -5 T2 Mike Furey Mahoning Valley CC 35-32--67 -5 4 Stu Ingraham M Golf Range 35-33--68 -4 5 Zac Oakley Heritage Shores GC 33-36--69 -3 T6 Brian Bergstol Shawnee Inn and GR 36-34--70 -2 T6 Kevin Edwards Olde Homestead GC 35-35--70 -2 T6 John Pillar CC at Woodloch Springs 32-38--70 -2 T6 Kevin Kraft Bumble Bee Hollow 35-35--70 -2 T10 Michael Little Lookaway GC 35-36--71 -1 T10 Rick LeBeau Gulph Mills GC 33-38--71 -1 T12 Scott Reilly Philadelphia CC 34-38--72 E T12 Don Allan Burlington CC 36-36--72 E T14 John Spina Philadelphia Cricket Club 35-38--73 +1 T14 John Allen Huntingdon Valley CC 36-37--73 +1 T14 Eric Kennedy Overbrook GC 35-38--73 +1 T14 Jeff Fick Chapel Hill GC 37-36--73 +1 T14 Blake Hinckley (a) 38-35--73 +1 T14 Jordan Gibbs Gulph Mills GC 38-35--73 +1 T14 Pat Butkus Overbrook GC 37-36--73 +1 T14 Rich Steinmetz Spring Ford CC 34-39--73 +1 T14 Joe Kogelman GolfTEC Moorestown 35-38--73 +1 T23 Dave Quinn Philmont CC 34-40--74 +2 T23 Gary Hardin Northampton CC 34-40--74 +2 T23 John Roche CC at Woodloch Springs 39-35--74 +2 T23 Vincent Kabaso Cleveland Golf 39-35--74 +2 T27 Bill Sautter Philadelphia Cricket Club 37-38--75 +3 T27 Dustin McCormick Glen Brook GC 41-34--75 +3 T27 Evan Mitchell Spring Mill CC 38-37--75 +3 T30 Harvey Williams Philly PGA 34-42--76 +4 T30 Don DeAngelis Center Square GC 38-38--76 +4 T32 George Forster Radnor Valley CC 38-39--77 +5 T32 Hugh Reilly Twining Valley GC 36-41--77 +5 T32 Bill Smith Mahoning Valley CC 39-38--77 +5 T32 Bob Lennon Wilmington CC 37-40--77 +5 T36 Frank Palumbo Rolling Green GC 39-39--78 +6 T36 Tony Shields ACE Club 38-40--78 +6 T38 Anthony Napoletano GolfTEC-KoP 41-38--79 +7 T38 Paul Galczyk Westover CC 42-37--79 +7 40 Chris Atkins Riverton CC 40-40--80 +8 41 Dave Fields Brookside CC 41-41--82 +10 42 Andrew Pierson Camden County GA 40-43--83 +11 43 Patrick Spang Manor Valley CC 40-44--84 +12 44 Kevin Shaw Philly PGA 48-39--87 +15
For the 27th time teams from the Philadelphia PGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia got together to compete in the Philadelphia Challenge Matches, a Ryder Cup style event that pits the top Philadelphia PGA Professionals against the top amateur golfers from Philadelphia. For the second consecutive year these matches were played at Saucon Valley Country Club.
The teams played 12 singles matches and 6 four-ball matches (better ball of partners) concurrently with a total of 18 points up for grabs. As the owners of the Cup, the Philadelphia PGA only needed 9 of the 18 points to retain the title while the Golf Association of Philadelphia needed to earn 9 ½ points to regain the title.
Both the individual matches and the four-ball matches were competitive but ultimately the Philadelphia PGA was able to win both sessions on their way to a fourth consecutive Challenge Match victory. The Philadelphia PGA won the singles matches 7-5 and the four ball matches 3.5-2.5 en route to a 10.5-7.5 victory. The is the 25th for the Philadelphia PGA bringing their record to 25 – 2.
Clarks Summit, Pa. – On a picture perfect fall afternoon, the Philadelphia PGA returned to the Country Club of Scranton for the annual Fall Pro-Pro Championship. This is the third consecutive year that the Section traveled above the Pocono Mountains to the Country Club of Scranton for the Pro-Pro Championship which paired two PGA Professionals together in a Four Ball or better ball of partners event.
Playing early in the day the team of Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) and Kevin Kraft (Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center) looked to recapture the magic the propelled them to victory at the Spring Pro-Pro Championship. The pair got off to a slow start with bogeys on two of their first three holes but their fortunes changed quickly as they birdied eight of their next ten holes. After a bogey on the tough par-4 16th hole the pair finished strong after Kraft drained a 50 foot eagle putt from the back of the par-5 18th hole. When all was said and done the duo would finish with a 7-under (65).
Their time at the top of the leaderboard by themselves would not last long as they were quickly joined by the team of Pat Butkus (Overbrook Golf Club) and Jeff Herb (Waynesborough Country Club). Playing just two groups behind Kraft and Little the duo of Butkus and Herb also got off to a slow start. As a team they made the turn at 1-under, but as they made their way back to the clubhouse the turned things around. The pair made four birdies and also added an eagle on the par-5 12th hole to finish their round at 7-under (65).
As play went on no other team was able to join the two teams at 7-under and in the end they shared the first place crown. A pair of teams also shared third place with a score of 4-under (68). The first team to reach the number was Justin Alunni (Glen Oak Country Club) and his partner Darryl Lock (Skippack Golf Club). They were eventually joined by the team of Cleve Coldwater (Glenmaura National Golf Club) and his partner Harvey Williams.
Once again the Section would like to thank the membership and staff of the Country Club of Scranton for hosting the Fall Pro-Pro Championship. The Section also thanks our tournament sponsors Club Prophet Systems, Sun Mountain, and Morell Studios for their support of the tournament program.
The next event on the tournament calendar is the Philadelphia Challenge Cup Matches on Thursday, October 5 at Saucon Valley Country Club where the Philadelphia PGA professionals will try to defend their title against the top amateurs of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.