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Annual Fall Meeting Closes the Door on the 2016 Philadelphia PGA Season

Malvern, Pa. – The 2016 Philadelphia PGA Fall Meeting was held on Monday, October 31 at White Manor Country. Attended by more than 200 Philadelphia PGA Professional the meeting was highlighted by the presentation of the year-end award winners as well as the announcement of the newest members of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame. Additionally, the Philadelphia PGA presented the inaugural Ben Witter Courage Award posthumously to Ben Witter whose family was on hand to accept the award. The final highlight of the meeting was the keynote speaker and President of the PGA of America, Derek Sprague.

With presentations from each of the Section’s Executive Committee the members in attendance were brought up to date on all aspects of Philadelphia PGA operations. However, the meeting also served as the perfect opportunity to recognize the individuals who performed at the highest level throughout the tournament season.

Finishing atop the Omega Player of the Year points list was first time winner Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club). Little notched two wins in 2016 (Delaware Valley Open, Shawnee) as well as numerous top-five finishes. Based on his performances in the Philadelphia PGA Championships, Little also qualified for both the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship and the PGA Professional Championship. Finishing in second place on the Omega Player of the Year leaderboard was 2016 Haverford Philadelphia PGA champion Dave McNabb (Applebrook Golf Club). Rounding out the top three was George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club).

In the Omega Robert “Skee” Riegel Senior Player of the Year race, Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) ran away with the title en route to his seventh consecutive crown. Ingraham had senior victories at the 31st Burlington Classic, the Jack Jolly / Golf Pride Championship, the William Hyndman Memorial Classic, and the Philadelphia Senior PGA Championship. Ingraham’s 2,686.50 points were 1,000 points ahead of second place finisher. However, rounding out the top three was a pair of individuals who also claimed prizes in other divisions. George Forster and Dave McNabb finished second and third respectively. McNabb would also take home the DeBaufre Scoring Average title with season-long average of 70.90.

The Section’s Howard “Ike” Turner Most Improved Player was awarded to Jordan Gibbs (Gulph Mills Golf Club). In 2016, Gibbs lowered his scoring average by one full shot as well as improved his position on the Omega Player of the Year leaderboard by more than 40 spots. Gibbs was won the 95th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, his first Philadelphia PGA title.

The meeting was highlighted by keynote speaker and President of the PGA of America Derek Sprague. A few weeks short of the PGA of America annual meeting and the centennial celebration of the PGA of America, Sprague touched on several topics that affected all PGA Professionals. Sprague highlighted the impact the Ryder Cup had to the Association as well as what the potential for global expansion for the PGA brand would have. Sprague also noted that the success of the PGA of America would always be the PGA Professionals and the direct impact they have with golfers. As a note, Sprague also conducted a small “fire-side” chat the evening prior to the formal Fall Meeting.

The Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame also gained two new members as Ted Sheftic and Bob Thatcher became the 39th and 40th Hall of Fame inductees respectively. With both having careers spanning decades in the Philadelphia Section each have left their mark on future PGA Professionals. After his receiving his award, Sheftic was on hand to thank his mentors and acknowledge the PGA Professionals who helped him along the way. Accepting the award for Thatcher were his daughters Tina and Tracy who were able to read the prepared speech sent by their father. For a complete biography of Ted Sheftic or Bob Thatcher visit the Hall of Fame page on philadelphia.pga.com.

The final award presented was also the Section’s newest award. The Ben Witter Courage Award named in honor of the PGA Professional of the same name will be given to an individual who in spite of difficult circumstances always managed to give back the game and the people around him. Witter, a PGA Professional himself, entertained endless crowds with his trick shots and overall golf abilities despite multiple battles with his health. The award will serve as a reminder of his perseverance through any and all obstacles. Witter’s family was on hand to receive the award and spoke to the PGA Professionals in attendance on what the award meant to the family.

The Fall Meeting puts a bookend to the 2016 Philadelphia PGA season. As the Section heads to the off-season it will focus on providing education opportunities to the membership through multi-day seminars as well as district roundtables. For a complete list of education opportunities and to stay up-to-date on Section’s event be sure to visit philadelphia.pga.com.

25th Dick Smith Cup Matches

The 25th installment of the Dick Smith Cup Matches are underway at historic Atlantic City Country Club. The matches, named in honor of the Past PGA of America and Philadelphia PGA President of the same name, brings together 24 Philadelphia Assistant PGA Professionals in a Ryder Cup style format.

Players will compete as a team in Four Ball and Foursome as well as Singles matches over the course of two days trying to earn their share of the 24 available points. As defending champions the Gold Team only needs to earn 12 points to retain the cupp while the Blue Team will need to earn at least 12.5 points to win the title.

Dick Smith Cup Leaderboard

McAlarney Outlasts Field to Capture Second Match Play Championship

Ardmore, Pa. – The third and final day of the 2016 Match Play Championship was played at Merion Golf Club – West Course on Wednesday, October 19. 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 Dave Quinn (Links Golf Club) versus Brendon Post (University of Delaware). Neither player was able to gain an advantage on the other and the match went the full 18 holes before Post was able to put away defending champion Quinn 1-up. The second semifinal match featured 2014 Match Play Champion Corey McAlarney (Sunnybrook Golf Club) and current Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion Jordan Gibbs (Gulph Mills Golf Club). Like the first match, neither player was able to gain a lead and the match went extra holes before McAlarney was able to put away Gibbs on the 19th hole.

Post’s road featured wins over Gregg Gipp (3&2), Andrew Turner (3&2), Eric Figueroa (5&3), Jakob Gerney (19th hole) before his win over Quinn in the semifinals. McAlarney had wins over Dave Roberts (6&5), Mike Meisenzhal (1-up), Stu Ingraham (1-up), Trevor Bensel (5&4) before his win over Gibbs gave him a spot in the finals.

After trading pars on the opening hole, McAlarney was able to strike first in the final match with a birdie on the second hole giving him a quick 1-up lead. McAlarney and Post would then trade pars over the next four holes before breaking the trend with a pair of birdies on the par-4 7th hole. McAlarney would take his 1-up advantage into the driveable par-4 8th hole and would capitalize on his excellent drive. After his tee shot found the green, McAlarney was able to two-putt for birdie to increase his lead to 2-up through nine holes. The duo would halve the par-4 9th hole meaning McAlarney would take a 2-up lead into the back nine.

However as they made the turn, Post was able to turn the ship around and won both the 10th and 11th holes to get the match back to all square as they headed to the 12th tee. Unfortunately for Post that was where the streak ended. McAlarney would go on to birdie both the 12th and 13th holes to bring his lead back to 2-up. The pair traded pars on the par-4 14th hole before Post gave it one last charge. Post would win the par-3 15th hole to put him only 1-down with three holes to play. However, after Post’s tee shot found trouble on the 16th hole McAlarney would go on to win the hole putting the match dormie as they headed to the par-3 17th hole. Unable to find the green, Post would go on to concede the hole to McAlarney giving him a 3&1 victory and his second Philadelphia PGA Match Play Championship.

The Section would like to thank the membership and staff at Merion Golf Club, especially host professional Scott Nye, for their hospitality during the week. The Section also thanks event sponsors Omega, the PGA Tour and Greg Norman for their continued support of our tournament program.

Full Tournament Leaderboard

Omega Player of the Year Race Heats Up as Match Play Heads to Day Two

Ardmore, Pa. – The 2016 Match Play Championship kicked off Monday morning on an unusually warm October day. It didn’t take long for the temperature to rise, and the 64-player field heated up as well.

The morning highlights included an ace on the 140-yard seventeenth hole by Dave Roberts (Cedarbrook Country Club), using a 9-iron to find the bottom of the cup. Jakob Gerney (Trump National – Philadelphia) added a highlight of his own on the par-4 eighteenth hole. His wedge landed 10 feet beyond the flagstick and spun back into the hole. Merion’s own, Robby Bruns, found the bottom of the cup on his second shot from about 170 on the par-4 fifth. Only three matches resulted in upsets in the morning wave, before the field was cut in half to 32.

After grabbing a quick lunch, the remaining players returned to the golf course to battle again. With many great match-ups on the course, it was anybody’s guess as to who would move on to day two. Eight matches in, and five lower seeds had advanced. As solid play continued, two players gave themselves a chance at the Section’s top prize – Omega Player of the Year. Jordan Gibbs (Gulph Mills Golf Club) and Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) can still overtake Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club), depending on their performances the remainder of the tournament.

Tomorrow’s third round will give 16 players a chance to earn a spot in the round of eight. With a picture perfect forecast, professionals will have the opportunity to move one step closer to having their names etched into Section history.

Match Play Bracket

DiMarco & Kogelman Claim Top Spot at McQuiston Sr. Pro – Jr. Pro Championship

Philadelphia, Pa. – The annual McQuiston Sr. Pro – Jr. Pro Championship was held at Bala Golf Club on Thursday, October 13. 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.

Periods of light rain could not spoil the fun for the 33 teams gathered at Bala GC, the only private facility within city limits, to compete in this annual event. At noon, teams proceeded to their starting holes to kick off the shotgun event.

As play got underway one team was able to separate themselves from the field. John DiMarco (Laurel Creek CC) and Joe Kogelman (GolfTEC Moorestown) began their first hole, (no. 11), with a bogey, but carded 8 birdies throughout their round to jump to the top of the leaderboard. As groups finished the duo was able to stay at the top of the leaderboard with a team score of 7-under (61) enabling them to capture the 2016 McQuiston Sr Pro – Jr. Pro Championship.

After an impressive showing in last year’s event (-6), Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) and Andy Watters (Alamode GC) teamed up again this year to give it another shot. They matched last year’s score of 62 (-6) and earned themselves a runner-up finish again.

Rounding out the podium, four teams tied for third at four under par 64. The teams of John Appleget (Wildwood Golf & CC) and Mike Meisenzahl (Shore Gate CC), and JR Delich (Applebrook GC) and Robby Bruns (Merion GC) both carded five birdies and a bogey to shoot their rounds of 64, while the teams of Brian Kelly (Bucknell GC) and Judd Caruso (Belles Spring GC) and Mike Thompson (The Golf Zone @ Honeybrook) and Andy Fisher (AF Golf Ctr.) made the same number carding bogey free rounds.

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 Section will return to action on Monday, October 17 at the Match Play Championship at Merion Golf Club on the West Course.

Full Tournament Leaderboard

Kleckner and Byrne Return to Winner’s Circle at Club Car, LLC / Golf Cars Inc Pro-Official

Pine Hill, N.J. – The 2016 edition of the Club Car, LLC and Golf Cars Inc. Pro-Official was played on a blustery afternoon at Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia. However, despite the windy conditions the warm fall sunshine made all who participated appreciative of the picturesque scenery provided by our host club. The Pro-Official features one PGA Professional partnered with an officer from the club, in a Net Four-Ball competition (better ball of partners).

With all teams on the course as part of the shotgun event the scores came in fast and furious at the end of the day. Leading the way just as they did in the 2009 event was the team of Robert Kleckner (Linfield National Golf Club) and his partner Steve Byrne. The team posted seven Net birdies and a Net hole-in-one on the difficult par-3 16th. The duo finished with three consecutive birdies to finish their day on holes 10-13. Their 7-under (64) put them just ahead of a pair of teams who finished the day at 6-under (65).

Finishing out of the top spot but still on the podium were the teams of Jamison Wallace (Chambersburg Country Club) and his partner Mike Jackson as well as Mickey Sokalski (Philmont Country Club) and his partner Scott Landsberg. Wallace and Jackson carded seven birdies but a bogey on 18th hole, their fourth of the day, proved to be the costly stroke. The team of Sokalski and Landsberg had three birdies and two eagles but again a bogey on the 18th hole, their ninth of the day, proved to be too much to overcome.

The Section would like to thank our generous tournament sponsors Club Car LLC. and Golf Cars Inc. Through their support, the Pro-Official Championship has become one of the premier events on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar.

The Philadelphia PGA will continue their busy tournament week with the annual Turnpike Cup against the New Jersey PGA on Wednesday, October 12 at Commonwealth National Golf Club. The week will wrap up with the McQuiston Sr. Pro-Jr. Pro at Bala Golf Club on Thursday, October 13.

Full Tournament Leaderboard

Swartz & Kogelman Repeat at Fall Pro-Pro Championship

Clarks Summit, Pa. – The Philadelphia PGA returned to the Country Club of Scranton on Monday, October 3 for the Fall Pro-Pro Championship. It marked the second consecutive year that the Championship was held at the beautiful Pocono Mountain’s course. The Pro-Pro Championship pairs two PGA Professionals together in a Four Ball or better ball of partners event.

The first group of the day posted a score for all to chase. The duo of Brian Short and Steve Wager, both of Penn State University GC, carded an impressive 7-under (65). The pair had seven birdies on their day with each player contributing multiple birdies to the overall score.

As group after group finished it seemed as though no one would be able to reach them at the top of the leaderboard. The first group to make a charge was the team of Kevin Kraft and Geoffrey Morrison, both of Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center, who reached 6-under (66). Also finishing at 6-under (66) were the teams of Jeff Breiner, Country Club of Harrisburg, and Chris Duckett, Saucon Valley Country Club as well as the team of Ashley Grier, Overbrook Golf Club and Anthony Napoletano, GolfTEC – King of Prussia.

However playing the late in the day the pair of Joe Kogelman, GolfTEC – Moorestown and Steve Swartz, Country Club of Harrisburg proved once again to be too much for the field. Kogelman and Swartz came into the event as defending champions and left the same way. As a team Kogelman and Swartz posted eight birdies of which Swartz carded seven en route to a 8-under (64), good enough for a one shot win. As it was at the 2015 event a birdie on the par5 18th hole proved to be the deciding number in their winning score.

The Section thanks the members and staff of the Country Club of Scranton who provided an outstanding backdrop for this year’s Fall Pro-Pro Championship. The Section also thanks our event sponsors Club Prophet Systems and Ian Versaw as well as Sun Mountain and Andy Hyjek.

Full Tournament Leaderboard

Philadelphia PGA Captures 26th Challenge Matches

The 26th edition of the Philadelphia Challenge Matches were played on Thursday, October 6 at Saucon Valley Country Club. It was the first time in the 26 year history of the Matches that the event was played at Saucon Valley. For the past five season the Matches were played at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, Pa.

The matches pit 12 of the top Philadelphia PGA Professionals against 12 of the top amateurs from the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The teams will play 12 singles matches and 6 four-ball matches (better ball of partners) simultaneously with a total of 18 points up for grabs. As the owners of the Cup, the Philadelphia PGA will only need 9 of the 18 points to retain the title while the Golf Association of Philadelphia will need to earn 9 ½ points to regain the title.

The teams split the 12 available points in the singles matches with each side winning five matches and halving two for a total of six points. However, the Philadelphia PGA was able to grab 5.5 of the six available points the the Four Ball Matches to win the cup for a third consecutive year. The final score was Philadelphia PGA 11.5 / GAP 6.5.

Complete Challenge Match Results

Little Leads the Way at Shawnee Open

Shawnee-on-Delaware, Pa. – The historic Shawnee Open returned to a 36-hole event and was played over two days in late September. The opening round was played at the Shawnee Resort’s Great Bear Golf Club before players moved to the course at the Shawnee Inn & Resort for the second and final round. The Shawnee Open has been in existence since 1912, although not always run by the Philadelphia PGA.

Heading into today’s final round Corey McAlarney (Sunnybrook Golf Club) held a slim one shot lead over the field. McAlarney carded an opening round 3-under (68) but sitting just behind him were five players tied for second at 2-under (69). That group included Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club), Michael Rushin (Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club), Zac Oakley (Heritage Shores Golf Club), Bill Sautter (Philadelphia Cricket Club), and 2002 champion Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club).

Early in the day players were treated to bright blue skies and near perfect fall weather, however as the day went on clouds blocked out the sun and winds rolled in making conditions in the afternoon very difficult.

As scores started to get posted the first player to make a move was Andrew Turner (Whitford Country Club). Turner carded an opening round 2-over (73) meaning he was five shots back of the leader heading into the final round. Turner quickly got things underway on day two with three birdies on his opening nine holes before his lone bogey on the tough par4 10th hole. Turner would recover with an eagle on the par5 15th bring his second round total to 4-under (68) and moving him to the top of the leaderboard with a 36-hole total of 2-under (141).

Unfortunately for Turner his lead would not last long. Playing a few groups behind him was George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club). Forster came into the second round at 1-under after an opening round (70.). Like Turner, Forster got off to a quick start with three birdies through nine holes but a couple of untimely bogeys brought Forster back down. Forster was able to right the ship and added a birdie on the par5 15th which gave him a one shot lead over Turner.

The leaderboard carousel would take another turn just one group later as Michael Little would jump into the first place position. As one of the players just one shot off the lead heading into today’s round, Little found himself in the penultimate pairing. Little got off to a dream start and found himself 5-under after five holes. Although the frantic pace would not last for Little the great start would help him finish tied with Turner for the best round of the day at 4-under (68) and brought his two-day total to 6-under (137).

Needing to wait just one group to find out his fate it would prove to be worthwhile. No one in the tournament’s final group was able to make a move meaning Little would go on for the win, his second of the 2016 season (DVO).

“I had been playing well for the last few weeks and my performance at last week’s Championship gave me a lot of confidence”, said Little on his win. “I made one small adjustment in my putting and that proved to be the difference today. I want to thank the membership and staff at Lookaway for their support as well as the teams at both Great Bear and Shawnee for an amazing venue.”

All was not lost for George Forster who managed to walk away with the senior division title finishing 2-shots ahead of second place finisher Don Allan.

The Section would like to thank the staffs of both Great Bear Golf Club and Shawnee Inn and Resort for their support of the event as well as our event sponsors Golf Cart Specialties.

Shawnee Open

Sep 25 – Sep 26, 2016
Stroke Play Results

 1   Michael Little     Lookaway GC               69-68-137 -6  
 T2  George Forster     Radnor Valley CC          70-70-140 -3  
 T2  Corey McAlarney    Sunnybrook GC             68-72-140 -3  
 T4  Andrew Turner      Whitford CC               73-68-141 -2  
 T4  John Pillar        CC at Woodloch Springs    70-71-141 -2  
 T4  Zac Oakley         Heritage Shores GC        69-72-141 -2  
 T7  Don Allan          Burlington CC             71-71-142 -1  
 T7  Rich Steinmetz     Spring Ford CC            69-73-142 -1  
 9   Stu Ingraham       M Golf Range              72-71-143 E   
 10  Bill Sautter       Philadelphia Cricket Club 69-75-144 +1  
 T11 Dave Quinn         Links GC                  75-70-145 +2  
 T11 John Spina         Philadelphia Cricket Club 71-74-145 +2  
 T13 Hugo Mazzalupi     Patriots Glen National GC 75-71-146 +3  
 T13 Rick Flesher       Applebrook GC             72-74-146 +3  
 T13 Mike Meisenzahl    Shore Gate CC             71-75-146 +3  
 T16 Brian Kelly        Bucknell GC               77-72-149 +6  
 T16 Ryan Shaughnessy   Wedgewood Golf Course     75-74-149 +6  
 T18 Gregg Gipp         Phoenixville CC           79-71-150 +7  
 T18 Alex Knoll         Bethlehem GC- Monacacy    77-73-150 +7  
 T18 Mike Paukovits     St. Davids GC             72-78-150 +7  
 21  Andrew Pierson     Camden County GA          76-75-151 +8  
 22  Michael Rushin     Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club 69-83-152 +9  
 23  Bill Walker        Riverton CC               78-75-153 +10 
 T24 John Roche         Elmhurst CC               79-75-154 +11 
 T24 Kevin Edwards      Woodstone CC              77-77-154 +11 
 T24 John Appleget      Wildwood Golf & CC        72-82-154 +11 
 T27 Joe Kogelman       GolfTEC Moorestown        82-74-156 +13 
 T27 Curtis Kirkpatrick Indian Springs GC         80-76-156 +13 
 T27 Mike Furey         Mahoning Valley CC        81-75-156 +13 
 T27 Harvey Williams    Philly PGA                76-80-156 +13 
 T31 Greyson Rossi      Bayside Resort            85-72-157 +14 
 T31 Dustin McCormick   Glen Brook GC             77-80-157 +14 
 T33 Bill Smith         Mahoning Valley CC        80-80-160 +17 
 T33 Joe Manley         Great Bear GC             79-81-160 +17 
 35  Jeremy Mangine     Glen Brook GC             78-83-161 +18 
 T36 Tom Moore          Applecross CC             82-83-165 +22 
 T36 Joe Ambrose        Paupack Hills G & CC      85-80-165 +22