Philadelphia PGA Announces Team for 29th Philadelphia Challenge Matches
Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa. (September 29, 2021) — The Philadelphia PGA Section is proud to announce that its 12-member team for the 29th Philadelphia Challenge Matches has been finalized. The competition, played annually between top Philadelphia PGA Professionals and Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) amateurs, is slated to take place on October 14 on Saucon Valley Country Club’s Grace Course in Bethlehem, Pa. Twenty-twenty Philadelphia PGA Player of the Year Michael Little will lead the Section’s team as captain.
The Philadelphia Challenge Matches would not be possible without the support and energy of Robin McCool. McCool was instrumental in getting the matches started nearly 30 years ago and revitalizing them by bringing in support from Jim Wilson of Ping, Jim Ravina of Donald Ross, and our host facility, Saucon Valley C.C. McCool serves as the Honorary Captain for the GAP team and serves as Honorary Chair of the event. Everyone owes Robin a debt of gratitude for all of his efforts.
The 12 PGA Professionals representing the Philadelphia PGA Section include:
- Michael Little, PGA (C)
Lookaway Golf Club
- Trevor Bensel, PGA
Overbrook Golf Club
- Brian Bergstol, PGA
Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort
- George Forster, PGA
- Mike Furey, PGA
Saucon Valley Country Club
- Brian Kelly, PGA
Bucknell Golf Club
- Chris Krueger, PGA
Kings Creek Country Club
- Hugo Mazzalupi, PGA
Patriots Glen Nat’l. Golf Club
- Dave McNabb, PGA
Applebrook Golf Club
- Zac Oakley, PGA
Bidermann Golf Club
- Braden Shattuck, PGA
Bidermann Golf Club
- Dustin Wallis
Honey Run Golf Club
Trevor Bensel, Overbrook G.C. – Bensel has racked up three Section wins in 2021, including the Philadelphia Players Championship at Lookaway G.C., the Pro-Scratch Championship at Saucon Valley C.C., and the Spring Pro-Pro Championship at West Shore C.C., as well as one Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) victory. He is slated to compete in the 2022 PGA Professional Championship at OMNI Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, next April, thanks to his play in the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship at Aronimink G.C. and Applebrook G.C.
Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & G.R. – In 2021, Bergstol captured three Section titles, including the TaylorMade Classic at French Creek G.C., the Conestoga Classic at Conestoga C.C., and the Spring Pro-Pro Championship at West Shore C.C., and took the top spot in the U.S. Open qualifier at the Steel Club. He also qualified for the 45th National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at PGA G.C. this November through his play in the National Car Rental Philadelphia Assistant PGA Professional Championship. Bergstol has also won two PAO tournaments and currently leads the race for the PAO Player of the Year.
George Forster, Philadelphia PGA – Forster is one of three senior members of the Section’s team, has one Senior Division victory in 2021, the Doylestown Open at Doylestown C.C., and has qualified in the 2022 PGA Professional National Championship via his play in the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship. He has four top 10s in 2021 and an additional eight top in Senior Division competitions.
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek C.C. – Krueger has finished in the top 10 six times, four of which were in the top five. His best finish in a Section event this year was a tie for second place in the Delaware Valley Open at Concord C.C.
Hugo Mazzalupi, Patriots Glen National G.C. – Mazzalupi’s, 2021 season has been consistently good if nothing else. In addition to his appearance in the 2021 Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale G.C., Mazzalupi qualified for the 2022 PGA Professional Championship via his play in the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, following his play in this year’s championship. He has 10 top 10 finishes in Section events, and another 13 in Senior Division events, including a division win at the 2021 TaylorMade Classic.
Dave McNabb, Applebrook G.C. – McNabb currently leads the 2021 Philadelphia PGA Robert “Skee” Riegel Senior Player of the Year race, and already locked up the Section’s 2021 Senior Scoring Average title with an average of 70.93. He won the 2021 Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship and will compete in this year’s Senior PGA Professional Championship at PGA G.C. McNabb also took the top spot in the 2021 Skee Riegel Senior Open at Radnor Valley C.C., in addition to his Senior Division win in the William Hyndman III Memorial Classic at Huntingdon Valley C.C. He tied for fifth place in the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship and will play in the 2022 PGA Professional Championship in Texas. McNabb also competed in the 2021 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Southern Hills C.C.
Zac Oakley, Bidermann G.C. – Oakley captured the 2021 Philadelphia PGA F. Edward Debaufre Trophy, which awards the PGA Professional with the lowest season scoring average for their consistently stellar play. Oakley’s 2021 scoring average of 68.93 over 14 rounds is the lowest scoring average since the trophy was commissioned in 1964. Additionally, Oakley’s father, Pete, previously won the award four times (1980, 1984, 1985, and 1999), making them the first father-son duo to win the DeBaufre title. He currently leads the 2021 Philadelphia PGA Player of the Year race, thanks in part to his two Section wins this season: the Doylestown Open and Conestoga Classic. His second place finishes in the 100th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship and 2021 National Car Rental Philadelphia Assistant PGA Professional Championship earned him playing spots in the 2022 PGA Professional Championship and 2021 National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship. This year, Oakley finished in the top ten 13 times in 19 events, six of which were second place finishes.
Braden Shattuck, Bidermann G.C. – Shattuck has four wins in 2021, including the Delaware Open, Burlington Classic, GALV Lehigh Valley Open, and Conestoga Classic. He has 10 top 10 finishes, six of which were top fives. Shattuck finished fourth in the DeBaufre Scoring Average at 70.31, and is currently second in the Section’s 2021 Player of the Year race.
The Philadelphia Challenge Matches was established in 1991 pits two 12-person teams, including at least two senior contestants, from GAP and the Philadelphia PGA Section in a concurrent individual match and better-ball match. Each match is worth one point. Ties are halved. The Philadelphia Section leads the series, 21-3-4. There were no contests in 2019 and 2020 due to severe weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Philadelphia PGA Section
The Philadelphia PGA Section, covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is one of 41 geographical managing entities of the PGA of America. This Section manages nearly 900 PGA Members and Associates who are employed at over 590 golf facilities in our region.
Contact: Matt Frey, PGA, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org