Month: September 2019

Little and Sheftic Surge to Win at Fall Pro-Pro Championship

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Blue Bell, Pa. – The annual Fall Pro-Pro Championship was played Monday, September 30 at Cedarbrook Country Club. The Pro-Pro brings together two PGA Professionals partnered in a four-ball competition (better ball of partners). Although the calendar turned to fall more than a week ago, today’s event was the first to feature temperatures indicative of the season. However, despite the weather the 40 teams were treated to an outstanding day of golf..

With the course playing firm and fast, shot making was at a premium. However, throughout the day, several teams managed to get around the course with relative ease on their way to scores of 7-under (65). The first of the teams to reach that number was the pair of John Appleget (The Shore Club) and Jason Calhoon (Univ of Pennsylvania) who carded seven birdies and no bogeys. They were eventually joined by the team of Brett Melton (Radley Run Country Club) and Trevor Bensel (Overbrook Golf Club) who posted eight birdies against only one bogey to reach 7-under. Finally, the pair of Ben Debski (The Springhaven Club) and Mark Parsons (Harbor Pines Golf Club) also reached 7-under after posting five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 12th hole, the only eagle of the day on that hole.

However, in the end, it was the team of Michael Little (Lookaway Golf Club) and Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club) that were able to go low and separate themselves from the field. As a team, Little and Sheftic posted nine birdies and an eagle on their way to a 10-under (62) and a three-shot win.

The Section thanks our Fall Pro-Pro Championship partners Club Prophet Systems, Sun Mountain, Criquet, Evolve Golf, and the PGA Tour. The Section also thanks the membership and staff of Cedarbrook Country Club for their hospitality in hosting this event.

The Philadelphia PGA will be back in action on Monday, October 7 for the first round of the 36-hole Shawnee Open. For more information on the Philadelphia PGA and our tournament program visit or you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PhiladelphiaPGA.

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Oakley Goes Low to Win Delaware Valley Open at Radley Run CC

West Chester, PA – Nearly four months after it’s originally scheduled date, the Delaware Valley Open (DVO) was finally contested at Radley Run Country Club on Monday, September 23rd. With a field consisting of nearly 80 players from across the Philadelphia Section PGA everyone was excited to play in the beautiful, albeit warm, weather for the first day of fall.

Host professional Brett Melton (Radley Run CC) was in the first pairing of the day and posted the score to beat with a 3-under (69). Melton’s card had 3 birdies and an eagle 2 on the par 4-15th hole, but two bogies would come back to haunt him later in the day. He managed to stay on top of the leaderboard for most of the day, with those coming close falling short by one or two shots. Zac Oakley (Bidermann Golf Course), finally knocked him from the top with a 4-under (68). Oakley started off slow carding a bogey on his second hole, but quickly followed with two birdies, making the turn at 1-under. His back nine was bogey free and he added three more birdies to his total reach his 4-under par. With only a few more groups to finish, no one else got close to Oakley’s 4-under.

According to Oakley; “I started out the day slow, but by mid-round I was able to get used to the green speeds. I felt like I struck the ball decent the whole round, but I was able to make a lot of my putts on the back nine, which helped. I finished my round with a birdie on 18 which, it turned out, I needed. The course was in great shape, and it is always fun playing with my college teammate Will Scarborough (Peninsula G&CC).”

A pair of players shared the top spot in the tournament’s Senior Division, Dave Quinn (Laurel Creek CC) and Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) both carded 2-under (70). Quinn card had five birdies, two on the front and three more on the back, but had three bogies, the last one coming on the 18th hole for his 70. Ingraham’s scorecard had four birdies, one on the front, and three on the back, but he had two bogies with his final one also coming on the 18th. Mike Moses (Concord CC) finished in third two shots back at even par 72.

The PAO (Player’s Assistant Organization) also joined in, with twenty-four of their group playing in both events. Since Zac is also a PAO member, he took home first in both events. Jeff Herb (Waynesborough CC) came in second with a 2-under par 70, followed by Alex Knoll (Glen Brook GC) and Mike Little (Lookaway GC), both at 1-under par 71.

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors Jack Jolly & Son, Golf Pride Grips, Morell Studios, Mizuno, and PGA Tour as well as the membership and staff of Radley Run Country Club. The Philadelphia PGA returns to action on Thursday, September 26 for the A.B. Thorn Memorial Pro-Am at Lancaster Country Club. For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us on our Social Media Channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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Alex Knoll Captures Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship; Earns Berth in 53rd PGA Professional Championship

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(Philadelphia, Pa.) (September 19, 2019) – Alex Knoll of (Glen Brook Golf Club), winner of the Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship, September 17-19, 2019 at host facility the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale and secondary facility Riverton Country Club will lead eleven Philadelphia PGA Professionals to compete in the 53rd PGA Professional Championship, April 26-29 at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.

Knoll turned in a winning total of 2-under-par 209 to capture the Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion title. Ryan Lagergren of (Stonewall) was runner-up, finishing at even par 211. They are joined by Travis Deibert (Doylestown Country Club), Tom Cooper (Pine Valley Golf Club), Brendon Post (Univ of Delaware), Mark Sheftic (Merion Golf Club), Dave Pagett (Whitemarsh Valley Country Club), Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range), Terry Hertzog (Country Club of York), John Pillar (Country Club at Woodloch Springs), and Davis Jensen (Merion Golf Club).

The PGA Professional Championship and 41 PGA Section Championships feature a total purse of more than $1.5 million. The PGA Professional Championship purse is $550,000, distributed among those who make the cut in the 312-player field. Golf Channel will televise all four rounds of the national Championship.

If eligibility is met and maintained, the low 20 scorers in 2020 will earn berths into the 102nd PGA Championship, May 14-17, at Harding Park Golf Club, San Francisco, California.

In addition to the Walter Hagen Cup, the PGA Professional Championship winner also receives an exemption into the next 10 PGA Professional Championships and exemptions into six PGA TOUR events over a 12-month period.

Established in 1968, the PGA Professional Championship roster of Champions includes the following premier TOUR professionals: Sam Snead, Bob Rosburg, Don Massengale, Ed Dougherty, Larry Gilbert, and Bruce Fleisher.

The PGA Professional Championship is presented by Cadillac, Club Car and OMEGA. Supporting sponsors are Titleist/FootJoy, NIKE and TaylorMade Golf. Presenting partners are Golf Channel and the PGA TOUR. The 41 Section Championships and the National Championship offer a combined purse of $1.5 million.

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Knoll Leads by Five Shots Heading into the Championship’s Final Round

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Read Day 1 Recap Here

Philadelphia, Pa. – Once again bright skies and seasonable temperatures greeted players at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale and Riverton Country Club for the second round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship. For round two, players switched courses, meaning those players who played at the Union League on day one moved to Riverton Country Club on day two and vice versa.

Looking to piggyback off his record setting day one, Alex Knoll (Glen Brook GC) was the first group off at Riverton Country Club. While he did not set another course record, Knoll did post an impressive 2-under (69) in difficult morning conditions. Knoll had three birdies against one bogey to reach 10-under (131) after 36-holes and giving him a sizeable lead heading into the final round.

Two players in the field made major moves up the leaderboard after posting low scores on day two of the Championship. The first player to make a move was Brendon Post (Univ of Delaware). Playing at the Union League, Post posted four birdies, including a stretch of three in four holes from 10-13, before a lone bogey on the par-5 16th hole dropped him back to 3-under for the day and 5-under (136) for the Championship, placing him in solo second place five shots behind Knoll.

The biggest move of the day came from Ryan Lagergren (Stonewall) who posted the best round of the day, a 7-under (64) at Riverton Country Club. Lagergren had six birdies and an eagle on the par-4 18th hole to help him overcome an early bogey. Lagergren’s 7-under second round helped to erase a 2-over (73) in his opening round at the Union League and vaulted him into third place alone.

The final round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship will get underway at 8:30 AM at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale with the Championship leaders, Knoll, Post and Lagergen set to get their final rounds underway at 12:15 pm.

In addition to the William B. Packer trophy, awarded to the Philadelphia PGA Professional Champion, the tournament also serves as a qualifier into the 53rd PGA Professional Championship set to be held at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas, April 26-29, 2020.

The Philadelphia PGA has 11 qualifying spots into next year’s event. With five players currently tied for the eleventh and final qualifying spot and another twenty players within four shots of the last spot there is plenty up for grabs in tomorrow’s final round.

For complete coverage of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship be sure to follow the action on or via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@PhiladelphiaPGA) or the #PPGAChamp.

Alex Knoll has Record Day at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

The first round of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship got underway early on Tuesday, September 17. The three-day, 54-hole championship will be held at host facility Union League Golf Club at Torresdale as well as secondary facility Riverton Country Club.

The Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship is one of the premier events on the Philadelphia PGA calendar. At stake this week is the Section’s top prize the William B. Packer trophy, awarded to the Championship’s top finisher. Additionally, Professionals are competing for one of 11 spots into next year’s 53rd PGA Professional Championship to be held at the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas April 26-29, 2020.

For much of the day it looked as though the two courses would be the story of the Championship’s opening round. For much of the afternoon the best score posted at the Union League was even par (70). While scores at Riverton Country Club were slightly lower, the best number posted on day one was from a trio of players who finished at 3-under (68).

However, playing in the last group of the day at Union League, Alex Knoll (Glen Brook Golf Club) was about to embark on a record setting day. After making a par on his opening hole, Knoll birdied the short par-4 second hole. After a par on the third hole, Knoll found his second birdie of the day on the par-3 fourth hole.

“The course played tough today,” commented Knoll on his opening round. “I know it sounds cliché, but I tried to just play one shot at a time. I wanted to keep the ball below the hole to give myself a chance at birdie.”

After a string of pars to close out his outward nine, Knoll really got his round going on the back nine. Opening with an eagle on the par-5 tenth hole, Knoll then made par on the long par-3 eleventh hole. After consecutive birdies on holes 12 and 13, Knoll parred the par-3 14th hole and was sitting at 6-under as he got set to play par-4 15h hole.

“I knew I had something special going today,” said Knoll. “I tried to use my experience from last year’s PGA Professional Championship to calm my nerves.”

Once again Knoll posted consecutive birdies on the back nine after finding red figures on holes 15 and 16 and was now 8-under, five shots ahead of his closest competitor and eight shots better than those players playing Union League in round one.

After a bogey on the par-3 17th hole, his only blemish of the day, Knoll quickly righted the ship and found the fairway with his tee shot on the closing hole. After his approach shot found the green, Knoll and a 20’ putt for birdie and an opening round 62. Like his did for most of the day, Knoll confidently stepped over his putt and drained one more birdie, his seventh of the day.

“This is by far my lowest competitive round,” said Knoll of his 62. “I have gone low in a couple Pro-Ams but nothing like this.

Not only does Knoll’s 8-under (62) put him in great position after the Championship’s opening round, it also places him in Union League Golf Club history. Knoll’s 8-under round set the competitive course record at Union League, a mark previously held by the legendary Sam Snead who had posted a (64) in the Henry Hearst Invitational held in 1941.

“It will be a cool story to tell, saying I broke a course record once held by Sam Snead,” said Knoll. “However, my goal is still the same, to qualify for the PGA Professional Championship. There is still 36-holes to play and I can’t’ let myself get to think too far ahead.”

Knoll heads into the Championship’s second round with a five-shot lead over past champions Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club) and Stu Ingraham (M Golf Range) as well as Dave Fields. All players will now switch courses for the Championship’s second round. At the end of round two, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties who will return to the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale on Thursday for the third and final round.

For complete coverage of the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship be sure to follow the action on or via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@PhiladelphiaPGA) or the #PPGAChamp.

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Brian Kelly Goes Low and Edges Field at TaylorMade Classic 

Mt Laurel, N.J. – The annual TaylorMade Classic, was played on Monday, September 9 at Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, NJ. The event featured over 100 players and was a combined event with the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO).

Playing early in the day, Brian Kelly (Bucknell Golf Club) posted a number for everyone to chase. Kelly made his way around the par-71 6700 yards long course relatively unscathed finishing with a score of 5-under (66). Kelly carded four birdies and one bogey on his outward along with three birdies and one bogey on the inward nine to reach his final number. Kelly’ seven birdies were the most of any player in the field. However, with much of the field still to play, Kelly needed to watch the leaderboard throughout the afternoon to see if his number would hold.

The first player to make a run at Kelly was Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club). Steinmetz was able to overcome an early bogey on the par-4 second hole, his only blemish on the day, by scattering five birdies throughout his round. Unfortunately for Steinmetz, he fell one shot shy of Kelly finishing with a final score of 4-under (67).

Throughout the afternoon several additional players made a run at Kelly and the top of the leaderboard. Billy Stewart (The ACE Club), Brian Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort), and Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) all tried to earn a victory at Laurel Creek but unfortunately for the trio they all came up one shot short with a score of 4-under (67).

With no players able to match Kelly at 5-under, he earned his first win of the 2019 season as well as his first TaylorMade Classic win. The victory was twice as nice for Kelly as he also took home the top spot in the tournament’s senior division. Finishing in solo second place with a score of 3-under (68) was Greg Farrow (Deerwood Country Club). Four players finished tied for third after posting a score of 1-under (70). Included in that group was Rick Flesher (Phila PGA), Eddie Perrino (Eagle Rock Resort), John Appleget (The Shore Club), and George Forster (Radnor Valley Country Club).

Despite falling just short in the overall tournament, Don DeAngelis (Spring Ford Country Club) took home the top spot in the Super Senior division after posting a 4-under (67).

Played in conjunction with the TaylorMade Classic, the Section’s Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) also held their own tournament. With most players playing in both events, the PAO field was one of the largest of the 2019 season. At the end of regulation, three players found themselves tied at the top of the PAO leaderboard with matching scores of 4-under (67). However, only two players remained at the course at the end of the day to compete in the payoff. After two holes of a sudden death playoff, Michael Tobiason (Deerfield Country Club) defeated Brain Bergstol (Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort) with an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. Finishing in third place in the PAO tournament was Billy Stewart (The ACE Club).

The Section would like to thank our tournament sponsors TaylorMade Golf and our Section representatives Mike Zupi and Jay Junkin as well as our supporting sponsor BagBoy.

The next event on the Philadelphia PGA tournament calendar is the 98th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship set to be played September 16-18 at Union League Golf Club – Torresdale and Riverton Country Club.

For complete coverage of the Philadelphia PGA be sure to follow us on our Social Media Channels Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.

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PGA REACH Philadelphia Announces October “Month of Giving” Fundraising Campaign

Lower Gwynedd Township, PA., September 9, 2019 … PGA REACH Philadelphia, the charitable arm of the Philadelphia Section PGA (PPGA), has announced its inaugural “Month of Giving,” a fundraising campaign that will take place from October 1st through October 31st, with proceeds going to support the foundation’s three core pillars: Youth, Military and Diversity.

As PGA REACH Philadelphia’s signature fundraising initiative, “Month of Giving” will encompass several key events and programs. Information and registration for this event can be found HERE.

Additional “Month of Giving” events include:

  • The annual Philadelphia PGA Golf Marathon, where PGA Professionals pledge to play 100 holes in 1 day. To donate, register, or participate CLICK HERE.
  • A PGA REACH Philadelphia Awareness Event at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale on October 9th.


“The inaugural “Month of Giving” campaign is vital to our fundraising efforts at PGA REACH Philadelphia,” said Leila Mackie, Foundation Director, PGA REACH Philadelphia.  “Since our launch earlier this year, support of our programs has been incredible, we are using this month-long series of events and activities to promote our foundation and help raise funds that are core to our mission of positively impacting lives and communities through the game of golf.”
Among the key programs that will benefit from “Month of Giving” fundraising, is PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), the PGA of America’s flagship military program.  Through PGA HOPE, PGA Professionals provide weekly golf clinics to Veterans with disabilities in order to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. As golf has become a therapeutic part of the rehabilitation process for many Veterans with disabilities, PGA HOPE is truly making a difference in their lives.

The foundation will also continue growing its successful flagship youth initiative, PGA Jr. League. Golf’s version of Little League Baseball provides a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls, ages 13 and under, to learn and play the game of golf in a popular “team” scramble format. Each team is coached by a PGA or LPGA Professional, and all players wear team uniforms with player numbers on the back. In 2019, more than 1,800 kids participated throughout the Philadelphia PGA region, encompassing over 150 teams, playing in 31 Leagues at 86 public, private and First Tee facilities.

Additionally, PGA REACH Philadelphia’s “Golf in Schools” Program will be a benefactor of the “Month of Giving” campaign. This program, operated in partnership with the Golf Association of Philadelphia, grows the game of golf among youth in local communities, backed by a comprehensive curriculum developed by PGA Professionals designed to introduce the game to students of all skill levels through their physical education classes in school. Currently, there are 30 schools that take part in PGA REACH Philadelphia’s Golf in Schools Program through their physical education classes throughout the Philadelphia region.

Lastly, PGA REACH Philadelphia Philly Junior Tour Diversity Scholarship will benefit from the “Month of Giving” campaign. In 2019, PGA REACH Philadelphia awarded three scholarship opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds to participate on the elite Philly Junior Tour (PJT). The PJT leads the region in competitive junior golf with over 90 events seasonally held at many of the area’s top facilities. Membership consists of junior golfers 18 years of age and younger who play a tournament schedule that covers all geographic areas of the Philadelphia Section.

Anyone who would like to get involved with PGA REACH Philadelphia’s “Month of Giving” campaign, including the  Philadelphia PGA Golf Marathon, and PGA REACH Philadelphia Awareness Event, can click on one of the links above. To make a general donation to PGA REACH Philadelphia, please visit:

For more information on PGA REACH Philadelphia visit:

About PGA REACH Philadelphia

The PGA Reach Philadelphia Foundation is the 501c3 charitable arm of the Philadelphia Section of the PGA of America (PPGA), which encompasses Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey (Trenton – south), Delaware and parts of Northern Maryland. The Foundation was created to support the PGA of America’s national PGA REACH program, whose mission is to positively impact lives and communities through the game of golf, with a focus on 3 core pillars: Youth, Military and Diversity. Under the guidance of more than 850 PGA Professionals and Assistants from the PPGA, the Foundation hosts a dynamic line-up of dynamic golf programming that provides access for individuals from all backgrounds to experience golf in a welcoming environment.


PRESS CONTACTS:  Joe Monforto/Communications Director at (215) 481-9086 or
                                           Jared Minski/Mastro Communications at (732) 469-5700 or

George Forster birdies seventh playoff hole to win $100,000 first prize at Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship

By: Joe Juliano

George Forster was hoping to leave the stress of competition behind as he traveled Wednesday to Sunnybrook Golf Club to continue a playoff for the title of the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Championship. But with $100,000 on the line, it wasn’t easy.

Ultimately, what began as a seven-man playoff came down to Forster, the long-time head professional at Radnor Valley Country Club, and Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant pro Rusty Harbold, and went to the seventh extra hole before Forster knocked in a 12-foot birdie putt for the victory, his second in the event.

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