Section History 2010 – 2018

A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
2010 to 2018


Contents
2010 In November Leo DeGisi was sworn in for a second three-year term as a PGA of America director.
2011 The Section celebrated its 90th birthday. Rich Steinmetz won the Section Championship a third time.
2012 Stu Ingraham was the Section Champion, Senior Champion & Player-of-the-Year.
2013 Harry Hammond won the PGA Bill Strausbaugh Award. Mark Sheftic was on the PGA Cup Team a 3rd time.
2014 Lou Guzzi-teaching, Rick Kline-merchandising and Scott Nye-merchandising won national awards.
2015 The Philadelphia Cricket Club hosted the PGA Professional National Championship.
2016 In November Tom Carpus was elevated to chairman of the PGA of America rules committee.
2017 Dave McNabb played in three majors: Senior PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, PGA Championship.
2018 Billy Stewart won both the Philadelphia Section Championship and the Philadelphia Open.


2010
A new decade began with the country in a deep recession and the business of golf was in just as deep. There were more golf courses than there were golfers. Definitely, there were too many golf professionals. Some golf courses were closing which was the best for the business in general but difficult for the employees. One golf writer stated that for the first time more golfers were on waiting lists to get out of clubs in the United States that there were waiting to get into clubs.

In January the PGA made some changes to the apprentice program. One of those was that all applicants to the apprentice program would have to complete three online courses and pass a knowledge course before being allowed to register in the program.

In February Jeff Kiddie, who was now the professional at the Aronimink Golf Club hosted a Section education seminar. The seminar featured the Stack and Tilt golf swing method and its founders Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. More than 100 Section members and apprentices were in attendance. Some were there to learn how to teach this new method to their golfers and some were there to try and incorporate it into their own games. As usual the seminars on golf instruction always drew the largest turnout.

In the third week of March Lancaster County’s Jim Furyk won the Transitions Championship at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. The tournament was played on the resort’s 7,340-yard Copperhead Course. In spite of the length it was a course that required ball control which suited Furyk’s game. With rounds of 67, 68 and 67 he teed off in the final round with a three stroke lead over K.J. Choi. Choi proceeded to make birdies on four of the first six holes, which put him in a tie with Furyk. In the last round Furyk made six birdies but he also made four bogies. One of the bogies came on the 72nd hole. Playing the par-four last hole with a two stroke lead Furyk drove into the trees on the right side, shanked a long-iron second shot, put his next shot on the green and two putted for a one stroke victory. His 69 gave him a winning total of thirteen-under-par 271. It was Furyk’s fourteenth win on the PGA Tour. Choi finished second at 272. Bubba Watson was third at 273 and Nick Watney finished fourth at 275. There was a lengthy rain delay during the last round and play didn’t finish until 7:30. First prize was $972,000.  

Forster (TGH)
George Forster, Sr.

The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Radnor Valley Country Club on the fifth Monday of March. The Section had 708 members and 154 apprentices which were employed at 590 golf facilities. Valley Country Club professional Clark Luis gave his usual powerful rendition of our national anthem. There were the usual reports from the various officers and committee chairmen. The Section’s executive director Geoff Surrette reported that the Section’s reserve fund was now valued at $511,800. The budgeted income for the year was $1,500,000 and the budgeted expenses were $1,475,000. Concord Country Club professional Mike Moses, the director of tournaments, announced that the “one ball rule” which had been in effect since the introduction of the solid golf ball, was being removed from the Section’s rule sheet. The tournament committee had decided that the golf balls were all so similar now that the rule was no longer necessary. Another rule was that all communication devices were not allowed during tournament rounds. That included use by the caddies. If a device was turned on it was considered to be in use. The Section’s instruction committee chairman Lou Guzzi, announced that the Section now had a website titled “The Lesson Tee”. It could be found on the Section’s website under the “Guide to Golf” button. Guzzi managed a golf academy at the Talamore Golf Club. The Section’s 2009 “Teacher of the Year” Elizabeth Granahan was honored. She was the golf instructor and operator of three GolfTEC facilities in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Radnor Valley Country Club professional George Forster, Sr. was honored as the Section’s 2010 “PGA Golf Professional of the Year”. Forster had been the professional at Radnor Valley for seventeen years. He won the 1999 Philadelphia PGA Championship and in 2001 he won the Section’s match play championship. In 2008 Forster won the Section’s senior championship and beginning with 2006 he was the Section’s senior player of the year for four years. He had served on several Section committees, which included the tournament committee. Forster volunteered as a “Buddy” in the Variety Club program. He had hosted numerous Section events at Radnor Valley and supported the Section’s pro-ams by participating in more than 150 of them.  

The Masters Tournament was played at the Augusta National Golf Club in the first full week of April as it had been for many years. As usual it was another exciting tournament. The weather was good and the scoring in spite of what was now a long golf course was torrid. There were 34 eagles made and 87 sub-par rounds. Phil Mickelson who was no stranger to success at August began the tournament with a 67 and a 71 which left him two shots off the pace. On Saturday Mickelson put together an eagle-eagle-birdie stretch on holes 13, 14 and 15 for a 67 but he still trailed the tournament leader Lee Westwood by one stroke. On Sunday Mickelson shot a bogey-free 67 which featured an eagle on the 13th hole after having driven into the pine trees on the right side. When it was all over Mickelson was in with a sixteen-under-par 272 and three stokes in front of the field. It was his third Masters victory. Lee Westwood finished second at 275 and Anthony Kim was third with a 276. Tiger Woods and K.J. Choi tied for fourth with 277 totals. Sean O’Hair tied for 30th at 291 and won $45,563. Jim Furyk missed the cut. First prize was $1,350,000. O’Hair and Furyk were in the tournament as winners on certain designated tournaments on the PGA Tour during the previous 12 months and for being in the top 30 money winners on the PGA Tour in 2009.  

Jim Furyk missed the cut at the Masters Tournament but the next week he won the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head, South Carolina. The tournament was once again hosted by the Harbour Town Golf Links in the third week of April. Furyk opened with a 67 and a 68 to lead by one stroke at the halfway point. Another 67 in the third round kept him one stroke in front of the field. On Sunday Furyk put together a steady 69 but when Brian Davis (68-69-66-68) made a birdie on the 72nd hole they were deadlocked and a playoff was needed to determine a winner. The two players returned to the par four 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff. Furyk was on in two but Davis’ second shot bounced off the left edge of the green into the wetlands. In playing his third shot Davis’ club head moved an unattached reed during his backswing. He asked the rules official for a ruling. After checking the television replays it was determined that his backswing had moved a loose impediment in the hazard. The penalty was two strokes. Davis played one more stroke and picked up. Furyk two putted for a par and the victory. Their 13-under-par 271s were three strokes better than anyone else. Bo Van Pelt and Luke Donald tied for second with 274s. First prize was $1,026,000.

Bohn, Jason (TGH)
Jason Bohn

Lewisburg’s Jason Bohn captured his second PGA Tour title in the fourth week of April at the Zurich Classic. The tournament was played on the 7,399 yard TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Louisiana. Bohn put five injury filled years behind him with the victory. He had two broken ribs in 2007 and in 2008 he had three back surgeries which confined him to bed for a month. The PGA Tour’s medical exemptions had made it possible for him to return to the tour. Bohn led from wire to wire with rounds of 65, 67, 71 and 67. Due to weather delays in the earlier rounds he had to play 30 holes on Sunday but he was not to be denied. On the par five 72nd hole he put a 148-yard pitching wedge next to the hole for a tap-in birdie. Bohn’s 18-under-par total of 270 won by two strokes. Jeff Overton finished second at 272. Troy Merritt was third with a 274 and Lee Janzen was fourth at 275. First prize was $1,152,000. The win qualified Bohn for the 2011 Masters Tournament.

Local qualifying in southern New Jersey for the U.S. Open was held at Galloway National Golf Club on the second Tuesday of May. Amateur Peter Barron III led with a two-over-par 73. Travis Deibert, who was an assistant at the Commonwealth National Golf Club, took the next spot with a 74. There were five spots to qualify for at Galloway National. Amateurs David Sanders (75), Geoffrey Cooper (75) and Thomas Gramigna (76) picked up the other three spots.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Philadelphia was held at The Springhaven Club on the third Monday of May. There were five qualifying spots to play for at Springhaven and four players finished tied for medalist honors. Jeffersonville Golf Club assistant Billy Mullen and Jonathon Rusk, who was back playing the mini-tours out of Washington’s Crossing, along with amateurs Amory Davis and Ben Kohles all shot 69s. The last spot went to Whitford Country Club professional Mike Ladden at even par 70.

On the third Tuesday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held in northern Pennsylvania at the Williamsport Country Club. There were two spots to qualify for at Williamsport. Williamsport mini-tour player Rick Piger III led with an even-par 71 and the other spot went to Florida mini-tour player Marc Mazza with a 72.

On the third Thursday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Chambersburg Country Club. The USGA had allocated three spots to play for at Chambersburg. Blaine Peffley, a mini-tour player from Lebanon, led the qualifying with a five-under-par 68. Canadian professional Ken Tarling and amateur Zachary Herr won the other two places with 71s.

The Senior PGA Championship was held in the end of May at Parker, Colorado. The venue was the three-year old Colorado Golf Club. As a sign of the times in the golf business a clubhouse had not been constructed due to financial problems. Throughout the telecast of the tournament the lack of a clubhouse was not mentioned or pictured. The course measured 7,464 yards but it played ten percent shorter due to the altitude. After many near misses Tom Lehman won his first American major with rounds of 68, 71, 71 and 71. He was the only participant that broke par in every round, but he still had to play extra holes to wrap up the victory. Lehman, Fred Couples (69-68-75-69) and David Frost (72-77-65-67) all finished at nine-under-par 281. A sudden death playoff was held and the three players returned to the 18th tee. Couples’ drive came to rest in a bush with an unplayable lie. He took a penalty and made a double-bogey six. Frost drove into a fairway bunker, pulled his second shot well left of the green and made a double-bogey also. Lehman’s tee shot was in the fairway on the 445-yard hole. From 132 yards Lehman hit the green with a pitching wedge shot and two putted for the win. Mark O’Meara finished fourth at 283. Glenmaura National Golf Club professional Cleve Coldwater and Radnor Valley Country Club professional George Forster, Sr. missed the cut and each received $1,000. They had qualified by finishing in the top 35 at the 2009 Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Forster had gotten in as an alternate. First prize from the $2,000,000 purse was $360,000.

The Haverford Trust Classic was held at the Sunnybrook Golf again. This year it was played on the first day of June which was the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Chris Wisler teed off at 7 a.m. and at 11 a.m. he posted a three-under-par 69. Some of the players weren’t scheduled to tee off for another three hours. In the afternoon electrical storms delayed play twice for a total of 85 minutes. The last players teed off at 4:05pm and completed their rounds near dark at 8:25. When it was all over Wisler, who was the teaching professional at the Tee It Up Golf driving range, which was in West Chester, still held the lead. The defending champion Travis Deibert had the best chance to win but he made pars on the last eleven holes to finish second with a 70. Overbrook Golf Club assistant Scott Hunter, Honey Brook Golf Club professional Ryan Gray and the Country Club at Woodloch Springs professional John Pillar tied for third with 71s. First prize was now $42,500 and the total purse was $60,300.

Bill Sautter won the 25th annual Burlington Classic on the first Monday of June at the Burlington Country Club. Sautter, a teaching professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, led from wire to wire. On Sunday two professionals were paired with three amateurs in a pro-am format. The professional scores counted toward their individual prizes. On Sunday Sautter shot a five-under-par 65 to lead by two strokes. The next day he shot a 71 to finish at 136, which won by one stroke. Merion Golf Club teaching professional Mark Sheftic finished second at 137. Cape May National Golf Club professional John Appleget (138) and Burlington member Jack Wallace (138) tied for third. Concord Country Club professional Mike Moses (139) and M Golf Range teaching professional Stu Ingraham (139) tied for fifth. First prize was $2,500 and the purse totaled $16,765.

On the first Monday of June Blaine Peffley qualified for the U.S. Open. Peffley qualified at the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey and he led the field with (68-70) a six-under-par 138 total. There were four qualifying spots at Canoe Brook. Dan McCarty (140), Jim Herman (141) and Jon Curran (142) picked up the second, third and fourth spots. Jim Furyk and Sean O’Hair were exempt from both stages of qualifying off their positions on the world ranking.

The Variety Tournament of Champions was held on the third Tuesday of June at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. The top thirty leaders from the 2009 Philadelphia Section points list plus ten invited professionals each were paired with three amateurs in a pro-am to raise money for the Variety Club charities. Travis Deibert put together a 69 on Tuesday and a 68 on Wednesday for a seven-under-par 137 to win my one stroke. Bala Golf Club teaching pro Bill Walker finished second with a 138. Hidden Valley Golf Club teaching professional Terry Hatch, Spring Ford Country Club professional Rich Steinmetz, Kings Creek Country Club teaching professional Chris Krueger and Scott Hunter tied for third with 140 totals. The purse was $10,000 and Deibert won $2,000.  

The U.S. Open was back at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California. The course was set up at 7,040 yards and par had been reduced to 71. The par-five second hole was played as a par-four. The course was dry and fast. The big names got off to poor starts. At the end of three rounds Dustin Johnson led by three shots at six-under-par. On Sunday Johnson fell apart early and never recovered as he posted a birdie free 82 and tied for eighth. Meanwhile Graeme McDowell (71-68-71-74), who was paired with Johnson, held it together well enough to stay in front of the rest of the field. McDowell finished at even-par 284 which was one better than French professional Gregory Harvet (285). Ernie Els finished third at 286. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods tied for fourth at 287. Sean O’Hair finished in a tie for 12th at 290 and won $143,714. Jim Furyk tied for 16th at 292 winning $108,458. Blaine Peffley missed the cut. First prize was $1,350,000.

Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at the Radnor Valley Country Club on the fourth Thursday of June. Three spots were available at Radnor Valley. Mike Donald, a veteran of the PGA Tour, led with a three-under-par 67. Bill Sautter won the second spot with a 69 and amateur Chris Lange picked up the third spot with a 71.

The PGA Professional National Championship was held in French Lick, Indiana at the French Lick Resort on the last four days of June. The tournament was televised by the Golf Chanel and ended on a Wednesday so as to not compete for viewers with the PGA Tour events. The Pete Dye Course and the Donald Ross Course were used for the first two rounds and the Pete Dye Course was used for the last two rounds after the cut. There were ten professionals from the Philadelphia Section in the starting field. Mike Small won the tournament for a third time. After a slow start on the final day Small (68-72-65-73) finished the round with three straight birdies and a total of 278 which won by three strokes. Sonny Skinner ended up in second place alone at 281. Mark Sheftic finished third at 283 and Danny Balin was fourth at 284. First prize was $75,000 and Sheftic won $34,000. Stu Ingraham finished ninth at 287 and won $14,250. Rich Steinmetz tied for 15th at 289 and won $6,176. By finishing in the top 20 Sheftic, Ingraham and Steinmetz qualified for the PGA Championship. Steinmetz made it right on the number and no playoff was needed. John Pillar also made the cut as he finished tied for 34th at 294 won $3,415. Cleve Clearwater, Bucknell Golf Club professional Brian Kelly, Sunnybrook Golf Club professional John Allen, Huntsville Golf Club professional Mike Molino, John Appleget and Dave McNabb, who was now the professional at the Applebrook Golf Club, missed the cut. Sheftic was exempt off his second place finish in 2009 and the others had qualified at the Philadelphia Section Championship. Deerwood Country Club professional Greg Farrow had qualified but didn’t enter the tournament and Mike Moses was entered but didn’t play in the tournament. Kelly got in as an alternate in place of Farrow.     

On the first of July the PGA Tour returned to Philadelphia as the AT&T National. The tournament was hosted by the Aronimink Golf Club which measured 7,237 yards and was short by 21st century standards. When the 1962 PGA Championship was held at Aronimink the golf course measured 7,045 yards and it was considered to be a long setup. After opening with rounds of 69 and 64 it was England’s Justin Rose the rest of the way. A third round 67 left him four shots in front of the field. He began the final round with a bogey but a couple of birdies and a one-putt eagle on the ninth hole gave him a five-shot lead with nine holes to play. He took three putts on both the 10th and 11th holes and ten finished with seven straight pars for a round of 70. When it was all over Rose’s ten-under-par- 270 total won by one stroke. Ryan Moore made a late challenge with a 65, which was the low round of the day, to finish second at 271. Jeff Overton finished third at 272 and Charlie Wi was fourth at 273. Sean O’Hair tied for 11th at 278 and won $131,440. Jim Furyk tied for 33rd at 282 and won $31,388. First prize was $1,116,000 out of a purse of $6,200,000. The host professional was Jeff Kiddie.    

The British Open was held at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland during the third week of July. Louis Oosthuizen added his name to the list of South African winners of the Open.  After rounds of 65 and 67 he led by five strokes. He shot a 69 in the third round and led by four with a round to go. On Sunday Paul Casey got within three strokes but fell back. Oosthuizen finished with a 71, a sixteen-under-par 272 and a seven-stroke margin of victory. Lee Westwood was second at 279. Casey, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson tied for third with 280 totals. McIlroy had led with a first round 63 but then he got caught in the wind on Friday and finished with an 80. He came back with 137 on the weekend. First prize was $1,305,593 in U.S. dollars. Sean O’Hair tied for seventh at 282 and won $186,239. Jason Bohn and Jim Furyk missed the cut. O’Hair and Furyk were in the field off their position in the world rankings. Bohn earned a late invitation by being one of three players in the top 20 on the 2010 Fed-Ex points list who were not already eligible.      

The Philadelphia Open was played at the Philmont Country Club’s North Course on the third Wednesday of July. Michael R. Brown, a reinstated amateur from Lookaway Golf Club, and Greg Farrow completed the thirty-six holes tied at 142. The weather was hot and humid. Brown’s rounds were 70-72 and Farrow’s were 68-74. A four-hole playoff was held on holes 1, 2, 17 and 18. The two players finished the playoff still tied as they played the four holes in one over par. It was getting dark and the players were given the choice of going into a sudden-death right then or returning the next morning for the sudden-death playoff. They decided to continue and returned to the first hole. Both players were on the par-four green in two. Brown putted from 22-feet to within inches of the hole and tapped it in for a par. Farrow’s putt from 15-feet went three-feet past the cup. When Farrow missed his second putt Brown, who had worked as an assistant pro at North Hills Country Club for the recently deceased Ron Rolfe, became the thirteenth amateur to win the Philadelphia Open. As the low professional, Farrow took home the top check of $6,000. Bill Sautter finished third at 143. John Appleget and amateur Matthew Mattare, the son of Saucon Valley Country Club professional Gene Mattare, tied for fourth with 144 scores.

In the fourth week of July Travis Deibert won the Woodcrest Invitational for the second straight year. The two-day event was held at the Woodcrest Country Club. On Monday the professionals were paired with four amateurs in a pro-am format which raised money for Jewish charities. Deibert shot a 67 on Monday to lead by one stroke and a steady 70 on Tuesday iced the win. His five-under-par 137 total won by one-stroke. Greg Farrow and Little Mill Country Club professional George Frake both finished at 138 and tied for second. John Allen shot 139 and was fourth alone. First prize was $3,500.

The U.S. Senior Open was played at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington at the end of July. The tournament ended on the first day of August. Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples teed off in the final round tied for the lead. Couples took the lead with a birdie on the first hole but on the second hole he made a triple-bogey eight against a birdie for Langer. Langer never looked back. He tacked a 67 on to earlier rounds of 69, 68 and 68 to finish at eight-under-par 272. Couples was second at 275. Olin Browne and John Cook tied for third with 278 totals. First prize was $470,000. Bill Sautter, who had qualified in Philadelphia in June made the cut and tied for 65th. He won $5,854.

Don Allan won his last tournament before turning 50 as he captured the GALV Lehigh Valley Open in the first week of August. The tournament was hosted by the Northampton Country Club. Allan, who was the teaching professional at the Woodcrest Country Club, posted rounds of 67 on Monday and 69 on Tuesday. His eight-under-par 136 total won by two shots. Rich Steinmetz finished second at 138. Lehigh Country Club professional Wayne Phillips and George Forster, Sr. finished with 139 scores and tied for third. First prize was $2,350 from a total purse of $14,020.

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Applebrook Golf Club in the second week of August. The largest checks were won by mini-tour players. The course measured 6,815 yards and par was 71. Robert Rohanna, a mini-tour player from Western Pennsylvania led from wire to wire. Rohanna opened with a 67 on Monday. On Tuesday the scores were very low and Rohanna was the best with a 63. What was amazing was that he made a triple-bogey on the 18th hole after beginning his round on the 10th hole and still put together a round of eight-under-par. Even thought Rohanna stood at twelve-under-par with a round to play he only led by two strokes. On Wednesday he shot a steady 71 and his 201 final tally won by three strokes. Blaine Peffley finished second at 204. Amateur Zak Drescher ended up in third place with 205 strokes. Devon’s Billy Stewart who was playing the mini-tours, David Konieczny and amateur Andrew Mason tied for fourth with 207 totals. The low pros from the Philadelphia Section were John Pillar and Overbrook Golf Club professional Eric Kennedy who tied for ninth at 209. The purse was again $50,000 and first prize was $10,000.

Hanover Country Club assistant Richie Krebs won the Section Assistant Championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course on the third Monday of August. In the morning round Krebs shot a two under par 69, which was the only round in the 60s. In the afternoon he posted a 70 and his 139 total won by two strokes. First prize was $1,250. Travis Deibert and Billy Mullen tied for second at 141. Chris Wisler and Applebrook Golf Club assistant Corey Katzen tied for fourth at 142. The tournament was the qualifying event for the PGA of America’s assistant championship and the Section had been allotted four spots, which was based on the number of entries. Krebs, Deibert and Mullen took the first three spots. Wisler won a sudden-death playoff with Katzen on the second hole for the fourth qualifying spot . The purse was $8,760.

The PGA Championship was played in the middle of August at the Whistling Straights in Kohler, Wisconsin. The tournament was played on the 7,507-yard Straights Course. It will always be remembered for its many bunkers, which were estimated at 1,200+, and what happened to Dustin Johnson on the 72nd hole of the tournament. Before the tournament began the PGA had posted a sheet stating that all sand was to be bunkers and thus to be played as hazards. Johnson teed off on the last hole with a one-stroke lead. His tee shot came to rest in one of those many bunkers. The small spot of sand that he had driven into was flat and so far to the right of play that the spectators had been standing in it. To compound the situation Johnson and his caddy had not bothered to read the posted statements concerning sand and bunkers. Not thinking that it was a bunker, Johnson grounded his four-iron in the sand and played toward the green. He missed the green, pitched up to within seven-feet of the hole and missed the putt. Thinking that he was now tied for first he was informed by the tournament’s leading rules official that there was a rules question that needed to be reviewed. After looking at the TV replays a two-stroke penalty was assessed. Martin Kaymer (72-68-67-70) and Bubba Watson (68-71-70-68) were now tied for the title with eleven-under-par 277 totals. A three-hole playoff was held, which Kaymer won with a 4-2-5—11 (par-birdie-bogey) against 3-3-6—12 (birdie-par-double bogey) for Watson. Rory McIlroy and Zack Johnson tied for third at 278. Dustin Johnson ended up in a three-way tie for fifth. Jim Furyk tied for 24th at 285 and won $58,600. Sean O’Hair, Stu Ingraham, Rich Steinmetz and Mark Sheftic missed the cut. Furyk and O’Hair were in the field as winners on the PGA Tour and other exemptions. Ingraham, Steinmetz and Sheftic had qualified at the PGA Professional National Championship in June. First prize was $1,350,000 and the total purse was $7,500,000.  O’Hair, Ingraham, Steinmetz and Sheftic each received $2,500.  

George Forster, Sr. won the Section Senior Championship in the third week of August. The tournament’s first round was held at the DuPont Country Club’s DuPont Course and the second round was played at the Wilmington Country Club’s South Course. Forster led all the way. On Wednesday he posted a three-under-par 68 and he tacked on a 72 on Thursday. His 140 score was one better than the rest of the field. First prize was $1,000 and the purse totaled $4,370. This was also the qualifying event for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. The Section had seven spots to qualify for. The first spot went to Forster and the next two places went to Philadelphia Country Club professional Jay Horton and Cleve Coldwater who tied for second with 141s. Back Creek Golf Club professional Nevin Sutcliffe, Don Allan and retired professional Ken Peyre-Ferry grabbed the fourth, fifth and sixth places with 142s. Brian Kelly finished seventh alone at 143 and won the last spot. Centre Hills Country Club professional Jeb Boyle (144) and Stu Ingraham (144) were alternates. The both got into the tournament along with Bill Sautter who had finished at 145.

The Whitford Classic was held at the Whitford Country Club in late August. On Sunday the professionals were each teamed with three amateurs in a pro-am format. The professionals’ scores counted toward a two-day individual tournament. The tournament ended in a two-way tie. Don DeAngelis (136), who was now the teaching professional at the LuLu Country Club, posted rounds of 69-67 and Scott Hunter (136) also posted rounds of 69-67. A sudden-death playoff was held, which began on the first hole. The two professionals halved the first four holes with birdies on the first hole and pars on the next three holes. On the fifth hole DeAngelis won out with a par against a bogey for Hunter. Bill Sautter finished third at 138 and Brian Kelly was fourth at 139. First prize was $5,000 and the total prize money came to $20,500.

The Shawnee Inn & Country Club hosted the Shawnee Open in the first week of September. There were a number of low scores on Monday but gusts of wind up to 40 miles per hour on Tuesday led to much higher scoring. Don Allan (136) picked up his second win in 2010 as he put together rounds of 67 and 69 for a three-stroke win. John Pillar came in second with a 139 score. Travis Deibert and Scott Hunter tied for third at 140. First prize was $1,500 and the purse totaled $8,175.

Steinmetz, Rich 3 (TGH)
Rich Steinmetz

Rich Steinmetz won the Philadelphia Section Championship for a second time in the fourth week of September. The tournament was hosted by the Concord Country Club for the fifth time and the third time in four years.  There were 150 entries. On Tuesday Steinmetz jumped out to a five-stroke lead with a 63 which was topped off with an eagle three on the 18th hole. A steady round of 70 on Wednesday kept him three strokes in front. On Thursday Stu Ingraham, who was in second place, made a run at the lead. He and Steinmetz were paired together. With the par-five 18th hole left to play Ingraham trailed by two strokes. Steinmetz drove into the rough and his ball came to rest in a difficult lie. He played his second shot into the fairway short of the green. Ingraham’s tee shot was in the fairway and his six-iron shot ended up over the green. Steinmetz hit a lob-wedge to within four-feet of the cup. Ingraham chipped back close to the hole and tapped in his birdie putt. Steinmetz two putted to sew up the victory by one stroke. His final round 72 gave him an eight-under-par 205 total. Ingraham was second alone at 206. Mark Sheftic finished a distance third at 211. Greg Farrow was next in fourth place with 213. First prize was $7,000 from the total prize money of $62,400. This event was also qualifying for the 2011 PGA Professional National Championship. The Section had been allotted eleven qualifying spots, which was based on the number of entries in the Section Championship. Steinmetz, Ingraham and Sheftic were exempt off their finishes in the 2010 championship which had been played in June. The first spot went to Farrow, the second spot went to Laurel Creek Country Club professional John DiMarco (214) and the third spot went to Bent Creek Country Club professional Terry Hertzog (215). John Allen (216) and Dave McNabb (216) took the fourth and fifth spots. John Appleget (217), John Spina (217) and Bill Walker (217) won the next three places. The last three places went to Cleve Coldwater (218), Bill Sautter (218) and Rob Shuey (218) who was now the teaching professional at the Olde Scotland Yard Golf Center. The only playoff that was needed was for alternate places. The host professional was Mike Moses and he was also the first alternate with a score of 219.

Furyk, Jim
Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk capped off an outstanding year by winning the PGA Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup in the fourth week of September. The tournament was held at the East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia. Furyk put together rounds of 67, 65, 70 and 70 for an eight-under-par 272. Furyk came to the last three holes with a three-stroke lead. He made bogies on the 16th and 17th holes. On the par-three 18th hole Furyk’s tee-shot ended up in a greenside bunker. From there he played to within a couple of feet of the cup and holed the putt for the largest payday of his career, by far. First prize in the Tour Championship was $1,350.000 and he picked up a $10,000,000 bonus for winning the year-long FedEx Cup. Luke Donald finished second at 273 and Retief Goosen was next at 274. Nick Watney and Paul Casey tied for fourth with 275s.  

The Ryder Cup was hosted by the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on the first four days of October. The matches were played on the Twenty Ten Course. They were scheduled for the first three days of October but heavy rain arrived soon after the matches began on Friday. It rained so hard that play was soon stopped. For the first time in the long history of the Ryder Cup an extra day was needed to complete the matches. Even with that one of the five sessions was eliminated. A plan was devised to play for six points instead of the usual four in the second and third sessions. On Monday the twelve singles matches were played. The United States began the last session three points behind but rallied to win seven matches. It wasn’t quite enough. The final tally was Europe 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 for the USA. That was the same number of points that would have resulted if the usual five sessions had been played. Jim Furyk was on the team again. It was his seventh consecutive Ryder Cup. He won 1/2 point and lost 2-1/2 points.

The Senior PGA Professional National Championship was played in Indian Wells, California in the second week of October. The tournament was played at the Toscana Country Club and the Rancho La Quinta Country Club. Robert Thompson won the tournament. He had also won the 1986 PGA Assistant Championship. Thompson (280) put together rounds of 71, 69, 69 and 71 for a two-stroke victory. James Blair and Mark Faulkner tied for second with 282 totals. Ken Martin and Mike Lawrence tied for fourth at 283. Stu Ingraham, who was in the field as an alternate, tied for sixth at 284 and won $6,300. George Forster, Sr. tied for 21st at 288 and won $2,703.57. Brian Kelly tied for 28th at 289 and won $2,200. For finishing in the top eight Ingraham was exempt for this tournament in 2011. By finishing in the top 35 Ingraham, Forster and Kelly qualified for the 2011 Senior PGA Championship. Bill Sautter (299), who was also there as an alternate, made the cut and tied for 65th winning $1,045. Jeb Boyle, Don Allan, Nevin Sutcliffe and Jay Horton missed the cut. Cleve Coldwater was exempt from his finish in the 2010 tournament and Ken Peyre-Ferry had qualified but they didn’t go to the tournament. Ingraham and Sautter replaced them. Boyle got in when the Section was given another spot in the tournament.

On the second Thursday of October the Philadelphia Section professionals and the Golf Association of Philadelphia amateurs met in their annual challenge match. The Ledge Rock Golf Club hosted the match on a very challenging day. The temperature was in the low 50s and the matches were played in a steady rain. There were 12 players on each team and two had to be seniors. Two professionals opposed two amateurs in each pairing. In each pairing there were two singles matches and a better-ball match. The PGA team of Travis Deibert-Mark Sheftic won all three of its points. The team of Brian Kelly-George Forster, Sr. won 2-1/2 points. The team of John Allen-Don DeAngelis won 1-1/2 points. The teams of John Appleget-Don Allan and Chris Krueger-Tony Perla won one point. Bill Sautter and Matt Moroz, an assistant at the Torresdale-Frankford Country Club, were also on the team. Perla was the professional at the Bellewood Golf Club. The final tally was nine points for the PGA and nine points for the GAP. It was the fourth time that the matches had ended in a tie. The twenty-year record for the matches now stood at 15 wins for the PGA against one loss and four ties.

Mike Moses won the Section Match Play Championship in the third week of October at the Little Mill Country Club. The Little Mill and Devil’s Glen nines were used for the tournament. There were forty entries and the seeding was done from the Section’s points list through the Section Championship. In order to fill out the 64-man ladder there were 24 byes. This was the final tournament of the year which determined the points leader for the year. As it turned out none of the three leaders in points who were also the top three seeds made it past the quarterfinal round. The semifinals came down to Mike Moses, Jacob Gerney, John Appleget and Bill Sautter. Moses defeated Appleget by 2&1 and Gerney eliminated Sautter by the same count of 2&1. In the finals Moses edged out Gerney, the teaching professional at the DuPont Country Club, by 1-down. All of the matches were scheduled for 18-holes. First prize was $750 and the purse totaled $4,200.

The Section’s fall meeting was held at the DuPont Country Club on the fourth Monday of October. Medford Village Country Club professional/manager Leo DeGisi spoke on national affairs. When the national PGA meeting was held later in November DeGisi was going to begin serving a three-year term as our national director representing District II  It was announced that nominations for the various Section awards could be made through the internet for the first time. The Section’s junior program had 87 events that year and 613 different juniors had participated in at least one event. The Section had contributed $50,000 to its reserve fund and the fund was now worth $584,200. The Section’s “Player of the Year” was Travis Deibert. Stu Ingraham won the DeBaufre Trophy for the second straight year with a scoring average of 70.82 stokes per round. Ingraham was also the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year”.

Kirkwood, Joe Sr. (TGH)
Joe Kirkwood, Sr.

Joseph Henry “Joe” Kirkwood, Sr. was inducted into the Philadelphia Section PGA Hall of Fame at the Section’s fall meeting on the fourth Monday of October. Kirkwood was born in Australia in 1897 and learned to hit trick golf shots at a sheep station while watching over the animals. During World War I he entertained the wounded veterans with his assortment of golf shots. At the age of 23 he won the Australian Open, the New Zealand Open and the New Zealand PGA. The next year he traveled to the United States where he met Walter Hagen at the North and South Open. During the tournament he showed off his trick shots for the spectators and the players. When Hagen saw how much Kirkwood collected from a passing of the hat he knew that he had found a partner for his exhibitions. It became a friendship that lasted the rest of their lives. In 1923 Kirkwood moved to the United States and settled down in Glenside. He joined the Cedarbrook Country Club. For the next 15 years he represented several clubs on the East Coast but he always kept a home in the Philadelphia area and belonged to the Philadelphia Section PGA. Kirkwood was the first of the great trick shot artists and maybe the best ever. Kirkwood was a very good golfer, winning 13 times on the PGA Tour, which included the Canadian Open and the North and South Open. He won three straight tournaments in Texas in 1924, but he could make more money giving exhibitions. By 1925 he was charging $500 for a performance. He traveled the world with Hagen. In the 1930s the country was in the “Great Depression” and the golfers didn’t have money to pay to see trick golf shots. In 1938 Kirkwood became the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club and stayed there through 1949. After World War II the golfers returned to the courses and Kirkwood left Huntingdon Valley to take his trick shot show on the road again. Kirkwood estimated that he played more than 7,000 golf courses during his career and he probably introduced golf to more people than anyone in the history of the game.

DeGisi, Leo (TGH)
Leo DiGisi

The national PGA meeting was held in Boston, Massachusetts during the first week of November. It was hosted by the New England PGA Section at the Westin Copley Place hotel. It was an election year. Allen Wronowski was elected president without opposition. Ted Bishop was elected vice president, also without opposition. Six PGA members ran for the office of secretary. Derek Sprague was elected on the fifth ballot. Two resolutions were presented and voted down by the delegates. Leo DeGisi and six other PGA members were sworn in as District Directors for the next three years. For a second time DeGisi would be representing District II, which was composed of the Philadelphia Section, Metropolitan Section and New Jersey Section. The Philadelphia Section delegates were Philadelphia Cricket Club teaching professional Mark Anderson and Medford Lakes professional Dan Haskell. Past presidents Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly were also in attendance along with the Section’s alternate delegates and its executive director Geoff Surrette.

Andy Barbin was honored at the national PGA meeting in the first week of November as the winner of the President’s Plaque. The award was for Barbin’s contributions to player development and growing the game of golf. Barbin, who had been the professional and part owner of the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club for seventeen years, had been doing just that for many years before the PGA created “Play Golf America” in 2004. He had been a two-time winner of the President’s Plaque in the Philadelphia Section. Along with managing golf at Chesapeake Bay Barbin had been involved with promoting golf in other places and with charities. He and Majestic Ridge golf professional John Rogers had created the Victory Golf Pass and the Victory Golf Show several years before. The golf pass promotes golf at 212 facilities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. For the past three years Barbin had managed the three-day golf show which had attracted a total of 30,000 golfers. Through the golf show, the victory pass and Barbin’s charity the Victory Hope Foundation more than $150,000 had been contributed to charities.    

The Philadelphia Section assistants made a good showing in the PGA Assistant Championship in the second week of November. The tournament was played at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament was won by Frank Bensel (70-69-69-69) as he put together an eleven-under-par 277. Travis Deibert made a move in the final round with a 68 but he came up two strokes short and finished second at 279. Deibert won $6,500. Dan Flynn and Adam Rainaud tied for third with 280s. Billy Mullen finished tied for 33rd at 292 and won $740. Chris Wisler tied for 40th at 293 and won $675. Richie Krebs missed the cut. First prize was $9,000.

Matt Kuchar was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour and he won the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 69.61. Jim Furyk was the “PGA Player of the Year”. Kuchar had earnings of $4,910,477 in 26 tournaments, but Furyk was a close second with $4,809,622. Furyk entered 21 tournaments and won three times along with leading in FedEx Cup points, which was worth $10,000,000. Jason Bohn played in 25 tournaments as he finished in 40th place winning $1,904,763. Sean O’Hair was 41st on the money list as he won $1,859.040 in 25 tournaments.

Bernhard Langer was the leading money winner on the PGA Champions Tour. He won $2,738,939 in 24 tournaments. Jay Sigel played in nine tournaments and won $45,138. Pete Oakley won $8,750 in two events. Bill Sautter won $5,854 in one tournament. Joe Daley played in one tournament and won $2,500.

Jamie Lovemark led the PGA Nationwide Tour in money winnings as he won $452,951 in 22 tournaments. Rick Price played in 18 events and won $15,564. Vince Covello got into two tournaments and won $6,240.

In late December Kennett Square Golf & Country Club professional Tom Carpus was appointed vice-chairman of the PGA of America rules committee. He had been on the committee for more than 15 years but this meant that he was now in position to someday become the Co-Chairman of the committee.


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2011
In early February the Philadelphia Section announced that it was going to begin an internet media blitz. The Section already had its website which contained information on everything that it was involved in from tournaments and junior golf to golf instruction. The Section was now launching accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Section officers had realized that their member professionals were checking their Facebook accounts more often than their emails. The Section’s Junior Tour would also be on these accounts. Section updates would be sent directly to its members’ smart phones.

The Philadelphia Section was having its 90th birthday on December 2nd so the officers decided that it should be celebrated all twelve months of 2011. Pete Trenham, the Section’s historian, and Howard Cohen an independent director were asked to head up a committee for the celebration. At the request of the Section office Trenham put together 90 weekly historical happenings that had occurred during the 90 years. Each week one of the highlighted pieces of Section history was shown on the Section’s website. After that Trenham and a company named Telra, owned by Bill Orr an Aronimink Golf Club member, put together a video which told the 90 year history of the Section. Telra had been in the business of creating football highlight films for major colleges. Along with that Trenham and a graphic arts company made up eight panels of photos which depicted the Section’s history. The panels showed off the Section’s presidents, national presidents, national award winners, playing legends, charitable projects, PGA Championships hosted and the winners of major championships. In the second week of February at the three-day East Coast Golf Show the Section made the first presentation of the video and the panels. The Section professionals also gave free lessons and the Section staff promoted the 2011 Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour. For the remainder of 2011 the video and panels were on display at Section meetings, pro-ams and other occasions.  Also Trenham put together 52 highlights from the Section’s 90 years. The highlights were taken from the Section’s history which Trenham had compiled. The history, beginning in 1895 when the first U.S. Open was played, was on the Section’s website. Each of the 52 highlights began with something like “52 years ago this week such and such happened.

2011-H of F Collage 4
Philadelphia PGA 90th Anniversary Hall of Fame Collage 
Barbin, Andy 2 (TGH)
Andy Barbin

The spring meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at the Hershey Country Club on the fourth Monday of March. The meeting was there because the Hershey Country Club was going to be hosting the PGA Professional National Championship in late July. Due to the size of the field both the West and East courses at Hershey were going to be used for the first two rounds and 700 volunteers were needed to make the tournament a success. The 90th anniversary video was played to open the meeting and the eight panels depicting the Section’s history were on display. It was now the electronic age and for the first time all of the officer and committee reports were emailed to the Section members before the meeting. In the past you received the reports and agenda when you checked in at the meeting but now you had to print them out yourself and take them to the meeting if you wanted to have them with you. Allen Wronowski, the president of the PGA of America, was a guest speaker. As of January 31 the Section’s reserve fund contained $632,402. The officers had decided to now put $25,000 into the reserve fund each year instead of the $50,000 that it had been. The other $25,000 was going to be spent on growing the business of golf. The Section awards were presented at the meeting. Lou Guzzi, owner and operator of the Lou Guzzi Golf Academy which was at Talamore Country Club and Applecross Country Club, was the 2010 “Teacher of the Year”. Andy Barbin was the Section’s 2010 “ PGA Golf Professional of the Year”. Barbin had spent many hours promoting the game of golf and serving on Section committees. He had been the professional and part owner of the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club for seventeen years. He had been a two-timev winner of the President’s Plaque in the Philadelphia Section. Along with managing golf at Chesapeake Bay Barbin had been involved with promoting golf in other places and with charities. He and John Rogers had created the Victory Golf Pass and the Victory Golf Show several years before. The golf pass promotes golf at 212 facilities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. For the past three years Barbin had managed the three-day golf show which had attracted a total of 30,000 golfers. Through the golf show, the victory pass and Barbin’s charity the Victory Hope Foundation more than $150,000 had been contributed to charities.  

The Masters Tournament was in its usual place and time. Played on the Augusta National Golf Club’s course it was once again held in the first full week of April. It will always be remembered as the tournament that Rory McIlroy had sewed up and didn’t win. With one round to play he led by four strokes but a final round of 80 (37-43) left him in tenth place and ten strokes behind the winner. Eight players held at least a share of the lead during the final round. One of those was Charl Schwartzel (69-71-68-66) who birdied the last four holes to finish two strokes in front of the field at 274. Along with the green jacket he won $1,440,000. Jason Day and Adam Scott tied for second at 276. Tiger Woods (278), Geoff Ogilvy (278) and Luke Donald 278 tied for fourth. Jim Furyk tied for 24th at 286 and won $70,400. Sean O’Hair and Jason Bohn missed cut. Furyk and Bohn were in the field as winners of tournaments in the past twelve months. O’Hair was there off his position in the world ranking.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in south Jersey was held at the Hidden Creek Golf Club on the second Tuesday of May. There were four spots to qualify for at Hidden Creek. Christopher Gold, a Haddonfield, New Jersey mini-tour player, birdied the last hole to lead the field with an even par 70. Christopher Gray, who was now working in the New Jersey Section was second with a 71. Jonathon Gibbs and amateur Michael Kania won the third and fourth spots with 72s.

Applebrook Golf Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the second Thursday of May. There were 95 players qualifying for seven spots at Applebrook. Italian professional Marcello Santi and amateur Gary Carpenter, Jr. led with four under par 67s.  Philadelphia’s Eric Beringer, who was playing the professional golf mini-tours, won the third spot with a 68. Wilmington, Delaware professional Michael Tobiason, Jonathon Rusk and North Carolina professional Chad Wilfong took the next three spots with 70s. Billy Stewart won the seventh and last spot in a three-man sudden-death playoff.

On the third Monday of May the Country Club of Harrisburg hosted the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in central Pennsylvania. The USGA had allotted three spots in Harrisburg. Two Maryland professionals, Jeffrey Williams (66) and Charles Woodward (71), won the first two places. Amateur Matthew Maurer took the third spot with a 72. Par was 71.

Huntsville Golf Club hosted the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in northeastern Pennsylvania. There were just two spots to qualify for at Huntsville. Williamsport’s Matthew Schall who was playing the mini-tours led with a three-under-par 69. Jonestown’s Tyler Brewington, who was also playing the mini-tours won the other spot with a73.

The Senior PGA Championship was played at the PGA’s Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky during the last week of May. Tom Watson won another major championship with rounds of 70, 70, 68 and 70. To win he had to win a sudden-death playoff over David Eger (74-68-69-67). After finishing tied at ten-under-par 278 they returned to the 18th tee for sudden death. Watson made a birdie on the par-five-hole and the playoff was over. First prize was $360,000. Kiyoshi Murota (279) finished third and Hale Irwin (280) was fourth. Stu Ingraham tied for 60th at 299 and won $3,917. Joe Daley tied for 68th at 303 and he won $3,700. Brian Kelly and George Forster, Sr. missed the cut and they each received $1,000. Ingraham, Kelly and Forster had qualified at the 2010 Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Daley was there on a special invitation from the PGA of America.

On the fourth Monday of May the Philadelphia Section held a pro-am at the Aronimink Golf Club to celebrate its 90th anniversary. The Section members invited amateurs to play with them and 41 four-man teams entered. Thirteen of the teams played in the morning. In the evening there was a dinner. Section historian Pete Trenham gave a short talk on the formation and early years of the Philadelphia Section. The Section’s 90th anniversary video was played after Trenham spoke. The keynote speaker at the dinner was the Golf Channel’s analyst Rich Learner, who grew up in Allentown and graduated from Temple University’s School of Journalism.

On the fifth Tuesday of May Twining Valley Golf Club teaching professional Hugh P. Reilly won the Haverford Trust Classic and its very large first prize. Reilly put together seven birdies and eleven pars for a 65 and a two-stroke victory. Travis Deibert, who had won this event in 2009, had a chance to catch Reilly when he put his second shot on the last hole 18-feet from the hole. He missed the putt and missed again to finish with a 67. That didn’t cost him any money as he was still four strokes ahead of the rest of the field. Squires Golf Club assistant Shawn Matthews, Linfield National Golf Club assistant Kevin Melrath and Jacob Gerney, who was now the teaching professional at Trump National Philadelphia, tied for third with 71s. First prize was now $45,000. Deibert won $5,000. The total purse was $60,400.

On the first Monday of June Tavistock Country Club professional Rick Hughart won the two-day Burlington Classic at the Burlington Country Club. On Sunday two professionals were paired with three amateurs in a pro-am format and the professionals’ scores counted for the two-day professional purse. The golf course was set up easier the first day in order to get the large field around the course. Hughart posted a 67 the first day to trail the leader by two strokes. On Monday he was four-under-par when he teed off on his last hole. He didn’t play the hole well but he holed a downhill 30-foot putt for a par for a 69 and a 36-hole total of 136. Hughart edged out Rich Steinmetz (137) by one stroke. First prize was $2,500. John Appleget, who was now the teaching professional at the Wildwood Golf & Country Club, finished third at 138. Travis Deibert and David Quinn, who was the owner and professional at the Links Golf Club, tied for fourth with 139 totals. The purse totaled $14,780.

John Appleget won the Variety Tournament of Champions at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in the middle of June. The first day the professionals were each paired with three amateurs in a pro-am to raise money for Variety Club charities. Appleget made four birdies on his last nine-holes to post rounds of 69 and 68 for a seven-under-par 137. That was two strokes better than Terry Hatch who finished second at 139. Bill Sautter finished third with a 140. Dave McNabb, John Pillar and David Quinn tied for fourth with 141s. First prize from the $15,950 purse was $3,000.

On the first Monday of June Michael Tobiason qualified for the U.S. Open at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. There were ten spots at Woodmont and the scores were low. Kirk Triplett led with a 133. Tobiason (69-66) tied for third at 135. It took a score of 136 to qualify there. The only playoff needed was for alternates. Jim Furyk was exempt from both local and sectional qualifying off his position in the world rankings.

In April twenty-two-year-old Rory McIlroy had failed to hold what looked like a comfortable lead at the Masters Tournament but the U. S. Open was another story. The tournament was held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland in the third week of June. The course measured 7,574-yards but par took a beating. McIlroy set the tone on opening day with a six-under-par 65, which put him out in front of the field by three strokes. The next day he shot a 66 to increase his lead to six strokes. A 68 on Saturday gave him a nine shot lead and a steady 69 on Sunday left the rest of the players in his wake. McIlroy’s 268 score as the lowest in U.S. Open history and at 16-under-par it was also a record for the most strokes under par. Jason Day (276) finished second as he shot a last round 68 to pick up one stroke on McIlroy. Robert Garrigus, Kevin Chappell, Lee Westwood and Y.E. Yang tied for third with 278s. Jim Furyk and Michael Tobiason missed the cut. Furyk had been fully exempt from qualifying and Tobiason had made it through both local and sectional qualifying. First prize was $1,440,000. Twenty players finished the 72 holes under par.

Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at various sites in the country but was none in the territory that comprised the Philadelphia Section PGA.

The Philadelphia Section and the Hershey Country Club hosted the PGA Professional National Championship in late June. The East and West Courses were both used for the first two rounds and the final two rounds were on the East Course. All four rounds of the tournament were televised by the Golf Channel and the tournament was played on Sunday through Wednesday so as to not interfere with the telecast of the PGA Tour’s AT&T National tournament that began on Thursday at Aronimink Golf Club. The Philadelphia Section had 15 of its members in the starting field. The Section members didn’t fare as well as hoped. Only four made the cut and no one qualified for the PGA Championship, which was one of the reasons for this event. The tournament was won by David Hutsell in a three-man sudden-death playoff. Hutsell (69-70-67-68), Faber Jamerson (68-67-69-70) and Scott Erdmann (65-68-69-72) had finished tied at eleven-under-par 274. The playoff began on the par-three 16th hole. Erdmann went out on the first hole with a bogey and Hutsell made a birdie-three on the next hole to wrap up the victory. First prize was $75,000. Danny Balin shot a 63 in the last round to finish fourth at 276. Mike Moses, who had gotten into the tournament as an alternate when a former champion withdrew, led the Philadelphia Section contingent. He finished tied for 43rd with a 288 total and won $2,695. Stu Ingraham tied for 48th at 289 and won $2,440. Bill Sautter posted a 293 and tied for 68th winning $1,787.50. Cleve Coldwater tied for 76th at 296 and won $1,587.50. Mark Sheftic, Bill Walker, Dave McNabb, Rich Steinmetz, John DiMarco, Rob Shuey, John Allen, John Appleget, Terry Hertzog, Greg Farrow and John Spina missed the cut. Ingraham, Sheftic and Steinmetz had been exempt off their finish in the tournament the year before. The others had qualified in the 2010 Philadelphia Section Championship. Allen was now the teaching professional at the Linfield National Golf Club. The host professional was Ned Graff.

The next day, which was the first Thursday of July, the AT&T National kicked off at the Aronimink Golf Club for a second straight year. The scores were pretty low and they were especially low on Saturday. Nick Watney was the winner with rounds of 70, 69, 62 and 66 for a thirteen under par 267. K.J. Choi was tied for the lead after 14 holes but a double-bogey on the 15th hole put him two strokes behind. Choi and Watney both birdied the par-five 16th hole and they both made pars on the last two holes. Choi finished second at 269. Charles Howell III, Jeff Overton and Adam Scott tied for third with 271s. First prize was $1,116,000. Sean O’Hair and Jim Furyk missed the cut. The host professional was Jeff Kiddie. The prize money totaled $6,500,000. Thirty-three players finished under par for the 72-holes.

In the second week of July the New Jersey Open was played at the Hollywood Golf Club in Deal. Kevin Foley (68-68-69) won with an eight-under-par 205. Sam King (210) was second and Brian Gaffney (211) was third. David Quinn tied for fourth with Frank Esposito and Brent Studer at 212. First prize was $15,000.

The British Open was played in the middle of July at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England. Darren Clarke, who had played in many major golf championships, won his first one at the age of 42. Phil Mickelson, who had never come close to winning a British Open, put together a front nine 30 on Sunday morning. With just nine holes to play he was tied for the lead with Clarke. Clarke (68-68-69-70) held steady and Mickelson missed some short putts on the back nine. Dustin Johnson had a chance as he trailed by two shots playing the 14th hole, but a 2-iron second shot to the par-five green sailed out-of-bounds and he was finished. When it was over, Clarke’s 275 total won by three strokes as Mickelson and Johnson tied for second with 278s. Thomas Bjorn finished fourth at 279.  Jim Furyk tied for 48th at 292 winning $23,552. Sean O’Hair made a double-bogey on the last hole to miss the cut by one stroke. First prize was $1,451,830 in U.S. dollars.

The Philadelphia Open was held at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club on third Wednesday of July. The winner was a member of Huntingdon Valley. Twenty-two-year-old Andrew Mason became the eighth amateur to win the tournament and he did it in style. He began his morning round on the first tee and made birdies on three of the first four holes. He finished the round with a 65. There was only one other round in the sixties all day and that was a 68 by former champion Graham Dendler, who was now the professional at the Trenton Country Club. The 65 was a competitive course record for Huntingdon Valley. In the afternoon Mason shot a steady 70 and his seven-under-par 135 was seven strokes better than Stu Ingraham (142) who finished second. Ingraham took home a check for $7,000 as the low professional. Mark Sheftic and amateur Matt Mattare tied for tied for third at 143. There were 72 players in the starting field which had been determined by pre-tournament qualifying rounds and exemptions.

One week after missing the cut at the British Open Sean O’Hair won the Canadian Open. The tournament was played in the third week of July at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, British Columbia. At the end of regulation play O’Hair (69-73-66-68) and Kris Blanks (67-71-69-69) were deadlocked for the title at four-under-par 276. On the first playoff hole O’Hair made a bogey, but Blanks made a double-bogey and O’Hair was the Canadian Open champion. Andres Romero finished third at 277. Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Hadwin tied for fourth with 278s. First prize was $936,000.

The two-day GALV Lehigh Valley Open was played in the first week of August at the Northampton Country Club. At the end of the 36-holes Stu Ingraham (69-69) and David Quinn (68-70) were tied for the top prize with six-under-par 138 totals. The two players were sent back to the 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff. Both players were on the green in the regulation two strokes but Quinn had left himself a downhill putt. Quinn three-putted and Ingraham two-putted for the win. First prize was $2,125. Scott Hunter and Waynesborough Country Club assistant Elliott Wilson tied for third with 139 totals. The total purse came to $14,950.

The U.S. Senior Open was played on the last four days of July at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Olin Browne was the winner and for someone who had won just three times on the PGA Tour and had not won on the PGA Senior Tour it was a great time to win. His closest competitor was Mark O’Meara but with rounds of 64, 69, 65 and 71 his fifteen-under-par 269 won by three strokes. First prize was $500,000. Rain softened the course and the scores were very low. For Sunday’s final round the USGA lengthened the course to 7,164 yards which led to higher scores. O’Meara was second alone at 272. Mark Calcavecchia finished third at 273. Hale Irwin and Joey Sindelar tied for fourth with 274s.

Sheftic, Mark 4 (TGH)
Mark Sheftic

Mark Sheftic won his first major tournament when he was victorious in the Pennsylvania Open in the second week of August. Sheftic had experienced a great deal of success locally and in national PGA events but he didn’t have a major title. The three-day tournament was played at the Moselem Springs Golf Club. Sheftic put together rounds of 69, 65 and 71 for a five-under-par 205. It ended up being a tight finish. A 3-wood tee shot on the last hole ended up lost in the trees on the left. He had played a provisional ball from the tee and he played that ball to the par-four green. Two putts from forty-feet sewed up a one-stroke win. Pittsburgh’s Kevin Shields was second at 206. Stu Ingraham, Terry Hatch and Reading amateur Nathan Sutherland tied for third with 209s. First prize was $10,000.

The PGA Championship was held at The Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highland Course in Jones Creek, Georgia during the second week of August. In the final round Keegan Bradley overcame a triple-bogey on the 15th hole to win the tournament. At that point he trailed Jason Dufner by five strokes. Bradley (71-64-69-68) then made birdies on the next two holes and a par on the 18th hole. When Dufner (70-65-68-69) made bogies on the last three holes they were tied at the top of the leaderboard with 272 totals. A three-hole playoff was held to determine the winner. In the playoff Dufner went par-bogey-birdie against a birdie and two pars for Bradley. Bradley was the first to win a major championship with a belly-putter and only the third player to win the first major that he had ever played in. Bradley’s father was a PGA member. Anders Hansen finished third at 273. David Toms, Scott Verplank and Robert Karlsson tied for fourth with 275s. Jim Furyk tied for 39th at 284 and won $30,250. Sean O’Hair tied for 64th at 291 and won $15,400. Furyk and O’Hair were in the field off their position on the 2010 PGA Tour money list. First prize was $1,445,000 and par was 70.   

The Section Senior Championship was played at the Ace Club in the third week of August. Stu Ingraham had been on a hot streak for five weeks and he didn’t stop there. A 71 in the first round on Wednesday kept him in contention and a brilliant 65 on Thursday left the field in his wake. No one else broke 70 on Thursday. His eight-under-par 136 was three strokes better than Greg Farrow (139) who finished second. First prize from the $6,725 money pool was $1,350. Retired professional Ken Peyre-Ferry (140) finished third and Northampton Country Club professional Gary Hardin (142) was fourth. The event was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Based on the entries in this tournament the Section had been allotted eight spots in the national championship. Ingraham was exempt off finishing in the top eight at the tournament the year before so the first three spots went to Farrow, Peyre-Ferry and Hardin. Retired professionals Harvey Williams and Jimmy Booros won the fourth and fifth spots with 144s. Bill Sautter and Radley Run Country Club professional John Kellogg took the sixth and seventh places with 145s. John DiMarco (146) won a sudden-death playoff over Brian Kelly (146), George Forster, Sr. (146) and Wayne Phillips (146) for the eighth spot. Peyre-Ferry didn’t go to the tournament. Kelly took his place and Forster was later added to the field.   

The Penn Oaks Golf Club and its managing partner Harry Hammond hosted a new Section event, Pro-Am for Wishes, in the fourth week of August. The tournament was scheduled for a Sunday and Monday. On Sunday the professionals were paired with amateurs in a pro-am to raise money for charity. At mid day on Sunday heavy rain suspended play and no more golf was played that day. Some of the players had not even begun their rounds. On Monday only the professionals returned to the course to complete the first round and play the second round. When it was all over Scott Hunter (69-65) was the winner with an eight-under-par 134. Brian Kelly finished second at 137. Stu Ingraham (138) was third and Travis Deibert (139) was fourth. First prize was $4,500 and the prize money totaled $21,300.

It turned out to be the wettest year in Philadelphia’s history. There was thirteen inches of rain in August alone. As a result of that several tournaments weren’t played. The Whitford Classic and the Shawnee Open were canceled because the courses were not playable.

Steinmetz 2011 (TGH)
Rich Steinmetz

In the third week of September the White Manor Country and the St. Davids Golf Club hosted the Section Championship. Due to the size of the entry and the time of year a second course was needed for the first two rounds. It was about one month before the tournament was played that St. Davids answered a call to be a second host club. The contestants played one round on each course and then the field was cut to the low 60 and ties. St. Davids measured 6,559 yards and par was 70. White Manor measured 7,009 yards and par was 71. At the end of 36 holes Chris Krueger had a three-stroke lead with a 136 total. Stu Ingraham was in second place and three others which included the defending champion Rich Steinmetz were one stroke further back. In the final round on Thursday Krueger fell back. The tournament came down to Steinmetz and Ingraham (72-67-71—210). When Steinmetz (69-71-69—209) birdied the last two holes he was the Section champion for a third time. The total prize money came to $65,000 and Steinmetz won $7,000. Bill Sautter finished third at 211. Krueger (213) and Jacob Gerney (213) tied for fourth. The tournament was also the qualifier for the PGA Professional National Championship. The Section had been allotted eleven places to qualify for. The first five places were won by Steinmetz, Ingraham, Sautter, Krueger and Gerney. John Pillar picked up the sixth spot with a 214 total and John Appleget took the seventh spot with a 215. Dave Quinn (217) and Big Swing Golf Center teaching professional Sean Driscoll (217) won the eighth and ninth places. There was a three-way tie at 218 for the last two spots between Brian Kelly, George Forster, Sr. and Rob Shuey. To break the ties a sudden-death playoff was held, which began on the first hole. The playoff only lasted one hole as Kelly and Forster eliminated Shuey, who made a bogey. When the tournament was played Shuey got into the tournament. The host professionals were White Manor’s Mark Levine and St. Davids’ Dean Kandle.

The Section Assistant Championship was played at the Trump National Golf Club on the fourth Monday of September. Neil Maurer, an assistant at The Peninsula Golf & Country Club, was the winner with rounds of 71 and 68. His three-under-par 139 edged out the host club’s Jacob Gerney (140) by one stroke. Lancaster Country Club assistant Rusty Harbold and Aronimink Golf Club assistant Brian Keiser tied for third at 142. This event was also qualifying for the PGA National Assistant Championship. There were four spots to qualify for so Maurer, Gerney, Harbold and Keiser were going to be representing the Section. First prize was $1,400 from a purse of $8,760. Travis Deibert was exempt off his second place finish in the national tournament the year before.

In early October the Senior PGA Professional National Championship was held in Virginia at the River Creek Club in Leesburg and the Creighton Farms club in Aldie. Kirk Hanefeld had a huge lead after 36 holes with rounds of 66 and 67. His last two rounds, which included a birdie on the last hole, were 74-75 and it was just enough. His six-under-par score of 282 won by one stroke. Ken Martin finished second at 283. Darrell Kestner and Craig Stevens tied for fourth with 288s. Bill Sautter tied for 24th at 296 and won $2,515. George Forster, Sr. tied for 29 at 297 and he won $2,200. By finishing in the top 35 Sautter and Forster qualified for the Senior PGA Championship. Stu Ingraham wound up in a tie for 36th at 299 and won a seven-man playoff for the first alternate spot by making a birdie on the first hole of sudden-death. He won $1,875. Pete Oakley, who was in the field as a former winner, tied for 40th at 300 and won $1,650. Brian Kelly and Jimmy Booros tied for 56th with 303 totals and they each won $1,130.71. Greg Farrow tied for 63rd at 304 and won $1,065. Gary Hardin tied for 82nd at 311 and won $885. John DiMarco, Harvey Williams and John Kellogg missed the cut. Ingraham had been exempt off his finish in 2010 and other than Oakley the others had qualified at the Section Senior Championship. First prize was $20,000 from a purse of $285,000.

On the second Thursday of October the Philadelphia Section professionals played a challenge match against the Golf Association’s amateurs. There were twelve players on each team and two had to be seniors. In each four-man pairing there were two singles matches and a better-ball match. The teams of John Appleget-Rich Steinmetz and Chris Krueger-Jacob Gerney along with the senior team of Bill Sautter-George Forster, Sr. each won three points. The Scott Hunter-Mark Sheftic team won two points. The Stu Ingraham-Hugh P. Reilly team won ½ point. The other members of the team were David Quinn and Brian Kelly. The final score was 11-1/2 points for the Philadelphia Section and 6-1/2 points for the GAP. The record for the 21 years of these matches stood at 16 victories for the PGA against one win for the GAP and four had ended in ties.

In the third week of October Mark Sheftic was in San Martin, California as a member of the winning PGA Cup Team. The matches were played at the CordeValle golf course. The U.S. team won with 17-1/2 points to 8-1/2 for the team from Great Britain & Ireland. The teams played two four-ball matches and two foursomes matches along with singles on the final day. Sheftic played in all five rounds of matches and won three points. He was victorious in one of each of the formats and lost in two of the partner matches.     

The Section Match Play Championship was played at the Little Mill Country Club in the third week of October. The Little Mill and Devil’s Glen nines were used for the event. There were 46 entries so there were 18 byes in order to fill out the 64-man ladder. The tournament began on Monday with two rounds of matches each day. Wednesday was rained out and the final two rounds were played on Friday. The semifinalists were Travis Deibert, Greg Farrow, Dave McNabb and David Quinn. Deibert defeated Farrow by 3&2 and Quinn got past McNabb by 2&1. In the final Quinn beat Deibert 2&1. The prize money totaled $5,350 and first prize was $1,000.

Haskel, Dan (TGH)
Dan Haskell

The fall meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at the Blue Bell Country Club on the fourth Monday of October. It was an election year. Mark Anderson stepped down as president and Dan Haskell was elected without opposition. Haskell was the 39th president of the Philadelphia Section PGA. John Pillar moved from secretary to vice president and Ian Dalzell, who was now the professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, moved from Director of Section Affairs to secretary. Mike Moses was reelected Director of Tournaments. John Rogers was elected Director of Section Affairs. The guest speaker was Sean Foley, a Canadian professional who was coaching PGA Tour players including Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan. Foley spoke during the meeting and then stayed after lunch to answer questions on the golf swing and teaching high profile golfers. Bob Baldassari from the PGA of America presented the PGA’s new program to grow the next generation of golfers. The Section’s “Player of the Year” was Stu Ingraham and he was also the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year”.  It was the first time that anyone had won both awards in the same year. Ingraham also won the DeBaufre Trophy with an average of 70.2 strokes per round in the designated tournaments. It was the fifth time that Ingraham had won the DeBaufre Trophy.

Weitzel, Jay (TGH)
Jay Weitzel

Jay Jack Weitzel was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame at the Section’s fall meeting on the fourth Monday of October. Weitzel was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Manor Country Club in Reading. While in high school he won the Pennsylvania High School championship and worked for his brother Johnny who was the professional at the Colonial Country Club. At that time Jack Grout was a neighboring professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg. When Grout became the professional at Sciota Country Club he took Jay to Ohio with him. While at Sciota he spent 21 months fighting in the Korean War and watched a young Jack Nicklaus come through their junior golf program. During that time Johnny Weitzel became the professional at the Hershey Country and in 1956 he died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on the way home from a golf tournament. Jay was hired to replace his brother. He was the first professional at Hershey who was more interested in the members than he was in his own golf game. As a result of having worked at Sciota Jay understood what a properly managed golf program could do for a club’s membership. Jay introduced tournaments for the members, shot-gun starts, junior golf clinics and golf carts. Over the years he managed more than one golf course. There was the Hershey Park Course that was open to the public and Juvenile Course that was open just to children and their guests. When the Hershey Lodge opened in 1966 there was a golf course there as well. In the meantime Jay could see that the clubhouse, which had been Milton Hershey’s home, was too small for a busy country club. He began to sell his ideas of building a new clubhouse in a better location, the addition of a second 18-hole course and an expanded practice area. In 1969 the East Course opened and the members moved into a new clubhouse, which was located between the original (now called West Course) and the new course. Jay and Hershey Country Club hosted the Pennsylvania Open 12 times and the LPGA Lady Keystone Open 17 times. As a player he qualified for two U.S. Opens and a PGA Championship. For 38 years he was one of the most respected golf professionals in the country. As the head professional at Hershey more than a dozen assistants who worked under him went on to be head professionals. In 1981 Jay was the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year”.       

The PGA Assistant Championship was hosted by the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida during the first week of November. The tournament was played on the par-72 Wanamaker Course. Frank Bensel came from eight strokes back to win the tournament for a second straight year. A combination of howling winds and a 66 allowed Bensel (283) to edge out six other players by one stroke. His earlier rounds were 72, 73 and 72. Jamie Broce, Richard Terga, Tyler Hitchcock, Ryan Sikora, Aaron Clark and Scott Berliner tied for second at 284. First prize was $9,000 out of the $100,000 purse. Travis Deibert tied for 21st at 289 and won $1,008.33. Rusty Harbold (298) tied for 50th and won $600. Jacob Gerney, Michael Paukovits and Brien Keiser missed the cut. Deibert was exempt off his second place finish in the tournament the year before. Harbold, Gerney and Paukovits qualified at the Section assistants’ championship and Paukovits, an assistant at Stonewall, got in as the first alternate when the Section assistant’s champion didn’t go to the tournament.

The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Luke Donald. He won $6,683,214 in the 19 tournaments that he entered and he had two victories. He was also the “PGA Player of the Year” and he won the Vardon Trophy with a stroke average of 68.86. Along with all of that he was the leading money winner on the European PGA Tour. Some of the winnings like the U.S. Open and British Open counted on both money lists. Jim Furyk finished 53rd on the money list with winnings of $1,529,690 in 26 tournaments. Sean O’Hair won $1,483,948 in 24 events which was good for 57th place. He didn’t have a good year but he won the Canadian Open which saved it for him. Jason Bohn fell to 150th place on the money list as he won $411,943 in 22 tournaments.

Tom Lehman led the PGA Senior Tour in earnings with $2,081,526 in 21 tournaments. Joe Daley got into seven tournaments and won $69,905. Jay Sigel played in six tournaments winning $11,796. Stu Ingraham played in one event and won $3,917.

The leading money winner on the PGA Nationwide Tour was J.J. Killeen as he won $414,273 in 25 tournaments. Ted Tryba played in one event and won $1,976.  
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2012
At the beginning of the year there was a change made to the rules of golf. The new rule stated that “If it is known or virtually certain that the player did not cause his ball to move, Rule 18-2b, does not apply.” Therefore if a player’s ball is moved by wind or gravity he is not penalized even though he may have taken his stance. That would be the case even if the ball was in a hazard.        

The PGA of America’s 95th annual meeting was held during the fourth week of January at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The meeting was now being held in January every two years in conjunction with the PGA Merchandise Show. In an attempt to grow the game, which was badly needed, the PGA and other golf organizations rolled out Golf 2.0. The main idea of the plan was to make the game more enjoyable for the average golfer. A change was that as of the new fiscal year PGA members over 65 had to earn just 12 recertification points and they could earn the points by attending meetings or education seminars. Section president Dan Haskell and vice president John Pillar were the delegates representing the Philadelphia Section. Past national presidents Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly along with our district director Leo DeGisi were also in attendance. The Section was also represented by its executive director Geoff Surrette.  

Rogers, John 3
John Rogers

Later in the week at the PGA Merchandise Show two Philadelphia Section members were honored. John Rogers was presented with the Horton Smith Award for education. For thirteen years Rogers had been the education chairman for the Philadelphia Section. He had won the award at the Section level six times. Rogers co-authored an educational manual for the physically impaired golfer. He also has partnered with Penn State University and the Salute Military Golf Association to develop a Wounded Warrior’s Program and other education programs. Rogers got his start as a golf professional in 1984 working for Howard Kramer at the Host Farm Resort & Golf Club. After that he continued his apprenticeship at the Chambersburg Country Club and the Country Club of York. He left the Section for a head professional position in Virginia. In 1993 Rogers returned to the Section as the professional at the Majestic Ridge Golf Club. He was now the Director of Section Affairs for the Philadelphia. Section.

Kiddie, Jeff 4
Jeff Kiddie

Jeff Kiddie was named PGA merchandiser of the year for private clubs. Kiddie was the son of a former golf professional who became a pro-golf salesman who worked under the famous Ernie Sabayrac. From that he developed an interest in golf apparel. In 2008 he became the head professional at the Aronimink Golf Club. Since taking over at Aronimink he had increased the golf shop sales by 39 percent. Kiddie had won the award twice at the Section level.

The Section’s spring meeting was held on the first Monday of April at the Radnor Valley Country Club. There was a large turnout as 328 members and apprentices were in attendance. The Section now had 929 members with 235 being head professionals. A major topic of the meeting was “Golf 2.0” which was project of all the national golf organizations to promote golf in the United States. As usual the Section’s junior golf program was of major interest. A total of 733 juniors had played in at least one of the Section’s junior tour events in 2011, which was an increase of 50. A highlight of the 2012 season was a final event at Saucon Valley Country Club for the seasonal event winners and the leading players from each age group. Education programs for the Section members were enhanced with an announcement that the Section was now going to underwrite some of the education expenses. In previous years the education program was run at break-even with the members in attendance paying enough to cover the costs. The featured speaker was Mike Malaska, the “PGA-Teacher-of-the-Year”.  The Philadelphia Section’s “Teacher-of-the-Year” was Mark Sheftic. The Section’s 2011 “ PGA Golf Professional of the Year” was Jeff Kiddie who was also the PGA of America’s Merchandiser of the Year for private clubs in 2011. Kiddie’s father had been a golf professional and a pro golf salesman in western New York. Jeff had been an assistant in Rochester, New York before coming to the Philadelphia Section in 1999. In 2001 he moved into his first head professional position at the Applebrook Golf Club and soon after that he became the general manager as well. In 2008 he moved to Aronimink Golf Club as the head professional. In 2010 and 2011 he hosted the PGA Tour AT&T National tournament. In his four years at Aronimink he had increased the golf shop sales by 39 percent. With all of that Kiddie had found time to serve on the Section’s board as a district director.

The Masters Tournament was played at the Augusta National Golf Club in its usual time-slot, the first full week of April. As it almost always does the tournament had an exciting finish. The fireworks started at the 2nd hole on Sunday when Louis Oosthuizen holed out a four-iron shot from 253-yards for a double-eagle two. That put him in the lead by two strokes and he played even par golf from there to the finish. He never relinquished the lead but four straight birdies on holes 13 through 16 allowed Bubba Watson (69-71-70-68) to finish tied for the title with Oosthuizen (68-72-69-69) at 278. The two players were sent back to the 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff. Watson had missed a makeable birdie putt on the 72nd hole and in the playoff he missed another makeable putt for a birdie and the victory. The hole was halved with par fours. Next they played the 10th hole. The left-handed Watson pulled his drive into the pine trees. Oosthuizen hit a fairway club from the tee and his next shot was short of the green. From 148 yards Watson hit a sweeping hook with a wedge from the pine straw to within ten feet of the pin. Oosthuizen failed to get down in two and Watson two putted for a par and the title. Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar and Peter Hanson tied for third with 280 totals. Jim Furyk finished 11th at 285 and won $200,000. Sean O’Hair tied for 32nd at 291 and won $45,280. First prize was $1,444,000.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in southern New Jersey was held at the Trump National-Philadelphia golf club on the second Thursday of May. There were six spots to qualify for. Lancaster’s Jarred Texter, who was playing the mini-tours, won the medal with a wind-swept two under par 69. David Quinn posted a 70 to take the second spot. Christopher Gray who was now working in the New Jersey Section and Michael Tobiason picked up the next two places with 71s. Mt. Laurel’s David Sanders, who was playing the mini-tours, and amateur Max Marsico posted 72s and won out in a four-man sudden-death playoff for the last two spots.  

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in Delaware was held at the Back Creek Country Club on the second Monday of May. There were two spots to qualify for at Back Creek. Michigan’s Steven Cuzzort who was starting work at Back Creek the next day led with a four under par 67. Amateur Greg Matthias, who was the son of Jim Matthias, turned in an even par 71 and won a two hole sudden-death playoff for the other spot.

Toftrees Golf Club hosted the local qualifying for the U.S. Open in central Pennsylvania on the second Monday of May. There was just one spot to qualify for there. Amateur Eric Williams shot a two over par 74 and won a sudden-death playoff.

On the third Wednesday of May Colonial Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open. There were three spots available at Colonial which had been the Colonial Country Club. Manheim’s Andrew Turner led with a one under par 70. Blaine Peffley and Colonial Golf & Tennis Club assistant Steve Swartz picked up the other two spots with 71s. Turner and Peffley were competing on the mini-tours.

In the fourth week of May the Senior PGA Championship was held at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A 53-year-old British professional who had never won many tournaments found his game at the right time as he led the tournament from start to finish. He began with a 68 to lead by one stroke and tacked on a 67 in the second round. He was then tied for first with John Cook. A third round 64 gave him a five stroke lead with one round to play. Some very low rounds were shot on Sunday but not by the leaders. No one was able to give Chapman much of a challenge and even though he made bogies on three of the last five holes he won by two strokes. Chapman’s final round 72 gave him a total of 273 and margin of two strokes over John Cook (273). Chapman’s 54-hole total of 199 tied a tournament record made by Sam Snead. Hale Irwin finished third at 274. Joe Daley, David Frost, Bernard Langer, Sandy Lyle and Peter Senior tied for fourth. First prize was $378,000 and Daley won $74,400. George Forster, Sr.,  Stu Ingraham, Bill Sautter and Pete Oakley missed the cut and each received $1,000. Forster, Ingraham and Sautter had qualified at the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Ingraham had been the first alternate. Daley was in the field off his position on the 2011 Champions Tour money list and Oakley had a special invitation from the PGA of America.

On the fifth Tuesday of May the Haverford Trust Classic was again held at the Sunnybrook Golf Club. The sponsor, George Connell, had added another $5,000 to the first prize. That made it $50,000 which was the largest first prize of any PGA Section event in the country. Scott Reilly, who was the new head professional at the Philadelphia Country Club and had never played the Sunnybrook course before, won the tournament by five strokes. Reilly made five birdies along with holing out a wedge shot for an eagle two on the sixth hole as he posted a six under par 66. John DiMarco was the only other player that finished under par as he posted a 71 to pick up a check for $5,000. Rob Shuey, Sunnybrook assistant Jeff Fraim, Eric Kennedy and Baywood Greens Golf Club assistant Michael Rushin tied for third with even par 72s. The total purse came to $67,950. There were 129 professionals and 15 amateurs in the starting field.

Jason Bohn qualified for the U.S. Open in Suwannee, Georgia on the first Monday of June. Bohn led the qualifying for three available spots at the River Club with rounds of 65 and 70. His seven under par 135 was one shot better than Casey Wittenberg (136). Bohn had been exempt from local qualifying.

Travis Deibert won the Burlington Classic on the first Monday of June at the Burlington Country Club. The two-day event began on Sunday with a pro-am. Two pros were paired with three Burlington members or guests and the pro scores counted in the final standings for the individual championship. On Sunday Terry Hatch put together a seven under par 63 which led the field by three strokes. On Monday Hatch slipped to a 72 and Deibert (66-68) was able to edge him out with his 134 total. Hatch (135) finished alone in second place. John Pillar and Rick Hughart tied for third at 136. First prize was $2,500 and the total purse came to $15,400.

The Variety Club’s Tournament of Champions was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in the second week of June. On the first day of the two day event each professional was paired with three amateurs in a pro-am format to raise money for the Variety Club charities. The first day Terry Hatch was tied for the lead with a four under par 68. The second day there were blustery winds and the golf course was set up more difficult. None of the 44 professionals were able to break 70 and there were just two who turned in 70s. Hatch shot what he thought was an average round of 74 but his 142 total was good enough as he won by one stroke. Chris Krueger put together one of the 70s and finished tied for second at 143 with Rich Steinmetz. Stu Ingraham (144) and Jacob Gerney (144) tied for fourth. First prize was $3,100 from a total purse of $15,950.

Joe Daley qualified for the U.S. Senior Open on the second Thursday of June at the Edina Country Club in Edina, Minnesota. There were five spots to qualify for at Edina as the PGA Senior Tour had been competing nearby the week before. Jim Rutledge was the medalist with a four under par 68. Daley tied for the fourth and fifth spots with a 71.

In the third week of June the Olympic Club hosted the U.S. Open for a fifth time. With 36 holes to play four players were tied for the lead at one under par. One of those was Jim Furyk. At the end of 54 holes Furyk still held a share of the lead which he maintained for most of the last round. On the par 5 16th hole he teed off with a fairway metalwood, hooked it into the trees and made a six. Another bogey on the 18th hole gave him a 283 total which put him in a five-way tie for fourth. Webb Simpson (72-73-68-68) was not on anyone’s mind as he trailed by six strokes with two rounds to play. A 68 on Saturday left him three shots back and another 68 on Sunday put him in the clubhouse at one over par 281. When everyone either faltered or failed to make a move Simpson won the championship. Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson tied for second with 282 totals. Furyk, David Toms, Jason Dufner, Padraig Harrington and John Peterson tied for fourth at 283. For the ninth straight playing of major championships the winner was a first-time winner of a major. Furyk won $276,841. Jason Bohn (301) finished 71st and won $16,833. The total purse was $8,000,000 and first prize was $1,440,000. Furyk was in the field off his world ranking and Bohn got there through sectional qualifying.  

Bob Lennon qualified for the U.S. Senior Open at the Laurel Creek Country Club on the third Tuesday of June. There were three spots to qualify for at Laurel Creek. The first two spots went to Maryland amateurs Peter Detemple and David Nocar as they posted three under par 68s. Lennon, the teaching professional at the Wilmington Country Club, picked up the third and last spot with a 69. The players that shot 70 played off for alternate spots. There were 88 pros and amateurs entered there.

The PGA Professional National Championship was played in Seaside, California in the fourth week of June. The tournament was hosted by the Fort Ord Golf Club at its Bayonet and Black Horse courses. As it had been for many years the tournament was qualifying for the PGA Championship. Matt Dobyns (68-68-69-70) won going away as he put together a thirteen under par 275 and won by eight strokes. The eight stroke margin of victory broke the old record of five strokes that had been set by Sam Snead in 1971. Kelly Mitchum and Rod Perry tied for second at 283. Mike Small finished fourth alone at 284. The professionals from the Philadelphia Section didn’t fare well. Only David Quinn made the cut as he tied for 50th at 296 and won $2,300. John Appleget missed the cut by one stroke at 149. Rich Steinmetz, Chris Krueger, Bill Sautter, George Forster, Sr., Stu Ingraham, John Pillar, Rob Shuey, Jacob Gerney, Brian Kelly and Sean Driscoll also missed the cut. They had all qualified at the 2011 Philadelphia Section Championship and Shuey had been the first alternate. First prize in the tournament was $75,000 and the total purse was $550,000.    

Daley, Joe 6
Joe Daley

On the first of July Whitemarsh Township’s Joe Daley won the Senior Players Championship which was a major tournament on the PGA Champions Tour. The tournament was played at the Fox Chapel Golf Club near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Daley who had won twice on the PGA’s second tour but had never won on the PGA Tour was in the tournament off his fourth place finish at the Senior PGA Championship in May. Daley opened up with a 66 and a 64 but he still trailed the leader Fred Couples by one stroke. A third round 68 put him in a tie for the lead with Mark Calcavecchia. Daley stood on the last tee with a one stroke lead. After a solid tee shot and a good second shot he was on the front edge of the par five hole in two and needed just three putts to win. His first putt rolled twenty feet past the cup but he holed the next one coming back to win by two strokes. His last round 68 gave him a fourteen under par total of 266. Tom Lehman who had put some pressure on Daley with a birdie on the last hole finished second at 268. Olin Browne was next at 269. Couples (270) and Calcavecchia (270) tied for fourth. Daley’s first place check was $405,000 which was by far the largest check he had ever won. Daley was now exempt on the Champions Tour for 12 calendar months.  

The U.S. Senior Open was held in the middle of July at the Indianwood Golf & Country Club in Lake Orion, Michigan. The golf course was designed in 1928 by Wilfrid Reid, who was a founding member of the Philadelphia Section, in 1921. In what was somewhat of an amazing turn of events it was the Englishman Roger Chapman who won. After 25 years on the European PGA Tour and only one victory he had won a senior major championship for the second time in six weeks. In May Chapman had won the Senior PGA Championship which was also played in Michigan. After opening with rounds of 68, 68 and 68 on the par 70 Old Course at Indianwood he trailed the leader Bernhard Langer by four strokes. A final round of 66 vaulted him past Langer who faltered a bit. Chapman’s total of 270 won by two strokes. Langer, Corey Pavin, Fred Funk and Tom Lehman tied for second at 272. First prize was $500,000. Bob Lennon, Pete Oakley and Joe Daley missed the cut. Lennon and Daley were there through sectional qualifying. Oakley was there on a special invitation from the USGA.

On the fourth Monday of July Pine Valley Golf Club hosted the Philadelphia Open for a fourth time. The defender, amateur Andrew Mason (70-74), put together a four over par 144 to hang on to the title for another year. There were 41 amateurs and 31 professionals in the field. A two-tee start was used for both rounds with the players beginning one round from the first tee and one round from the ninth tee. Mason birdied the 475-yard par four 18th hole in the morning for an even par 70, which was two better than the rest of the field. In the afternoon round he made a bogey on his last hole, the 326-yard eighth hole, but he was still two strokes in front of everyone else. The last player to defend his title was Frank Dobbs in 1991. Travis Deibert and amateur James Kania, Jr. tied for second at 146. Dave McNabb and Chris Krueger tied for fourth at 148. Only eight players broke 150 for the 36 holes and no one broke par in either round. As the low professional, Deibert won $10,000 from the $50,000 purse. Tickets to the event were available at $10 with all proceeds going to the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Fund. 1,417 people purchased tickets.

Ernie Els won his fourth major championship at the British Open on the fourth Sunday of July. He had now won two U.S. Opens and two British Opens. The venue was the Royal Lytham & St. Annes golf club at Lytham St. Annes, England. Late in the day on Sunday it appeared that Adam Scott would be the winner. He began the final round with a four stroke lead. With four holes to play Scott still lead by four strokes, but he finished with four straight bogeys. While Scott was making bogeys Els was making pars. At the 72nd hole Els holed an 18-foot putt for a birdie and when Scott who was playing in the pairing behind Els bogeyed Els was the Open champion again. Els (67-70-68-68) had picked up seven strokes on the last nine with a 32 and finished at 273 which was one better than Scott (274). Brandt Snedeker and Tiger Woods tied for third at 277. Par was 280 and Els won $1,405,890 in U.S. dollars. Jim Furyk tied for 34th at 284 and won $40,615. Els used a belly-putter and Scott used a long-putter, which they both held against their bodies.

Stu Ingraham won the Lehigh Valley Open for a second straight year on the last two days of July. The tournament was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Golf Association and held at the Northampton Country Club. After posting a one over par 73 on Monday it seemed doubtful if Ingraham would be able to defend his title but Tuesday was a new and different day. Ingraham changed putters on Tuesday and set the course on fire. Ingraham had been using a long putter for several years and he was changing to a different model. He made five birdies on the front nine and four more on the back nine for a 63. David Quinn who led the first day with a 67 played well as he tacked on a 70 for 137 but Ingraham’s 136 total edged him out by one stroke. Quinn had finished second in the tournament in 2011, losing to Ingraham in a sudden death playoff. Jacob Gerney and Tony R. Perla, who was an assistant at the Radnor Valley Country Club, tied for third at 138. The total purse was $15,600 and first place paid $2,225.

The Section Assistants’ Championship was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club on the first Monday of August. This was also the qualifying event for the PGA Assistant Championship and based on the 78 entries the Section had been allotted five places. Southmoore Golf Club assistant Nathan Fry was the winner with rounds of 72 and 67, but he had to win a sudden death playoff over Steve Swartz who had posted rounds of 68 and 71. Their five under par 139 totals edged out Barry Dear (140) who was now the teaching professional at the Links Golf Club and Shawn Matthews (140) by one stroke. Richie Krebs picked up the fifth spot with a 141. The total purse was $9,060 and first prize was $1,250.

Stu Ingraham won the Section Senior Championship in the second week of August at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. On Tuesday Ingraham shot a 69, which left him one stroke out of the lead, and on Wednesday he was around in 66 strokes. His seven under par total of 135 was three strokes better than the rest of the field. First prize was $1,325. This was also the qualifying event for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Based on the number of entries the Section had been allotted nine spots. Cleve Coldwater finished second at 138 and Don Allan was third with a 1139. Rob Shuey, Don DeAngelis, who was now the teaching professional at the Center Square Golf Club, and Jim Masserio, the teaching professional at the Applebrook Golf Club, tied for fourth with 140s. George Forster, Sr. (141) picked up the seventh spot and Brian Kelly (142) grabbed the eighth spot. The nine spot went to Bill Sautter (143). Greg Farrow finished alone at 144 and was the first alternate. When Masserio didn’t go to the tournament Farrow took his place. The total purse was $7,550 and there were 48 entries.

In the second week of August Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship by eight strokes which was exactly how many strokes he had won the U.S. Open by the year before. The tournament was played at Kiawah Island, South Carolina on the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s Ocean Course. At 7,676 yards it was the longest course in the history of the PGA Championship. As usual the PGA Championship had the strongest field of the year. The scoring was quite good as the golf course had been eased up since the Ryder Cup was held there in 1991. Also the players only faced one windy day, which came on Friday. The average score for Friday’s round was the highest in a PGA Championship since the second round at Llanerch Country Club in 1958. A score of 150 made the cut for the weekend. McIlroy began with a 67 and he survived Friday with a 75. A rain interrupted third round of 67 put him three shots in front of the field. Play on Saturday had been curtailed with all of the leaders still on the golf course. McIlroy had nine holes left to play on Sunday and some had more. In the final round McIlroy blew away the field with a bogey-free 66 for a thirteen under par 275. His eight-stroke margin of victory was a record for the PGA Championship. On Sunday only Ina Poulter made a run at McIlroy as he birdied six of his first seven holes, but he was still three back. 38-year old Englishman David Lynn who was playing in his first U.S. major finished second at 283. The defender Keegan Bradley, Justin Rose, Carl Peterson and Poulter tied for third with 284 totals. First prize was $1,445,000. Jim Furyk tied for 42nd at 292 and won $25,750. Sean O’Hair missed the cut.

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort near Farmington in the middle of August. The 54-hole tournament was played on its 7,550 yard Mystic Rock Course. Clayton Rotz, a native of Chambersburg who was playing the mini-tours, won by three strokes with an 11 under par 205. His rounds were 66, 66 and 73. Mike Van Sickle and Kevin Shields tied for second at 208. John Popeck was fourth at 210. The low professional from the Philadelphia Section was Stu Ingraham who tied for 11th at 215.

In the third week of August Dave McNabb won the Pro-Am for Wishes Tournament at the Penn Oaks Golf Club. The scores were very low on what was usually a difficult golf course. The first day the professionals were paired with amateurs in a pro-am format. In Sunday’s first round McNabb shot a six under par 65 which gave him a tie for the lead. On Monday the pros were paired together to compete for the $2,875 first prize. McNabb tacked on a 67 to finish at 132 and win by two strokes. John Appleget was second with a 134 total. Tony R. Perla shot a 65 on Monday which was the low round of the day and ended up alone in third place at 136. Alex Knoll, the assistant at the Bethlehem Golf Club, and Brian Bergstol, the assistant at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club, tied for fourth with 138 totals.

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Stu Ingraham

For the second straight year the Philadelphia Section Championship was scheduled to be held at White Manor Country Club and St. Davids Golf Club in the third week of September but rain and wet grounds forced some changes. On Tuesday the first round was rained out and when St. Davids could not guarantee that golf carts would be available on Wednesday all rounds were moved to White Manor. The plan then was to have a double shotgun start on Wednesday and Thursday with the final round moved to Friday. On Wednesday morning White Manor was not ready for play until later in the morning, which brought about a new plan. Half of the field played on Wednesday and the other half played its first round on Thursday. So after one full round of play the field was cut to the low 60 and the tournament was shortened to 36 holes. At the completion of 36 holes on Friday afternoon two of the oldest players in the field were tied at the top of the leader board. 52 year old Stu Ingraham (70-68) made a bogey on the last hole and wound up in a tie with 61 year old Greg Farrow (68-70) at four under par 138. A sudden death playoff began on the first hole. The first extra hole was halved with bogey fives when Farrow took three strokes from behind the green and Ingraham missed a two-foot putt. The next hole was halved with two putt par fours. The par three third hole was played from 200 yards. Farrow missed a long birdie putt and then Ingraham holed a birdie putt from 25 feet to win the Section championship for a second time. Both Ingraham and Farrow putted with long putters. Ingraham was second only to Marty Furgol as the oldest winner of the Section Championship. When Furgol won in 1970 he was 54. Rich Steinmetz, Eric Kennedy and Jacob Gerney tied for third at 139. The Section Championship was also the qualifying for the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship. The Section had been allotted twelve spots. The first five spots went to Ingraham, Farrow, Steinmetz, Kennedy and Gerney. Barry Dear, Travis Deibert and Aronimink Golf Club assistant John Bierkan took the next three spots with 141 totals. Terry Hatch and Brian Kelly won the ninth and tenth places with 142s. The last two spots went to Dave McNabb and Rick Hughart who posted 143s. Alex Knoll, Mark Sheftic and Cleve Coldwater posted 145s and were the first, second and third alternates.  Ingraham took home a check for $7,500 and a watch. The total purse was $70,955. There were 192 entries but some had to withdraw when the tournament was extended another day. The host professionals were White Manor’s Mark Levine and St. Davids’ Dean Kandle.

The Ryder Cup matches were played on the Medinah Country Club’s number 3 course in Medinah, Illinois at the end of September. Jim Furyk was on the team for the eighth time. At the end of the first day the USA led by 5 to 3 and at the finish of Saturday’s play the USA led 10 to 6. It seemed like the home team was on the way to an easy victory but on Sunday things were different in the twelve single matches. Furyk, in the eighth pairing, lost to Sergio Garcia one-down and that was the way it went for the USA. Furyk had won the two other matches he was involved in. The USA only won three singles matches and halved one. When it was all over the European PGA was on top by the count of 14-1/2 to 13-1/5.

On the second Thursday of October the Applebrook Golf Club hosted the challenge match between the Philadelphia PGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The match was closely contested but the golf professionals edged out the amateurs by one point, 9-1/2 to 8-1/2. Some of the Section’s top players were not available as they were in Virginia playing in the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship. There were 12 professionals and 12 amateurs on each team and at least two had to be seniors. There were 12 singles matches and six better-ball matches. The team of Travis Deibert-Dave McNabb won their three matches and the 3 points. The Mike Moses-Jeff Fraim team won 2-1/2 points. The Tony R. Perla-Eric Kennedy team won 2 points and the Jim Masserio-Rick Flesher team won 1 point. The Barry Dear-Bill Walker and Mark Sheftic-Jacob Gerney teams each won 1/2 point. Walker was now the teaching professional at the Bucks Club. This was the 22nd year of the matches and the record now stood at 17 victories for the PGA, one win for the GAP and four ties.

The Senior PGA Professional National Championship was held in Aldie, Virginia during the second week of October. The tournament was hosted by the Creighton Farms club in Aldie and the River Creek Club in Leesburg. Jim Woodward (78, 70, 66, 73) eagled the par five last hole to win by one stroke with a one under par 287 . Mike Miles finished second at 288. Bob Gaus and Sonny Skinner tied for third with 290s. George Forster, Sr. tied for 53rd at 305 and won $1,197.50. It took a score of 151 to make the cut. Greg Farrow, Stu Ingraham, Bill Sautter, Cleve Coldwater, Don Allan, Don DeAngelis and Rob Shuey missed the cut. Brian Kelly was entered but did not play in the tournament. Farrow was the first alternate and he got in when Jim Masserio didn’t play. First prize was $20,000 from a purse of $285,000.

The Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA renewed a challenge match series that had been played for four years from 1995 to 1998. The match was hosted by the Huntingdon Valley Country Club on the third Wednesday of October. There were twelve players on each team and two had to be seniors. They played 18 holes and competed for 18 points. There were 12 singles matches and six better-ball matches. The team of Travis Deibert-Stu Ingraham won 3 points. The teams of Tony R. Perla-Jacob Gerney and Terry Hatch-Steve Swartz each won 2-1/2 points. The team of George Forster, Sr.-Brian Kelly won 2 points. The teams of Joe KogelmanEric Kennedy and David Quinn-Barry Dear each won 1 point. Kogelman was an assistant professional at the Indian Valley Country Club and had won the William Hyndman Open at Huntingdon Valley Country Club in 2012. The final result was 12 points for the Philadelphia PGA and 6 points for the New Jersey PGA. This renewal of the matches was called the Turnpike Cup.

The Section Match Play Championship was played at the Little Mill Country Club in the fourth week of October. There were 60 entries so the defending champion and the top three point winners for the 2012 season were given byes to fill out a 64-man match play ladder. The winners played two 18 hole matches each day. There were a number of upsets in the second round of which one was the defending champion, David Quinn. Two senior members of the Section met in one of the semifinal matches as George Forster, Sr. defeated Brian Kelly by 2&1. In the other semifinal match Terry Hatch prevailed over Dave McNabb on the first extra hole. In the finals Hatch was one up after nine holes. Forster holed a 70 foot uphill birdie putt on the tenth hole to even the match. Forster went 1-up on the 12th hole and when Hatch called a penalty on himself for moving a loose impediment in a greenside bunker on the next hole Forster was two up. Hatch then proceeded to win the 15th and 17th holes to even the match. When Forster won the last hole with a par he was the winner of the Match Play Championship for a second time. First prize was $1,200 from a purse of $6,000.

The PGA Assistant Championship was held at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in the first week of November. It was won by Jake Scott (69-65-67-70) with a 17 under par 271. He finished seven strokes in front of Ryan Vermeer (278). Scott Frost (279) and Scooter Buhrman (279) tied for third. First prize was $9,000. Shawn Matthews tied for 42nd at 296 and won $665. Richie Krebs tied for 53rd at 298 and won $540. Steve Swartz finished in 60th place at 299 and won $500. Nathan Fry and Barry Dear missed the cut. The total purse was $100,000.

In the second week of November the PGA’s national meeting was held in Baltimore at the Hyatt Regency hotel. It was an election year and Ted Bishop was elected president. Derek Sprague moved up from secretary to vice president. Paul Levy defeated six other candidates for secretary on the fourth ballot. Peter Bevacqua was introduced as the new executive director and CEO of the PGA. He was replacing Joe Steranka who had retired. A resolution passed to allow an apprentice up to 12 months to find a new PGA employer after losing their supervising PGA employer. Section president Dan Haskell and vice president John Pillar were the delegates representing the Philadelphia Section. Past national presidents Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly along with our district director Leo DeGisi were also in attendance. The Section was also represented by its executive director Geoff Surrette.   

The Wilmington Country Club hosted the Section’s fall meeting on the third Monday of November. The meeting had been scheduled for the fifth Monday of October but a hurricane named Sandy arrived in the Northeast that day so the meeting was postponed. There were more than 250 members and guests in attendance. Section President Dan Haskell presided over the meeting. The national director, Leo DeGisi, representing District II was in attendance and reported on national affairs. He spoke about the resolutions that passed, failed or were withdrawn at the recent national meeting. He also informed the members on the hiring of a new CEO that would be running the PGA of America. DeGisi mentioned that the PGA of America now had 175 employees. The Section’s Executive Director Geoff Surrette reported on various topics. For 2013 $10,000 had been budgeted for education. The Philadelphia Section is a 501c6 not-for-profit corporation. He stated that there was $711,000 in the Section’s restricted fund. Surrette mentioned that the Section’s lease on its office was nearing the end and that the officers were considering new home sites. During the past golf season the Section had run 60 Junior Tour events with 715 boys and girls having played in at least one event. During the meeting a video on the life of Philadelphia’s Johnny McDermott, a two-time winner of the U.S. Open was played. The video was created by Section historian Pete Trenham and TelRa, a local company. The famous sportscaster Jack Whitaker did the voice-over. The playing awards were also given out for 2013. Stu Ingraham, who was now 52-years-old, swept the honors. He was the Section’s “Player of the Year”, the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” and he won the DeBaufre Trophy with a scoring average of 70.41. He was the “Player of the Year” for a record eighth time and his DeBaufre win was the sixth time. Ronnie Ward was recognized at the meeting by his peers for his more than 60-plus years as a golf professional in the Philadelphia Section. Trenham, accompanied by several members of the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame, made the introduction and read from a plaque that was presented to Ward.

At the fall meeting on November 19th two more Section members, George E. McNamara and Edward Matthew Dougherty were inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.

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George McNamara

George McNamara had been a golf professional in the Philadelphia Section for 46 years. He turned pro in 1966 and worked at several clubs in the Section as an assistant. In 1974 he became the head professional at the Downingtown Inn & Country Club. While at Downingtown he hosted the Section’s first four Philadelphia PGA Junior Golf Academys. In 1985 McNamara left the Downingtown course, which didn’t have a practice field, and opened a driving range and miniature golf course for the public across the street. He named it Mac’s Driving Range. He then moved across the state line to Delaware as the professional at the Brandywine Country Club where he stayed for more than 25 years but he continued to operate the driving range in Downingtown for 14 years. On two occasions McNamara and his teaching professional Mike Thompson put on a 24-hour golf instruction marathon to raise money for the Variety Club’s charities. His first involvement with Section politics was as a member of the membership committee. Over a two decade period he held almost every Section office, which included being president for two years in 1998 and 1999. He was a delegate to the national meeting three times. As the treasurer in 1996 he instituted a reserve fund for the Section, which required the Section to put $50,000 into a restricted fund each year for future opportunities. McNamara was always on the cutting edge of the future in golf. He was one of the first golf professionals in the Philadelphia Section to use a computer. In 1988 the Section formed a computer committee and made him the chairman. The committee advised the Section officers and members on the purchase and use of hardware and software. He hosted numerous Section meetings and tournaments, as he was always willing and ready to support the Section’s activities. Along with assisting the Section he was active in raising funds for various charities through golf. He was the Section’s “Merchandiser of the Year” three times. In 1988 McNamara became just the second Section member to become a “Master Professional”. The subject of his thesis was “How to Build, Own and Operate a Golf Practice Range and Miniature Golf Course”. The next year McNamara was honored as the Philadelphia Section PGA “Professional of the Year”.

Dougherty, Ed-75 S.C. (TGH)
Ed Dougherty

Ed Dougherty was a baseball player in his youth but when he returned to Ft. Lewis, Washington after duty on the front lines of the Vietnam War he began playing golf on the facility’s golf course. While fighting the war in Vietnam Dougherty received the Purple Heart and earned two Bronze Stars for valor. After completing his tour of duty in 1969 he returned to his home near Philadelphia. A friend took him to Edgmont Country Club for a round of golf. Tiny Pedone, the golf professional and part owner of  Edgmont watched Dougherty hit a few shots and offered him a job picking the range. He worked at Edgmont in the summers and landed a job in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the winters. This allowed him to work on his game 12 months a year.  In the Virgin Islands he worked under Mike Reynolds, a pro with Philadelphia connections who had grown up playing at The Springhaven Club. Reynolds taught him some of the finer points of the game. It wasn’t long before Dougherty began winning tournaments in the Philadelphia Section. He won the Section’s assistants’ championship in 1972. Dougherty became a PGA member in the summer of 1974 and began playing the PGA Tour as a Monday qualifier. Because he had just begun to play the PGA Tour he was still eligible for the PGA Club Professional Championship that year. He finished 12th and earned a place in the 1975 PGA Championship where he was third with one round to go and finished 22nd. Later that year he won the Section Championship. For eight years Dougherty played the PGA Tour with some success. When not on the PGA Tour he worked at Edgmont except for one year when he was the head professional at the Cobb’s Creek Golf Club. During the early 1980s he won the Section Championship two more times, a Philadelphia Open and the 1985 PGA Club Professional Championship. In 1985 he was the “PGA Club Professional Player of the Year”. Dougherty also won the PGA’s winter program’s match play in 1984 and the stroke play in 1986, which made him the only one to win those two tournaments and the Club Professional Championship. Late in 1986 Dougherty won the Wilson Club Professional Classic which included all of the Section champions and the PGA Cup Team members. In 1983 the PGA Tour devised a “profit sharing plan”, which was based on the total number of cuts (top 70 and ties after 36 holes) that a player had made. Realizing that he wasn’t far from having made enough cuts to become vested Dougherty decided to try the PGA Tour again. In the fall of 1986 he regained his PGA Tour card at the Q-School. For ten of the next eleven years he stayed exempt on the PGA Tour. Twice he finished tied for first in tour events only to lose out in a sudden-death playoff. In 1995 he had lost his exemption but he got into the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic on his past performance and won the tournament. That kept him exempt until he was old enough to play on the Senior PGA Tour. Dougherty played eleven years on the Senior Tour where he won twice. Dougherty played in seven PGA Championships, five U.S. Opens and one Masters Tournament. His best showing in a major came in 1999 when he finished second in the U.S. Senior Open.

Rory McIlroy led the PGA Tour in all phases. He was the PGA Player of the Year, winner of the Vardon Trophy and led the money winnings list. He won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 68.87 while winning $8,047,952 in 17 tournaments. McIlroy won the PGA Championship plus three other events. Jim Furyk finished 18th on the money list with winnings of $3,623,805 in 25 starts. Sean O’Hair was 73rd with earnings of $1,290,981 in 26 tournaments. Jason Bohn played in 28 tournaments winning $795,594, which put him in 117th place and allowed him to have a full exemption on the PGA Tour for another year.

Bernard Langer led the Senior PGA Tour in money won with $2,140,296 in 20 events. Joe Daley got into 15 tournaments and finished 27th with $630,081. Jay Sigel won $12,651 in six starts and Pete Oakley won $8,750 in four events.

Casey Wittenberg was the leading money winner on the PGA’s Developmental Tour which was now called the Web.com tour with winnings of $433,453 in 24 events.

In late November the USGA and the R&A announced changes to the rules of golf that prohibited anchoring the club to a person’s body for any golf stroke. This mainly concerned those who used long-putters and belly-putters. The rule, which would not go into effect until January 1, 1916, prohibited strokes made with the club or a hand gripping the club held directly against the player’s body, or with a forearm held against the body. Long putters could still be used as long as they were not anchored. Long putters had been around for nearly 30 years but now major championships had been won by players using these putters. In the 2012 Philadelphia Section Championship the top two players, Stu Ingraham and Greg Farrow, used long putters and had been for quite a few years. Three major championships had been won with belly-putters or long-putters in the past two years.  

Qualifying for the PGA Tour  which was held at PGA West in La Quinta, California concluded on the first Monday of December.  The par 72 PGA Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses were used for the qualifying. A 25 under par score of 407 for the six rounds led the qualifying. The players with scores of 415 or better qualified as five players tied for 22nd at that number. Vince Covello, who grew up playing golf under the tutelage of Ben Lesniak at the Llanerch Country Club missed by one stroke. Lesniak was now one of the professionals at the Bala Golf Club. Covello posted rounds of  69, 70, 67, 73, 67 and 70 for a 416 total. Even though he had missed securing a place on the PGA Tour he had a full exemption for 2013 on the PGA Tour’s second tour which was now called the Web.com Tour.
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2013

Hammond, Harry-2012x (PGAM)
Harry Hammond

Harry Hammond was the national recipient of the Bill Strausbaugh Award. The ceremony took place in late January during the PGA of America’s Merchandise Show in Orlando. The award was for leadership and service to a PGA Section. The promotion of junior golf had been Hammond’s mission for many years. Four times he had been the Section’s junior golf leader and in 1999 he had been the PGA of America’s “Junior Golf Leader”. During his 50 plus years in the golf business he had cut down thousands of clubs for new junior golfers. He was always available for junior clinics and junior golf tournaments. For 40 years Hammond had run a two-day tournament for the Section. He had won the Bill Strausbaugh Award in the Philadelphia Section in 2009 and he was the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” in 1991.

In late January at the PGA Merchandise Show national President Ted Bishop announced that the PGA of America was officially against the USGA’s recent proposal to ban anchoring of the putter. The PGA  had polled its members and 4,200 of its 27,000 members and apprentices had responded. About 67%  voted in favor of anchoring. In November when the USGA and the R&A had issued the proposal they had said that they would welcome input on the subject from other entities and that the comment period would end on February 28, 2013.

Nye, Scott
Scott Nye

The Philadelphia Section’s spring meeting was held at the Green Valley Country Club on the first Monday of April. The biggest news was that the Section was purchasing an office. It had been leasing office space and the lease was finished at the end of the year. The Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” was Merion Golf Club professional Scott Nye and he was also merchandiser of the year for private clubs. As the professional at Merion Nye had hosted the 2005 U.S. Amateur, the 2009 Walker Cup and the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He was now in the midst of hosting the U.S. Open. He had been in the Section since 1990, with nine years as the professional at the Country Club of York and fourteen years at Merion. He was the Section’s Horton Smith Award winner in 1996 and 1997. As the professional at Merion he had traveled numerous miles to speak to various golf organizations promoting golf and Merion. There could not be a better ambassador for golf and Merion than Scott Nye. Mark Anderson was the Section’s “Teacher of the Year”. Anderson had been a head professional at three clubs in the Philadelphia Section and was now devoting his full attention to teaching golf at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. At the Cricket Club he came up with an innovative idea called the Breakfast Club where he provided golf instruction from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. He was also the coach of the University of Pennsylvania women’s golf team. Before Anderson began coaching the team they had never won a  tournament. The team was now very competitive and had won the 2010 Ivy League championship along with other tournaments.

The Masters Tournament which had been held at the Augusta National Golf Club during the first full week of April for many years changed its dates to the second full week of April. A tournament which should have been all about the golf and who won will be remembered as the one where Tiger Woods took an illegal  drop and was not disqualified. In the second round Wood’s third shot hit the flagstick on par five 15th hole. The golf ball caromed back into the water hazard. Woods elected to play his next stroke from where he had played the previous shot. That was fine except he played from two steps behind that spot. A spectator put in a telephone call to Augusta National to report the incorrect drop. After the round the Masters’ officials interviewed Woods and allowed him to sign his scorecard without a penalty. They must not have asked the right question as later that evening Woods mentioned in a TV interview that he had dropped a couple of steps behind where he had played his previous shot. On Saturday morning the Masters officials interviewed Woods again. Even though the rules called for disqualification for signing for an incorrect score the Masters officials decided to just penalize him two strokes. After all of that Augusta provided another exciting back nine and a very memorable ending. Adam Scott (69-72-69-69) holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a back nine 33 and a clubhouse leading total of 279. Angel Cabrera (71-69-69-70), playing right behind Scott, put his second shot two feet from the hole for a birdie-par-birdie finish and a total of 279. A sudden death playoff was then held on the 18th hole. They halved that hole with pars and then moved on to the 10th hole. Scott proceeded  to hole a 12-foot putt with his long-putter and became the third in the last four major tournaments to win with an anchored long-putter. Jason Day finished third at 281. Tiger Woods and Marc Leishman tied for fourth with 283s. First prize was $1,440,000. Jim Furyk tied for 25th at 290 and won $56,040. The purse totaled $8,000,000.  

Section Office 2-2014 Apr
Philadelphia PGA Office

In the third week of April the Philadelphia Section moved to a new office which it had purchased. It was now an owner instead of a renter. The building had three floors and was large enough for the various offices needed and storage of equipment for the management of its tournaments. The building was 4,100 square feet with 900 square feet of that in the basement for storage. The purchase price was $680,000. $300,000 was taken from the Section’s Reserve Fund and the rest was financed by the Valley Green Bank. The lease at their previous home had been $40,000 a year and the building was deteriorating. The new address was 1009 Penllyn Pike, Lower Gwynedd, PA, 19002. The 215-886-7742 telephone number was still the same as before. The 7742 was also PPGA on the telephone dial.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Chambersburg Country Club on the second Thursday of May. Par for the course was usually 73 but the USGA made it a par 72 for the qualifying round. There were three spots to qualify for there and three players ended up tied for the medal at 74. David Hilgers, a mini-tour player from Hershey along with two Maryland amateurs Gary Carpenter, Jr. and David Bosdosh took the three spots.

Waynesborough Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the second Thursday of May. There were 122 golfers competing for seven spots at Waynesborough. Amateur Oliver White and Texas professional Mikel Martinson tied for low at even par 71. Travis Howe who was playing the mini-tours out of Osceola, Pennsylvania along with amateurs Jeffrey Osberg and Braden Shattuck took the next three places with 72s. Philadelphia Country Club assistant Mark Summerville won the sixth spot with a 73. West Chester mini-tour player Chris Gallagher earned the seventh spot in a seven-man playoff by making a birdie three on the 10th hole, which was the first playoff hole.

On the second Monday of May Whitford Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open. There were five spots at Whitford. Reinstated amateur and former Philadelphia Open winner Michael R. Brown was low with an even par 72. Baltimore amateur Christopher Baloga was next at 73. Reinstated amateur David West and John Ladow, a mini-tour player out of Pottstown, took the third and fourth places with 74s. Connecticut amateur Blake Morris won the last place with a 76.

Applebrook Golf Club hosted the local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the third Thursday of May. There were eight places to qualify for at Applebrook. John Lynch, the teaching professional at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club led the qualifying with a one under par 70. Michael Tobiason,  David Sanders (Mt. Laurel, NJ) and  Brandon Knaub (York) took the next three places with 71s. Joey Bonargo (Mechanicsville, PA) and Zak Drescher (Landisville, PA) along with amateur Cory Siegfried and North Carolina amateur Chad Wilfong won the last four spots in a six-man playoff. Sanders, Knaub, Bonargo and Drescher were playing the professional golf mini-tours.  

The PGA Senior Championship was held at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. None of the Philadelphia Section’s club professionals had been able to qualify at the Senior PGA Professional National Championship in October. For the second straight year a real dark-horse won the tournament. Japan’s Kohki Idoki in his first trip to the United States put together rounds of 71, 69, 68 and 65 to come from well behind. His eleven under par 273 total won by two strokes over Kenny Perry (275) and Jay Haas (275). Mark O’Meara finished fourth at 276. Joe Daley, who was fully exempt on he PGA Senior Tour missed the cut and received $1,000. First prize was $378,000.

The two-day Burlington Classic was held at the Burlington Country Club in the first week of June. On Sunday two professionals were paired with three amateurs in a pro-am format. The professionals’ scores counted toward a two-day total. Play on both days was challenged by rain storms. On Monday the start was delayed by 30 minutes. When the 36 holes was finally completed Mark Sheftic (68-68) and Tommy Ellison (68-68) an assistant at the Brandywine Country Club were tied for the top prize with four under par 136s. A sudden death playoff was held on the 18th hole. The two players halved the hole with pars and then played the hole for a second time. They halved with pars again. The third time they played the hole Sheftic holed a birdie putt from the fringe of the green to win. George Forster, Sr. and Billy Stewart, an assistant at Golf Galaxy-Devon, tied for third at 138. First prize was $2,500 from a total purse of $16,800.

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at eleven locations around the USA on the first Monday of June. There had also been sectional qualifying in Japan and England at earlier dates. No one from the Philadelphia Section qualified. Jim Furyk was exempt off several categories. One of those was a ten year exemption for winning the tournament in 2003.

The Variety Club Tournament of Champions was scheduled for the second week of June but rain interfered. The tournament was being hosted by the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. Heavy rain on Friday and more rain on Monday closed a course that in spite of several renovations had always had flooding problems. The pro-am portion of the event on Tuesday was postponed until later in the year and the individual competition was reduced to one round and played on Wednesday. For most of the day a host of players held the lead with one under par 71s. Late in the day Rich Steinmetz came in with a 69 and soon after that John Pillar posted a 70. Stu Ingraham, Dave McNabb, David Quinn, Joe Kogelman,  George Forster, Sr., Barry Dear, Don DeAngelis and Michael Rushin tied for third with 71s. Kogelman was now the teaching professional at the Waynesborough Country Club. First prize was $3,500.

In the second week of June the U.S. Open returned to the Merion Golf Club’s East Course for a fifth time. There were 9,660 entries which was a record. The entries came from 74 different countries. In spite of being lengthened by almost 500 yards to nearly 7,000, Merion’s golf course was thought to be too short and outdated for the current golf technology. The only hope was to have a fast and firm golf course which would send the golf balls bounding off the fairways and greens. That didn’t come about. Before play even began it poured rain on Friday and Monday. When the tournament got under way on Thursday birdies were plentiful but before anyone could finish even nine holes another storm arrived and play was stopped for more than three hours. Later in the day rain and the threat of lightening held up play for another hour. In spite of the soft conditions only two sub-par rounds were posted that day. There were birdies but there were also double bogies and worse. When darkness fell there were 78 players still on the golf course. When the first round was finally completed on Friday morning Phil Mickelson held the lead with a three under par 67. Somehow Merion’s course was holding its own. There were a total of five rounds of under par golf. On day two the first round was completed. Then it was Billy Horschel who stepped to the front with a 67 in the second round. Horschel hit all 18 greens in regulation. Not everyone finished on Friday either as 68 players had to complete their rounds on Saturday morning. At the end of 36 holes Horschel and Mickelson were tied for the lead at 139. The third round began with a two tee start at 12:28. There had been a two tee start for the first two rounds and due to the location of the tenth tee the players who began their rounds on the back nine started on the eleventh hole. Also because of a lack of space the players warmed up on Merion’s East Course. Scoring in the third round was much like the first two. The low round was 67 and six players broke par. Mickelson turned in a 70 to take a one stroke lead into the final round. At 209 he was the only player under par. On Sunday everyone went off the first tee in twos. Once again 67 was the low round and the leaders struggled. Mickelson made two double bogies along with two unlikely bogies on #13 and #15. When it was all over the winner was Justin Rose who put together rounds of 71, 69, 71 and 70 for a one over par 281. Mickelson and Jason Day tied for second at 283. It was the sixth time that Mickelson had finished second in the U.S. Open. Ernie Els, Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan and Horschel tied for fourth at 285. Jim Furyk missed the cut. First prize was $1,440,000 form a purse of $8,000,000. Scott Nye was the host professional.

Holding another U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club was a logistical nightmare. Without the assistance of Haverford College, the homeowners on Golfhouse Road and Haverford Township it never would have taken place. For the seven days of the tournament Haverford Avenue, Ardmore Avenue, Golfhouse Road and other neighboring streets were closed. The driving range at the East course was used by the USGA for a large merchandise tent, media center, food concessions and other USGA tents. The  players practiced on the West Course. The approach to the first green was flattened for a tee and the players drove balls down the 9th and 10th fairways. The 1st and 18th greens were used for practice pitching. The practice putting green was made five times larger. Tents were put up behind the practice tee on private property for lockers rooms and dining for the players, their families and the caddies. The players and their caddies were then transported to the East Course through back roads. Hospitality tents were erected on the front lawns of the residences on Golfhouse Road. The owners were well paid for this inconvenience and the lawns were all resodded after the tournament. The members were not allowed in the clubhouse for the week but a tent with a deck which overlooked the 13th green and the 1st fairway was provided for them. The members had to park on one of the holes at the West Course and then walk some distance to the shuttle buses. People like USGA staff, USGA officials and the press parked at Villanova University and were bused in. The public and volunteers were provided with parking several miles away at Rose Tree Park near Media and the soccer stadium in Chester. Some businesses provided shuttles. As usual one could take the P&W train to Ardmore Avenue which is right at the golf course. Others could take SEPTA trains to the Rosemont Station and shuttle buses then took you to a gate on Haverford. A short walk from there took them to a bridge that had been constructed over the railroad tracks just for the tournament. That put you in the club’s parking lot near the 18th hole. Without the cooperation of many entities the tournament could never been held. The USGA paid for all of these temporary structures.   

George Forster, Sr. qualified for the U.S. Senior Open in Maryland on the third Wednesday of June. Qualifying was hosted by the 6,825 yard Musket Ridge Country Club in Myersville. Virginia amateur Michael Sughrue led with six under par 66. Western Pennsylvania amateur Sean Knapp was next at 69. Forster posted a 70 and went on to win the third and last spot in a three-way sudden death playoff that took seven holes to decide. On the seventh extra hole Forster holed an eight-foot putt for a birdie to put an end to the playoff. One of the other participants in the playoff was Rob Shuey.

The PGA Professional National Championship was held at the Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Oregon during the fourth week of June. This was also the qualifying event for the PGA Championship. There were thirteen players in the field from the Philadelphia Section. Rod Perry, a left-handed player from the North Florida Section, was the winner by three strokes. Perry posted rounds of 63, 72, 73 and 69 for an eleven under par 277. Ryan Polzin finished second at 280 and Jeff Sorenson was third at 282. Mark Sheftic, Mike Small, Chip Sullivan and J.C. Anderson tied for fourth with 283 totals. Sheftic won $22,237.50. Dave McNabb also made the cut and finished in a tie for 9th at 286 winning $12,100. By finishing in the top 20 Sheftic and McNabb qualified for the PGA Championship. Stu Ingraham missed the cut by one stroke with a 146. Also missing the cut were  Rich Steinmetz, John Bierkan, Jacob Gerney, Eric Kennedy, Travis Deibert, Matthew McKeon, Rob Shuey, Terry Hatch, Rich Hughart, Alex Knoll and Barry Dear. Brian Kelly and Greg Farrow chose not to play and the Section was also awarded one extra spot. Out of that Knoll and Sheftic took their places and when Cleve Coldwater the third alternate could not play Shuey got into the starting field. Deibert was now the head professional at the Commonwealth National Golf Club.  McKeon, who was the new professional at the Great Bear Golf & Country Club, had qualified in the New Jersey Section. Two golf courses at Crosswater were used for the tournament and one was quite a bit easier than the other. Par at both courses was 72. The championship course which was used for three rounds measured 7,489 yards. First prize was $75,000.

In early July the PGA of America and the PGA Tour agreed to accept the USGA’s ban on what it referred to as “Attached Putting”. The rule would take affect on January 1, 2016.

The U.S. Senior Open was held at the Omaha  Country Club in Omaha, Nebraska during the second week of July. Kenny Perry posted rounds of 64 and 63 on the weekend to win the tournament by five strokes after trailing by ten shots at the halfway point. Perry had begun with a 67 and a 73 in the first two rounds. His 267 total was thirteen under par. Fred Funk finished second at 272. Rocky Mediate and Corey Pavin tied for third with 273 totals. First prize was $500,000. Joe Daley who was fully exempt on the PGA Senior Tour tied for 20th at 281 and won $33,779. George Forster, Sr. also made the cut and tied for 50th. He put together a 288 and won $8,156.

On the third Wednesday of July Waynesborough Country Club hosted the Philadelphia Open. There were 78 players, 32 professionals and 46 amateurs, in the starting field. Some had been exempt and others were there through qualifying events. Once again it was one day and 36 holes of walking with caddies. It was hot and humid with temperatures in the low 90s. The course measured just under 7,000 yards. At the end of 27 holes Brandon Matthews led the field  at four under par but he proceeded to make a few bogies and came to the last hole needing a birdie to tie Billy Stewart (69-71). Having begun his final round on the back nine he was finishing on the 446-yard ninth hole. Matthews (70-70) played a 128-yard sand wedge to the green and holed a ten-foot putt to tie Stewart at 140. A four hole playoff was held on holes  six through nine. Matthews played the four holes in one under par to win by two strokes. He one-putted all four holes for a total score of 15 against 17 for Stewart.  The Philadelphia Open had now been won by amateurs for a fourth straight year. Amateurs Michael McDermott and Chip Lutz tied for third at 141. Rich Steinmetz and Mark Summerville tied for fifth with 142s. First prize was $7,000 from a purse of $35,000. Seventeen professionals won money.

The British Open was played during the third week of July at the Muirfield golf club in Gullane, Scotland. Phil Mickelson teed off in the final round trailing the leader by five strokes. Four birdies in the last six holes gave him a 66 and his first British Open victory. Mickelson (69-74-72-66) was the only player to finish under par for the tournament as he finished at three under par 281. Henrik Stenson was second at 284. Ian Poulter, Adam Scott and Lee Westwood tied for third with 285 totals. Jim Furyk missed the cut. First prize was $1,442,826 in United States dollars.

Don Allan who was now the teaching professional at the Burlington Country Club won the GALV Lehigh Valley Open on the fifth Tuesday of July. The two-day tournament was hosted by the Northampton Country Club which measured 6,600 yards. Allan, who had won this tournament in 2010, finished his second round with three straight birdies to win by two strokes. He put together rounds of 69 and 67 for an eight under par 136. Stu Ingraham and Rolling Green Golf Club assistant Michael Little tied for second at 138. Mike Moses, Greg Farrow and Terry Hertzog tied for fourth with 140s. First prize was $2,250.

The 36-hole Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Cedarbrook Country Club on the first Monday of August. This was the qualifying event for the PGA of America Assistant Championship. Alex Knoll  put together rounds of 68 and 70 for a six under par 138 which was just what he needed to win. Tony R. Perla and Aronimink Golf Club assistant Carson Solien tied for second at 139. Merion Golf Club assistant William Ciccotti and Mark Summerville tied for fourth at 140. There were five spots to qualify for in the national championship so those five were going to be representing the Philadelphia Section. First prize was $1,350. Steve Swartz was alone in sixth place with a 141 and that made him the first alternate. When Knoll could not play in the tournament Swartz got into the national championship.  

In the second week of August Stu Ingraham won the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship for a third straight year. The two-day tournament was hosted by the Saucon Valley Country Club on its Weyhill Course in the first week of August. Ingraham (140) posted a pair of two under par 70 rounds to win by two strokes. First prize was $1,200. The tournament was also qualifying for the PGA’s national senior championship for club professionals. Based on the number of entries from the Section Philadelphia had been awarded nine spots. Bill Sautter, Brian Kelly and George Forster, Sr. tied for second with 142s. Rob Shuey (143) and Greg Farrow (143) picked up the fifth and sixth spots. Don Allan (144) was seventh and Manufacturers Golf & Country Club professional Bob Fritz (146) was eighth. Philmont Country Club professional Mickey Sokalski (147) won a sudden death playoff over three others for the ninth and last place.

The PGA Championship was played in second week of August. at the Oak Hill Country Club’s East Course near Rochester, New York. Since the hosting of the Ryder Cup in 1995 the course had been lengthened a little and now measured 7,163 yards. The first two days it rained enough to soften the course and birdies were plentiful. Philadelphia Section members Dave McNabb and Mark Sheftic were in the field having qualified at the PGA Professional National Championship in June. Jim Furyk played well for four days but Jason Duffner played even better as he put together rounds of 68, 63, 71 and 68. Furyk led the field with one round to play and Duffer trailed by one stroke. The two of them were paired together for the last round and they battled it out. Both players made bogey fives on the final two holes which measured a total of 1,000 yards. When it was over Duffner’s ten under par 270 was two strokes less than Furyk’s 272. Henrik Stenson finished third at 273 and Jonas Blixt was fourth at 274. There were some low scores on the last day but no one really challenged Duffner and Furyk. McNabb and Sheftic along with the other 18 club professionals missed the cut. First prize was $1,445,000 from a purse of $8,000,000. Duffner’s 63 on Friday tied the lowest score ever shot in a major championship.

Andrew Mason, a member at Huntingdon Valley Country and now a professional playing mini-tours won the Pennsylvania Open in the second week of August. The three-day tournament was hosted by the 7,084-yard Commonwealth National Golf Club. On Tuesday the second day of play was rained out and the field was cut to the low 40 and ties from round one. The players that made the cut played 36 holes on Wednesday. Mason put together rounds of 68, 72 and 72 for a one under par 212 total. He led by four strokes with nine holes to play but a few bogies on the last nine left him needing a par on his last hole to win, which was #9. He missed the green but chipped to within two-feet and holed the putt for the victory. As an amateur Mason had won both the Philadelphia Open and the Pennsylvania Amateur Championship in 2011 and 2012. Western Pennsylvania’s John Popeck finished second at 213. Travis Howe was third with a 214 total. George Forster, Sr., Gordon Vietmeier, Daniel Obremski and amateur Greg Podufal tied for fourth with 216 totals. First prize was $8,000.

In the third week of August the two-day Pro-Am for Wishes was played at the Penn Oaks Golf Club. David Quinn came to the par four 18th hole needing a birdie to have any chance of winning. His tee shot was off to the right in trees and his second shot was well over the green . From there Quinn played a flop shot with a lob-wedge that landed on the collar of the green and trickled into the cup. That put him in the clubhouse at four under par 138. When the first round leaders faltered Quinn  (69-69) was the winner by one stroke. Mark Sheftic and Billy Stewart tied for second with 139 totals. John Appleget, Eric Kennedy and Mark Summerville tied for fourth at 141. Quinn took home a check for $2,700. For Sunday’s first round each professional was paired with two amateurs in a pro-am format to raise money for charity and the professional’s score counted toward a two-day score for individual prize money.

On the first Tuesday of September the Drexel Morgan & Co. Classic (formerly the Haverford Trust Classic) was played at the 6,900-yard Sunnybrook Golf Club. The tournament with a first prize of $75,000 was again sponsored by George Connell. The tournament had been scheduled on its usual date, the Tuesday after Memorial Day, but heavy rain brought about a postponement to the day after Labor Day. The field was composed of 129 professionals and 12 invited amateurs. Some of the professionals were exempt and the others had qualified earlier. At the end of the day four professionals; Billy Stewart, Stu Ingraham, Bill Sautter and Pottstown’s Brookside Country Club professional Ryan Breidegam, were tied for the top spot with four under par 68s. At one point in the round Sautter was seven under par. A sudden-death playoff was held on the  par four 18th hole. Breidegam was the only one that wasn’t on the green in regulation. He proceeded to almost hole out his chip shot as it caught the lip of the cup and stopped within inches of the hole. Ingraham and Sautter then putted for birdies and both failed to reach the hole. It then came down to Stewart who holed his 12-foot putt for the largest first place prize in the Section. Ingraham, Sautter and Breidegam each won $2,733.33 as the next three money prizes were divided among them. The prize money was top-heavy as second prize had been $5,000.

On Friday September 13th Jim Furyk shot a 12-under-par 59 during the BMW Championship at the Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. He was the sixth player to post a 59 on the PGA Tour. Furyk didn’t win the tournament but he did finish solo third. He played the back nine first, putting together an eight-under-par 28 which was helped by a nine-iron shot that he holed out for an eagle 2 on the 334-yard 15th hole. Furyk then played the front nine in 31. A birdie three on the last hole put the finishing touch on a historic round. The round was marred slightly by a three-putt bogey on the fifth hole. The course was playing difficult with a north wind of 20 miles and hour. The next best score that day was a 65.

Quinn & Packer Trophy-2013
David Quinn

The $70,000 Philadelphia Section Championship took place for the 92nd time in the third week of September. The first two rounds of the tournament were hosted by the White Manor Country Club and the Radnor Valley Country Club. On Tuesday half of the field was playing on each course and on Wednesday they swapped courses. At the end of 36 holes the field was cut to the low 60 and ties. All scores of 155 and under made the cut. David Quinn, Section champion in 2006, got off to a good start with a two under par 69 at White Manor which put him in a tie for the lead. A one over par 71 at Radnor Valley on Wednesday left him three shots in front of the field at 140. On Thursday Quinn put together a steady 73. His one over par 213 won the championship and a $7,500 check by two strokes. Quinn had putted with a long-putter for more than 15 years but he won putting with a regular length putter. Quinn’s name was added to the William B. Packer trophy which had been resurrected. The trophy had been donated in the 1980s by Mr. Packer a member of several clubs and a benefactor to the Philadelphia Section for many years. In the last round Riverton Country Club teaching professional Bill Walker and John Bierkan made a run at Quinn. Walker shot a 67, which was the lowest round of the tournament at White Manor. Bierkan had a chance but made a bogie on the last hole. Walker and Bierkan ended up tied for second at 215. Terry Hertzog, who was now the teaching professional at the Country Club of York had to call a one-stroke penalty on himself in the last round when his ball moved slightly in the heavy rough just off the 10th green. Hertzog finished fourth at 218. The tournament was also the qualifying event for the PGA Professional National Championship and the Philadelphia Section had 11 spots which was based on the number of entries in the Section Championship. Mark Sheftic and Dave McNabb were exempt off their finish in the national championship held in June. Sheftic was in England playing in the PGA Cup Matches and McNabb (220) tied for seventh in the Section Championship. The first four qualifying spots went to Quinn, Walker, Bierkan and Hertzog. The fifth and sixth spots went to John Appleget (219) and Alex Knoll (219) who posted 219s. The next two spots were won by George Forster, Sr. (220) and Radley Run assistant professional Shawn Hall (220). The ninth, tenth and eleventh spots went to John Lynch (221), Aronimink Golf Club assistant Patrick Clark (221) and Stonewall head professional Ryan Lagergren. (221). The host professionals were White Manor’s Mark Levine and Radnor Valley’s George Forster, Sr.

Mark Sheftic wasn’t entered in the Philadelphia Section Championship because he was playing in the PGA Cup matches against the Great Britain & Ireland PGA just one day after the Section Championship ended. The venue was the Hunting Course at Staley Hall in Northumberland, England. Sheftic, who was participating in the matches for a third time, was one of ten club professionals representing the PGA of America. On Friday and Saturday there were four foursome matches (alternate strokes) in the morning and 4 four-ball matches in the afternoon. On Sunday all ten players took part in the singles matches. After two days of partners matches the United States led by 10-1/2 points to 5-1/2 points. On Sunday the GB&I team stormed back winning 7-1/2 points. The competition ended in a tie with 13 points for each team. It was not what the U.S. team had gone to England for but they did get to keep the cup due to having won the previous match in 2011. Sheftic won 2 points and lost 2 points.

 On the second Wednesday of October the challenge match between the Philadelphia PGA and the GAP was played at the Applebrook Golf Club. For just the second time in the 23 history of the matches the Philadelphia Section came out on the short end of the result. One reason may be that several of the Section’s best players were in Virginia playing in the Senior Professional National Championship. There were 12 players on each team and two of the players had to be seniors. The players played 18 holes and were paired in fours. In each pairing there were two singles matches and a four-ball match. The Eric Kennedy-Dave McNabb team won all three points and the Michael Little-Mark Summerville team won two points. The Terry Hertzog-John Bierkan team and the senior team of Mike Moses-John Allen each won one point. The Bill Walker-Barry Dear team and the Rich Steinmetz-John Appleget team each won one-half point. The final tally was 10 points for the GAP team and 8 points for the PGA. The standings for the matches now stood at 17 wins for the PGA against two loses and four ties.

The Senior Professional National Championship was scheduled for the second week of October in Aldie, Virginia but rain changed everything. After two days of trying to out wait the weather, the tournament was postponed until April 2014 and moved to the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. A few holes were played by some of the contestants but no rounds were completed. There were ten players in the starting field from the Philadelphia Section.

The Philadelphia PGA defeated the New Jersey PGA in a challenge match on the third Thursday of October. The match, called the Turnpike Cup, was in its second year.  It was hosted by the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey. There were twelve players on each team and two had to be seniors. The players were paired in fours with two members of each team playing a four-ball match against the other team. In each pairing their were two singles matches being played at the same time. There were three points being contested in each pairing. The senior team of Stu Ingraham-Greg Farrow won all 3 of their possible points. The Mark Summerville-John Bierkan team won 2-1/2 points. The Graham Dendler-Michael Little team won 2 points. The John Appleget-Billy Stewart team won 1-1/2 points. The John Pillar-Mark Sheftic team won 1 point and the Bill Walker-Joe Kogelman team won 1/2 point. The final tally was 10-1/2 points for the Philadelphia team against 7-1/2 points for the New Jersey team. The Philadelphia team had now won for the second straight year in what was a renewal of an earlier series of matches between the two PGA Sections.

Terry Hatch won the Philadelphia Section Match Play Championship at the Little Mill Country Club in the fourth week of October. The Little Mill and Devil’s Glen nines were used at Little Mill. Hatch had lost in the final match the year before to George Forster, Sr. and Forster was his opponent again. This time Hatch was victorious by the count of 3&2. Twice in the final match on Wednesday afternoon Hatch was two-up and both times Forster evened the match. On the back nine Hatch won three straight holes to go three-up and then lost a  hole, but when Hatch birdied the par five 16th hole he was the winner. First prize was $1,200. In the semifinal round on Wednesday morning Hatch had defeated Dave McNabb 3&2 while Forster was eliminating Billy Stewart by 2&1. There were 64 in the starting field on Monday morning. In order to reach the finals a player had to win five matches and play as much as 36 holes or more each day.

Pillar, John 10x
John Pillar

The annual meeting of the Philadelphia Section PGA was held at the Valley Forge Resort and Casino on the fourth Monday of October. It was an election year. Dan Haskell moved to honorary president after holding office for eight years, the last two as president. After seven years of serving the Section by holding three different offices John Pillar was elected president. Ian Dalzell moved up from secretary to vice president and John Rogers, who was now a pro-golf salesman, was elected to the office of secretary. After serving as the director of tournaments for seven years during two separate periods Mike Moses stepped down. Dave McNabb was elected director of tournaments and Jeff Kiddie was elected to the office of director of section affairs. Leo DeGisi, who was in his sixth year as the Section’s national vice president reported on the affairs of the national association. The financial status of the Section remained strong. Even after the purchase of an office building in April there was still $449,126 in the Restricted Fund. $200,000 was in CDs at the Valley Green Bank which allowed the Section to have a five year fixed mortgage rate of 5.24%. The Section’s Junior Tour had held 62 events which was more than any other year and 810 juniors registered for the program which was 102 more than 2012. The Section started an Elite Junior Tour of fourteen 36-hole events that offered national rankings. The college division had 50 members. David Quinn was the Section’s “Player of the Year” for a second time and he won the DeBaufre trophy for the third time with a 70.0 scoring average. Stu Ingraham finished the season as the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” for the fourth time.

Hackney, Clarence 7 (TGH)
Clarence Hackney

Clarence W. Hackney was inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame at the Section’s fall meeting on the fourth Monday of October. Hackney was born in Carnoustie, Scotland in 1894 and learned to play golf there as a caddy. He immigrated to the United States and was an assistant to Johnny McDermott at the Atlantic City Country Club in 1914 when McDermott suffered a mental breakdown. Hackney was promoted to head professional and held the position until his death in 1941. He won the Canadian Open in 1923 and finished second in the Western Open in 1920. In 1921 Hackney was a member of a pre Ryder Cup Team that was defeated by a British team the week before the British Open was played. Hackney won two Philadelphia Section Championships, the Philadelphia Open three times and the New Jersey Open three consecutive years. In 1923 one week before winning the Canadian Open he won the Philadelphia Open at Pine Valley Golf Club by 13 strokes with a score of 298. These victories were rated as PGA Tour victories based on the caliber of the players in the field. Hackney played in 14 U.S. Opens and 11 PGA Championships. He also served the Section as first vice president and tournament chairman for two years and the second vice president for one year. Five times Hackney was a delegate to the PGA of America’s annual meeting from the Philadelphia Section.

The PGA Assistant National Championship was held during the first week of November at the PGA Golf Club in Port St Lucie, Florida. The tournament was played on the Wanamaker Course. There were five assistants from the Philadelphia Section in the starting field. For a third time Frank Bensel won the tournament and this time he won going away with rounds of 69, 74, 66 and 69 for a ten under par 278. Charles Frost finished second at 284. Jeff Seavey and Ray Franz, Jr. tied for third with 286s. First prize was $9,000. Carson Solien finished in 50th place at 301 and won $600. Mark Summerville posted a 308 to finish 66th and won $440. William Ciccotti, Tony R. Perla and Steve Swartz missed the cut. Swartz was in the field as an alternate for Alex Knoll who had qualified as the Section’s assistant champion.

For the first time the PGA Tour ended its season in September right after the Tour Championship. Tiger Woods led the PGA Tour with earnings of $8,703,439 in the 18 tournaments he entered. Woods was also the PGA of America “Player of the Year” for the eleventh time and he won the Vardon Trophy for the ninth time. He captured the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 68.98. Jim Furyk finished 15th on the money list with $3,204,779 in 22 events. Jason Bohn played in 23 events and won $739,030 which was good for 111th place. Sean O’Hair had a down year with earnings of $268,614 in 22 tournaments. That left him in 185th place and off the exempt list for 2013.

As a result of having finished outside the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list Sean O’Hair had to play in the PGA Tour qualifying which consisted of four tournaments. Players on the PGA Tour from  number 126 to 200 could enter along with the top 75 from what was now the Web.com, or Developmental Tour. The top 25 from the Web.com Tour had already earned PGA Tour cards for 2014 but they could enter in order to improve their positions. The top 25 money winners in these four events that had not earned cards on the Web.com Tour would also earn PGA Tour cards. O’Hair then proceeded to win $59,333 in those events to retain his PGA Tour exemption and 14th place outside the 125 fully exempt players. This made him eligible for most of the tournaments on the PGA Tour but not all.

Bernhard Langer led the PGA Senior Tour money list with $2,448,428 in 24 tournaments. Joe Daley ended up in 50th place with $310,774 in 25 events which meant that he had lost his exemption for 2014. Jay Sigel played in two tournaments and won $9,025.

Chesson Hadley led the PGA Tour’s Developmental Tour which was now called the Web.com tour money list with $535,432 in 22 starts. Sean O’Hair won $59,333 in four events. Those were the four post-season tournaments that allowed O’Hair to retain his PGA Tour privileges. Vince Covello won $21,143 in 18 tournaments which put him in 170th place on the money list.

The PGA national meeting was held in San Diego, California during the fourth week of November at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marino. Due to not being an election year it was a quiet session. The keynote speakers were Lee Trevino and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. Trevino was honored with the 2013 PGA Distinguished Service Award. One resolution was passed and one failed. The one that passed made it possible for PGA Apprentices in all levels to earn credits as a teaching professional at a PGA Recognized Indoor Facility in all levels of apprenticeship while working under a Class A-14 PGA professional. Before that only Level 2 and 3 apprentices could earn credits in that way. Leo DeGisi stepped down as a national director after serving a second three-year term. DeGisi topped Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Jack Hobens who served as a national vice president for four years (1920-1923). What was then called national vice president was later changed to national director. Section president John Pillar and vice president Ian Dalzell were the delegates representing the Philadelphia Section. Past national president Jack Connelly along with our executive director Geoff Surrette were also in attendance. Dick Smith, Sr. was could not attend, due to a family health problem.
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2014
In late January at the PGA Merchandise Show two Philadelphia Section members were honored with national awards for 2013. Lou Guzzi was the “PGA Teacher of the Year” and Rick Kline was the “PGA Merchandiser of the Year” for public facilities.

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Lou Guzzi

Lou Guzzi came to the game of golf as a professional a little later than most.  He took a couple of lessons from Jerry Pisano who was leasing Flourtown Country Club and had been one of the Section’s leading players in the 1960s. Not long after that he won the Flourtown club championship. At age 29 he turned pro and became the head professional at Flourtown. In 2001, after ten years at Flourtown he opened a teaching facility in Ft. Washington  where he began honing his teaching skills. Guzzi became the director of instruction at Talamore Country Club in 2005 . He and the owner designed a state-of-the-art year-round teaching facility for the practice area. It contained a fireplace, cappuccino bar and office along with the usual driving bays. Along with being a great instructor Guzzi had the ability to make golf fun and interesting for his students. He had been the Philadelphia Section’s “Teacher of the Year” twice.

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Rick Kline

Rick Kline began his golf career during his college days in 1983 cleaning golf carts and clubs at Seaview Country Club. From that he worked his way up to golf shop manager and then head professional. In 1993 he got an opportunity to purchase Sittler Golf Center in Kutztown, which was near his hometown. The facility had no golf shop and was only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Soon after taking over the facility Kline made it the place for golfers to get fitted with the right golf equipment. Over time he acquired nearly every golf company’s fitting system. He built a 2,500 square-foot golf shop, a 1,500 square-foot indoor coaching/fitting lab and a snack bar. His driving range was named to the top 50 golf ranges in America by Golf Range Magazine and Golf Digest listed him as one of America’s 100 Best Club Fitters.  

The Masters Tournament was held at the Augusta National Golf Club in the second week of April. For the second time in three years the winner was Bubba Watson. A 69 on Thursday was good for second place and on Friday he made five straight birdies on the back nine for a 68. His 137 total led by three shots. On Saturday he posted a 74 and let the contenders back into the chase. Jonas Blixt and Jordan Spieth were tied with him for the lead. On Sunday the usual back nine fireworks did not happen. Watson trailed Spieth by two strokes on the eighth tee but bogies on the next two holes by Spieth and birdies by Watson put the winner in front by two strokes. None of the other contestants were able to made a move on the back nine while Watson was posting a 69. His eight under par 280 was three strokes better than Blixt (283) and Spieth (283). Fifty year old Miguel Angel Jimenez finished fourth 284. First prize was $1,620,000. Jim Furyk tied for 14th at 289 and won $148,500.

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Dave McNabb

The Section held its spring meeting on the second Monday of April at the DuPont Country Club. Section president John Pillar presided over the meeting. Clark Luis opened the meeting by singing the National Anthem. The keynote speaker was Sandy Jones, the CEO and Executive Director of the Great Britain and Ireland PGA. The Section’s Executive Director announced that the ADP funding from the PGA of America was being increased from $90.000 a year to $150,000. The funding would also be increasing by five percent a year through 2019. The PGA of America’s new TV contract had made this possible. There was now $476,859 in the Section’s Reserve Fund. The Section’s recent national award winners, Lou Guzzi and  Rick Kline were recognized. The Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” was Dave McNabb and the “Teacher of the Year” was Ted Sheftic. McNabb was an excellent example of a well rounded golf professional. He began his career as an assistant at the Cavaliers Country Club in 1993 and became the head professional in 1997. In 2010 he moved north to take over the head professional position at the Applebrook Country Club. McNabb had served the Section on the Junior Golf Committee, Tournament Committee and the Special Awards Committee. He had been a District Director for six years and he was now Director of Tournaments. He was an outstanding player having won more than 20 tournaments in the Philadelphia Section.  In 2013 he qualified for the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester. Sheftic was the Section’s “Teacher of the Year” for a fourth time had been one of the regions leading instructors for 40 years. He began his professional career as the head professional at the Red Lion Country Club in 1964 and moved to the Hanover Country Club in 1970. In 1999 he relinquished his head pro duties to become a full time instructor. In the last 15 years he had turned out some outstanding players. Many were young women. He was recognized on a national level as a top 100 teacher and a finalist for the PGA of America “Teacher of the Year” award for 2014. His golf school was now located at the Bridges Golf Club.

In the third week of April the 2013 Senior PGA Professional National Championship was held at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament was scheduled for the second week of October 2013 but after several days of rain it was postponed for six months and moved to one of the PGA’s golf courses in Florida. This was also qualifying for the PGA Senior Championship. Gene Fieger, a former Philadelphia Section member and Section champion won with ease. He put together four rounds in the 60s (68, 69, 69, 69) for a 13 under par score of 275 on the Wanamaker Course. First prize was $20,000. Don Berry finished six strokes back in second place at 282. Jeff Coston, Steve Parker and Frank Esposito tied for second with 283 totals. George Forster tied for 36th at 292, one stroke out of qualifying for the PGA Senior Championship. He was in a five-way playoff for an alternate spot and ended up winning the third one. Forster won $1,850. Stu Ingraham tied for 41st at 293 and won $1,575. Rob Shuey who was now the teaching professional at the Colonial Country Club finished tied for 47th with a 293 and won $1,301.66. Bill Sautter finished in a tie for 53rd at 295 and won $1,190. Don Allan tied for 58th at 296 and won $1,093.33. Mickey Sokalski, Brian Kelly, Don DeAngelis and Bob Fritz missed the cut. The total purse was $285,000.   

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held on the first Monday of May at the Hidden Creek Golf Club. There were six places to qualify for there. Five of the spots were won by amateurs. Columbian professional Jose Garrido and amateur Alexander Hicks from Cape May Court House  tied for the medal with one under par 70s. Michael Johnson was third at 71. James Braunsberg, Michael Kania and Matthew Bassler posted 73s and earned the last three spots in a five-man playoff.

On the second Thursday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Huntsville Golf Club. There were four spots to qualify for at Huntsville. Canadian professional David Sherman was the medalist with an even par 72. Huntingdon Valley’s Andrew Mason took the second spot with a 73. Sean Szerencsits, an assistant at the Southmoore Golf Club  and amateur Zachary Herr posted 74s and won the last two spots in a three-man playoff.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Laurel Creek Country Club on the second Tuesday of May. There were six spots to qualify for at Laurel Creek. Llanerch’s Vince Covello, who was back playing the professional golf mini-tours won the medal with a two under par 69. Amateur Mark Hill took the second spot with a 70. Trenton Country Club assistant Brian Hollins, mini-tour professionals Michael Tobiason and Avondale’s Justin Martinson along with north Jersey professional Rex Riley all turned in 71s and took the last four places without the need of a playoff.

Blue Ridge Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the second Wednesday of May. There were four spots to qualify for. Canadian professional Sean Bozuk was low with a six under par 66. Virginia amateur Justin Young was next with a 69. Pennsylvania amateurs Thomas Timby, Jr. and J.D. Daniels posted 71s and won the last two spots without the need of a playoff.

In the fourth week of May the Senior PGA Championship was held at the Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The winner was not a surprise but long over due. Colin Montgomerie opened up with a pair 69s which put him in a tie for the lead. A third round 68 put him one stroke in front of the field. In the last round on Sunday Tom Watson made a run with a 65 but Montgomerie wasn’t to be denied as he also posted a 65. His thirteen under par 271 won by four shots. Tom Watson finished second at 275. Bernard Langer and Jay Haas tied for third at 277. Joe Daley tied for 39th at 288 and won $7,666.66. George Forster, Sr. was the third alternate from the 2013 Senior PGA Professional National Championship. He received a call late Sunday night that he was in the tournament. He missed the cut and received $1,000. The total purse was $2,000,000 and Montgomerie won $378,000.

The Haverford Trust Classic was played at the Sunnybrook Golf Club on the fourth Tuesday of May. First prize was again $75,000 for the one day event. There were 144 entries. Rusty Harbold played early and posted a five under par 67 which no one was able to equal. He made seven birdies and two bogies. The field went off in two front nine-back nine waves. Brian Kelly played in the morning as well and posted a 68 which held up for a second place finish and a $5,000 check. Late in the day a thunder storm put an end to golf  for that day with 29 players still on the course. The only one of those that had any remote chance to win was Terry Hertzog, who was one under par with three holes to play. Hertzog and the others that had a chance to finish in the money returned to the course the next morning and completed their rounds. Hertzog (69) played his last two holes in two under par and finished in a tie with Dave McNabb (69) for third. Stu Ingraham, John Lynch and Steve Swartz tied for fourth with 70s. Swartz was now the teaching professional at the Conestoga Country Club.

On the first Monday of June sectional qualifying was held for the U.S. Open. No one from the Philadelphia Section made it to the U.S. Open. Jim Furyk was exempt off his position on the world ranking.

John Appleget won the Burlington Classic at the Burlington Country Club on the first Monday of June. The two-day tournament was a pro-am on Sunday which featured five-man teams composed of two professionals and three amateurs. The professionals’ scores counted toward a two-day total. Billy Stewart, who was now an assistant at the Ace Club led the first day with a five under par 65. The second day the tees were moved back and the scores were much higher. There were two 69s and the rest were higher. One of the 69s was posted by Appleget which along with his opening round 67 put him in the clubhouse at 136. Stewart had fallen back a bit but he holed a long birdie putt on the 18th hole to tie Appleget at 136. The two players returned to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff. Stewart missed the green with his second shot and made a bogie while Appleget was making a routine two-putt par. Barry Dear, Stu Ingraham, George Forster, Sr. and John Allen tied for third with 138 totals. Dear was now the teaching professional at the Twisted Dune Golf Club and Allen was now working for the Taylor Made Golf Company. First prize was $2,500 from a total purse of $20,000.

Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open in mid June as he went wire-to-wire and won by eight strokes. Kaymer posted rounds of 65, 65, 72 and 69 for a nine under par 271. The tournament was held in Pinehurst, North Carolina on Pinehurst Country Club’s No. 2 course. The course was hosting the U.S. Open for a third time but this was a totally different No. 2 course. Forty acres of Bermuda rough had been removed and replaced with sand and native vegetation. Several hundred sprinkler heads had been removed with only a single center row on each fairway remaining. There may have been more brown grass than green. Erik Compton and Ricky Fowler tied for second at 279. Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Justin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Brooks Koepka tied for fourth with 281 totals. Jim Furyk tied for 12th at 283 and won $156,679. First prize was $1,622,000.

On the third Thursday of June qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at the Back Creek Golf Club. There were two spots available. New York’s Jerry Courville and Virginia amateur Roger Newsom qualified by making it through a four-man playoff. The four players had posted one under par 70s. John DiMarco was also in the playoff and ended up as the first alternate. DiMarco later make it into the starting field.

The PGA Professional National Championship was played in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the fourth week of June. The tournament was hosted by The Dunes Golf & Beach Club and The Resort Club at Grande Dunes. The first two rounds were played on both courses and then the field was cut to the low 90 and ties. The field was cut again to the low 70 after the third round. The tournament was won by Michael Block (73-69-72-72) with a two under par 286. Block had tied with Jamie Broce (286) and won with a birdie three on the second hole of a sudden death playoff. First prize was $75,000. Stuart Deane finished third at 287 and Frank Esposito was fourth at 288. Dave McNabb holed a 20-foot putt for a birdie three on the 72nd hole and tied for 12th at 292. McNabb qualified for the PGA Championship by being in the top 20. The players with 293 totals played off for the last spots. David Quinn tied for 61st at 300 and won $1,975. Alex Knoll posted a 304 total and finished 75th, winning $1,662.50. Mark Sheftic and George Forster, Sr. made the 90-man cut and missed the third round cut. John Appleget, Brendon Post, Bill Walker, Patrick Clark, John Bierkan, Terry Hertzog, Robby Bruns, John Lynch, Ryan Lagergren and Shawn Hall missed the 36-hole cut. Post and Bruns were new to the Philadelphia Section and had qualified for the tournament in the PGA Sections where they had been employed in 2013. Post was the teaching professional at the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club and Bruns was an assistant at Merion Golf Club.

The U.S. Senior Open was held at the Oak Tree National Golf Club in Edmonds, Oklahoma in the second week of July. Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, who was one of the best golfers to never win a major championship won and for the second time in two months he had won a senior major. He posted rounds of 65, 71, 74 and 69 for a five under par 279. That put him in a tie with Gene Sauers (69-69-68-73—279). A three hole combined score playoff was held which Montgomerie won by one stroke with a one over par total. Woody Austin and David Frost tied for fourth with 283 totals. First prize from a purse of $3,500,000 was $630,000. Joe Daley and John DiMarco missed the cut. Daley was in the tournament off the Senior PGA Tour money list and DiMarco made it as an alternate from sectional qualifying.

Rory McIlroy won the British Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, England in the third week of July. McIlroy opened with a pair of six under par 66s and never looked back. He took a six stroke lead into the weekend. A 68 on Saturday kept him six in from of the field. On Sunday he put together an up and down 71 for a 271. McIlroy finished two strokes in front of Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia who tied for second at 273. Jim Furyk shot a 65 in the last round and finished alone in fourth place at 275. Furyk won $478,380 in U.S. dollars. McIlroy won $1,665,788. McIlroy had now won three major championships before the age of 26. Only Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods had achieved that.  

The Philadelphia Open was held at the Applebrook Golf Club on the fourth Wednesday of July. For a fourth straight year a member of the Temple University golf team won the tournament. Matt Teesdale, a member at Commonwealth National Golf Club, put together rounds of 68 and 68 for a six under par 136. The field had a two-tee start of the one-day 36 hole event. Teesdale came to his last hole of the day, the 148 yard par three ninth, with a three stroke lead. He proceeded to pull his tee shot. He then played a lob-wedge to the collar of the green, stubbed a putt from there and then putted past the hole. From there he holed a four foot putt for the win. Amateur Michael McDermott finished second at 137. Rich Steinmetz posted a 140 to finish third, and picked up a check for $7,000 as the low professional. Amateur Alexander Hicks finished fourth at 141. Mark Sheftic, Billy Stewart and Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant professional Josh Rackley tied for fifth with 142 totals.

The two-day Lehigh Valley Open was hosted by the Northampton Country Club in late July. The first day leaders were Greg Farrow and Mike Paukovits who had posted four under par 68s. When they teed off on the 36th hole Paukovits, the teaching professional at St. Davids Golf Club, was still in the lead but  tied with Rich Steinmetz and Jacob Gerney who were in the clubhouse with 139 totals. Farrow was one stroke back. Paukovits and Farrow both hit good shots to the green. Farrow was away and he holed his ten foot putt to put himself in a three-way tie for the top prize at 138.. Paukovits then proceeded to hole his downhill putt from eight feet for a birdie and the victory. His rounds were 68 and 69. First prize was $2,250.   

Billy Stewart won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the first Monday of August at the Concord Country Club. Stewart posted a pair of 67s for an eight under par 134 which was four strokes lower than the rest of the field. Rusty Harbold finished second at 138. Josh Rackley and Kevin Nicholson tied for third with 139s. First prize was $1,800. This was also qualifying for the PGA of America Assistant Championship and the Philadelphia Section had been allotted five spots, which was based on the number of entries in this event. The first four spots went to Stewart, Harbold, Rackley and Nicholson. The fifth spot was won by Tony R. Perla in a sudden death playoff with Bill Walker after they had finished tied at 140.

Cleve Coldwater won the Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship on the second Tuesday of August. The two-day tournament was held at the Burlington Country Club. After a first round 72 Coldwater (138) came back with a five under par 66 to win by one stroke. Brian Kelly and Stu Ingraham tied for second at 139. John DiMarco and Terry Hertzog posted 140s and tied for fourth. First prize was $1,300. This was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship and the Section had been allotted seven spots. This was based on the number of entries in the Section event. Don Allan (141) and George Forster, Sr. (141) earned the last two spots in a sudden death playoff with Bill Sautter (141). Sautter became the first alternate.  

In the second week of August Rory McIlroy won another major golf tournament, the PGA Championship.. It was his fourth and he was still just 25 years old. The tournament was held at the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. It rained every day so the greens were soft and the scoring low. McIlroy didn’t hold the lead after every round but he very close with four solid rounds. His first three rounds were 66, 67 and 67 which put him in the lead with one round to play, but only by one stroke. On Sunday morning after play had begun heavy rain flooded the course and play was delayed for almost two hours. When play resumed the remaining starting times were squeezed some in an attempt to complete the tournament that day. After a one over par front nine by McIlroy many who were scoring much better were now in contention. McIlroy then proceeded to make and eagle three on the tenth hole and followed that with two more birdies on #13 and #17. With one hole to play McIlroy now had a two stroke lead. Playing right ahead of Rory was Phil Mickelson and  Rickie Fowler who were both two strokes off Rory’s lead. It was getting very dark and in any ordinary tournament play would have been stopped. Then something took place that had probably never happened before. It was becoming quite dark and difficult to see. After Mickelson and Fowler had driven on the par five 18th hole they invited McIlroy and his fellow competitor to tee off while they were walking to their tee shots. McIlroy’s tee shot was to the right and near a water hazard but safe. Mickelson and Fowler then played their second shots. When they arrived at the green they were then asked by the PGA rules official to step aside again for the McIlroy pairing to play. The play of the tee shots was idea of the players but stepping aside at the green was not. McIlroy then hit his second shot into a front left greenside bunker. Then Mickelson then almost holed a long chip shot but had to settle for a birdie and a total of 269. Fowler three putted for a par and finished at 270. After that McIlroy played his bunker shot to the middle of the green and two putted from thirty feet for a par and the win. McIlroy’s closing 68 gave him a sixteen under par 268. Henrik Stenson tied Fowler for third at 270. First prize from a purse of $10,000,000 was #1,800,000. Jim Furyk played well all week and finished tied for fifth at 272, winning $367,500. Jason Bohn tied for 41st at 282 and won $32,000. Dave McNabb missed the cut. Furyk was in the tournament off several categories and Bohn was there off his position on the 2013 PGA Tour money list. McNabb had qualified at the PGA Professional National Championship in June.

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John Pillar

John Pillar won the Pennsylvania Open at the Country Club of York in the second week of August. During all three of the tournament rounds Pillar was in contention but never in the lead. After rounds of 67 and 70 Pillar trailed by one stroke as he began the final round. With four holes to play 2010 winner Robert Rohanna led by three strokes but a bogey and a double-bogey put him in the clubhouse with a total of 208. That left him in a tie with Mike Van Sickle (208) who had posted the low round of the tournament, a 65. Soon after that Pillar finished with a one over par 71 and a total of 208 which made it a three-way tie. A sudden death playoff was held on the 18th hole. All three players hit good tee shots. Rohanna’s second shot stopped ten feet to the left of the hole. Pillar was next to play and he played his wedge shot to within two feet of the hole. Van Sickle’s wedge shot landed near the hole but spun back off the green. Van Sickle failed to hole his chip shot and Rohanna’s putt came up short. Now it was up to Pillar and he calmly holed the putt for the title. First prize was $8,000.

The two-day Pro-Am for Wishes tournament was played at the Penn Oaks Golf Club in the third week of August. The first day included a pro-am to raise money for the tournament’s charity. On the second day Billy Stewart came from three strokes behind to win. He put together rounds of 70 and 67 for a five under par 137. Stu Ingraham finished second at 138. Patrick Clark (139) and Mark Parson (140)  who was the teaching professional at the Stone Harbor Golf Club finished third and fourth. First prize was $2,700.

Forster & 2014 trophies (3)
George Forster, Sr.

The Philadelphia Section Championship was played at the Llanerch Country Club and the Concord Country Club in the third week of September. On Tuesday and Wednesday the field of 176 players was divided between the two courses with one half at Llanerch and the other at Concord. Par at both courses was 71. After 36 holes there was a cut with the low 60 and ties surviving to play the final round at Llanerch. Teeing off on the 54th hole Stu Ingraham held a one stroke lead over Rusty Harbold, who he was paired with. Most of the players were teeing off with middle irons on what was sometimes a drivable par-four in order to have a full wedge shot to the sloping green. The cup was in the front of the green which made the hole even more difficult. Harbold hit his tee shot into the creek. He dropped out, taking a penalty stroke, and then with no opening to the green chipped out to the fairway. He put his fourth shot on the green and two putted for a double bogey six. Ingraham’s tee shot was in the fairway but in a divot. His second shot came up short of the green, his third finished near the back of the green and he three putted for a six. Ingraham (70-72-72) was tied for the top position with George Forster (71-73-70) who had finished earlier at 214. Forster and Ingraham were sent back to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff. Twice they played that hole halving it with pars as Ingraham was missing eight foot putts to win. On their third attempt at that same hole Ingraham missed from ten feet to win and Forster holed from eight feet for a birdie to win the Section Championship. At the age of 58 Forster was the oldest winner of the Section Championship eclipsing Marty Furgol who won in 1970 at age 54. First prize from the $71,000 purse was $8,000. Harbold and John Pillar tied for third at 215. This was also the qualifying event for the PGA Professional National Championship. Based on the size of the field in the Section Championship Philadelphia had been allotted twelve spots. Dave McNabb (216) was exempt off his finish in the PGA Professional National Championship in June. The first four places went to Forster, Ingraham, Harbold and Pillar. The fifth and sixth spots went to Patrick Clark (216) and Josh Rackley (216). Robby Bruns, David Quinn, Don Allan and Mike Moses picked up the next four spots with 217 totals. There was a three-way playoff for the last two places which John Lynch (218) and Mark Sheftic (218) captured in a sudden death playoff over Mark Summerville (218).  The host professionals were Chris Wilkinson (Llanerch Country Club) and Mike Moses (Concord Country Club). Moses led after the first round with a 65 at his home course.

The Ryder Cup was held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland during the fourth week of September. The competition took place on the PGA Centenary Course. Each team from the United States PGA and European PGA were composed of 12 professionals. On Friday and Saturday four-ball (better ball) matches were held in the morning and foursome (alternate strokes) matches were played in the afternoon. Each match was worth one point and ties were not played off. On Sunday there were 12 singles matches. The U.S. team lost for the third straight time and had now lost seven of the last eight matches. The final tally was not close as the European team won for the third straight time 16-1/2 to 9-1/2. The U.S. team lost seven of the eight foursome points. Jim Furyk was a member of the team for the ninth time, having been a member of every team since 1997. Furyk won one point and lost three in these matches. Tom Carpus was on the Ryder Cup rules committee at the matches.

On the second Wednesday of October the Philadelphia PGA opposed the Golf Association of Philadelphia amateurs in a team match at the Applebrook Golf Club on a blustery afternoon. There were 12 on each team competing in 12 singles matches and 6 four-ball (better ball) matches. Two of the players had to be seniors. The players were paired in fours with two professionals and two amateurs in each pairing. In each pairing a four-ball match was being played along with two singles matches. Eighteen points were being contested. The David Quinn-Billy Stewart team won 2-1/2 points. The John Pillar-Steve Swartz and Bob Hennefer-Rich Steinmetz teams each won two points. The Josh Rackley-Michael Meisenzahl team won 1-1/2 points. The John Lynch-Neil Maurer team and the senior team of Don Allan-Brian Kelly each won one point. Meisenzahl was an assistant at the Shore Gate Country Club. The final score was 10 points for the PGA and 8 for the GAP team. The standings for the matches now stood at 18 wins for the PGA against two loses and four ties. Hennefer was the head professional at the Links Golf Club. Maurer was now the head professional at Bear Trap Dunes.

2014 Oct 9-McDermott Marker 2 (2)
Johnny McDermott Marker

The state of Pennsylvania erected a historical marker for John J. “Johnny” McDermott on the second Thursday of October. The marker was placed at 1201 South 51st Street in front of the Kingsessing Library. This is the neighborhood where McDermott grew up and learned to play golf at the Aronimink Golf Club, which was then located near there. When McDermott won the United States Open at the Chicago Golf Club in 1911 he was the first American born to win the tournament and he is still the youngest at age 19 to win it. In 1912 he successfully defended his title at the Country Club of Buffalo, by winning the tournament again  There were quite a few people in attendance, one of them being the historian for the Chicago Golf Club.

The Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA met in a team match which had been named the Turnpike Cup. The Aronimink Golf Club hosted the match on the third Wednesday of October. It was a cold day for October. There were twelve players on each team paired up in six two-man combination. Each team had to have two seniors on the team. There were four seniors on the Philadelphia team. There were twelve singles and 6 four-ball matches being contested over 18 holes. The team of Billy Stewart-Rusty Harbold won 3 points. The teams of Dave Quinn-Mark Sheftic and Rich Steinmetz-Patrick Clark each won 2 points. The team of Stu Ingraham-George Forster won 1-1/2 points. The team of Josh Rackley-Steve Swartz won 1 point. The other Philadelphia team was  Don Allan-John Allen. When it was all over the Philadelphia PGA had eked out a 9-1/2 to 8-1/2 victory.  The Philadelphia team had now won for the third straight year in what was a renewal of an earlier series of matches between the two PGA Sections. The standings for the series now stood at 3 wins for the Philadelphia PGA against none for the New Jersey PGA.

In the third week of October Corey McAlarney won the Section Match Play Championship at the Riverton Country Club. McAlarney defeated Billy Stewart in the final 2&1. Even though McAlarney had to play twice as many holes in his morning match than Stewart, he still had enough golf left get the win. In the morning’s semifinal matches McAlarney had to play six extra holes to get by Rich Steinmetz and Stewart eliminated Rob Shuey 7&6. There were 43 entries so 21 players received byes in order to create a ladder of 64. McAlarney, the professional at the Scott Greens Golf Club, was the 26th seed. First prize was $1,000.

On the fourth Friday of October, Ted Bishop, the president of the PGA of America was impeached. This all came about due to some remarks he made through social media. Soon after the Ryder Cup matches Ian Poulter, a member of the winning European team, came out with a book that disparaged the U.S. captain Tom Watson and Nick Faldo who had been the captain the last time Europe had lost. Watson had been Bishop’s choice as Ryder Cup captain. Also it just happened that Bishop was at the Greenbriar Resort with Faldo when the book came out. Bishop posted something to the effect that Poulter was acting like a school girl crying on the playground. Many in the world of golf came down on Bishop. The PGA executive committee held a meeting via a telephone conference call. Bishop had a chance to state his case and apologize which he did. He was given a chance to resign but he declined to do so. Bishop was then impeached. Along with that he would not be the honorary president as immediate past presidents are and could never attend any PGA tournaments or affairs in an official capacity.   

The Philadelphia Section held its fall meeting at the Wilmington Country Club on the fourth Monday of October. As they have done many times Clark Luis opened the meeting by singing our national anthem and John Carpineta gave the invocation. Carpineta was the teaching professional at the Bensalem Township Country Club and a late comer to the PGA having attained membership at the age of 59. Pete Bevacqua, the PGA of America’s CEO was the featured speaker. He began his speech by addressing the impeachment of our national president Ted Bishop. After that he covered various national topics from the Ryder Cup to the PGA Golf Club at Port St. Lucie, Florida. One item of importance was the announcement that the Philadelphia Cricket club would be hosting the PGA Professional National Championship in 2015. The Section’s junior golf program had another good year with 888 juniors registered. The Section held 72 junior tour events, which was ten more than the previous year. The Section’s finances were on budget and being enhanced with an additional $30,000 in ADP money coming from the PGA of America in the next fiscal year. Even with the purchase of a building for the Section office there was $497,370 in the Reserve Fund as of the end of August. David Quinn was the Section’s “Player of the Year” for a third time and the second year in a row. The DeBaufre trophy for scoring average was won for a seventh time by Stu Ingraham with an average of 70.40. Ingraham also was the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” for the fifth time.

Three Philadelphia Section professionals; Elio A. “Leo” DeGisi, Charles Edward “Mike” Swisher and the late Harry “Jake” Obitz, Jr. were inducted into the Section’s Hall of Fame at the Section’s fall meeting.

DeGisi, Leo
Leo DeGisi

Leo DeGisi immigrated to the United States with his family from Italy at the age of six. When he was twelve he followed his brother Tony to the Gulph Mills Golf Club for work as a caddy. Soon he was working for the professional Al Keeping in the golf shop. At age 16 he was made caddy master and he continued in that position while attending Temple University, graduating with an MBA in accounting. After that he worked under Henry McQuiston at the Bala Golf Club before becoming the head professional at the Medford Village Country Club in 1979. He became involved with the Section as a member of the junior golf committee, serving for eleven years and chairing the committee for three years. He was elected district director for 1987 and 1988. The next year he was elected to Section office as the 2nd vice president. After one year in that office he was the treasurer for two years and then president in 1992 and 1993. With his degree in accounting he brought a new level of expertise to the Section’s board of directors. In 2002 he began a three-year term as a PGA of America director representing District II which was comprised of the Metropolitan, New Jersey and Philadelphia PGA Sections. In 2011 he was elected to that office again. His six years in that office was more than any Philadelphia Section member had ever held. He attended 22 national PGA meetings as a delegate or alternate delegate. In 2004 he became the general manager at Medford village as well and was still holding both professional and manager at the time of his induction into the Section’s Hall of Fame. DeGisi was the Section’s “Junior Golf Leader” in 1987 and the “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” in 1996. 

Swisher, Mike (TGH)
Mike Swisher

Mike Swisher was introduced to golf as a caddy at the Fairview Golf & Country Club. It wasn’t long before he was working for the professional, Harlan Will. When he graduated from high school he turned pro and began his professional career at Fairview. Except for one year as an assistant at Coatesville Country Club and a year under Jay Weitzel at Hershey Country Club he spent his entire professional career in Lebanon where he was born. He spent three years as the assistant at Lebanon Country Club and 42 years as the head professional. When he became the head professional at Lebanon he told the board of directors that he was going to have the best ladies and junior golf programs in the state and he spent the next 42 years doing that. He turned out some of the best young golfers in Pennsylvania. Stu Ingraham, Greg Lesher, Blaine Peffley and Jennifer Johnson won numerous professional tournaments. There was a waiting list to work for Swisher, even in the bag storage room. He founded the Lebanon County Junior Golf Program which grew to a yearly turnout of 250 boys and girls. For 40 years he was a force behind the Central Counties Chapter of the Philadelphia PGA. He was president for three years, “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” in 1990 and won the Chapter’s championship in 1973. Swisher was inducted into the Central Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and he was the Harrisburg District Golf Association “Man of the Year” twice. He was always ready to host events for the Section, the Chapter and various charities. Swisher was the Philadelphia Section “Junior Golf Leader” in 1999 and the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” in 1985.

Obitz, Harry
Harry Obitz

Harry Obitz grew up in California and began his golf career there. In 1941 he arrived in the Philadelphia Section as an assistant to Joe Kirkwood, Sr. at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club. After two years at Huntingdon Valley he served three years in the United States Navy for the duration of World War II. In 1946 he became the professional at the Shawnee Inn & Country Club. At Shawnee he created a golf show which he named “The Swing is the Thing”. Every weekend he and his assistants put on that show for the guests at Shawnee. The show was such a hit Obitz and his assistants were invited to perform at veteran’s hospitals all over the United States. Later the show went around the world. They were invited to President Eisenhower’s 50th birthday party which was in Hershey and they performed at the Section’s Spring Golf Show several times, never taking a fee. Obitz hosted the Philadelphia Section Championship seven straight years. He may have been the father of the shotgun start as he found a way to get the golfing guests out on the golf course at almost the same time on Sunday mornings so they could then have lunch, attend his golf show and be on their way home. He instructed celebrities like Eisenhower, Jackie Gleason, Perry Como and Bob Hope. Obitz authored instruction books on golf and for 36 years he wrote instruction articles for Golf Magazine. He created the Bermuda Good Will Tournament, which is still being played and he designed several golf courses in Nebraska. A large number of assistants who worked for him became successful head professionals. In 1955 the PGA of America instituted the “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” award and Obitz was the Philadelphia Section’s first recipient.

The PGA Assistant Championship was played on the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament began on the last Thursday of October and ended on the first Monday of November. Grant Sturgeon, from the Metropolitan Section, won with a thirteen under par 275 (71-69-70-65). Kenny Pigman finished second at 282. Brian Norman (283) was third and Scott Berliner (286) was fourth. First prize from a purse of $100,000 was $9,000. Billy Stewart tied for 18th at 292 and won $1,075. Rusty Harbold tied for 22nd at 293 and won $950. Tony R. Perla finished tied for 43rd with a 298 total and won $645. Josh Rackley posted a 300 total and won $555 for a 53rd place tie. Kevin Nicholson missed the cut. In the first round Perla posted a seven under par 65, which was tied for the lead. No one posted a lower round during the tournament.

The Senior PGA Professional National Championship was held at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida in the middle of November. It was played on the Wanamaker and Ryder Courses. The New Jersey Section’s Frank Esposito (64-70-67-71) won by four strokes with a sixteen under par 272. Steve Schneiter, Rick Schuller and James Mason tied for second at 276. First prize was $20,000 from a purse of $285,000. The tournament was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Championship. Stu Ingraham finished ninth at 281 and won $5,600. George Forster (287) tied for 32nd winning $2,000. Ingraham picked up one of the 35 spots in the Senior PGA Championship. Forster ended up in a sudden death playoff for one of the last four spots which he failed to win. He became the third alternate. John DiMarco, Brian Kelly, Cleve Coldwater, Terry Hertzog and Don Allan missed the cut. They Shad all qualified for the tournament at the Philadelphia Section Senior Championship.

The PGA of America’s national meeting was held in the third week of November in Indianapolis, Indiana at the JW Marriot Hotel. It was an election year. Derek Sprague who had been the vice president for two years was elected president without opposition and Paul Levy moved from secretary to vice president without opposition. History was made when a female, Suzy Whaley, was elected secretary. It was the first time that a female had held a national office in the PGA of America. She was elected on the first ballot when she received 52.63 percent of the votes. The national awards were presented at an awards dinner. Scott Nye was honored as the PGA Merchandiser of the Year for private facilities. The Section’s two living national presidents, Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly were in attendance. The Section was represented by John Pillar and Ian Dalzell along with alternate delegates and its executive directory Geoff Surrette.

Nye, Scott 3x
Scott Nye

Scott Nye grew up in golf. His father was a golf professional and the coach of the College of Wooster (Ohio) golf team. His brother Greg was the golf coach at Penn State University and another brother was a PGA member as well. Nye graduated from the College of Wooster while playing on his father’s golf team. As an assistant he worked at Canoe Brook Golf Club and Caves Valley Golf Club. His first head professional position brought him to the Philadelphia Section as the professional at the Country Club of York in 1989. After eleven years at York he moved to Merion Golf Club as the head professional in 2000. At Merion he managed a 30-person staff and a 950-square foot golf shop. In 2013 Nye and Merion hosted the United States Open. He was the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” and the Merchandiser of the Year for private facilities in 2012.  

The PGA Tour was now ending its season in September and beginning a new season wraparound season. The leading money winner was Rory McIlroy with $8,280,096 in 17 events. Jim Furyk had another great year as he was third on the money list with earnings of $5,987,395. He entered 21 tournaments and  made the cut in all 21. Jason Bohn finished 65th on the money list with winnings of $1,585,189 in 15 tournaments. Sean O’Hair had a second consecutive down year. He won $408,793 in 25 tournaments. That left him in 159th place and needing to play the final four tournaments of the Web.com Tour in order to hang onto his PGA Tour exemption. A tie for third at Las Vegas which earned O’Hair a check for $58,000 kept him on the PGA Tour for another year. He was again one of those players with status outside the all-exempt top 125. His position was 156.. McIlroy was the PGA “Player of the Year” and the winner of the Vardon Trophy for scoring average. He averaged 68.82 strokes a round for his 66 rounds on the PGA Tour.

Bernhard Langer led the PGA Senior Tour money list with $3,074,189 in 21 tournaments. Joe Daley won $300,903 in 20 events. That left him in 54th place on the money list and meant that he had to return to qualifying school in order to regain his playing privileges.

Adam Hadwin was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour’s Developmental Tour which was now called the Web.com tour. He won $529,792 in 21 tournaments. Vince Covello played in one tournament and won $1,620.
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2015

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Ian Dalzell

The spring meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at Blue Bell Country Club on the first Monday of April. 246 PGA members, apprentices and guests were in attendance. Section president John Pillar called the meeting to order at 8 a.m. Clark Luis sang the national anthem. A topic of discussion was the hosting of the Professional National Championship at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in June. Thirteen Philadelphia Section members had qualified and were to be in the starting field. Executive director Geoff Surrette announced that the ADP funding from the national association had been increased. Recognition was given to Scott Nye who was the national merchandiser of the year for private clubs in 2014. Section awards were presented. Ian Dalzell was the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” and John Bierkan was the “PGA Teacher of the Year”. Dalzell was born in Ireland and moved to the United States in 1998 to work as a golf professional in Connecticut. He became a PGA member in  2001 and arrived in the Philadelphia Section as the head professional at the newly opened Hidden Creek Golf Club the next year. At Hidden Creek he was involved with starting a brand new golf program with all of its tournaments and awards along with operational procedures and policies. In 2011 Dalzell moved to Huntingdon Valley Country Club as the head professional. At Huntingdon Valley he grew the rounds of golf and owned the golf shop merchandise which was an exception at a robust facility in 2015. Six of his assistants had gone on to be head professionals. In 2007 he began a term on the Section’s board as a district director. In 2010 he was elected director of section affairs for two years. After that he was secretary for two years and then vice president. He was the Section’s Horton Smith award winner in 2012 and again in 2013. Bierkan, the son of a golf professional, grew up in Connecticut. He arrived at the Aronimink Golf Club in April 2012. He had been devoting his career to teaching, having studied under several nationally recognized golf instructors.

The Masters Tournament was played in the first full week of April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The scoring was low due to perfect weather and several rainfalls during the week that softened the greens. 21 year old Jordan Spieth put together a nine birdie 64 on Thursday to lead by three strokes. For the next three days he kept on making birdies and after each round he held the lead by several strokes. When it was all over he had tied the tournament record of 270 and made 28 birdies, which was a Masters record. His rounds were 64, 66, 70 and 70. First prize was $1,800,000. Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose tied for second at 274. Rory McIlroy posted a 276 and ended up alone in fourth place. Jim Furyk missed the cut.

Jim Furyk won a tournament on the PGA Tour for the first time in almost five years. Furyk’s win came at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He came from four strokes back  In the last round he put together a round of eight under par on the par 71 Harbour Town Golf Links course. That put him in a tie for the top prize with Kevin Kisner at 266. A sudden death playoff began on the par four 18th hole. The hole was halved when both players made birdies. The playoff then moved to the par three 17th hole where Furyk won with another birdie. Furyk’s rounds were 71, 64, 68 and 73. He won $1,062,000. Troy Merritt finished third at 268 and Brendan Todd was next at 269.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at Trump National Golf Club-Philadelphia on the second Monday of May. Bala Golf Club member Scott McNeil let the field with a four under par 68. Ashton’s Braden Shattuck, who had turned pro recently and Virginia professional Adam Webb picked up the next two spots with 69s. Two Delaware professionals, Chris Gray and Michael Tobiason, took the last two places with 71s.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Williamsport Country Club on the second Wednesday of May. Shawnee Inn & Country Club teaching professional Brian Bergstol along with two other professionals; England’s Charles Bull and Florida’s Robert Tracy posted one over par 71s to take the first three qualifying spots. Corey McAlarney, who was now an assistant at the Elkview Country Club, won the fourth and last spot in a three- way sudden death playoff after having posted a 73.

On the second Thursday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Makefield Highlands Golf Course. Havertown’s Vince Covello was the low qualifier with a four under par 68. Former Philadelphia Section professional Greg Pieczynski won the second spot with a 69. Brian Hollins and three amateurs; Michael R. Brown, Michael Johnson and Jeremy Nevius posted 70s and survived a five-man sudden death playoff for the last four places. Hollins, was back in the Section as the teaching professional at the Trenton Country Club.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the West Shore Country Club on the second Thursday of May. Reinstated amateur Jarred Texter was low with a one over par 73. The next and last two spots also went to amateurs; Daniel Hernandez and Vinay Ramesh with 74s.

The PGA Senior Championship was held on the Pete Dye Golf Course at the French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana during the third week of May. Colin Montgomerie won the tournament for a second straight year and it was his third senior major victory. He won by four strokes with an eight under par (72,69,70,69) 280. Esteban Toledo finished second at 284 and Woody Austin was third at 285. Scott Verplank and Brian Henninger tied for fourth with 286s. First prize was $495,000. Stu Ingraham and George Forster, Sr. missed the cut. They had qualified for the tournament at the 2014 Senior PGA Professional Championship.

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Josh Rackley

The Haverford Trust Classic was played at its usual time and place but with a substantially increased first prize. Held at the Sunnybrook Golf Club on the Tuesday after Memorial Day the top prize that had been $75,000 in 2014 was now $100,000. The top 100 Philadelphia Section PGA professionals on the 2014 Section Haverford Trust Points List were invited along with some sponsor invitees. One-half of the field played in the morning, starting from the 1st and 10th tees and the other half played in the afternoon wave. Two professionals from the morning pairings, Josh Rackley and River Crest Golf Club professional Jamie Komancheck, posted two under par 70s. For the rest of the day many of the entries had good opportunities to equal or better 70 but no one succeeded. A sudden death playoff was held on the 18th hole. On the first playoff hole the two professionals both made par 4s as Komancheck holed a 12 foot putt for his par. They played the 18th hole again. Komancheck put his second shot ten feet from the flagstick. Rackley’s putt from 18 feet went eight feet past the hole. Komancheck missed his putt and was left with a four-footer. When Rackley holed his second putt and Komancheck failed to hole his the $100,000 belonged to Rackley. Second prize was $5,000. John Pillar, Jacob Gerney, Robby Bruns and Andy Fisher, the professional at the Frosty Valley Country Club, tied for third with 71s.

The Burlington Classic was held for the 30th time at the Burlington Country Club. On Sunday, the last day of May, play was in fives with two professionals paired with three amateurs in a one-day pro-am. On Monday the professionals played for the individual money using their Sunday scores for a two-day total. Due to predictions for bad weather a shotgun start was used on Monday. The defending champion, John Appleget, put together rounds of 68 and 69 to win the title. His three under par 137 edged out Chris Kreuger (138) and  John Lynch (138) by one stroke. Kevin Nicholson (139) and Mark Sheftic (139) tied for fourth. First prize was $2,500.

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open was held on the second Monday of June throughout the United States. Two qualifying events were held outside the U.S.A., one in Asia and one in England. No one from the Philadelphia Section qualified. Jim Furyk was fully exempt by being in the top 60 world ranking as of May 25.

Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held in June. No one from the Philadelphia Section PGA qualified. 

The U.S. Open was played in the third week of June in the state of Washington at the seven-year-old Chambers Bay Golf Club. The course which had only one tree was west of Tacoma, near Puget Sound. The course was built with fescue grass fairways and greens but poa annua grass had invaded the greens. This made putting quite a challenge, especially late in the day when the poa annua began to grow. Some one had to be the winner and it was Jordan Spieth, who put together rounds of 68, 67, 71 and 69 for a five under par 275. With two holes to play Spieth had a three stroke lead, but he made a double bogey on the par three 17th hole. He then birdied the par five 18th hole, which put him one stroke in front of Dustin Johnson who had just birdied the 17th hole. On the next and last hole Johnson reached the  green with a five iron. With a 12-foot eagle putt to win Johnson proceeded to take three putts, missing from three feet on his second attempt. Spieth was the winner and the youngest, at 21, to hold the Masters and U.S. Open titles. Louis Oosthuizen ended up tied with Johnson for second place at 276. Adam Scott, Branden Grace and Cameron Smith tied for fourth with 277 totals. Jim Furyk tied for 42nd at 287 and won $42,946. First prize was $1,800,000.

The U.S. Senior Open was played at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, California during the fourth week of June. Jeff Maggert won his second senior major championship with rounds of 65, 70, 65 and 70. His ten under par total of 270 won by two strokes. Colin Montgomerie was second at 272. Bernhard Langer and Grant Waite tied for third with 273 totals. First prize was $675,000 from a purse of $3,750,000.

2015 Phila Cricket Club
Philadelphia Cricket Club

The PGA Professional National Championship was hosted by the Philadelphia Cricket Club at the end of June. Both golf courses, the par 70 Wissahickon Course and the par 72 Militia Hill Course were used for the first two rounds. The final two rounds were played on the Wissahickon Course. Out of the 312 club professionals in the field there were thirteen from the Philadelphia Section. Twelve were in the field through their finish in the 2014 Philadelphia Section Championship. Dave McNabb was exempt off his top twenty finish the year before. The Wissahickon Course could have been set up longer but the tournament was played from 6,816 yards. Two professionals from the Metropolitan Section played the best golf. Ben Polland led most of the way. With six holes to play he had a five stroke lead. Matt Dobyns, who was playing with Polland was one of two players in second place at that time. In the next few holes Dobyns made a birdie and Polland picked up two bogies. On the 18th tee Polland held a two stroke lead. The hole was playing downwind. Dobyns hit a long drive over the crest of the hill and Polland, driving with a three-wood, hooked his tee shot into a fairway bunker. His ball ended up on the grass upslope. From an awkward stance Polland hit a seven-iron and his ball landed in the creek at the bottom of the hill. Dobyns hit his second shot three feet from the flagstick. With a penalty stroke Polland (280) made a six and then Dobyns (72-69-68-70) holed his birdie putt for the win. Dobyns, who had won the tournament in 2012 finished at three under par 279 and won $75,000. Alan Morin and Grant Sturgeon tied for third with 282 totals. The top twenty qualified for the PGA Championship to be played in August. Josh Rackley and Robbie Bruns ended up tied for 31st at 288 and they each won $3,730. John Pillar (292) tied for 58th and won $2,056. John Lynch (296) and Rusty Harbold (296) tied for 73rd and each won $1,687.50. McNabb, David Quinn, John Bierkan, George Forster, Sr., Stu Ingraham, Don Allan, Mark Sheftic and Mike Moses missed the cut. Bierkan was in the tournament as an alternate and Patrick Clark, who had qualified in the Philadelphia Section had transferred to the Connecticut Section. Clark tied for 64th. The host professional was Jim Smith, Jr., a past president of the Philadelphia PGA..

The British Open was back at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club’s Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland for the 30th time. An American golf professional won but it took five days and four extra holes. Due to a combination of heavy rain and high winds on Friday and Saturday a full 18 hole Monday round was required to complete the tournament. Zack Johnson (66-71-70-66), Louis Oosthuizen (67-70-67-69) and Mark Leishman (70-73-64-66) tied for possession of the Caret Jug at 15 under par 273. A four hole playoff was held on holes 1, 2, 17 and 18. Johnson played the playoff holes in one under par to edge out Oosthuizen by one stroke. First prize was $1,794,690. Jordan Spieth and Jason Day tied for fourth with 274s. Jim Furyk tied for 30th at 282 and won $63,075.

The Philadelphia Open was played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club on the fourth Wednesday of July. For the second time in three years amateur Brandon Matthews, who was now playing out of the Blue Bell Country Club, was the winner. In the morning round Matthews made five birdies and posted a four under par 66, which put him in second place one stroke behind Josh Rackley’s 65. In the afternoon round Matthews carded a 71 and his 137 total captured the title. Rackley slipped to a 74 in the afternoon round and ended up in second place at 139. As the low professional he took home the first place check of $7,000. For a fifth straight year a Temple University student won the tournament. Billy Stewart (140) finished third and George Forster, Sr. (141) finished fourth.

The Lehigh Valley Open was played at the Northampton Country Club in the fourth week of July. Joe Kogelman, who was now a teaching professional at Golf Tec in King of Prussia won with a two day total of 134. He posted a five under par 67 on Monday and came right back with another 67 on Tuesday to win by one stroke. John DiMarco and Billy Stewart finished at 135 and tied for second. Greg Farrow finished fourth alone at 136. First prize was $2,250.

For a second straight year Billy Stewart won the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship. The tournament was held at the Gulph Mills Golf Club on the first Monday of August. Stewart got off to a slow start in the morning round with a one over par 72 but he came back with a 66 in the afternoon. His 138 total was just enough to give him a one stroke victory over Shore Gate Golf Club assistant Mike Meisenzahl (139). Tavistock Country Club assistant Greg Matthias and Sunnybrook Golf Club assistant Tanner Dobmeier shared third and fourth place with 141 totals. This was also qualifying for the PGA of America Assistant Championship and based on the number of entries the Philadelphia Section had six spots to qualify for. Rusty Harbold and Andrew Turner, who was now an assistant at the Whitford Country Club, picked up the last two spots with 142s. Colin Corrigan,  an assistant at Saucon Valley Country Club, won a four-man sudden death playoff for the first alternated spot. First prize was $2,000.  

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Billy Stewart

For the second time in the month of August Billy Stewart won an important tournament when he finished first in the Pennsylvania Open. The three day tournament was played at the Rolling Green Golf Club in the second week of the month. Stewart opened up with a five under par 66 on Monday to trail the leader, Kevin Kraft, by one stroke. A 70 in the second round left him two strokes behind the new leader, Stu Ingraham. In the third and final round Stewart caught and passed Ingraham when he made birdies on holes 6, 7 and 8. At the same time Ingraham was assessed a one stroke penalty on the eighth hole when a Pennsylvania State Golf Association rules official ruled that his ball had moved when he removed a twig. Ingraham still had a chance to tie Stewart on the 18th green but his 20 foot putt for an eagle came up short a few inches from the hole. Stewart (66-70-68=205) won $8,000. Ingraham (206) tied for second with Yardley Country Club amateur Kyle Sterbinsky (206), who had shot a final round 64, which was the low round of the tournament. Western Pennsylvania’s Robert Rohanna and Kraft, who was teaching at the Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center, tied for fourth at 207.

The PGA Championship was held at Whistling Straights Golf Club in Sheboygan, Wisconsin during in the middle of August. Jason Day won on what was usually a difficult course with four solid rounds of 68, 67, 66, 67. His 20 under par 268 was a major tournament record for the most strokes under par. Jordan Spieth was second at 271. Brandon Grace (273) finished third and Justin Rose (274) finished fourth. First prize was $1,800,000. Jim Furyk tied for 30th at 284 and won $56,057. Jason Bohn tied for 37th at 285 and won $39,200. Sean O’Hair tied for 72nd and won $17,700. The total purse was $10,000,000.

Stu Ingraham won the two-day Section Senior Championship in the fourth week of August at the Green Valley Country Club. He put together a three under par 68 on Monday and came back with a 72 on Tuesday. His 140 total edged out Terry Hertzog (141) by one stroke. First prize was $1,225. John Allen (142), who was now the teaching professional at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club,  and Greg Farrow (143) finished third and fourth. This was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship. Based on the number of entries the Section had nine spots to qualify for. The fifth and sixth places went to John Appleget (144) and Don Allen (144). Rob Shuey (145) and Brian Kelly (145) took the next two spots. George Forster (146) won the ninth and last spot in a sudden death playoff against Hanover Country Club professional Brian Leib on the third extra hole. The playoff began on the par four 18th hole which they halved with pars. They then halved the par three 10th hole with birdies and Forster ended the playoff with a birdie four on the 11th hole.

McNabb x (2)
Dave McNabb

The Philadelphia Section Championship was played in middle of September. The Concord Country Club and the Fieldstone Golf Club hosted the tournament. There were 176 entries. The entry fee was $265. Part of that money was the entry fee for the PGA Professional National Championship for which this event qualified the top 12 finishers. The entry fee also included the golf cart and range balls fees for the first two days. For the first two days the field was split in half with play on both courses. After 36 holes there was a cut, with the low 60 and ties playing the third and final round at Concord Country Club. The tournament came down to Dave McNabb and Steve Swartz who were tied at the end of 54 holes at nine under par 204. In Tuesday’s first round McNabb posted a three under par 68 at Concord and then he proceeded to shoot an eight under par 63 at Fieldstone on Wednesday. The highlight of his round was a seven birdie back nine that ended with birdies on the last five holes. His (68-63) 131 total gave him a five stroke lead with one round to play. In Thursday’s final round McNabb stumbled a little. After making a double bogey on the 16th hole he had lost all but one stroke of his lead to Swartz, who birdied the same hole and was closing fast. Swartz reached the downhill par five eighteenth hole at Concord and holed his seven-foot putt for an eagle and a total of 204. McNabb (68-63-73) was then faced with a six-foot birdied putt to tie Swartz (68-70-66) at 204, which he did. They returned to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff. McNabb proceeded to hit a 362 yard drive and his seven iron shot from 162 yards came to rest five feet from the hole. The 49 year old head professional at Applebrook Golf Club then holed the putt for the title. First prize was $8,000 from a total purse of $71,000. John Lynch ended up third alone at 206. Rich Steinmetz and Josh Rackley tied for fourth with 208 totals. The other seven qualifiers for the PNC were; George Forster, Sr. (209), Stu Ingraham (210), Jacob Gerney (210), Mark Sheftic (210), David Quinn (211), John Bierkan (211) and John Pillar (211). McNabb’s eight under par round of 63 tied a record for the lowest round in the Section Championship in relation to par. Gene Fieger had posted a 62 at Heidelberg Country Club in 1997 and Rich Steinmetz had shot a 63 at Concord in 2010. Al Besselink had the lowest score, a seven under par 61 at Bala Golf Club in 1960. The host professionals were Concord’s Mike Moses and Fieldstone’s Jim Larkin.   

On the first Thursday of October the Philadelphia PGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia met in their annual challenge match at the Applebrook Golf Club. The matches were being played for the 25th time. There were 12 players on each team and two had to be seniors. Two professionals and two amateurs were paired together. In each group two singles matches and a better ball match were being contested. The teams were playing for a total of 18 points. The teams of Dave McNabb-Carson Solien, Joe Kogelman-Andrew Turner, David Quinn-Billy Stewart and Bertus Wessels-Vince Ramagli each won all three points. The Brian Kelly-George Forster, Sr. team won two points and the team of Mike Ladden-Colin Corrigan won one-half point. The final tally was 14-1/2 points for the Philadelphia Section and 3-1/2 points for GAP. The standings for the matches now stood at 19 wins for the PGA against two loses and four ties. Wessels was an assistant at the Green Valley Country Club. Ramagli was back in the Section as teaching professional at The Links Golf Club.

The Senior PGA Professional National Championship was played during the third week of October at Seaside, California. The tournament was hosted by the Bayonet and Black Horse courses, which were formally part of Ft. Ord. The tournament was won by John Dalcorobbo with rounds of 68, 71, 69 and 69. His eleven under par 277 won by one stroke. Jim Carter finished second at 278. Brad Lardon and Tim Parum tied for third at 280. First prize was $20,000. Stu Ingraham finished in a tie for 11th at 284 and George Forster, Sr. tied for 17th at 286. By finishing in the top 35 they both qualified for the 2016 Senior PGA Championship. Forster made a hole-in-one in the third round which helped his cause. Ingraham won $4,500 and Forster won $3,287.50. Brian Kelly posted a 290 and tied for 37th, winning $1,775. He missed qualifying for the Senior PGA Championship by one stroke. John Appleget tied for 50th at 293 and won $1,025. Rob Shuey tied for 68th at 298 and won $1,025. John Allen, Terry Hertzog, Don Allan and Brian Leib missed the cut. Leib had gotten into the tournament as an alternate when Greg Farrow had to withdraw with a bad back.

Quinn, David-2015 Match Play (2)
David Quinn

David Quinn won the Section Match Play Championship in the third week of October. The tournament was hosted by the Merion Golf Club on its East and West Courses. The first five rounds of matches were contested on the West Course and the final was played on the East Course. A full field of 64 professionals played two match play rounds a day for three days. The defending champion was seeded number one and the other entries were seeded based on the 2015 Section points list. In the final Quinn defeated Bill Sautter 3&2. In the semifinals Quinn got past the defending champion Cory McAlarney 1up. The other semifinal match also went 18 holes as Sautter won by 1up over John DiMarco. It was the second time that Quinn had taken the Match Play title. First prize was $2,500.

The challenge match between the Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA, which was called the Turnpike Cup, was hosted by the NJPGA at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club on the fourth Friday of October. Each team was composed of twelve professionals from the Section with two having to be seniors. The two teams played 12 singles matches and at the same time 6 four-ball matches were played. In each four-man pairing three points were being contested. The teams of Don Allan-Rick Flesher, Steve Swartz-Trevor Bensel and Michael Little-Mike Meisenzahl each won all three points. The team of Bob Hennefer-Joe Kogelman won two points. The team of Rich Steinmetz-Mark Sheftic won 1-1/2 points and the team of David Quinn-Vince Ramagli won one point. The final tally was 13-1/2 points for the Philadelphia and 4-1/2 points for New Jersey. Little was now an assistant at Lookaway Golf Club and Flesher was now the teaching professional at the Applebrook Golf Club. Bensel was an assistant at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club.  

2016-Officers (2)
Section Officers for 2016

The Section’s fall meeting was held on the fourth Monday of October at the SteelStacks in Bethlehem. SteelStacks was a gambling casino and entertainment center located on the former site of the Bethlehem Steel Company. There were 250 members and apprentices in attendance. Clark Luis opened the meeting with his usual resounding rendition of our National Anthem. It was an election year. After two years at the helm John Pillar stepped down as president. Ian Dalzell moved up from vice president to president without opposition and John Rogers also without opposition moved from secretary to vice president. Jeff Kiddie was elected to the office of secretary. Patrick Shine,  who was the professional at the Commonwealth National Golf Club, was elected director of section affairs. Dave McNabb was reelected director of tournaments. A topic of discussion was that 2016 was going to be the 100th anniversary of the PGA of America. With the use of a video, Tom Carpus, the co-chairman of the PGA of America rules committee, explained the new USGA rule for 2016 that makes anchoring of a putter or chipping club a violation of the rules of golf. Executive Director Geoff Surrette reported on the several topics. There was $488,723 in the Restricted Fund. $52,000 had been received from the PGA Tour which had been spread over various events during the year. The Section’s Junior Tour had 870 members and 90 tournaments had been held for them that year. There was a PGA Junior League with 90 teams from various Section facilities competing against each other. Josh Rackley was the Section’s “Player of the Year” and he won the DeBaufre Trophy with a scoring average of 69.6 strokes for 15 designated tournament rounds during 2015. Stu Ingraham was the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” for the sixth time. A highlight of the meeting was the induction of 26 new Section members as Playing Legends. Sixteen had been named Playing Legends in 1991 and this new group of 27 were added to the earlier ones.

In alphabetical order those inducted in 1991 were; Al Besselink, Sam Byrd, Jack Connelly, Leo Diegel, Ed Dougherty, Dave Douglas, Ed Dudley, George Fazio, Dick Hendrickson, Johnny McDermott, Ed Oliver, Rick Osberg, Dick Smith, Sr., George Smith, Art Wall and Henry Williams, Jr.

Inducted in 2015 in order of their birthdays were; Jim Edmundson, Clarence Hackney, Charlie Hoffner, Joe Kirkwood, Sr., Charlie Schneider, Felix Serafin, Henry Picard, Bud Lewis, Gene Kunes, Dutch Harrison, Ben Hogan, Skee Riegel, Stan Dudas, Jay Sigel, Jim Masserio, Pete Oakley, Jimmy Booros, Greg Farrow, George Forster, Jr., Gene Fieger, Stu Ingraham, Brian Kelly, Frank Dobbs, Terry Hertzog, David Quinn, Jim Furyk and Rich Steinmetz.

The PGA Assistant Championship was played at the end of October on the PGA of America’s Wanamaker Course. Andy Mickelson won with a 16 under par 272. Adam Rainaud finished second at 274. Richard Terga was third at 275 and Shane Pearce was fourth at 276. First prize from the $100,000 purse was $9,000. Mike Meisenzahl tied for 14th with a total of 281 and won $1,350. Andrew Turner tied for 38th at 288 winning $690. Greg Mathias posted a 290 total  to tie for 45th and won $640. Colin Corrigan, Rusty Harbold and Tanner Dobmeier missed the cut. Corrigan got into the tournament when Billy Stewart couldn’t play.

The PGA of America’s national meeting was held at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida in the second week of November. Ian Dalzell and Jeff Kiddie were the delegates from the Philadelphia Section. Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly were in attendance as past national presidents. The Section was also represented by its executive director Jeff Surrette and several alternate delegates. Connelly was honored as the 2015 Legends of the PGA recipient for steering the association during the events of 9/11 which ensured the continuation of the postponed Ryder Cup one year later. A resolution that passed was the removal of PGA Tour player directors as delegates to the annual meeting. Since no player director had attended the annual meeting in 30 years the PGA constitution was changed to eliminate something that was outdated.

Jordan Spieth was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour with $12,030,465, which he garnered in 26 starts. Jim Furyk played in 20 tournaments and finished in 16th place with $3,732,664.30. Jason Bohn was 36th on the money list with earnings of $2,337,580.30 in 27 events. Sean O’Hair won 1,662,300 in 26 tournaments which put him in 58th place on the money list. Spieth was the PGA “Player of the Year” and won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 68.91.

Patton Kizzire was the leading money winner on the Web.com Tour with earnings of $567,866 in 23 tournaments.

Bernhard Langer was the leading money winner on the Senior PGA Tour with $2,340,288 in 19 tournaments. Joe Daley got into six events and won $59,478.
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2016

Kennedy, Eric 2
Eric Kennedy

The spring meeting was held at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club on the first Monday of  April with more than 300 Section members and apprentices in attendance. Clark Luis opened the meeting with the singing of our national anthem. The PGA of America was now in its 100th year and by coincidence the winner of the first PGA Championship in 1916 was Jim Barnes, who was the professional at Whitemarsh Valley CC that year. The guest speaker was Rear Admiral Brad Williamson, Commandant Joint Forces Staff College, who spoke on leadership. Something new was done at the meeting. Midway through the meeting the golf professionals adjourned to another room that was set up with tables for ten. A co-coordinator was at each table to conduct a discussion on how to improve what the golf professional does for their golf facility. Section executive director Jeff Surrette announced that the Section was going to have a new website and a new newsletter. A Senior PGA Tour major, the Constellation Senior Players Championship, was coming to Philadelphia in June. The Philadelphia Cricket Club was hosting the tournament. Section Awards for 2015 were announced but the speeches were saved for a special awards ceremony that was to be held in the fall at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. The Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” was Eric Kennedy and the teacher of the year was John Dunigan. Kennedy had been the professional at Overbrook Golf Club since 2008, when he transferred from the Carolinas PGA Section. He was introduced to golf at the Waynesboro Golf Club where he played and helped out in the golf shop. During his eight years at Overbrook he had experienced great success. Kennedy had increased the golf shop sales from $274,000 to $528,000. Some of the sales had been aided by creating an indoor teaching studio and the use of technology like Flitescope, which also resulted in more golf lessons for his staff. By providing free golf clinics for the social members at Overbrook, who in some cases switched to being golf members, the club now had a waiting list for golf. He had a short hole built with shallow bunkers and an eight inch cup, to help give the beginning juniors some early success. In 2014 Kennedy had been the Section’s Strausbaugh Award winner for sharing his knowledge on technology and teaching with his fellow Section members. In the Section he had served on the tournament, teaching and special awards committee. As a player he finished tied for third in the 2012 Section Championship.

There had been many exciting final rounds at the Masters Tournament over the years and this was no exception. The tournament was held at the Augusta National Golf Club in the first full week of April, as usual. Friday and Saturday were cool and windy, so the scores were high. On Thursday Jordan Spieth posted a bogey free 66 to lead by two strokes. On Friday Spieth birdied two of the first three holes. He finished the round in 74 strokes, but still led by one. On Saturday he was managing a difficult day and led by four strokes after 16 holes. A bogey, double bogey finish for 73 cut his lead to one stroke. Sunday was cool but not as windy. When Spieth birdied the last four holes on the front nine for a 32, he was in the lead by five strokes and the tournament appeared to be his for a second straight year. Then he proceeded to bogey the next two holes. On the par three 12th hole Spieth put two balls in the water short of the green and holed out in 7 strokes. He now stood at one under par for the tournament and his comfortable lead was gone. England’s Danny Willett had begun the day five strokes behind at even par. A 34 on the front nine and three pars to begin the second nine made him one better than Spieth through 12. About the same time Spieth was hitting shots into the water on #12 Willett was making birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to take a three stroke lead. Spieth made birdies on the 13th and 15th holes but Willett birdied the 16th hole and finished with two pars for a 67. When Spieth, who had frittered away a five stroke lead with nine holes to play, bogeyed the 16th hole, Willett (70-74-72-67=283) was the winner. Spieth tied for second with Lee Westwood at 286. Paul Casey, J.B. Holmes and Dustin Johnson tied for fourth with 287 totals. First prize was $1,800,000. Jim Furyk was eligible for the tournament but he had been out since September with a wrist problem.

On April 10th the PGA of America was 100 years old. After holding several meetings in early 1916 in New York City the official founding took place at the Hotel Martinique. There were 78 original members. Seven PGA Sections were created encompassing the 48 states. Pennsylvania and Delaware were in the Southeastern Section. New Jersey was in the Metropolitan Section. A 24 man executive committee, called vice presidents, was formed. The number of vice presidents from a Section was based on how many PGA members were in a Section. The Southeastern Section had three: Wilfrid Reid (Wilmington Country Club), James R. Thomson (Philadelphia Country Club) and William “Bill” Byrne (St. Davids Golf Club).  

On the second Monday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Lebanon Country Club. There were four spots to qualify for. Andrew Turner was low with a two under par 70. Amateurs J.D. Hughes and Kyle Sterbinksy tied for second with 71s. Manheim’s Brady Goodling, who was playing mini-tours, posted a 72 and won a sudden death playoff for the last spot.

On the second Thursday of May, Moselem Springs Golf Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open. There were six spots to qualify for there. Amateur Christopher Crawford, who had just graduated from Drexel University, led with a four under par 66. Maryland professional Marvin Delmar was second with a 67 and New Jersey professional Brent Studer was next at 68. Lancaster County professional Alex Blickle, who was playing mini-tours, picked up the fourth spot with a 69. David Quinn and amateur Cole Miller won the fifth and sixth spots in a six man sudden death playoff after posting 70s.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Silver Creek Country Club on the third Monday of May. There were 88 professionals and amateurs vying for six spots in sectional qualifying. On a cold windy day Matthew Pulgini, a sixteen year old Delaware amateur, led the field with a two over par 73. Amateur Jason Wilson and Virginia professional Nick Tremps tied for second with 74s. Michael Little, Chile professional Michael Ureta and amateur P.J. Acierno won the last three places right on the number, with 75s.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Huntsville Golf Club on the third Wednesday of May. There were three qualifying spots. Osceola professional Travis Howe, who was on the Canadian PGA Tour, was low with a five under par 67. North Carolina professional Jonathan Diianni and New Hampshire professional Jesse Smith posted 70s to lock up the other two spots without a playoff.  

The Senior PGA Championship was played at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Michigan during the last week of May. There were 162 in the starting field. Rocco Mediate opened up with a nine under par 62 on the 6,852 yard course. He followed that up with rounds of 66, 71 and 66 to lead all the way to the finish. Colin Montgomerie contended, but when Mediate holed a greenside bunker shot on the 71st hole for a birdie it was all but over. Mediate’s 265 total won by three strokes over Montgomerie’s 268. Mediate’s score, a tournament record, was three strokes lower than Sam Snead’s (268) fifteen stroke victory at PGA National in 1973. Bernhard Langer and Brant Jobe tied for third at 271. Stu Ingraham finished with a 289 total and tied for 68th, winning $4,675. George Forster and Brian Kelly missed the cut. Joe Daley, who was in the field on a special invitation of the PGA, missed the cut as well. Ingraham, Forster and Kelly were there off their finish in the 2015 Senior PGA Professional National Championship.

On the last day of May, a Tuesday, Dave McNabb won the Haverford Trust Philadelphia PGA Classic. There were 138 golf professionals and 12 amateurs in the starting field. The entry fee was $155. McNabb made a bogey on the second hole, but after that it was nothing but birdies and pars, ending the round with a birdie on the par four 18th hole. His five under par 67 won by two strokes as Andrew Turner finished second with a 69. For the second straight year the first prize was $100,000 and second prize was $5,000. Bill Sautter finished third at 70. Jacob Gerney and Bill Walker tied for fourth with 71s. Jason Calhoun, newly appointed women’s golf coach at LaSalle University, made a hole-in-one on the fifth hole and received 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock, valued at $4,500 on that day.  

Mark Sheftic won the Burlington Classic in the first week of June. The tournament was held at the par 70 Burlington Country Club. On Sunday 90 golf professionals were teamed with 135 amateurs in a pro-am. The pros individual scores counted toward a two day total. On Sunday Chris Krueger posted a 64 to lead by one stroke. The next day with only the golf professionals going head to head for the top money, the course was set up more difficult. Sheftic handled it the best as he put together a 67 to go with his opening round 66. His 133 total was three strokes better than Krueger and Barry Dear who tied for second at 136. Hugo Mazzalupi, a co-owner of Patriot’s Glen National Golf Club, finished fourth at 137. First prize was $2,350.

Sectional qualifying for the United States Open was held at 10 locations in the U.S.A. on the first Monday of June. Amateur Christopher Crawford, a recent Drexel University graduate who played out of the Spring Mill Country Club, qualified at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey.  There were 98 professionals and amateurs competing for six spots. Professionals Jim Herman, a recent winner on the PGA Tour and Rob Oppenheim took the first two spots with seven under par 137s. Professionals Andy Pope, Michael Miller and Justin Hicks along with Crawford, won the other four spots right on the number without a playoff,  by posting 138s. Crawford shot a 65 on the South Course in the morning and came back with a 73 on the North Course in the afternoon. With three holes to play Crawford was seven under par for the day, but he then made bogies on the next two holes. On the par five 18th hole he hooked his tee shot into an adjacent hole played up that fairway and then over trees to the green. Crawford then holed his uphill 40-foot birdie putt to qualify. Andrew Turner (70-69) ended up in a four-man playoff for the alternate spots at 139, where he finished third.

Osceola professional Travis Howe, who was on the Canadian PGA Tour, qualified for the United States Open in sectional qualifying at Vancouver, Washington. There were three spots at Vancouver. Amateur Aaron Wise was low with a nine under par 135. Howe, who attended Penn State University, picked up the second spot with a 137.

In the second week of June the Constellation Senior Players Tournament was hosted by the Philadelphia Cricket Club. It was the championship of the Champions Tour, which was formerly the Senior PGA Tour, and one of its five majors during the year. The golf course was set up at 6,963 with a par of 70. The golf course was rerouted for the tournament in order to avoid the congested area around the clubhouse. The 8th hole was used as the starting hole and 4th hole, which was shortened from a par 5 to a par four, was the 18th hole. The routing also made it possible for the golfers to walk directly from the practice area to the first tee, instead of having to be transported back to the  normal first tee, near the clubhouse. There were 81 players in the starting field. The scores were on the high side as it was unusually windy three of the four days. Bernhard Langer prevailed by posting scores of 71, 68, 69 and 73 for a one over par 281 to win by one stroke. It was the third straight year that Langer had won that tournament. Joe Durant and Miguel Angel Jimenez tied for second at 282. Brandt Jobe finished fourth alone at 283. Joe Daley, who had won the tournament in 2012, shot a final round 69 and tied for 25th at 291. He had grown up caddying right there at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and had run the driving range at the club for the head professional Bruce MacDonald. Daley won $22,400. First prize was $420,000. Jim Smith, Jr. was the host professional

The United States Open was played near Pittsburgh at he Oakmont Country Club in the third week of June. Heavy rain interrupted play three times during Thursday’s first round and the course was somewhat defenseless after that. The first round was completed on Friday, the second round was completed on Saturday and the third round finished on Sunday morning. With all of that, the last players were able to finish before dark Sunday evening. Even though the greens were not as fast as the committees wished, three balls moved on the greens during play while the players were preparing to putt. One player was not penalized as the USGA ruled that wind, of which there was little, had moved the ball. Shane Lowry was penalized one stoke on the 16th green of the second round. Dustin Johnson was penalized one stroke when his ball moved after having taken a couple of practice strokes on the fifth green of the fourth round. At the request of Lee Westwood, Johnson had moved his ball marker and then replaced it before the movement of his golf ball occurred. The walking rules official ruled no penalty on Johnson at the time, but on the 12th hole the USGA informed Johnson that he would probably be penalized one stroke. Lowry had begun the final round with a four stroke lead, but by the beginning of the back nine Johnson was one stroke in front. Then with the penalty looming the players were not sure how things stood. In the end the penalty was not a factor as Johnson played solid golf while Lowry three putted three straight greens and others fell back. Johnson (67-69-71-69) finished at 276 and his four under par score, with the one stroke penalty, won by three strokes. First prize from a total purse of $10,000,000, was $1,800,000. Jim Furyk shot a final round 66 for a total of 279 and ended up in a three way tie for second with Lowy and Scott Piercy. They each won $745,270. Furyk was back on the PGA Tour after missing the first half of 2016 with wrist surgery. Eastern Pennsylvania’s other two representatives, Travis Howe and amateur Christopher Crawford missed the cut.   

Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at the Applebrook Golf Club on the fourth Wednesday of June. There were more than 130 professionals and amateurs competing for three spots. The par 71 course measured 6,795 yards. On a very windy sunny day, Northwestern New York’s Lonnie Neilson and Bobby Gage, who was a teaching professional from Massachusetts, tied for the medal with 69s. No one else broke par. Five players tied for the other spot with 72s, and a sudden death playoff began on the 10th tee. Arnold Cutrell, an amateur from western Pennsylvania, won the playoff which lasted six holes, with a par four on the 18th hole. John Allen was also in the playoff and ended up as the second alternate.  

The PGA Professional Championship, formerly called the Club Pro Championship and later the PGA Professional National Championship, was played at the Turning Stone Resort Casino, in Verona, New York during the last week of June. The tournament which was played on the Atunyote and Kaluhyat courses, was also qualifying for 20 spots in the PGA Championship. There were 312 starters with a purse of $550,000. The Philadelphia Section had 12 players in the starting field. New Hampshire professional Rich Berberian (68-69-71-69) birdied the last hole to win the tournament with an eleven under par 277. Mark Brown and Omar Uresti tied for second at 278. Rod Perry and Josh Speight tied for fourth with 281 totals. First prize was $75,000. Mark Sheftic and Rich Steinmetz made the cut and played all 72 holes. Sheftic tied for 42nd at 290 and won $2,815. Steinmetz finished in a tie for 50th at 292 and won $2,248.33. David Quinn made the 90-man 36 hole cut but missed the 54 hole cut. Stu Ingraham, George Forster, Steve Swartz, John Bierkan, John Lynch, Dave McNabb, Jacob Gerney, Ashley Grier and John Pillar missed the cut. Grier had qualified in the Middle Atlantic Section and was now a teaching professional at the Overbrook Golf Club. Josh Rackley, who had qualified in the Philadelphia Section, was now working in the Carolinas PGA Section also missed the cut. For the first time the players were allowed to use electronic range finders during the tournament.  

In the middle of July the British Open was played at the par 72 Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland. The tournament turned out to be one to remember when Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson who were paired together dueled to the finish. Teeing off in the final round Stenson led Mickelson by one stroke. On the first hole Mickelson took a one stroke lead when Stenson took three putts and he made a short birdie putt. After that Stenson began making birdies and Mickelson did as well. They both played the front nine in 32 strokes. With five holes to play they were tied, but Stenson kept on making birdies. On the last green Stenson led by two strokes and only needed two putts to win, but he holed that putt for another birdie anyway, his tenth of the day, and a three stroke victory. Stenson (68, 65, 68 and 63) had tied Johnny Miller for the lowest final round shot by the winner of a major championship. Mickelson (267) had shot a 65 with no bogies. The next lowest round that day was a 67. Stenson’s 264 was the lowest total in the long history of major championships. It also tied Jason Day’s 20 under par at the 2015 PGA Championship. First prize in U.S. money was $1,549,590. J.B. Holmes finished third at 278 and Steve Stricker was fourth at 279. Jim Furyk posted a 293 and tied for 59th, winning $21,034.

The Ridge at Back Brook in Ringoes, New Jersey hosted the Philadelphia Open on fourth Monday of July.  There were 78 professionals and amateurs who were in the starting field through exemptions or qualifying, competing over 36 holes in one day. A 1 hour, 40 minute delay for thunder storms interrupted play. Amateurs finished in the first four places. Chris Crawford led by three strokes at the halfway point with a 67, which turned out to be the only sub 70 round of the day. Crawford and Jeff Osberg were paired together. When Crawford played his first nine, in the afternoon, which was the course’s back nine, in even par, he led Osberg by six strokes with nine holes to play. On the last nine Osberg made two birdies and Crawford three-putted twice. They arrived at the last hole with Crawford holding a two stroke lead. He appeared to be a sure winner until he put his second shot from the rough into a greenside pond, and took a double bogey six. Crawford (67-75) and Osberg (71-71) were now tied with even par 142s. Due to the weather delay the playoff had to take place a day later. In the four-hole Tuesday playoff Osberg made two pars, a double bogey and a birdie to win by one stroke. Osberg, a member at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, played the 409 yard last hole with a driver, sand wedge and a five foot putt. His father Rick Osberg, had won the tournament in 1999. It was the second time a father and son had won the Philadelphia Open, the first being George Griffin, Sr. (1932) and George Griffin, Jr. (1953). Matthew Mattare, son or Saucon Valley Country Club professional, Gene Mattare, tied with Michael McDermott for third place at 145. Greg Matthias posted a 146 and picked up a check for $7,000 as the low professional.  

The two day Lehigh Valley Open was held at the Northampton Country Club in the fourth week of July. Monday’s round was interrupted by thunderstorms. The first round had to be completed on Tuesday morning. The players were then repaired and sent off in a shotgun start at 11 a.m. John Appleget had put together a five under par 67 to lead by two strokes. In the second round Appleget slipped to a 73 while Bumble Bee Hollow Golf Center teaching professional Kevin Kraft was adding a 70 to his first round 70. Kraft and Appleget were tied for the top prize at 140. A sudden death playoff was held on the 18th hole. They played the hole once and both made par fours to stay tied. Playing the 18th hole a second time, Kraft holed a 30-foot putt for a birdie. When Appleget’s birdie putt caught a piece of the hole and lipped out, Kraft was the winner. George Forster, Sr. finished third alone a 141 and Corey McAlarney, who was now an assistant at Sunnybrook Golf Club, was fourth at 142. First prize was $2,250.

At the end of July the PGA Championship was played at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. Due to the return of golf to the Olympics, which was in August, the tournament dates had been moved from August to July. It turned out to be a great tournament played on a great golf course under trying conditions. Many of the greens were showing stress from an extremely hot summer as early as Thursday, so the greens were syringed during play, which is quite unusual for any important tournament. Jimmy Walker led from wire to wire, but it was not a walk in the park. Many challenged and could have won. The cut came at 142, so with the low 70 and ties making the cut, 86 players survived. On Saturday the players went off in twos. Some completed their rounds before the leaders teed off. At 2:15 heavy rain arrived with 11 players still left to begin their rounds.  No more golf was played that day. On Sunday the third round resumed at 7 a.m. At the conclusion of that round, the players were not repaired for the final round. After a short break the players were back on the course. The cups were changed but the greens were not mowed or rolled. It was thought that record scores might be shot but that did not happen. For the first time in a major championship, the players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls when in their own fairway because of muddy golf balls. There were a couple of 65s, but no record scores. Walker put together rounds of 65, 66, 68 and 67 for a 14 under par 266. Jason Day came close to defending his title. He holed an eagle putt on the 72nd green, but came up one stroke short with a 267 total. Walker, in the last pairing and right behind Day held on for the win by making a par on the final hole. Daniel Summerhays finished third at 270. Branden Grace, Brooks Koepka and Hideki Matsuyama tied for fourth with 271 scores. First prize from a purse of $10,000,000 was $1,800,000. Jim Furyk tied for 73rd at 284 and won $17,450. Jason Bohn missed the cut. The host professional was Doug Steffen, who had been an assistant at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in 1976.

The Philadelphia Section PGA Assistant Championship was held at the Concord Country Club on the first Monday of August.  Tony R. Perla, now a teaching professional at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, put together two solid rounds of golf to win by one stroke. Perla posted rounds of 67 and 68 for a seven under par 135. First prize was $2,000. Jordan Gibbs, assistant at Gulph Mills Golf Club, finished second alone, at 136. Michael Little and Corey McAlarney tied for third with 137 totals. The tournament was also qualifying for the PGA Assistant Championship and the Section, based on the number of entries in this tournament, had been awarded five spots. Greg Matthias and Alex Knoll tied for the fifth spot with 138s. Because Knoll also taught calculus and trigonometry at a school in Bethlehem, he could not go to Florida for the national championship. Due to that, there was no playoff needed for the last spot.

Jim Furyk became the first golfer to shoot a 58 in the long history of the PGA Tour. It happened in the final round of Travelers Championship on the TPC River Highlands course at Cromwell, Connecticut. Furyk made the cut at 139 right on the number and then shot a 72, near the bottom of the projected money winners. On Sunday he was out early, with little hope to win much money. After making a birdie three on the second hole he holed a wedge shot on the next hole for an eagle two. He then birdied the fourth hole and finished the first nine with birdies on the last four holes for a 27. On the back nine he made birdies on the first three holes and grabbed one more birdie on the 16th hole. Two pars after that gave him a 31 and a twelve under par 58. Six golfers had shot 59 on the PGA Tour and Furyk had been the last one, which had taken place three years before. The 58 brought Furyk all the way up to a tie for 5th. His 269 score won $231,825. Russell Knox won the tournament with a 266 and took away a check for $1,188,000.

The 100th edition of the Pennsylvania Open was played at The Club at Nevillewood in Presto, Pennsylvania during the second week of August. The 54-hole tournament was won for a second time by western Pennsylvania professional Robert Rohanna, who had been victorious in 2010. Rohanna put together rounds of  71, 65 and 68. His twelve under par 210 total won by six strokes. First prize from a purse of $40,000 was 8,000. Berwyn’s Cole Willcox, Lancaster’s David Denlinger, Mike Van Sickle and Daniel Obremski tied for second at 210. Corey McAlarney and amateur Jimmy Ellis tied for sixth at 211. Willcox and Denlinger had recently turned pro and were competing on the golf mini-tours.

The U.S. Senior Open was played at the Scioto Country Club near Columbus, Ohio in the second week of August. The winner was Gene Sauers with rounds of 68, 69, 71 and 69 for a three under par 277. Billy Mayfair (278) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (278) tied for second. Ian Woosnam (279) finished fourth. First prize was $675,000. Due to weather problems Sunday was canceled and the tournament finished up on Monday. There was no one from the Philadelphia PGA in the tournament.

Stu Ingraham won the Section Senior Championship for the fifth time in six years. The tournament, which was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional Championship, was played at the St. Davids Golf Club in the fourth week of August. The Section had nine spots to qualify for. Ingraham put together a par 70 on Monday and a 66 on Tuesday. His 136 score won by two strokes over Jack Brennan (138) who was now the professional at the Mountain View Country Club. First prize was $1,250. Brian Kelly and Bill Sautter tied for third at 141. The fifth through eighth qualifying spots went to John Allen, John Appleget, George Forster, Sr. and Terry Hertzog, who all posted 142s. Three players, Dave McNabb, Rick Flesher and Jack Connelly, tied for the ninth and last spot. A sudden death playoff began on the 1st hole without Connelly who had left the course. McNabb won out on the second hole and Flesher became the first alternate.

Gibbs, Jordan-2016 Sep 22 x
Jordan Gibbs

The Philadelphia Section Championship was played at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in the third week of September. The Philadelphia Cricket Club had two golf courses in Flourtown and both were used for the tournament. With 172 entries, half of the field played the Wissahickon Course on Tuesday and the other half played the Militia Hill Course that day. Then each half of the field played the other course on Wednesday. The field was cut to the low 60 and ties for the third and final round, which was played on the Wissahickon Course on Thursday. Jordan Gibbs, who had not won before in Philadelphia, led by one stroke after 36 holes (67-68) and then blew the field away with a final round 66. He made a bogey on the last hole but his eleven under par 201, won by five strokes. The eleven under par was a record for the most strokes under par in the Philadelphia Section Championship. Four times in the past a winner had finished ten under par. First prize from the $71,000 purse was $8,000. Stu Ingraham (206) and Dave McNabb (207) finished second and third. John Pillar and Scott Reilly tied for fourth at 209. The tournament was also qualifying for the PGA Professional Championship and based on the number of entries in this Section Championship, the Section had been allotted 12 spots. Tony R. Perla, Alex Knoll, Michael Little and Mike Molino, who was now the professional at the Scranton Country Club, won spots 5 through 8 with 211 totals. Bill Walker took the ninth spot with a 212. The last two qualifying spots went to George Forster, Sr. (213) and John Spina (213). There was a sudden death playoff for alternate spots. The host professional was Jim Smith, Jr.    

The two-day Shawnee Open was played in late September at Great Bear Golf Club and the Shawnee Inn & Resort golf courses. Both courses were now under the same ownership. Michael Little trailed the leader, Corey McAlarney, by one stroke after shooting a two under par 69 at Great Bear. On Monday Little put together a four under par 68 at the Shawnee Inn for a 137 total, which was good for a three stroke victory. McAlarney tied for second with George Forster, Sr. at 140. Andrew Turner, John Pillar and Heritage Shores Golf Club assistant Zac Oakley tied for fourth with 141s. Oakley was the son of former Section member and 2004 Senior British Open winner, Pete Oakley. First prize was $1,300.

The Ryder Cup was held at Hazeltine National Golf Club near Minneapolis, Minnesota at the beginning of October. The United Sates PGA team had lost to the European PGA team three straight times leading up to this meeting. There were 12 players on each team who had earned enough points or had been one of four selected for the team by the captain. On Friday and Saturday there were four foursomes (alternate shots) matches in the morning and four fourball (better ball) matches in the afternoon. On Sunday 12 singles matches were played. There were a total of 28 points on the line, so 14-1/2 points were needed to win and take possession of the Cup for two years. On Friday morning the United States team won all four matches to take a 4 to 0 lead. On Saturday evening after two days of play the United States still led by three points. Sunday’s singles contests produced great golf. Phil Mickelson made ten birdies and his opponent, Sergio Garcia, made nine. They halved the last two holes with birdies and finished the match tied. Patrick Reed and Rory McElroy fought it out as both made numerous birdies. Reed birdied the last hole to hold on to his one-up lead and conceded McElroy’s shorter birdie putt. The US team won seven of the singles contests and halved one to finish the with a total of 17 points to 11 for Europe. Jim Furyk was one of captain Davis Love’s vice-captains.

The Philadelphia PGA and the Golf Association of Philadelphia met in their annual challenge match on the first Thursday of October at the Saucon Valley Country Club. There were at least two seniors and ten others on each team as they competed for a total of 18 points. The players were paired in fours, with two singles matches and a better-ball match being contested in each group. The team of Eric Kennedy-Greg Matthias won 2-1/2 points. The teams of Stu Ingraham-Kevin Kraft, Curtis Kirkpatrick-Bob Hennefer, Andrew Turner-David Quinn and John Appleget-Bill Sautter each won two points. The team of George Forster, Sr.-Steve Swartz won one point. Hennefer was the head professional at the Indian Spring Country Club (NJ) and Kirkpatrick was the teaching professional there. The golf professionals finished with a total of 11-1/2 points against 6-1/2 for the GAP amateurs. The professionals only lost 1/2 point in the six better-ball matches. The standings for the matches now stood at 20 wins for the PGA against two loses and four ties.

The challenge match between the Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA called the Turnpike Cup, was played on the second Wednesday of October at the Commonwealth National Golf Club. There were 12 professionals on each team and at least two had to be seniors. The players were paired in fours with two singles matches and a better-ball match being contested in each group. A total of 18 points on the line. This was the fifth consecutive year that the matches had been held. The team of Curtis Kirkpatrick-Mike Furey won all three points. The team of Mark Sheftic-Andrew Turner won 1-1/2 points. The teams of Bill Sautter-Greg Matthias and Mike Meisenzahl-Steve Swartz each won 1 point. The team of Corey McAlarney-Michael Little won 1/2 point. The other Philadelphia team was David Quinn-Stu Ingraham. With a total of 7 points against 11 for New Jersey, the Philadelphia PGA team lost the cup for the first time.

McAlarney, Corey
Corey McAlarney

Corey McAlarney won the Section Match Play Championship for the second time in three years. The tournament was played in third week of October on Merion Golf Club’s West Course, which was short in yardage but a great course for match play, with its variety of holes. A full field of 64 professionals played two 18-hole match play rounds a day for three days. The defending champion was seeded number one and the other entries were seeded based on the 2016 Section points list. In the 18-hole final, McAlarney defeated Brendon Post, an assistant to his wife Patty, the women’s golf coach at the University of Delaware, 3 & 1. In the semifinal McAlarney needed a 19th hole to get past Section champion Jordan Gibbs.  Post needed three extra holes before he could put away the defending champion, David Quinn. First prize was $2,500.   

The fall meeting of the Philadelphia Section was held at the White Manor Country Club on the fifth Monday of October. Section president, Ian Dalzell, called the meeting to order and Clark Luis opened it with his always inspiring singing of our national anthem. The guest speaker was the outgoing president of the PGA of America,  Derek Sprague. He and Section secretary Jeff Kiddie had conducted a fireside chat, with any Section members who wished to attend, at Aronimink Golf Club the night before. The recent United States Ryder Cup victory was a feature of Sprague’s talk. The regional sales manager for Cobra Puma Golf company spoke on the state of the golf industry. He stated that golf rounds in the USA were up slightly for the year, but sale of metal woods was down 20 percent and irons were down 13 percent. A doctor from the Rothman Institute spoke on sports injuries and how to deal with them as teaching golf professionals. The Section’s junior golf program had another successful year. The 854 juniors that registered for the Section’s junior tour was about the same as 2015, but the events had 71 more entrants than the year before. The annual ADP funding by the PGA to the Section had been increased by $7,000 to $160,746. The Section’s Restricted Fund balance was $522,982. The Section “Player of the Year” was Michael Little and Dave McNabb had his name added to the DeBaufre Trophy. McNabb led the 2016 scoring averages for the designated tournaments, with an average of 70.07 strokes. Stu Ingraham was the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” for the seventh time. At the Section’s fall meeting Ted Sheftic and Bob Thatcher were inducted into the Philadelphia Section Hall of Fame.

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Ted Sheftic

Thadeaus “Ted” Sheftic arrived in the Philadelphia Section in late 1964 as the head professional at the Red Lion Country Club. Next he was at the Hanover Country Club for 35 years, the last six as the teaching professional. In 2005 he moved to the Bridges Golf Club where he operated his own private golf instruction business.  He was a founder of the Central Counties Chapter and its tournament chairman for eight years. Sheftic was a fine tournament player and for 15 years of his time at Hanover he operated a custom club business, but his passion was golf instruction. He was most successful with young women golfers, like Jenny Chausiriporn who lost a playoff for the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open and was runner-up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship that year. As a member of PGA National Teaching Committee, he co-authored the Get Golf Ready 2.0 curriculum. He also helped plan and organize the agenda for the 2015 PGA Teaching Summit. Over the years he had created numerous teaching aids. Sheftic had been the teacher of the year in the Philadelphia Section four times and the Section’s Horton Smith award winner in 1999. All too numerous to list, Sheftic taught many great golfers, instructed at golf seminars and wrote articles for golf magazines. For the last 16 years he had been Golf Digest’s top teacher in Pennsylvania. In 2014 and 2016 he was a finalist for the PGA of America Teacher of the Year award.   

Thatcher, Bob (TGH)
Bob Thatcher

Robert B. “Bob” Thatcher came to the Philadelphia Section in 1966 as the head professional at the Williamsport Country Club. Two years later he became the professional at the Aronimink Golf Club and eight years after that he left to open the Olde Masters Driving Range, which he still owned in 2016. Thatcher was a successful tournament player, but most of all he was a born entrepreneur. He was one of the first PGA members to own an off-course golf discount store. For twelve years he owned one third of the Reading Country Club. He leased the Paxon Hollow Golf Club for four years, along with co-leasing the Downingtown Inn and Country Club for three years. For ten years he leased a driving range from the Camden County Park Commission. In 2001 Thatcher opened the Olde Masters Golf Center, that he designed, near Atlantic City. That year the facility was voted best new golf range in the United States by Golf Range Magazine. In 1971 Thatcher was the Section’s first vice president and tournament chairman. The next year he was elected to the office of secretary. He taught at more than thirty PGA business schools  In 1981 he was the Section’s Horton Smith Award winner for the many hours he spent on the education of his fellow golf professionals. In 1987 he was the Section’s Teacher of the Year. He won the Section’s Senior Championship in 1991 and 1992 and was the Section’s “Senior Player of the Year” in 1991. He qualified for the PGA Club Professional Championship four times and the PGA Senior Club Professional Championship five times. At the Senior Club Pro he made the cut all five times with his best showing being a tie for seventh in 1995. Thatcher qualified for the 1993 U.S. Senior Open. During the 1990s he played in a total of 41 tournaments on the PGA Senior Tour. He also competed on the European Senior Tour and the Japan Senior Tour. He played in five British Senior Opens and the British Senior PGA Championship five times.

The PGA Assistant Championship was played on the PGA Golf  Club’s Wanamaker Course in late October. There were 132 starters in the tournament from the 41 PGA Sections. The number from each PGA Section was based on how many had entered the Section’s assistant championship. Ben Polland won with rounds of 72, 68, 72 and 69. His seven under par 281 won by one stroke. Shawn Warren, Andy Mickelson and Danny Lewis tied for second at 282. First prize was $12,000. Corey McAlarney finished in a tie for 15th at 290 and won $2,093.75. Michael Little tied for 46th at 297, winning $855. Greg Matthias won $787.50 for a 51st tie at 298. Andrew Turner and Tony R. Perla missed the cut.

The 100th annual meeting of the PGA of America was held during the second week of November in New York City, New York. The meeting was at Grand Hyatt New York. The meeting was in New York as a celebration of the PGA having been founded in that city 100 years before. It was an election year and Paul Levy moved up from vice president to president. Suzy Whaley moved from secretary to vice president. Both were elected without opposition. Jim Richardson, who was the General Manager of Golf for the Kohler Company in Kohler, Wisconsin, was elected secretary on the first ballot. There were no resolutions for changes to the constitution submitted by the Sections or the PGA board of directors. Mike Davis, the executive director of the USGA, addressed the delegates. Along with other topics he mentioned the unfortunate confusion over the Dustin Johnson ruling at the U.S. Open, when his golf ball moved on the fifth green during the final round. During the tournament two players were penalized when their golf balls moved on the green and one was not penalized. Davis said that work was under way to simplify the rule. Ian Dalzell and John Rogers, who was now the professional at the Spring Hollow Golf Course, were the Philadelphia Section delegates. Past national presidents, Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly were also in attendance along with the Section’s executive director Geoff Surrette and several other Section members, who were alternate delegates.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship was played at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida during the third week of November. The tournament was held on the Wanamaker and Ryder courses. Both courses were used for the first two rounds and the final two rounds were played on the Wanamaker course. Steve Schneiter holed a fifteen foot birdie putt on the last green to win by one stroke. His rounds were 69, 68, 69 and 69 for a thirteen under par 275. Rick Schuller finished second at 276. Former Section member, Gene Fieger, was third with a 277 total. Brad Lardon, Don Berry and Mike Northern tied for fourth with 279s. George Forster, Sr. put together a 280 and tied for 7th, winning $7,175. Dave McNabb tied for 28th at 286 and won $2,345. Forster and McNabb qualified for the 2017 Senior PGA Championship, as the top 35 made it. Brian Kelly tied for 39th at 288, winning $1,785. Terry Hertzog finished with a 292 and tied for 56th, winning $1,172.50. Stu Ingraham tied for 71st at 292 and won $1,025. Rick Flesher, John Allen, John Appleget, Bill Sautter and Jack Brennan missed the cut. Flesher got into the tournament as an alternate, when the Section was given another spot. First prize was $21,500 from a total purse of $285,000.

Carpus, Tom 3 (TGH)
Tom Carpus

In late November Tom Carpus was elevated to chairman of the PGA of America rules committee. In 2011 he had been appointed vice-chairman of the committee. The chairmanship was for two years, Carpus had worked 21 PGA Championships, four Ryder Cups, seven Masters, two British Opens, four Senior PGA Championships, one Players Championship and multiple national PGA of America member championships. As PGA rules chairman, Carpus was now responsible for managing the rules at the PGA Championship, Senior PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup along with working many other major championships around the world. He would also be jointly conducting annual rules of golf workshops with the USGA.

On the last day of November Harry Hammond was named winner of  the Labron Harris, Sr. award. The award, named for Harris, who had been a PGA member and long time golf coach at Oklahoma State University. It was presented each year by the Golf Coaches Association of America in cooperation with the PGA of America. The award covered all divisions of college and high school golf coaches. It was for the PGA member whose support of the game through teaching, coaching and involvement in the community has helped ensure the continued growth of game. Hammond had been the golf coach at West Chester University since 2007. In 2011 and 2015 he was recognized as Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He had guided his team to five straight NCAA Regional appearances. The Penn Oaks Golf Club, where Hammond was both a part owner and director of golf, serves as the home course for both the West Chester University men’s and women’s golf teams.

In the second week of December the USGA and the R&A announced a rules’ change. For several years there had been confusion over penalties for golfers when their golf balls moved on the putting greens. With the tightly mowed greens of recent years, it was often difficult to determine if a ball had been moved by wind or the golfer. The way the rule had been written led to some being penalized and some not. Now, under what would be a Local Rule until the USGA and the R&A met again to update the rules, a golfer would not be penalized if their ball or ball marker was accidentally moved by the golfer, the caddy or something else. The ball was to be replaced.

The third and final stage of Web.com Tour school ended on the second Sunday of December at the Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Florida. Former Llanerch Country Club junior golfer Vince Covello tied for 42nd. Play was over two courses at that facility. Covello finished at three under par 283 and won $6,000. This earned him full status on the Web.com Tour for the first eight tournaments in 2017. Based on results after eight events, the order of eligibility would be reshuffled and it would take place a second time later in the year. Jim Renner led with a 269 and won $50,000.

The PGA of America “Player of the Year” for 2016 was Dustin Johnson and he won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average. He averaged 69.17 strokes for his 82 rounds. He also led the PGA Tour money list with earnings of $9,365,185. Sean O’Hair won $1,702,713 in 27 events, which was good for 59th place. Jim Furyk ended up in 71st place with $1,538,204 in 14 tournaments, after missing a large part of the year due to wrist surgery in February. Furyk didn’t play in any tournaments between September 2015 and May 2016. Jason Bohn won $1,369,705 in 21 tournaments which put him in 76th place.  

Wesley Bryan was the leading money winner on the Web.com Tour. He won $449,392 in only 15 tournaments. His season was shortened because he won three times and left for the PGA Tour with his early promotion.
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2017

Ingraham 2017
Stu Ingraham

Stu Ingraham won the Quarter Century Championship on the Ryder Course at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament, for PGA members of 25 years or more, was played in the first week of January. Ingraham put together rounds of 64 and 71 for a nine under par 135 to end up in a tie with Mike San Filippo (67-68=135). Ingraham won a sudden death playoff with a par on the second extra hole when San Filippo three putted. Ingraham won money for the overall victory and his 55-59 year-old age group. It all added up to $3,350. Sonny Skinner finished third at 136 and Kirk Stauffer was fourth at 137. The entry fee was $210.

Jim Furyk was named captain of the 2018 United States Ryder Cup team on the second Wednesday of January. The announcement was made by PGA President Paul Levy. The 2018 matches were going to be held in France.         

Lancaster’s David Denlinger, qualified for the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in the second week of January at the Sun & Lake Golf & Country Club in Sebring, Florida. Denlinger shot a final round seven under par 65 to finish in a tie for 15th. The top 11 earned full exemptions for the first half  of the season. Those who finished 12th through 30 were conditionally exempt. At the halfway point of the season the qualifiers were repositioned, based on where they were on the money list. That was one of the four final stage sites for qualifying. There had been prequalifying tournaments as well.

In the third week of January DuPont, Pennsylvania’s Brandon Matthews qualified for the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Matthews with rounds of 72, 74, 71 and 67 (284) tied for ninth to earn one of the 11 fully exempt  spots available at that site. He qualified at the Estrella del Mar Golf & Beach Club in Mazatlan, Mexico. Blake Olson was low with a 274. Matthews, a 2016 graduate of Temple University, won the Philadelphia Open in 2013. He turned pro in October 2016.

Another Lancaster golf professional, J.D. Dornes, also qualified for the PGA Tour Latinoamerica with a 285 total that put him in a tie for 14th. Dornes qualified in third week of January at Club Los Lagartos in Bogota, Columbia.

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Robert Kleckner

The spring meeting of the Philadelphia PGA was held at the DuPont Country Club on the first Monday of April. The meeting was opened with a video of Clark Luis singing the national anthem. There were nearly 300 Section members and apprentices in attendance. The Section award winners for 2017 were announced. A special awards evening was scheduled for November. The Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year” was Robert Kleckner, who was the head professional and owner of the Linfield National Golf Course. He took up golf in his senior year of high school, playing and working at the Middletown Country Club. Kleckner turned pro in 1992 and began his professional career at Middletown. He then worked at Gulph Mills Golf Club under Willie Scholl. When Scholl retired at the end of 1994 he continued on at Gulph Mills under Terry Hertzog, becoming a PGA member in 1997. After that he worked for David Craig at Commonwealth National Golf Club. In 2001 he became the head professional and general manager of Linfield National. In 2012 he purchased the facility from his employer. As the owner of Linfield National Kleckner has embraced charities by making his club available at reasonable prices. His club is the home for two high school golf teams. He provides eight free golf memberships at his facility to young lady golfers each year. He made himself an expert on the rules of golf and gave many hours of his time lecturing on the rules. The teacher of the year was Becky Dengler, who was the teaching professional at the Ed Oliver Golf Club. Section executive director Geoff Surrette informed those in attendance that there would be no printed Section directory. The directory would now be online. He also announced that Brian Schulte had been promoted from junior tour director to Section tournament director. The Section had not had an official tournament director since Surrette had been promoted from that position to executive director in 2003. The position had been collectively managed by Surrette along with Carl and Ellen Berlinger. Tom Henderson, the national  director from District II and a member of the Metropolitan Section, reported on national affairs. Tricia English, the wife of a soldier who lost his life serving his country in Iraq, spoke on what the Folds of Honor program had meant to the family. The Folds of Honor program was created by a PGA member to raise scholarship money for the children of members of the military who had lost their lives in the service.

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Brandon Matthews

In the second week of March Brandon Matthews won on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in just his second start. Matthews put together rounds of 68, 70, 65 and 72. His three under par 275 total at the Canuelas Golf Club in Canuelas Buenos Aires, Argentina, won by one stroke. He teed off in the last round with a three stroke lead. In the final round, played on Sunday in windy conditions, Matthews never lost the lead. The closest anyone came was Matias Simaski, who holed out his third shot from 97 yards for and eagle on the last hole. He ended up tied for second with Jared Wolfe at 276. Andreas Halvorsen finished fourth alone at 278. In United States money first prize was $31,500.  

The Masters Tournament was played at the Augusta National Golf Club in the first full week of April. Thursday and Friday were cold and windy, which made for difficult scoring. On Thursday only two players broke 70. Charlie Hoffman defied the elements when he posted a 65. On Friday several players shot under 70, but there were no low scores and it was the same on Saturday. With one round to play Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose were tied for the lead at 210. When they reached the 10th tee they were still even as they had both played the front nine in two under par. Garcia then made bogies on #10 and #11 to trail by two strokes, but he birdied the 14th hole and eagled the 15th to get back even with Rose. Rose birdied the 16th to lead again, but then lost a stroke to par on the 17th. On the last hole of regulation Garcia and Rose both had makeable birdie putts and missed. They were tied at 279. There rounds were 71, 69, 70, 69 for Garcia and 71, 72, 67, 69 for Rose. The two players were sent back to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff. Rose drove into the right hand trees and Garcia was down the middle. Rose’s second shot was blocked by trees and he had to chip out to the fairway. Garcia was on the green, just above the hole with his second shot. When Rose missed his putt for a par, Garcia only needed two putts to win, but he holed the putt for a birdie. After coming close many times Garcia had finally won a major. First prize was $1,980,000. Charl Schwartzel finished third alone at 282. Matt Kuchar and Thomas Pieters tied for fourth with 283 totals. Jim Furyk and Sean O’Hair missed the cut.  

On the fourth Monday of April, Ashley Grier won the Section’s TPD Championship at the Trump National Philadelphia golf club. The 18-hole event was played under modified stableford scoring. Pars earned one point, birdies three points, eagles five points and bogies or worse were minus one point. Grier made four birdies and one bogey for the day to finish with 24 points. It was her first win in the Section since arriving in 2016. It was also the first time a female golf professional had won a Philadelphia PGA individual event composed of men and women. Michael Little, Jacob Gerney and John Appleget tied for second with 22 points apiece. First prize was $1,000.

On the second Thursday of May local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Country Club of York. There were five qualifying spots for the right to move on to sectional qualifying. Professionals Vince Covello, Virginia’s Nick Tremps and Chile’s Hugo Leon along with York amateur Joe Parrini tied for the first four spots with one under par 69s. Amateur Chris Crawford, who successfully qualified for the 2016 U.S. Open, shot a 70 and won the last spot in two-man sudden death playoff with a par on the second extra hole. There were 91 players for the five spots.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Running Deer Golf Club on the third Monday of May. There were 87 professionals and amateurs qualifying for five spots. David Sanders and amateur Lodie Van Tonder tied for the medal with even par 72s. Amateur Ryan Rucinski won the third spot with a 73 and amateur Dawson Jones picked up the fourth spot with a 74. The fifth spot went to amateur Lucas Trim (75) in a sudden death playoff.

The Country Club of Scranton hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the third Wednesday of May. There were 81 professionals and amateurs qualifying for five spots. Professionals John Pillar, Brandon Matthews, and Travis Howe posted 72s to wrap up the first three spots. Andrew Turner, now an assistant at the Sunnybrook Golf Club, (73) won the fourth spot and amateur Kyle Wambold (74) took the fifth spot without a playoff.

West Shore Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the third Thursday of May. There were  68 professionals and amateurs qualifying for four spots at West Shore. Peter “Chip” Richter, the professional at the Carlisle Country Club and amateur Cary Bina won the first two spots with even par 72s. The third spot went to western Pennsylvania professional Ben Boyle who posted a 73. Shawn Matthews, who was now an assistant at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, picked up the last spot in a sudden death playoff with a 74.

Qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at the Indiana Country Club in Indiana, Pennsylvania on the fourth Wednesday of May. There was one spot to qualify for there. Canadian professional John Kelly won it with a two under par 69. John Pillar shot a 70 and won the first alternate spot in a sudden death playoff. Later, Pillar got into the tournament.

The Senior PGA Championship was played at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia during the fourth week of May. Bernard Langer won another PGA Senior Tour major championship. Langer put together rounds of 65, 67, 70 and 68. His eighteen under par 270 edged out Vijay Singh (271) by one stroke. With this win Langer had now won all five PGA Senior Tour major championships and this was his ninth in total. He had now passed Jack Nicklaus, who won eight senior majors. Miguel Angel Jimenez and Billy Andrade tied for third at 275. Dave McNabb and George Forster, Sr. missed the cut. McNabb and Forster had qualified by finishing in the top 35 at the Senior PGA Professional Championship in 2016. First prize from a purse of $3,000,000 was $540,000.

Sunnybrook Golf Club was hosting the Haverford Trust Classic for the 21st time and their assistant Andrew Turner was the winner with a four under par 68. In 2016 he had finished second with a 69, but this time he came out on top even though he made a bogey on the 18th hole. His round included eight birdies and four bogies. First prize was again $100,000 and second prize was $5,000. Jacob Gerney finished second with a 70. Nine players tied for third. George Forster, Sr., David Quinn, Corey McAlarney, Stu Ingraham, Greg Farrow, Greg Matthias, Steve Swartz, Hugh Matthis and Michael Caldwell all posted 71s. Quinn was now the teaching professional at the Philmont Country Club, Matthis was the head professional at Tavistock Country Club, Caldwell was an assistant at Bidermann Golf Club, Swartz was now the teaching professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg and McAlarney was now the teaching professional at the Squires Golf Club. The 138 professionals were in the starting field based on their position on the 2016 points list or by invitation of the sponsor.  

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open was held at the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey on the first Monday of June. There were 80 players for five spots. Daniel Chopra led with rounds of 66 and 65. His 131 total led by four strokes. Amateur Chris Crawford (66-68—134) from Bensalem qualified as he finished in a three way tie for second. The players with 135 totals played sudden death for the last spot. This was the second straight year that Crawford had successfully qualified at Canoe Brook. Crawford, a graduating senior at Drexel University who had used up his eligibility, was now the assistant golf coach at Drexel.

The Burlington Classic was played at the Burlington Country Club in the first week of June. On Sunday there was a pro-am format with two golf professionals and three amateurs paired together. The professional scores counted toward a two day total. Brian Bergstol shot a seven under par 63 on Sunday but he trailed the leader, Huntingdon Valley assistant, Trevor Bensel (61) by two strokes and Terry Hertzog (62) by one stroke. On Monday, with the course set up more difficult, Bergstol shot a 68. His nine under par 131 total won by three strokes. Stu Ingraham and Radley Run Country Club assistant Brett Melton tied for second with 134s. Hertzog finished fourth at 135. Bensel fell back into a tie for seventh. First prize was $3,000.  

Dave McNabb and Stu Ingraham qualified for the U.S. Senior Open on the second Monday of June at the Argyle Country Club in Silver Spring, Maryland  McNabb led the qualifying with a five under par 65. McNabb put together five birdies and 13 pars. There were three spots to qualify for at Argyle and Stu Ingraham won one of the other ones as he tied Mark Brown for second with a 66. No playoff was needed.  

On the second Thursday of June qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open was held at the Dunedin Golf Club in Dunedin, Florida. This golf course was the home of the PGA of America until 1963, when they made the move to Palm Beach Gardens. There were two spots to qualify for at Dunedin. They went to Greg Kraft and amateur Ken Palladino who both posted three under par 69s. Wilkes Barre’s Ted Tryba posted a 70 and became the second alternate when he lost a sudden death playoff to amateur Chip Holcombe. Even though he was the second alternate, Tryba got into the tournament.

The United States Open was played west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Erin Hills Golf Club during the third week of June. Due to some night time rains and little wind, the eleven year old course’s par of 72 took a beating. Brooks Koepka was the winner with a 16 under par 272 that tied Rory McIlroy for the lowest score in a U.S. Open, in relation to par. Koepka, who grew up in West Palm Beach, was taught golf from the time he began and throughout his teenage years by Warren Bottke. Bottke had worked as an assistant under Pete Dever at the Brookside Country Club (Pottstown) in the early 1970s. A record number 31 players finished the tournament under par. First prize was a record $2,160,000. The total purse was $12,000,000. Brian Harmon and Hideki Matsuyama tied for second at 276. Tommy Fleetwood was fourth alone at 277. Jim Furyk tied for 23rd at 285 and won $105,506. Sean O’Hair and Bensalem amateur Chris Crawford missed the cut. Two Philadelphia Section professionals, Dom DiJulia and Mike Dynda, who had been Crawford’s coaches were at the U.S. Open with him. DiJulia had taught Crawford at his golf school which was located at the Jericho National Golf Club and Dynda had been his coach at Drexel University.

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Dave McNabb

In the third week of June the PGA Professional Championship was held at the Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon. There were 312 PGA members in the starting field. The tournament began on a Sunday and the first two rounds were played on the par 72 Crosswater Course and the par 71 Meadows course. Half of the field was on each course the first day and then switched to the other course the next day. There were 12 Philadelphia Section members in the starting field who had qualified at the 2016 Philadelphia Section Championship. For a second year the players were allowed to use electronic range finders and they could wear shorts in the practice rounds for the first time. Dave McNabb made a terrific showing as he tied for first at four under par 283, only to lose in a sudden death playoff to Omar Uresti on the second extra hole. McNabb started on the Crosswater Course and posted rounds of 74, 67, 73 and 69 to match Uresti’s 73, 69, 72 and 69. The playoff began on the 18th hole and was halved with par 4s. The playoff then moved to the 10th hole. McNabb drove into the right rough and Uresti’s drive ended up in a fairway bunker to the left of the fairway. Uresti’s second shot went over the green into the rough and McNabb’s second shot found a bunker to the right of the green. Uresti chipped to within a foot of the hole and McNabb’s bunker shot rolled ten feet past the hole. McNabb’s putt missed on the right edge of the hole and Uresti tapped in his putt for the title. First prize was $50,000 and McNabb won $40,500. Mike Small and Paul Claxton tied for third at 285. McNabb qualified for the PGA Cup team and he qualified for the PGA Championship along with 19 others. Mark Sheftic tied for 51st at 295 and won $3,622. It took a score of 147 to make the cut after the second round to the low 90 and ties. There was a cut after the third round to the low 70 and ties.  Chris Kreuger, Jordan Gibbs, Bill Walker, Stu Ingraham, John Pillar, Scott Reilly, Tony R. Perla, Mike Molino, John Spina and Michael Little missed the cut. Sheftic got into the tournament as the third alternate and Kreuger got in as the fourth alternate when George Forster, Sr. and Alex Knoll could not play.

On the 25th of June Tom Carpus left the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club after 19 years as the head professional. In September he was going to work for the PGA Tour as a rules official on the PGA Tour Champions. He would be one of 13 on that tour’s rules staff officiating 28 events. All 13 did not work every event. Some were a week in advance of the tour at the next course and some were off duty that week. He had worked 21 PGA Championships, 8 Masters tournaments, 4 Ryder Cups and in July he would be working his fourth British Open. Carpus would also be continuing in his position as the chairman of the PGA of America rules chairman through 2018.

The U.S. Senior Open was held at the Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts at the end of June and the first two days of July. Due to some rain the course played easier than expected. Salem was an old Donald Ross design with sloping greens, but at 6,700 yards, not long. Because of the slanted greens, USGA kept the green speeds slower than it usually does for it’s championships. The players left many putts short of the hole, but the scores were low. Kirk Triplett took the lead the first day with an eight under par 62. In the second round Triplett shot a 67, but Kenny Perry turned in a 64 to go with his opening round of 65 to move into a tie for the lead. In the third round Triplett shot a 66 to lead Perry (67) by one stroke. In the final round Perry played steady golf shooting a 67 against a 71 for Triplett. His 264 total was two better than Triplett (266). Brant Jobe finished third at 271. Tom Lehman and Fred Couples tied for fourth with 272 totals. Stu Ingraham finished tied for 49th at 286 and won $9,143. Ted Tryba, Dave McNabb and John Pillar missed the cut. First prize from a total purse of $4,000,000 was $730,000.

In the third week of July the Philadelphia Open was contested over two days for the first time since 1974. The tournament was hosted by the Philadelphia Country Club. There were 48 professionals and 78 amateurs in the starting field, which was cut to the low 60 and ties after the first round. Matthew Mattare, the son of Saucon Valley Country Club head professional and general manager Gene Mattare, set a course and tournament record the first day and held on to win by two strokes. On Monday Mattare posted an eight under par 63 to lead Tony R. Perla by two strokes. On Tuesday he led by six strokes at one time on the front nine, but four bogies on the last nine kept it from being a runaway. Mattare (63-75—138) made pars on the last two holes to win by two strokes. Perla and Brian Bergstol tied for second with 140 totals. John Pillar finished fourth at 141. First prize was $7,000 and second was $5,2500, from a purse of $35,00. Perla and Bergstol each took home a check for $6,125. Seventeen pros won money.

The British Open was played at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England in the third week of July. Jordan Spieth collected his third major title before the age of 24, which had only been done by Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus. Spieth began the last round with a two stroke lead that he frittered away with some errant drives and missed short putts. With five holes to play Matt Kuchar led by one stroke. Kuchar played the next four holes in two under par, only to watch Spieth play those same holes in five under par. Spieth (268) made a par on the last hole versus a bogey for Kuchar (271) to win by three strokes. Par was 70 and Spieth’s rounds were 65-69-65-69. Hao Tong Li finished third at 274. Rory McIlroy and Rafael Cabrera Bello tied for fourth with 275s. Sean O’Hair tied for 62nd at 286 and won $24,500. First prize was $1,845,000. The total prize money was $10,250,000.

The Lehigh Valley Open was played at the Northampton Country Club in the fourth week of July. The two day tournament was sponsored by the Golf Association of the Lehigh Valley. Cole Miller, a member of the Penn State University golf team and 2017 All American, won the tournament, going wire to wire. There were weather problems. Due to heavy rain Sunday night and Monday morning a 2pm shotgun start was employed for the first round. More rain later in the day pushed the completion of that round into Tuesday morning. The players were repaired for the second round and a shotgun start was needed to finish before dark. Miller opened up with an eight under par 64. He followed that up with a 67 on Tuesday for a total of 131 that won by two strokes. Mark Sheftic put together a 133 total to finish second and win the $3,250 first place check. Rich Steinmetz finished third at 135. John Pillar and Michael Tobiason, who was now the teaching professional at the Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club, tied for fourth at 136.

The Union League Golf Club at Torresdale hosted the Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship on the first Monday of August. This was also qualifying for five spots in the PGA of America Assistant Championship. The tournament was scheduled for 36 holes, but heavy rain shortened it to 18. Brian Bergstol won with a two under par 68 edging out Billy Stewart (69) by one stroke. Jake Gerney finished third with a 70. Four players tied for fourth which necessitated a playoff for the last two qualifying spots. Tony R. Perla (71), who had recently accepted the head professional position at the Ledge Rock Golf Club beginning September 1, was no longer eligible for the national assistant championship. A sudden death playoff took place on the 18th hole. As rain continued, the Section’s rules official Carl Berlinger had to squeegee the green before the players could putt. Jordan Gibbs (71) chipped in for a birdie to wrap up the fourth spot and Andrew Turner (71) two putted for a par to win the fifth and last spot. Greg Matthias (71) made a double bogey, which made him the first alternate. First prize was $2,750.

On the second Tuesday of August the PGA of America announced that the date of the PGA Championship was being permanently moved to late May in 2019. One reason was that golf was now being played at the Olympics every fourth year. The other was that the PGA Tour wanted to complete its season schedule on Labor Day weekend. With the move of the PGA to May, the PGA Professional Championship which was the event where the club professionals qualified for the PGA Championship, would now be held in April or early May.

The PGA Championship was played at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina in the second week of August. The 7,600 yard course had been rebuilt to prepare for the major championship. It was difficult but several periods of rain softened it and made scoring somewhat easier. There was nearly a two hour weather delay during the second round so some players did not complete that round until Saturday morning. The tournament was tightly contested until late in day on Sunday, when Justin Thomas made a birdie two on the 71st hole while others were finding trouble. A conservative bogey five on the last hole made Thomas a winner by two strokes. He posted rounds of 73, 66, 69 and 68 for a six under par 276. Thomas’s grandfather Paul Thomas, had been an assistant to Rod Munday at the Country Club of York in the 1950s. Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie for second at 278. Sean O’Hair posted a 287 to tie for 33rd, winning $47,000. Jim Furyk and Dave McNabb missed the cut. First prize was $1,890,000.

The Pennsylvania Open was played at the Gulph Mills Golf Club in the middle of August. The tournament was three rounds in three days with a cut after the second round. The scores were low. Narberth’s Greg Jarmas, who had grown up playing golf at the Cobbs Creek Golf Club and graduated from Princeton University won with a 16 under par 197. His rounds were 67, 64 and 66 on the 6,627 yard par 71 course. First prize was $8,000. Lancaster’s J.D. Dornes and western Pennsylvania’s Beau Titsworth tied for second at 199. Lancaster professional David Denlinger finished fourth alone at 200. Dornes led the first day with a 62. Dornes and Denlinger had both qualified for the PGA’s Latin American Tour and were playing there in the spring and fall. From the time that he was young, Jarmas had been taught by Ted McKenzie,  the professional emeritus at Stonewall.  

David Quinn won the Section Senior Championship at the Radnor Valley Country Club on the fourth Tuesday of August. This was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional Championship. The Section had eight spots to qualify for in that tournament. The scoring was great as Quinn put together two sub-par rounds of 68 and 67 for a five under par 135. That was just enough to nip Dave McNabb (136) by one stroke. First prize was $1,100. George Forster, Sr. was next in third place with a 137. John Pillar, Greg Farrow and Stu Ingraham all posted 138s to wrap up the 4th, 5th and 6th places. The 7th place went to Wayne Phillips with a 141 total. John DiMarco posted a 142 and won a sudden death playoff over Don Allan (142) for the 8th and last spot.

The two-day Pro-Am For Wishes tournament was played at the Penn Oaks Golf Club in the fourth week of August. On Sunday the professionals participated in a pro-am for the charity and their scores counted toward a 36-hole individual purse. Brett Melton and Kevin Kraft led the field of 50 golf professionals with five under par 66s. On Monday the professionals went head to head for the cash prizes. Melton came back with a 68. His 134 total won by two strokes. First prize was $2,500. Andrew Turner finished second at 136 and Kraft was third at 138. Chris Krueger and Billy Stewart tied for fourth with 139s.

The PGA Cup match which pitted the PGA of America’s team of club professionals against a team of club professionals from Great Britain and Ireland. It was played on the Longcross Course of the Foxhills Club & Resort in Ottershaw, Surrey, England during the third week of September. There were ten professionals on each team. On Friday and Saturday there were 4 four-ball matches and 4 foursome matches, each day. On Sunday all ten members of each team participated in singles matches. After the first two days the United States team trailed by only one point, but on Sunday they only won one match while halving three. The final score was 16 points for GB&I against 6 for the USA. The Philadelphia Section’s Dave McNabb was a member of the team off his second place finish in the 2017 PGA Professional Championship. McNabb lost all three matches that he participated in. That made the all time score for the matches which were played every two years, 17 victories for the United States against 7 for GB&I along with four ties.  

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Terry Hertzog

The Section Championship was played during the third week of September at the Laurel Creek Country Club and the Burlington Country Club. The first two rounds were played on the two golf courses, with half of the 139 entries on each course. At the end of 36 holes the field was cut to the low 60 and ties. It took a score of 152 or better to make the cut. There were 13 past winners of the tournament among the entries. Par was 71 at Laurel Creek and 70 at Burlington. This was also qualifying for the PGA Professional Championship in California. Based on the number of entries the Section had 12 spots to qualify for. The first day was windy due to the remnants of a hurricane that was off the New Jersey shore. At the end of 36 holes, Tony R. Perla held a five stroke lead with rounds of 69 at Burlington and 64 at Laurel Creek. In Thursday’s final round Perla fell back, posting an 80, while Terry Hertzog came from seven strokes back to capture the title for a third time. Hertzog, now a senior did not tee off in the tournament expecting to win, having had his clubs stolen a few weeks before. He had just received a new driver and fairway woods that he liked. Hertzog (210) made bogies on two of the last three holes, but was able to finish one stroke in front. His rounds were 72, 68 and 70. Former winner David Quinn (211) finished second and defending champion Jordan Gibbs (212) was third. Stu Ingraham (213), Rich Steinmetz (213) and Perla (213) tied for fourth. Billy Stewart (214), Brett Melton (214) and Brendan Post (214), who was now a golf coach at the University of Delaware, tied for seventh. The 10th and 11th spots went to Alex Knoll (216) and Mark Sheftic (216). Rusty Harbold (217) and Dave McNabb (217) tied for the 12th and last spot. A playoff for the last spot was not needed as McNabb was exempt off his second place finish in the national championship earlier in the year. First prize from a purse of $75,000 was $8,000. The host professionals were Laurel Creek’s John DiMarco and Burlington’s Michael Mack.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship was played at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona at the end of September. The last round was on the first day of October. Forsgate Country Club’s Frank Esposito was the winner with rounds of 68, 71, 69 and 68. His 12 under par total of 276 won by five strokes. First prize was $21,500. Jim Schuman finished second at 281 and Stuart Smith was third at 282. Mike Small, Mark Mielke, Steve Schneiter and Chris Starkjohann all tied for fourth with 284s. John Pillar tied for 49th with a score of 294 winning $1,295 and Stu Ingraham tied for 55th at 295 and won $1,180. Dave McNabb, David Quinn, George Forster, Sr., Don Allan, John DiMarco and Wayne Phillips missed the cut. Allan got into the tournament as an alternate in place of Greg Farrow.  

The Philadelphia PGA was victorious in its annual match against the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s team. There were 12 on each team and at least two had to be seniors. With 12 singles matches and 6 four-ball matches there were 18 points on the line. The team of Pat Butkus-Eric Kennedy won all 3 points. The teams of Stu Ingraham-Brett Melton and Kevin Kraft-Michael Little each won 2 points. The John Allen-Joe Kogelman team won 1-1/2 points. The Andrew Turner-Brian Bergstol team and the senior team of Brian Kelly-Bill Sautter each won 1 point. That made the final tally 10-1/2 points for the PGA team against 7-1/2 points for the GAP team. This was the 27th year that the matches had been played. The standings for the matches now stood at 21 wins for the PGA against two loses and four ties. Butkus was the teaching professional at the Overbrook Golf Club and Kogelman was teaching at GolfTEC in Moorestown.

The Shawnee Open was played at the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort on the second Sunday of October. The tournament was scheduled for two days, ending on Monday but heavy and persistent rain wiped out the second round. Brett Melton took the title with a six under par 66. Mark Sheftic and Mike Furey tied for second with 67s and Stu Ingraham finished fourth with a 68. First prize was $1,400.

Bensel, Trevor-2017 Oct 2
Trevor Bensel

The Section Match Play Championship was held at the Concord Country Club in the third week of October. There were 63 entries, so one player received a bye. The six rounds of match play was contested over three days. Trevor Bensel and Andrew Turner met in the 18 hole final on Wednesday afternoon. Bensel won the first hole and lost the second hole. Bensel then won the next five holes to take an insurmountable lead. After that the match was nearly even, with Bensel winning 4&3. In the semifinal Bensel beat Greg Farrow 2&1 while Turner took out Brian Bergstol 3&2. First prize was $2,500.

2018 Section Officers-2017 Oct 23 (PPGA) 3
2018 Section Officers

The Section’s fall meeting was held at the Cedarbrook Country Club on the fourth Monday of October. The meeting began at 8 a.m. and was opened with Clark Luis singing our national anthem. Paul Levy, the president of the PGA of America spoke on the PGA national affairs. There were 225 Section members and apprentices in attendance. Carl and Ellen Berlinger were recognized for their 30 years of managing the Section tournaments. It was an election year and in the election of officers everyone was elected without opposition. John Rogers was elected president, moving up from vice president. Rogers was now in golf sales. Jeff Kiddie, who had been secretary was elected vice president. Patrick Shine was elected secretary. Bob Hennefer was elected director of tournaments and Peter “Chip” Richter was elected director of section affairs. During Geoffrey Surrette’s report, the executive director stated that the Section’s reserve fund balance was now $559,925. The playing awards for the year were presented. The “Player of the Year” was Brett Melton who also led the DeBaufre Trophy scoring with a 69.44 stroke average for the year. Stu Ingraham was the “Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year” for the eighth time.

The sixth annual Turnpike Cup, hosted by the New Jersey PGA, was contested at the Arcola Country Club on the fourth Wednesday of October. The Turnpike Cup was a challenge match between the Philadelphia PGA and the New Jersey PGA. The professionals from the NJPGA were victorious for the second time. There were 12 professionals on each team and two had to be seniors. The teams were paired in fours with 12 singles matches and 6 four-ball matches being contested. The teams of David Quinn-Don Allan and Greg  Mathias-Jacob Gerney each won 2-1/2 points. The team of Eric Kennedy-Ashley Grier won 1 point. The other teams were Stu Ingraham-Brett Melton, Pat Butkus-Joe Kogelman and Jordan Gibbs-Mike Furey. The final score was 6 points for the Philadelphia PGA against 12 points for the New Jersey PGA.

The PGA of America held its annual meeting in Austin, Texas at the Hilton Austin hotel on the last day of October and the first three days of November. John Rogers and Jeff Kiddie were the Section’s delegates. For the first time in many years PGA past presidents Dick Smith and Jack Connelly, were not in attendance due to personal and family health problems. Five past Ryder Cup captains, Lee Trevino, Lanny Watkins, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and Hal Sutton along with 2018 captain Jim Furyk, were on hand to talk about the Ryder Cup which was to be played in France the following year.   

Billy Stewart tied for fifth at the Assistant PGA Professional Championship in the second week of November. The tournament was played on the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament winner was Ryan Zylstra with rounds of 68, 72, 68 and 69. His eleven under par 277 edged out Derek Berg (278). Adam Rainaud and Ryan Botts tied for third with 293 scores. A final round 69 moved Stewart from a tie for 26th up to a tie for fifth. His four round total was 284, which earned $4,506.25. Brian Bergstol tied for 31st at 290 and won $1,150. Jordan Gibbs (292) tied for 39th, winning $945.71. Andrew Turner (294) won $810 for a 49th place tie. Jacob Gerney missed the cut. First prize was $12,000.

The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Justin Thomas with $10,013,227 in 27 events. Sean O’Hair ended up in 53rd place with earnings of $1,965,523 in 26 starts. Jim Furyk fell to 164th winning $558,097 in 18 tournaments. Jason Bohn won $165,910 in 28 tournaments and was 239th. Justin Thomas was the “PGA Player of the Year” and Jordan Spieth won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 68.85 for his 85 rounds on the PGA Tour.

The PGA Tour’s development tour money leader was Brice Garnett with $368,761 in 20 tournaments. Vince Covello won $71,294 in 21 tournaments and was 69th on the money list. Brandon Matthews won $4,577 in three tournaments.

The Senior PGA Tour money leader for 2017 was Bernhard Langer with $3,677,359 in 22 events.

The hosting of the 2027 PGA Championship was awarded to the Aronimink Golf Club on the third Wednesday of November. As a part of the package Aronimink would be hosting the 2020 Women’s PGA (LPGA) Championship. Aronimink had been the site of the 1962 PGA Championship and the 2003 Senior PGA Championship along with other major tournaments for professionals and amateurs. The Club was scheduled to host the 2018 PGA Tour’s BMW Championship, which was the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.  

On the first Tuesday of December Zac Oakley won Event #2 of the PGA Tournament Series in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The tournament was played on the PGA Golf Club’s Dye Course. On day one he posted a two under par 70 . He started his second round my holing out his second shot on the first hole for an eagle two. Then he eagled the par five fifth hole. He finished with a 66. His 136 total won by two strokes. Brett Walker and Danny Balin tied for second with 138s. Marc Issler (139) finished fourth. First prize was $5,000.

Brandon Matthews qualified for the Web.com Tour in the second week of December. Qualifying was held at  the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona. The low 45 and ties qualified for the 2018 tour, giving them a chance to play in most of the tournaments during the first half of the year. At that point the qualifiers would be repositioned based on their place on the money list. Matthews posted rounds of 70, 68, 65 and 71 for a fourteen under par 274, which left him in a 15 way tie for 42nd. Matthews was exempt into the final stage of qualifying off his winning a tournament on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica. Also he was now a card carrying member of the PGA Tour. The medalist was Lee McCoy with a four round score of 260.

Brett Melton won Event #5 of the PGA Tournament Series on the third Friday of December. It was played at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida. A four under par 68 in the first round put in a tie for the lead. In the second round Melton made birdies on holes 5 through 7 to be five under par. For the rest of the round he hung on as he finished with an even par 72. His 140 total was good for a two stroke victory. Adam Rainaud, Rod Perry and Frank Bensel all tied for second with 142s. First prize was $5,000. It was Melton’s third career PGA Tournament Series victory.

Zac Oakley won a PGA Tournament Series for a second time in December. His win came at the PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course on the third Friday. He came to the last hole of the 36 hole tournament tied for the lead. He hit an 8-iron to five feet of the hole and made the putt, which he did not need. His (65-67) 132 total won by two strokes. Matt Borchert and Danny Balin tied for second at 134. Casey Pyne, Daniel Iceman and Bob Sowards tied for fourth at 136. First prize was $5,000.
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2018

Luis, Clark-2013 Apr 1 (PPGA) 2
Clark Luis

The Section’s spring meeting was held at the Normandy Farms Hotel & Conference Center in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. As he had done on many occasions, Clark Luis opened the meeting by singing our national anthem. There were 250 plus Section members and apprentices in attendance with new Section president John Rogers presiding. It was announced that PGA apprentices would now be called associates when the new PGA’s new fiscal year began on July 1. The proposed move of the PGA from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to Frisco, Texas was discussed. Section executive director Geoff Surrette gave his report which mentioned that there were 160 Section events scheduled at more than 100 facilities. The spring meeting was the time for the yearly awards. The “Golf Professional of the Year” was Bob Hennefer and John Dunigan was teacher of the year. Dunigan had been having success in resurrecting Sean O’Hair’s PGA Tour career.

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Bob Hennefer

In winning the Section’s most prestigious award as the “Golf Professional of the Year” Bob Hennefer had turned around several South Jersey facilities that had been struggling. His latest achievement had come at the Indian Spring Golf Course, which was owned by Evesham Township. He was brought there in 2015 to grow the rounds of golf and revenues. As a result of the progress he was making at Indian Spring the township manager created a whole new department for open space, parks and recreation, and made Hennefer the head of the department. Everything having to do with that, would now be run from the clubhouse at Indian Spring. He was now managing more than 130 employees. From 2014 to 2017 he was a District Director from south Jersey and in late 2017 he was elected Director of Tournaments. In 2012 he won the Section’s player development award and in 2015 he was the merchandiser of the year for public golf facilities. In 2016 he won the Conrad Rehling award on the national level from Special Olympics for his work with people with Down Syndrome, which his brother was born with.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in south Jersey was held at the Hidden Creek Golf Club on the first Monday in May. Vince Covello, who was playing on the Web.com Tour, led with a four under par 67. Cape May’s Alexander Hicks, who had been playing the Canadian PGA Tour in 2017, was next with a 68. Philadelphia Cricket Club assistant Mark Miller was third at 71. Maryland amateur Erik Brubaker (72) won a three-man playoff for the fourth and last spot. There were 74 players entered there.

The DuPont Country Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the second Thursday of May. Zac Oakley, who was now an assistant at Waynesborough Country Club, along with amateurs Danny Dougherty, and Florida’s Erick Alonso tied for first with three under par 68s. Mount Laurel professional David Sanders (69), who was playing the minitours won the fourth spot and New Tripoli’s Cole Miller (70), who was playing the Canadian PGA Tour, picked up the fifth and last spot in a sudden death playoff that took until Friday morning to be finalized. There were 86 professionals and amateurs entered at DuPont.

Local qualifying for the U.S. Open in central Pennsylvania was held at the Country Club of York on the third Wednesday of May. David Hilgers, a minitour professional out of Hershey and amateur Connor Sheehan tied for the medal with one under par 69s. Reading’s Alex Blickle and Lancaster’s Craig Hornberger, two more minitour professionals and amateur Steven Kluemper tied for the third, fourth and fifth spots with 70s. There were 78 professionals and amateurs competing for five spots.

Glenmaura National Golf Club hosted local qualifying for the U.S. Open in northeast Pennsylvania on the third Thursday of May. Dunmore’s Patrick Ross, who was playing the professional golf minitours, and amateurs Richard Riva and Eric Williams won the first three spots with 70s. Two more minitour professionals, Dallas’s Austin Smith (71) and Macungie’s Kyle Wambold (71) picked up the fourth and fifth spots without a playoff. Originally there were 66 players for four spots, but on the day of the qualifying one more was added.

The Senior PGA Championship was held at the Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Michigan during the fourth week of May. England’s Paul Broadhurst road a hot putter to victory. He posted rounds 72, 66, 64 and 63 to win by four strokes. His 19 under par 265 tied the tournament record. Tim Petorvic (269) finished second. Jerry Kelly (270) and Scott McCarron (270) tied for third. First prize was $585,000 from a purse of $3,000,000. There was no one in the field from the Philadelphia Section.

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Mark Parson

Mark Parson won the Haverford Classic at the Sunnybrook Golf Club on the fifth Tuesday of May. Parson, now the teaching professional at the Harbor Pines Golf Club, teed off in the last group of the day. He carded eight birdies on the way to a five under par 67. After eight holes he was four under par, but he then made bogies on the ninth and tenth holes. A birdie on #14 put him three under par. A two-putt birdie on the par five 16th hole and a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th got him to five under par. Not wanting to know what the leading score was, he holed a four-foot putt for a par on the 18th hole to win the $100,000 first prize. Brett Melton, Corey McAlarney and Brian Bergstol tied for second with 69s, each picking up checks for $2,400. Five players tied for fifth with 70s. The total prize money was $117,600. The course measured 6,893 yards.

Stu Ingraham qualified for the U.S Senior Open at the Indian Valley Country Club on the first Monday of June. Ingraham posted a two under par 70 to earn the first of three spots. Senior PGA Tour member Joey Sindelar took the second spot with a 72 and Florida professional Bobby Gage won the third spot with a 73. There were 78 entered at Indian Valley.

The Burlington Classic was played on the first Sunday and Monday of June at the Burlington Country Club. The entry fee was $190. On Sunday two professionals were paired with three amateurs in a pro-am format. Sunday’s round for the professionals counted toward a two day competition. After Sunday’s round Brett Melton, George Forster, Sr. and Rich Steinmetz were tied for the lead with two under par 68s. With two holes to play in the second round Melton trailed Forster, who was in the lead, by one stroke. On the 17th hole Melton holed out from 108 yards for an eagle two to take the lead. When both players failed to hole their putts for birdies on the last green, Melton (68-69) was the winner with a total of 137 and Forster was second at 138. Steinmetz and Andrew Turner tied for third with 140s. First prize was $2,500.

On the first Monday of June Cole Miller qualified for the U.S. Open at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Miller birdied three of his last four holes to win the third of four spots available at Woodmont. Miller’s rounds were 70 and 69 for a five under par 139. Columbia’s Sebastian Munoz was low at 136.

Brooks Koepka won the U.S. Open for a second straight year on the third Sunday of June. The tournament was played at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island, New York. On Thursday it was windy and one under par was the best anyone could manage. It rained during Friday’s round and the wind abated so the scoring was better. Dustin Johnson led by four strokes at four under par 136. On Saturday the USGA set the course up more difficult and the winds returned in the middle of the day. Tony Finau and Daniel Berger had only made the cut by one stroke, so they were on the course with early starting times. They posted 66s before the winds dried out the greens. Dustin Johnson and the other leaders found a different course and the scores ballooned. At the end of the day Finau and Berger were tied for the lead with Johnson and Koepka at 213. Because the Finau and Berger scores were on the scoreboard first they were now in last pairing on Sunday. With a more friendly course setup on Sunday the scores were much better. Tommy Fleetwood, at nine over par was off well ahead of the leaders. Putting together a round with eight birdies and one bogie he posted a U.S. Open record tying 63, which put him in the clubhouse at 282. More than a few could have won. Fifteen players broke 70, but Koepka (75, 66, 72, 68), outlasted them all finishing the tournament at 281 ,even though he made a bogie on the last hole, Fleetwood (282) finished second, Johnson (283) third and Patrick Reed (284) fourth. First prize was $2,160,000 from a purse of $12,000,000. Jim Furyk received a special exemption from the USGA. He contended for three rounds, but a last round 80 left him in a tie for 48th at 296. He won $27,952. Cole Miller missed the cut.

The PGA Professional Championship was played at the Bayonet Black Horse facility in Seaside, California during the third week of June. For TV the tournament began on the Sunday of the playing of the U.S. Open in order to finish up on a Wednesday. There were 312 PGA members in the starting field competing on the 7,084 yard Bayonet Golf Course and the 6,904 yard Black Horse Golf Course. Nebraska’s Ryan Vermeer won by one stroke with rounds of 70, 70, 70 and 73 for a five under par 283. Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards tied for second at 285. David Muttitt (286) and David Schmuhl (286) tied for fourth. First prize from a purse of $550,000 was $55,000. The top 20 qualified for the 2018 PGA Championship. Brett Melton finished at 292, missing a playoff for the last spots in the PGA Championship by one stroke. He tied for 25th and won $7,055. Dave McNabb contended through three rounds, but ended up in a tie for 30th at 293, winning $6,093.75. Alex Knoll tied for 49th at 295 and won $4,000. Brendan Post tied for 63rd at 298, winning $2,981.25 and Billy Stewart tied for 69th at 301 and won $2,725. Rusty Harbold, David Quinn, Mark Sheftic, Tony R. Perla, Stu Ingraham, Rich Steinmetz and Terry Hertzog missed the cut. Former Section member and champion, Jordan Gibbs, who was now in the Colorado PGA Section, also missed the cut. McNabb had been exempt off his second place finish in the tournament the year before, and the others had all qualified during the 2017 Philadelphia Section Championship.

The U.S. Senior Open was played at the Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs, Colorado in late June. David Toms (70, 71, 66, 70) won. He holed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole and he saved par by holing a downhill putt of 30-feet on the 17th hole. His three under par 277 won by one stroke over Jerry Kelly (278), Tim Petrovic (278) and Miguel Angel Jimenez (278) by one stroke. Stu Ingraham, who had qualified locally, missed the cut. The purse was $4,000,000. First prize was $720,000.

The Women’s PGA Championship was played at the Kemper Lakes Golf Course near Chicago in late June. It was formerly the LPGA Championship which had been replaced with a new title and sponsored by the PGA of America. S.H. Park, S.Y. Ryu and Nasa Hataoka wound up tied for the title with ten under par 278s. After tying Ryu with birdies on the first playoff hole, Park won it on the second extra hole with another birdie. Ashley Grier, who had qualified at the LPGA T&CP Championship in 2017, missed the cut. The total purse was $3,650,000 and first prize was $547,000.

The British Open was played at the Carnoustie Golf Club in the third week of July. Francisco Molinari (70, 72, 65, 69) did not make a bogey over his last 37 holes, to win. His eight under par 276 won by two strokes over Kevin Kisner, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele who all finished at 278. First prize was $1,890,000.

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Billy Stewart

St. Davids Golf Club hosted the Philadelphia Open in the third week of July. There were 136 starters, 44 professionals and 89 amateurs in the two day tournament. The field was cut to the low sixty scores and ties after Wednesday’s round. The leader at the end of the first day was Brett Melton, with a bogey free four under par 66. Three players posted 67s. On Thursday many players had a chance to win. Dave McNabb teed off on the last hole needing a birdie 3 that would have made him the winner. He proceeded to make a double bogey 6. St. Davids member Steve Dressel, who had held a two stoke lead after making eagle on the par five 11th hole, was five under par playing the last hole, but three putted for a bogey. David Quinn would have won, except for bogies on the last two holes, which was capped off by a missed short putt on the 18th green. When all the rounds were completed there was a three-way tie for the title. Billy Stewart (69-66), Melton (66-69) and amateur Jeff Osberg (67-68) were tied with 135 totals. A four hole playoff on holes number 1, 4, 8 and 9 was held to determine the winner. In the end it was not close as Stewart, who had started his second round with three straight birdies, played the four holes in two under par (par-birdie-birdie-par) to win by two with an aggregate of 14. Osberg needed 16 strokes and Melton 18. Quinn and Dressel tied for fourth at 136. First prize was $6,000 from a total purse of $30,000. There were 17 money places.

The Lehigh Valley Open, scheduled for 36 holes in the fourth week of August, had to be reduced to 18 holes due to heavy rain that arrived in the midst of the second round. With the course unplayable for the remainder of the day Monday’s first round scores determined a winner along with the other money spots. Mark Sheftic was the winner by two strokes with a six under par 66. His round on the par 72 Northampton Country Club course included eight birdies. Brian Bergstol finished in a three way tie for second with amateurs Carlos Fullerton and Jim Maru at 68. There was a six way tie for fifth at 69.

The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at the Laurel Creek Country Club on the first Monday of August. It was also qualifying for the PGA Professional Assistant Championship. The scores were exceptionally low as Chester Valley Country Club assistant Zachary Kempa put together rounds of 69 and 63 for a ten under par 132. With that he only won by one stroke as Billy Stewart finished second at 133. Rusty Harbold was third with a 135. There was a four way tie for the last two qualifying spots as Zac Oakley, Brian Bergstol, Bill Walker and Alex Knoll at 136. Knoll did not participate in the playoff as he would be teaching school at the time of the national championship. A sudden death playoff began on the par four 18th hole. Oakley, Bergstol and Walker were on the green in regulation. Walker took three putts while Oakley and Bergstol were making pars. That made Walker the first alternate. First prize was $2,500.

Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship in the second week of August. His second 2018 victory in a major championship came at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Due to an exceptionally hot early summer the greens at Bellerive were somewhat stressed out. Due to that they were slower and softer than desired for a major tournament which made for low scores. Against a par of 70 there were two 63s, one by Koepka in the second round, and several 64s. With rounds of 69 and 63 the first two days Koepka was still two strokes out of the lead. A 66 on Saturday moved him to the front of the field by two strokes. Another 66 on Sunday gave Koepka (264) a two stroke victory over Tiger Woods (266) who closed with a 64. Koepka was only the fifth person to win the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship in the same year and the sixth to win the PGA in back to back years. Adam Scott finished third alone at 267. Stewart Cink and Jon Rahm tied for fourth with 269s. Jim Furyk tied for 71st at 282 and won $19,200. First prize was $1,980,000 from the $11,000,000 purse.

On August 13 Pete Bevacqua resigned as the CEO of the PGA of America to become president of NBC Sports.

In the second week of August the Pennsylvania Open was played at the par 70 Lancaster Country Club. A competitive course record 64 in the second round carried Kevin Kraft, a club fitter at 2nd Swing Golf Wilmington, to victory. As a resident of Harrisburg Kraft was eligible for the tournament. A 68 on Monday along with the 64 and a final round 72 added up to a six under par 204. That was one stroke better than Cole Willcox, (205) who birdied five of the last eight holes for a closing 67. Stu Ingraham got within one stroke of Willcox on the last nine, but missed a three foot putt on the last green to finish third at 206. Mark Sheftic, Chris Crawford, Travis Howe, Kyle Wambold and western Pennsylvania’s Robert McClellan tied for fourth with 209s. First prize was $8,000 from a total purse of $40,000.

The Philadelphia PGA Senior Championship was played at the White Manor Country Club in the third week of August. This was also qualifying for the National Senior Professional Championship. The Section had seven spots to qualify for, based on the 40 entries. David Quinn led after Monday’s first round with a four under par 67 but Dave McNabb came away the winner with two steady rounds of 68 and 69. His 137 total won by two strokes over Quinn (139) and George Forster, Sr. (139). John Pillar was fourth at 140. The fifth qualifying spot went to Brian Kelly (141). John Appleget and John Allen took the last two places as they tied for sixth at 142. First prize was $1,100. Appleget was the teaching professional at The Shore Club which had been the Wildwood Golf & Country Club since 1916. The first alternate was Greg Farrow, who finished at 143 and the second alternate was Mike Moses (145).

Michael Tobiason won the Pro-Am for Wishes tournament on the fourth Monday of August. The two-day tournament was held at the par 71 Penn Oaks Golf Club. On Sunday each professional was paired with two amateurs in a one day pro-am. The professional’s score counted toward a two day total with a second round on Monday. Tobiason put together rounds 67 and 69. His two day score of 136 edged out Terry Hertzog (137) by one stroke. Brett Melton finished third at 139 and Steve Swartz, who was now the teaching professional at the Out Door Country Club, was fourth at 140. First prize was $3,000. There were 64 entries.

On the 28th of August the PGA of America announced the hiring of a new CEO, Seth Vaugh. Vaugh would be assuming his new position on September 24, which was the Monday of Ryder Cup week. Vaugh was a former chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank.

In late August Ashley Grier qualified for the 2019 Women’s PGA Championship by finishing fifth at the LPGA T&CP Championship on Pinehurst No. 8 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. There was a three way tie for first between Stephanie Elswerth, Jimin Kang and Seul-Ki Park at 214. Elswerth won the tournament with a birdie on the second extra hole of a sudden death playoff. First prize was $10,000. Grier finished all alone at eight over par 224 and won $3,000. There were eight spots to qualify for. This was the second straight year that Grier had qualified.

In early September the PGA Tour returned to Philadelphia for the BMW Championship, which was the third leg of its FedEx Cup playoff series. The seventy survivors from the first two events were entered at the Aronimink Golf Club, that had been recently restored to its original features. The restoration included bunker clusters, larger greens and wider fairways. The four days presented all kinds of weather. It began on Thursday with mid 90s heat and humidity and then came rain and temperatures in the high 60s by Sunday. Tee times were moved up on Friday due to weather predictions which did not occur, only to arrive on Saturday. On Saturday the tee times  were moved up again, but play was held up for several hours due to flooded greens. On Sunday play was to begin at 8 a.m. but overnight rain that continued into the morning held up play again. The golfers hung around all day, but rain continued and no golf was played that day. Play in the final round began early on Monday and with lift, clean and place in the fairways the round was completed. When it came to golf the scores were very low due to soft greens and generous fairways. There were five 62s and six 63s. With rounds of 66, 63 and 64 Justin Rose led after 54 holes by one stroke at 193. On Monday Keegan Bradley, who had not won in six years, shot a six under par 64 to go with earlier rounds of 66, 64 and 66 to catch Rose who posted a 67. Both players could have won but they each took five strokes on the par four 18th hole. Tied at 260 they returned to the 18th tee for a sudden death playoff. Both players were just off the green with their second shots, but not far from the hole. Rose took three putts and Bradley two putted to win. First prize was $1,620,000 from the $9,000,000 purse. Billy Horschel and Xander Schauffele tied for third at 261.

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Billy Stewart

Billy Stewart won the Philadelphia Section Championship on the third Friday of September. By having won the Philadelphia Open in July he had won the two Philadelphia area majors that year. It was only the seventh time that a Section member had won both of those tournaments in the same year. The first time it happened was in 1922, which was when Charlie Hoffner won the first Philadelphia PGA Championship in June and the Philadelphia Open in July. The tournament was scheduled to begin on Tuesday but all day rain made the courses unplayable, so the tournament was pushed back a day. The first two rounds were played at the par 71 Concord Country Club and the par 72 Whitford Country Club. Half of the field of 150 entries played each course and then changed courses for the second day. Stewart turned in a 70 at Concord and a 67 at Whitford to take a three stroke lead over Stu Ingraham. The field was then cut to the low sixty and ties. It took a score of 150 to make the cut. In the final round Ingraham, who was paired with Stewart, caught and passed the leader with birdies on the 10th and 12th holes to go three under par for the round. Ingraham now led by one stroke until he made a bogey on the 16th hole against a par for Stewart. Then Stewart holed a lengthy putt for a birdie on the par four seventeenth hole to lead by one. On the par five 18th hole Stewart reached the green in two from the right rough and Ingraham put his second shot  from the fairway twelve feet behind the hole. Ingraham (208) missed his eagle putt and Stewart (207) holed his second putt for a matching birdie and a one under par 70 for the win. First prize was $8,000 from the $70,000 purse. Brian Hollins, who was now the professional at The Links Golf Club, finished third at 211 and Mark Sheftic (212) was fourth. The tournament was also qualifying for the PGA Professional Championship. Mike Ladden (213) picked up the fifth spot. Rusty Harbold, George Forster, Sr., Terry Hertzog and Rich Steinmetz all finished at 214 to take the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th places. There was a five way tie at 215 for the last three spots. A sudden death playoff began on the par four 1st hole, which Ashley Grier (215) birdied to win the 10th spot. The female contestants in the tournament played from 85 percent of the yardage the men played from. Mark Anderson (215) and Alex Knoll (215) made pars to wrap up the last two places. Mike Little made a par 4 on the second hole to win the first alternate spot while Scott Reilly was making a bogey, which made him the second alternate. In Wednesday’s first round at Whitford Reilly hit a shot that rebounded and deflected off his body. He took a two stroke penalty and signed for the score. On Friday he learned that the penalty had been reduced to a one stroke penalty a few years before, but the two stroke penalty that he signed for had to stand. One stroke less and he would have qualified without a playoff. The host professionals were Whitford’s Mike Ladden and Concord’s Mike Moses.

The Ryder Cup was played in France two miles outside of Paris on the last three days of September. Le Golf National at Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines was the host club. The PGA of America fielded a powerful team on paper, but once again they met defeat to team Europe on foreign soil. The team captain was Jim Furyk. There were 12 professionals on each team. On day one and two there were four fourball matches in the morning and four two-ball matches in the afternoon. On Sunday all 12 played single matches against the other team. There was one point to win in each match and tied matches were halved with no extra holes. The visiting team started strong, winning three of the four points the first morning, only to lose all four points in the afternoon. It did not get any better after that. On Friday the USA only won one point in the morning and split the four afternoon points. In the Sunday single matches, team USA could only win 4-1/2 of the 12 points. The final count was European PGA 17.5 against 10.5 points for the PGA of America. The USA, now had not won on foreign soil since 1993.

The Philadelphia PGA team played a team from the Golf Association of Philadelphia on the first Tuesday of October at the Lehigh Country Club. For only the third time in the 28 years that the matches had been played the GAP came out the winner. The PGA fared better in the singles matches (6-1/2 to 5-1/2)) than the four-ball matches (1-1/5 to 4-1/5), but the final score was 10 points for the GAP and 8 for the PGA. There were 12 on each team with each team having to have at least two seniors on the team. There were six pairings with two members of each team playing a singles match along with the better ball match. The team of Kevin Nicholson-Leslie Grier won all three of their points. Nicholson was now an assistant at the White Manor Country Club. The Brett Melton-Stu Ingraham team won two points. The Tony R. Perla-Michael Mack team won 1-1/5 points. The team of Michael Tobiason-Trevor Bensel won one point and the senior team of Bill Sautter-George Forster, Sr. team won 1/2 point. Bensel was now an assistant at the Overbrook Golf Club. The other team was Steve Swartz and Mike Furey. With this loss the record now stood at 21 victories for the PGA against three victories for the GAP and four ties.  

 Brian Bergstol, the teaching professional at the Shawnee Inn & Resort, shattered par at his home course on the second Tuesday of October to win the Shawnee Open by six strokes. Bergstol posted a five under par 67 on Sunday and in spite of playing in a cool misty rain he came back with a 64 on Tuesday. His 131 total was six strokes less than Billy Stewart’s 137. Dustin McCormick, who was now the professional at the Glen Brook Country Club, finished third at 138 and David Quinn was fourth at 139. First prize was $1,500.

On the third Friday of October, 12 Philadelphia Section members opposed 12 from the New Jersey PGA at the Moselem Springs Golf Club. There were two seniors on each team. In each of the six pairings there were two singles matches and a better-ball match with one point for each match. If a match was halved each team received one half point. There were 18 total points to play for. The teams of Tony R. Perla-Trevor Bensel, Billy Stewart-Brian Bergstol and Steve Swartz-Dustin McCormick each won three points. The team of Stu Ingraham-Scott Reilly won two points. The Rob Shuey-Kevin Nicholson team won one point. Shuey was now teaching golf at the Colonial Golf & Tennis Club. Mike Moses and Bill Sautter were the senior team. The final score was 12 points for the Philadelphia PGA against 6 points for the New Jersey PGA. With what was called The Turnpike Cup in its seventh year, Philadelphia had five wins and New Jersey had won twice.

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Michael Little

The Philadelphia Section Match Play Championship was played at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club in the fourth week of October. There were 61 entries. The defending champion and the top two seeds received byes. With all matches being 18 holes there were two matches played on Monday, two on Tuesday and two on Wednesday to determine a winner. The final came down to Michael Little and Brett Melton. Little was two up at the turn and four up after the 13th hole. With only five holes to play Little was in command, but Melton then won three straight holes to be one down with one hole to play. When Melton took three putts on the par four 18th green Little was the champion, by a 2-up margin. To reach the final Little defeated Rich Steinmetz in the semifinal 3&1 while Melton was eliminating Billy Stewart 2-down. First prize was $2,500.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship was played at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida during the fourth week of October. This was also qualifying for the 2019 Senior PGA Championship. There were eight Philadelphia Section members in the field competing for a piece of the $550,000 purse and a spot in their senior championship. The first two rounds were played on the 6,694 yard Wanamaker Course and the 6,765 yard Ryder Course. The last two rounds were played on the Wanamaker Course. Par at both courses was 72. Bob Sowards won with rounds of 64, 68, 71 and 72. His thirteen under par 275 won by two strokes. Walt Chapman and Omar Uresti tied for second at 277. Mike San Filippo finished fourth at 278. Dave McNabb tied for 11th at 283 and won $5,150. By finishing in the top 35 he qualified for the Senior PGA Championship. Brian Kelly and David Quinn finished tied for 35th at 290 and each won $1,910. Due to a female entrant having finished better than 35th the eight players who had tied for 35th played off for the final two spots. In the sudden death playoff Kelly ended up first alternate and Quinn was sixth alternate. John Pillar tied for 51st at 292 and won $1,247.50. George Forster, Sr., John Appleget, John Allen and Mike Moses missed the cut. Moses had gotten into the tournament as the second alternate from Philadelphia.

With 2019 on the horizon there was a large number of changes to the USGA rules, beginning January 1. Philadelphia Section rules chairman Clarke Luis and his committee were offering seminars throughout the region to bring everyone up to speed on the changes.

The fall meeting of the Philadelphia PGA was held in Bethlehem at SteelStacks. Clark Luis opened the meeting at 8 a.m. with his resounding rendition of our national anthem. Johnny Carpineta gave the invocation, as he had done many times before. There were the usual reports by the officers and the executive director, which could also be downloaded on one’s computer. Section president John Rogers, who had lost part of one of his legs due to an infection, was at the podium chairing the meeting. The Section’s junior golf program had another successful year. There were 754 boys and girls registered in the program competing in 84 events. As of August 31 there was $525,318 in the Section’s restricted fund. The fund took a $34,000 hit due to needed repairs that were made to the Section office. Playing awards were presented. Billy Stewart was the Section’s “Player of the Year” and he topped the DeBaufre Scoring Average with 69.93 strokes in the designated events. Stewart won Section Championship and the Philadelphia Open. Luis, the Section rules chairman, spoke about how extensive the changes in the USGA were for in 2019. He then introduced our PGA of America rules chairman Tom Carpus, who provided a brief but quite complete video presentation on the changes. Three Section members, Carpus, Herb Jewson and Pete Micklewright, were inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.

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Tom Carpus

Tom Carpus was born in Buffalo, New York and grew up in Upper Darby. At the age of 10 he ventured out to Cobbs Creek Golf Club where he fished golf balls out of the Creek to sell to the golf professional, Andy Pettineo. Pettineo put him to work caddying and cleaning the golf carts. From there he went to Drexel University where he played on the golf team and graduated with a degree in business administration. After college he went to work for Harry Heagy in 1985 as an assistant at Rolling Green Golf Club. After six years at Rolling Green Carpus moved over to the Philadelphia Section office as the tournament director. Needing to be more proficient in the rules of golf he began attending workshops where he found his calling. After two years with the Section he became the professional at the Greate Bay Country Club for five years before returning to Pennsylvania as the professional at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. Elected to office in the Section he moved through the chairs, spending 15 years on the Section board. Carpus was the Section president in 2004 and 2005. In 2002 he was the Section “Golf Professional of the Year”. While he was at Kennett Square he began teaching rules seminars. In 2007 he received the PGA of America Horton Smith Award for many hours of educating his fellow PGA members. He had won that award twice at the Section level. In 1995 he became a member of the PGA of America rules committee and in 2016 he was named chairman of the committee. He officiated at all of golf’s major championships numerous times. In 2017 Carpus left Kennett Square to be a rules official on the PGA Tour’s Champions Tour.

Jewson, Herb TTO (TGH)
Herb Jewson

Herb Jewson was born in Ireland to English parents in 1890 and immigrated to the United States in 1913 to work for Ben Nicholls at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. He held positions as the professional at Woodbury Country Club and Huntingdon Valley Country Club before settling in as the professional-manager-head green keeper at Roxborough Country Club for 40 years. When the Philadelphia Section was formed in 1921 Jewson was a member of the organizing committee and chairman of the membership committee. When Roxborough Country Club’s lease ran out in 1920 they purchased land in Lafayette Hill. Jewson designed the new course and supervised the construction without hiring any outside help. In the 1950s the Insurance Company of North America purchased the club and renamed it INA Country Club. Later it was rebuilt and renamed Eagle Lodge Country Club. Later yet, it was purchased by The Ace Insurance Company and became The Ace Club. Without having held office Jewson was elected president in 1924, holding the office for four years. He was then the Section’s tournament chairman for one year. With the Section’s finances in jeopardy due to the Great Depression he was elected secretary/treasurer in 1931 and 1932. Again he was elected president in 1933 and 1934. He was the only one to hold the office of president twice. For four years in the 1920s he was a PGA of America vice president, which was later renamed director. Seven years he was the Section’s delegate to the national meeting and the only one, four of those years. He retired in 1960 at the age of 70.

Micklewright, Peter 2
Pete Micklewright

Pete Micklewright was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1953. He began playing golf with his father at Hopewell Valley Country Club at the age of 11. He played on his high school golf team and then attended Trenton State College where he graduated with a 3.25 average in business administration. At Trenton State he was on the golf team and captain his senior year. Micklewright turned pro in 1980 and began his career as an assistant at the Schuylkill Country Club. Two years later he was the head professional at Dutch Hollow Golf Club in Owasco, New York. In 1983 he returned to the Philadelphia Section as the professional at the Blue Ridge Country Club where he stayed for more than 30 years. His passion became junior golfers. In 1987 he founded Harrisburg Junior Golf Days. The program supplied golf instruction, clubs, a shirt and lunch 12 times a year for more than 300 young boys and girls. His two boys became accomplished golfers with one holding a head professional position in the Tri-State Section. He spent many hours promoting golf in the Harrisburg area by speaking at civic meetings and on local television. Micklewright was instrumental in making the Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament into one of the largest charity fund raising events in the country. He was a Section board member for three years while serving on committees at the Chapter, Section and national level. He was president, secretary and treasurer of the Central Counties Chapter. Micklewright He was the Philadelphia Section “Golf Professional of the Year” in 2005 and the Section’s Junior Golf Leader two times. He was the complete golf professional.

The leading money winner on the PGA Tour was Justin Thomas with earnings of $8,684,821 in 23 events. Sean O’Hair finished 108th money list, winning $1,104,865 in 22 tournaments. Jim Furyk won $660,010 in 15 starts. He was 139th on the money list. Jason Bohn played in 9 tournaments and won $43,620 which was 225th on the money list. Dustin Johnson won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 68.70. The PGA “Player of the Year” was Brooks Koepka.

The leading money winner on the Web.com Tour was Sungjae Im with $553,800 in 25 tournaments. Vince Covello won $70,220 in 26 events for 74th place on the money list. Brandon Matthews finished 93rd on the money list with $65,220 in 21 events.

Bernhard Langer led the Senior PGA Tour in money won with $2,222,154 in 24 events. Joe Daley made $34,503 in six tournaments.

On the first Tuesday of November the delegates from the 41 PGA Sections convened for the annual meeting of the PGA of America in California. The four day meeting was held at the Renaissance Indian Wells Resort. It was an election year. The new president was Suzy Whaley, the first female to be elected to president or any other PGA of America office. Jim Richerson moved up to vice president and John Lindert was elected secretary. Former Philadelphia Section member Bill Troyanoski, who was now the pro manager at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links in California, was sworn in as the PGA director from District 11. John Rogers and Jeff Kiddie were the Section’s delegates to the meeting. Jack Connelly was in attendance as a past national president. Also in attendance was former national director Leo DeGisi who served in that office for six years.

The Assistant PGA Professional Championship was played at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie during the third week of November. First prize from the $150,000 purse was $12,000. The starting field consisted of 132 assistant professionals from the 41 PGA Sections. The winner was Kenny Pigman with rounds of 66, 72, 69 and 66 of a fifteen under par 273. Steven Delmar finished four strokes back in second place at 277. Josh Rackley, former Section member and “Player of the Year” in 2015 who was now in the Metropolitan Section, finished third at 278. Dan Olsen and Brian Maurer tied for fourth with 282 totals. Zachary Kempa and Rusty Harbold tied for 32nd at 292 and each won $1,112.77. Zac Oakley tied for 62nd at 302 and won $660. Billy Stewart and Brian Bergstol missed the cut.

On December 4, the PGA of America announced that it was moving its headquarters which was located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to Frisco, Texas. Frisco was located north of Dallas. The move had been in the works for more than a year. A six hundred acre site would have two championship golf courses and a short course along with a world class practice center. The PGA had promised to hold two PGA Championships and a possible Ryder Cup there. The targeted completion date for the move was late 2021. Somewhere around 100 staff members working in what was called operational working roles, would remain in Palm Beach Gardens for the foreseeable future. The North Texas PGA Section would also be moving its headquarters to the property. The golf courses were to be owned by the city of Frisco. The PGA was investing $30 million to build a 100,000 headquarters and education facility.

Qualifying for the Web.com Tour was held in the second week of December at the Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Arizona. The top 40 were guaranteed entry to tournaments during the 2019 season and the top 10 were guaranteed 12 starts. Danny Walker (261) led with rounds of 67, 65, 66 and 63. His 27 under par total was just one shot better that the next player. Brandon Matthews tied for 25th at 269. It took a score of 270 to make the top 40 and ties. His tie for 25th guaranteed him entry into eight tournaments. 

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