Section History 2020-2021

A Chronicle of the
Philadelphia Section PGA and its Members
by Peter C. Trenham
2020 to 2021

2020
Not long after 2020 got under way, golf in the Philadelphia Section came to a standstill due to the arrival of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the United States. In many states, all nonessential businesses were told to close down. The state of Washington was the first to be hit hard. Then the virus jumped across the country to the densely populated New York city region.

Gatherings of people for business or social reasons were curtailed. The NBA and NHL seasons were put on hold along with spring training for major league baseball. The NCAA put the basketball tournaments on hold and all spring sports were postponed. After playing the first round of its TPD Championship in mid March the PGA Tour, had planned to play the remainder of the tournament without spectators, but then canceled the tournament.

With the number of virus cases spiking in many states, the hope was that by limiting contact the spread was be decreased. Otherwise the hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients. Grade schools, along with colleges were closed with the students being taught online.

A dinner to honor the Philadelphia Section award winners that was scheduled for Aronimink Golf Club on the third Sunday of March was postponed until further notice. The Section’s Spring Meeting scheduled for Green Valley Country Club on the fifth Monday of March was postponed and then canceled.

Carpinetta 2020 TGH
Johnny Carpineta 2019 PGA Pro of the Year

With the cancellation of its spring meeting the Section missed out on its usual opportunity to recognize the Section members who had been honored with awards for 2019. The “Golf Professional of the Year” was John S. “Johnny C” Carpineta, a late comer to the world of professional golf. Born in Philadelphia in 1941, he saw golf for the first time in 1964. Stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia while serving in the US Army, his commanding officer took him to the Masters Tournament. In 1968 he played golf for the first time at Holmesburg Country Club. With some golf instruction from Holmesburg’s professional Ed Metro and Al MacDonald, a past president of the Philadelphia Section, his golf game began to improve. Though he had spent his working career with Sears and as a musician Johnny decided he wanted to be a golf professional and a PGA member. While still an amateur he took the PGA’s playing ability test a total of 9 times, missing by one or two strokes at times. However in 1998, at age 57, he passed the test, turned pro and went to work as an assistant to Jim Bogan at the Bensalem Township Country Club. In 2003 he became a PGA member. One day at Bensalem he met a wounded veteran who was interested in learning how to teach golf to people with impairments. That introduced him to a new passion, golf for wounded veterans. Johnny spent the next decade promoting golf instruction for wounded veterans along with collecting golf clubs for them. In 2015 he received the Section’s Player Development award and three times, 2017, 2018 and 2020, he was the Section’s Patriot Award recipient. White Manor Country Club’s Jon Dunigan was the teacher of the year.

Later in March the Masters was postponed and the PGA Tour put its schedule on hold until further notice. The USGA began canceling tournaments, which included local qualifying rounds for the US Open, which were to be played in May.

In late March, Matt Frey, the Section’s new director of communications, began a series of e-pub articles chronicling the history of the Philadelphia PGA, leading into its 100th birthday in 2021. The articles were presented decade by decade relating the highlights from each ten-year period. Information for each decade was provided by Section historian Peter C. Trenham.

Due to the COVID-19 virus, on April 7 the PGA, USGA, R&A, Masters Committee and the LPGA made a joint announcement on a new schedule for the remainder of 2020. The PGA Championship was moved to early August as there was an open week due to the postponement of the Olympics to 2021. The British Open was canceled. The US Open was now going to be played in the third week of September, with the Ryder Cup one week later on its original dates. The Masters was now scheduled for mid November. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club was still in late June, its scheduled time. Later it was moved to October. The Senior PGA Championship and the US Senior Open were canceled.

With the US Open rescheduled it was decided to cancel all local and sectional qualifying rounds. Instead, the field would be filled by using the world rankings for professionals and amateurs.

On May 1 the golf courses in Pennsylvania were allowed to reopen with many restrictions. On May 2, the golf courses in New Jersey were reopened with similar restrictions. The golf courses in Delaware had remained open, but only to residents of Delaware, and with restrictions. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey clubhouses remained closed. Face masks had to be worn by the golfers in the vicinity of the check in areas. Golf carts were restricted to single riders unless two golfers were residing together. Flagsticks were not to be removed. Objects like foam or small sections of PVC pipe were placed in the cups to keep the golf ball from falling to the bottom of the hole. There were no bunker rakes, ball washers or benches on the golf courses. Starting times were expanded to assist in social distancing.

The Philadelphia Section held its first tournament of the year. The Connelly Cup Head Professional Championship was played at North Hills Country Club. Hugo Mazzalupi, the professional at the Patriots Glen National Golf Club, was the winner by four strokes with a four under par 67.

On Thursday June 11 the PGA Tour resumed its season with the playing of the Charles Schwab Challenge. The tournament was at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the first round of golf on the PGA Tour since March 12, when the Players Championship was canceled after one round had been played.

Due to the virus, the PGA Professional Championship, which had been scheduled for April in Austin, Texas, was moved to June and then canceled. At that tournament the top 20 qualified for the PGA Championship. To select those 20 club professionals for the PGA Championship, the top 20 from the PGA’s 2019 Player of the Year list were invited. As number eleven on the list, Alex Knoll, the teaching professional at the Glen Brook Golf Club, was in the PGA Championship.

The Philadelphia PGA’s Assistant Championship was played at the St. Davids Golf Club on the first Monday of August. The tournament had been scheduled to be played in New Jersey, but due to the COVID 19 virus, the state of New Jersey would not allow out of state residents to participant in a tournament in its state. Due to a water problem caused by springs that had opened up, the 5th hole at St. Davids was played as a par 3, making par 69. Deerfield Country Club assistant Michael Tobiason posted a 68 in his morning round and came back in the afternoon with a torrid 62. His eight under par 130 won by four strokes. Trevor Bensel (Overbrook Golf Club), Steve Swartz (West Shore Country Club), Brett Walker (Sunnybrook Golf Club) and Ashley Grier (Overbrook Golf Club) tied for second at 134. This was also qualifying for the Assistant PGA Professional Championship. The Section had five spots to qualify for. Grier was exempt as a member of the 2019 Women’s PGA Cup team. The fifth spot went to Manufacturers Golf & Country Club assistant Ross Seaman (135). Jordan Shuey (West Shore Country Club) 137, got into the national championship as an alternate. The purse was $17,133 and first prize was $2,495.

The PGA Championship was played in the first full week of August at the 7,169 yard TPC Harding Park golf course in San Francisco. As usual for San Francisco the temperatures were in the low 60s each day. At one point during the last nine holes on Sunday seven players were tied for the lead at nine under par. On the 14th hole California born Collin Morikawa chipped in for a birdie to take the lead. Two holes later he drove the 297-yard par four 16th hole and then holed a seven foot putt for an eagle. From there he made pars on the next two holes to win by two strokes. His rounds were 69, 69, 65 and 64 for a thirteen under par 267. Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey tied for second at 269. There was a four way tie for fourth. Jason Day, Matthew Wolff. Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau posted 270s. Jim Furyk and Alex Knoll missed the cut. First prize was $1,900,000 from a purse of $11,000,000.

In the second week of August the Pennsylvania Open was held at the Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh. Due to the number of entries qualifying was held at six locations around the state. Amateurs dominated the top spots. Western Pennsylvania amateur Jimmy Ellis won the tournament with rounds of 71, 71 and 71 for an even par 213. Amateurs Troy Vannucci and William Davenport tied for second at 214. Lancaster’s J.D. Dornes who was playing the minitours tied with two more amateurs; Connor Schmidt and Mark Goetz tied for fourth at 215. Dornes took home the top money of $8,000.

Trevor Bensel won the Delaware Valley Open on the third Monday of August at the Concord Country Club with a nine under par 61. His 61, which was composed of seven birdies, an eagle and ten pars, was one stroke off the course record. Five strokes back, there was a three-way tie for second. Dave McNabb, (Applebrook Country Club professional), Rich Steinmetz (Spring Ford Country Club professional) and Country Club of York assistant Parks Price all turned in 66s. First prize from a prize pool of $12,490 was $1,660.

The two-day Philadelphia Section Senior Championship was played at the Concord Country Club during the third week of August. The first day Dave McNabb led by two strokes with a four under par 66. On Tuesday, Country Club at Woodloch Springs professional John Pillar, posted a 66 to go with his first round 68 while McNabb was turning in a 68. That left them in a tie for the title. A sudden death playoff was held on the par five 18th hole, which Pillar won with a par. First prize was $1,080 and the total prize money was $6,175. This was also qualifying for the 2021 Senior PGA Championship and the Section had 6 spots. Deerwood Country Club professional Greg Farrow finished third at 138. Laurel Creek Country Club teaching professional David Quinn and Huntingdon Valley Country Club teaching professional John Allen tied for the fourth and fifth spots with 138s. Radnor Valley Country Club professional George Forster, Sr. and the host professional Mike Moses tied for sixth and the last spot, which Forster won in a sudden death playoff. Bucknell Golf Club professional Brian Kelly (140) was exempt off his tie for 22nd at the 2019 Senior PGA Professional Championship.

Due to COVID-19 the US Open was held during the third week of September instead of June like it had been for many years. The last time it was played in September was 1913 when Francis Quimet won. The tournament was hosted by the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. As usual the course was long and difficult but some low rounds were posted. When it was all over Bryson DeChambeau was the winner. His game plan was to drive the ball as far as possible, and rough or fairway take his chances from there. Of the 56 holes that were not par threes his tee shots were in the fairway only 23 times. He led in driving distance with an average of 325.6 yards. Matthew Wolff led DeChambeau by two strokes after 54 holes at five under par 205, but there was one more round to play. On Sunday only one played broke the par of 70 and that was DeChambeau, with a 67. DeChambeau’s rounds were 69, 68, 68 and 67 for six under par 274. Wolff finished second at 280. Louis Oosthuizen was third at 282 and Harris English was fourth at 283. First prize from the $12,500,000 purse was $2,250,000.

Knoll. Alex 2020
Alex Knoll 2020 Section Champion

The 99th Philadelphia Section Championship was played during the third week of September in the central counties, The first two rounds were at the par 71 Bent Creek Country Club and the par 72 Country Club of York. For the first two days half of the field of 147 Section members played at each of the courses. With the field cut to the low 60 and ties, the third and final round was played at Bent Creek, This was also qualifying for the 2021 PGA Professional Championship. The defending champion, Alex Knoll, began like he left off in 2019, by taking the lead. He made two eagles on the way to posting a 65 at Bent Creek, which gave him a one stroke lead on the field. The next day he turned in a 69 at York and was now in the lead by two strokes. Back at Bent Creek for the final round on Wednesday Knoll put together a steady round of 70. On the eleventh tee he held a five stroke lead. His 54-hole total of 204 won by three strokes. Pine Valley Golf Club assistant Tom Cooper finished second at 207. Philadelphia Cricket Club teaching assistant Rusty Harbold and French Creek Golf Club assistant Andrew Turner tied for third with 210 totals. With 11 spots at the 2021 PGA Professional Championship to qualify for there was plenty to play for. Lookaway Golf Club professional Michael Little, Bidermann Golf Club assistant Zac Oakley and Brett Walker tied for 5th, 6th and 7th at 212. Rich Steinmetz, Hugo Mazzalupi and Parks Price tied for 8th, 9th and 10th at 213. Mark Sheftic and Terry Hertzog who were both teaching professionals at Merion Golf Club tied for the last spot at 214. A sudden death playoff was held on the 10th hole which Sheftic won with a par four. The total prize money was $75,000 with a first prize of $9,500. The host professionals were James Haus (Bent Creek) and Kevin Bales (CC of York).

Little, Michael 2020 TGF
Michael Little 2020 Philadelphia Open Champion

The Philadelphia Open, which had been scheduled for July at Galloway National Golf Club was played at the Doylestown Country Club in the second week of October. Due to the Covid-19 virus the state of New Jersey had placed restrictions on sporting events with participants from outside the state. Due to the virus there was no qualifying for the tournament. The GAP filled the field off the performance ranking from the Philadelphia PGA and their list of amateurs. Michael Little came to the last hole, a par five, tied for the lead with Alex Knoll, who was in the clubhouse at five under par 139. On finding what he thought had been a perfect tee shot, he found his golf ball in the front end of a divot. After checking with an official to make sure how he stood, Little played a 5-wood shot to the green, which was fronted by a pond, to within 10 feet of the hole. From there he two putted for the win. His rounds were 68 and 70 for a six under par 138. Amateurs Jeff Osberg and Andrew Mason tied for third one stroke behind Knoll with 140 totals. Due to the pandemic and no income from qualifying rounds the purse was greatly reduced. The total prize money was $10,000 and first prize was $2,000.

Aronimink Golf Club and its professional Jeff Kiddie hosted the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship during the first full week of October. Due to COVID-19 the tournament had been postponed from June to October. South Korea’s Sei Young Kim won with what was a record score for the LPGA’s championship. Kim began the final round with a three stroke lead over Inbee Park. Park shot a 65 but Kim won by five strokes. Twice Park got within two strokes, but Kim birdied four of the last six holes for a 63, the low round of the week. Kim’s rounds were 71, 65, 67 and 63 for 266. Park was second alone at 271. Nasa Hataoka made an eagle 2 on the first hole of the day on the way to a 64 and a tie for third with Carlota Ciganda with 273s. First prize was $645,000 from a total purse of $4,300,000.

Trevor Bensel won the Section Match Play Championship for a second time in the third week of October at the Waynesborough Country Club. He also won the tournament in 2017. In the 18-hole final he defeated the defending champion Zac Oakley 6 & 5. To reach the final Oakley defeated Andrew Turner 4 & 2 and Bensel defeated Chester Valley assistant Nicholas Iaccoca 2 & 1. The match play ladder was made up of 59 head professionals and assistants along with five byes. The prize money totaled $11,400 and first prize was $2,000.

In his first start on the Champions PGA Tour Jim Furyk won the Ally Challenge at the Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan in early August. He posted rounds of 68, 66 and 68 for a 14 under par 202 to win by two strokes. Retief Goosen and Brett Quigley tied for second at 204. Chris DiMarco, Rod Pampling and Wes Short, Jr. tied for fourth with 205 totals. Prize money was $2,000,000 and first prize was $300,000.

In his second start on the Champions PGA Tour Jim Furyk won the Pure Insurance Championship at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California during the third week of September. He joined Arnold Palmer and Bruce Fleisher as the only ones to win their fist two starts on that tour. With rounds of 64, 73 and 67 he finished in a tie with Jerry Kelly at 12 under par 204. In a sudden death playoff Furyk won with a birdie four on the first extra hole. Ernie Els finished third at 205. Mike Weir and Retief Goosen tied for fourth with 207 scores. First prize was $315,000 from the $2,100.000 purse.

The Senior PGA Professional Championship was won by Omar Uresti in the third week of October as he won by six strokes and set a tournament record. The tournament was played in Port St. Lucie, Florida at the PGA of America Golf Club’s Wanamaker (par 72) and Ryder (par 71) courses. Uresti’s turned in rounds of 68, 66, 66 and 69 for an 18 under par 269. Scott Hebert finished second at 275 while Paul Stankowski and Bob Sowards tied for third at 276. First prize was $26,000 from a prize pool of $318,000. David Quinn and Dave McNabb led the Philadelphia contingent as they tied for 16th with one under par 286s. They each won $4,100. John Pillar tied for 24th at 288, winning $3,487.50. George Forster, Sr. finished tied for 71st and won $1,180. This was also qualifying for the 2021 Senior PGA Championship. With 35 spots to qualify for, Quinn, McNabb and Pillar all made it with ease. Brian Kelly, Hugo Mazzalupi and John Allen missed the cut. Mazzalupi got in as the fourth alternate from the Philadelphia Section.

Pillar (TGH)
John Pillar District Director, District 2

Due to COVID-19 the PGA of America’s annual meeting was held virtually. The meeting was held in late October. Suzy Whaley stepped down as president after completing her two year term. Vice president Jim Richerson was elected president and secretary John Lindert was elected vice president Both were elected without opposition. Don Rea was elected secretary on the second ballot, over three other candidates. Four candidates were on the first ballot and three made it to the second ballot. Rea received 62 of the 118 votes against 51 for Dave Schneider. The delegates from the Philadelphia Section were Jeff Kiddie and Commonwealth National Golf Club professional Patrick Shine. The Section was also represented by past Dick Smith, Sr. an Jack Connelly. The two delegates from each of the 41 PGA Sections, the district directors and past presidents all had a vote. With it being the Philadelphia PGA’s turn to be represented in District 2 by a director for a three year term, Philadelphia’s John Pillar was sworn in. For the past year Pillar had been sitting in on the meetings in order to have a smooth transition into office. There were no resolutions voted on.

The Assistant PGA Professional Championship was played at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida during the second week of November. The winner was Gunner Wiebe with rounds of 70, 67, 69 and 72. His 278 total won by two strokes. First prize was $12,000. Jin Chung finished second at 280. Greg Koch and Aaron Purviance tied for third at 282. Ashley Grier tied for 34th at 293. Her rounds were 70, 76, 77 and 70. Steve Swartz and Michael Tobiason both missed the cut by one stroke with 151s. Ross Seaman and Jordan Shuey also missed the cut. Shuey got in as an alternate. Trevor Bensel and Brett Walker had qualified but did not play in the tournament. Prize money totaled $150,000.

After being postponed in April due to COVID-19, the Masters Tournament was played in the middle of November. The Augusta National course measured 7,475 yards. An early morning thunderstorm and heavy rain stopped play for nearly three hours on Thursday morning, but that only made the course play easier, with greens that held every shot. Dustin Johnson picked up his second major title with a wire to wire victory while putting together a 72-hole tournament record of 268. His rounds were 65, 70, 65 and 68. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth had shared the record of 270. Johnson teed off in the final round with a four stroke lead and won by five. First prize was $2,070,000. Australia’s Cameron Smith and South Korea’s Sungjae Im tied for second at 273. Justin Thomas finished fourth at 276. Total prize money was $11,500,000.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Section’s annual meeting was held virtual at 8:30 on Tuesday November 17. 184 Section members and associates viewed the meeting via YouTube. President Jeff Kiddie conducted the meeting as the officers and committee chairmen gave their reports through prerecorded videos. Clark Luis kicked off the meeting singing the national anthem from the patio at Valley Country Club, where he was the golf professional. John Carpineta gave the invocation and gave thanks for the golf professionals being in the golf business, which had prospered during the 2020 pandemic. Due to golf courses being closed for several weeks in the spring, $140,000 had been borrowed from the Section’s restricted fund in order to keep all of the Section’s staff members on the payroll. As of September there was now $423,445 in the fund, a decrease of $99,091. The education committee reported that during the spring lull, while golf courses were closed, the Section provided 34 electronic seminars called webinars. John Pillar, who was now the PGA Director for District 2, gave a report on national affairs. Many Section tournaments were postponed or canceled but before the year was over all of the Section’s major tournaments had been played. Michael Little was the Player of the Year and he led the DeBaufre trophy scoring with an average of 70.17 in the designated tournaments. Dave McNabb was the Skee Riegel Senior Player of the Year . Two Section members, Bob Barnett posthumously, and Michael Mack, were elected to the Philadelphia PGA Hall of Fame.

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Bob Barnett

Robert T. “Bob” Barnett was the first president of the Philadelphia Section PGA, elected in December 1921. He was born in Philadelphia in 1896 and began his professional career as an assistant at Bala Golf Club in 1914. In 1922 he hosted the first Philadelphia PGA Championship at Tredyffrin Country Club in Paoli, Pennsylvania, where he was the professional. The evening of the Section Championship, the professionals held their annual meeting. Barnett was reelected, but in March he left the Section to become the professional at the Chevy Chase Club in Maryland. Due to his popularity he was invited to play in the Section Championship even though he was no longer a Section member. As a non-member he won the Section Championship twice. As the professional at Chevy Chase he was a founder of the Middle Atlantic PGA and its second president along with winning that Section Championship. For nearly 20 years Barnett was the professional at the Indian Creek Country Club in Miami, Florida during the winter months. At Indian Creek he trained two young professionals who would go on to be leaders in the PGA’s national affairs, Max Elbin and Bill Strausbaugh. Elbin was president of the PGA from 1966 to 1968 and the national award for work in Club Relations was named after Strausbaugh in 1979. One of Barnett’s proteges and assistants at Chevy Chase and Indian Creek was Lew Worsham who would go on to win the 1947 U.S. Open. In 1941 he was on the PGA of America’s teaching committee. During World War II he spearheaded a program for the rehabilitation of the wounded veterans and served on the PGA Wounded Veterans Rehabilitation Committee. He served a term as a PGA of America Vice President (later renamed District Director). Barnett is also a member of the Middle Atlantic PGA Hall of Fame.

Mack, Michael (TGH)
Michael Mack

Michael T. “Mike” Mack was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1956 and began playing golf at the age of 16. He turned pro in 1977. As an assistant he worked for John Poole, at West Chester Golf & Country Club and Pete Dever at Brookside Country Club. In 1982 he became the head professional at the Burlington Country Club and was still the professional there in 2020. In 1989 Mack went on the Section board of directors as a director from South Jersey. Five years later he was elected first vice president and began a progression through the Section’s chairs. He served two years as secretary and two years as vice president, which due to a change in the Section’s by-laws had been called treasurer before that. In 2000 he was elected president and became the Section’s 33rd president. Since becoming the professional at Burlington he devoted his time to the promotion of junior golf. After growing junior golf at his club he promoted team matches for juniors among the golf clubs in southwestern New Jersey. He introduced golf to the Special Olympics in his region while serving as the golf instructor and he was honored for his work with the inter-city youth of Camden. Mack was one of the leading tournament players in the Section who was nearly always in contention at the Section tournaments. In an effort to improve his golf game and learn more about the golf swing he traveled numerous miles to take golf lessons from the country’s most famous instructors. Mack finished second in the Section championship in 1994 and third in 2000. He qualified for the PGA Professional National Championship twice along with qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional National Championship once and he played on six Section challenge cup teams. In 1986 Mack began hosting the two-day Burlington Classic which quickly became one of the most important tournaments on the Section’s calendar. The tournament was still being played more thirty years later. He hosted the Section championship twice at Burlington County. In 1999 Mack was the Section’s “PGA Golf Professional of the Year”.

In the third week of December Brandon Matthews won on the PGA Tour’s Latinoamerica Tour for a second time by winning the Puerto Plata Open in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. He won by five strokes with rounds of 65, 65, 63 and 65 for a 26 under par 258. Jacob Bergeron was second at 263. Connor Godsey and Brendon Doyle tied for third with 264s. First prize was $31,500 from the $175,000 purse.

Justin Thomas was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour for the 2019-2020 season with $7,344,040 and he was the PGA of America Player of the Year. Jim Furyk played in 13 tournaments and won 224,450. Bernhard Langer led the Senior PGA Tour money list with $1,493,737 in 15 starts. Will Zalatoris was the leading money winner on the PGA Tour’s developmental tour with earnings of $403,978 in 16 events.

Due to the COVID-19 virus and restrictions on social gatherings many businesses struggled or closed, but even though the number of virus cases continued and even increased dramatically, golf prospered. With limitations on what people could do safely, golf was an option. It was not safe for people to travel or even go to the beach, so there was money and time to be spent elsewhere. Until the various governments figured out what to do, the golf courses were closed for nearly six weeks in the spring. Once the golf courses were reopened at the beginning of May, they were filled every day. To keep the golfers safe, starting times were spread out and golfers rode in single carts. Even though many golf courses were closed for nearly six weeks, by the end of 2020 most golf facilities had hosted 30 or 40 percent more rounds than the year before.

2021
Having been founded on December 2, 1921, 2021 was the 100th year of the Philadelphia Section PGA.

With the beginning of 2021 there were 868 PGA members in the Philadelphia PGA. 239 were head professionals at recognized golf facilities.

Grier, A 2020In January Ashley Grier was named 2020 Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year. Grier garnered 327.5 points earned in national and local professional golf events. She finished 72.5 points ahead of the second place finisher North Florida Section member Jennifer Borocz (255). She would be honored at the PGA of America national meeting in November.

In early February Brett Walker won the PGA Winter Series Stroke Play Championship at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The first and third rounds were played on the par 71 Ryder Course and the second round was on the par 72 Wanamaker Course. Walker posted rounds of 66, 72 and 63 to finish at thirteen under par 201.  That left him tied with Omar Uresti (201) for first. He then birdied the first hole of a sudden death playoff, which began on the 17th hole, to secure the title and $5,400 first prize. Trevor Bensel tied Rod Perry for third at 202 and won $2,465. John Pillar and Zac Oakley tied for 11th with 207s and each won $965. This was also an alternate qualifying event for the PGA Professional Championship. There were two spots for the top two in the tournament who were not already qualified. Bensel and Pillar earned those two spots. Walker and Oakley had already qualified through their finishes in the 2020 Philadelphia Section Championship.

On Wednesday April 7 the Philadelphia Section’s spring meeting was a virtual presentation due to the COVID-19 virus limitations. Some of the committee reports were filmed earlier at the Section office. The meeting was opened with a rendition of Clark Luis singing our nation anthem from Valley Country Club that had been recorded for the fall 2020 meeting. With the virus, finances were complicated. Income was down $626,583 but expenses were also down $685,931.Through the federal bailout for payroll retention the Section received $10,772. All PGA Sections received money from the national each year. The Philadelphia Section would be receiving $180,000. As of January 31 there was $591,758 in the Section’s Restricted Fund. With golf courses closed for a period of time due to COVID-19, there was a delay to the start of the Section’s Junior Tour. In spite of that membership was up and total competitive rounds for the year were up. National PGA Director John Pillar reported on national affairs. Topics covered were the move of the  2022 PGA Championship from Trump National Golf Club to Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma, an update on work being done for moving the PGA national office to Frisco, Texas, the USGA proposed changes in amateur definition and the upcoming Ryder Cup. The PGA would continue to own the golf courses in Port St. Lucie, Florida and the winter golf events would still be held there. The education committee reported that with COVID-19 twenty-six education seminars had been presented by the Section for its members via the internet. They were called webinars. The “Golf Professional of the Year” was St. Davids Golf Club’s Dean Kandle and the “Teacher of the Year” Andy Miller, the teaching professional at Ledge Rock Golf Club.

Dean Kandle 2021
Dean Kandle PGA Professional of the Year

Dean E. Kandle the “Golf Professional of the Year” learned to play golf at George McNamara’s driving range in Downingtown. He graduated from Penn State University. He was an assistant at the Philadelphia Cricket Club before becoming the head professional at St. Davids Golf Club in 2011. In 2018 he was the Section’s Bill Strausbaugh Award winner. In 2018 and 2019 he received the Philadelphia PGA Professional Development Award. He was a Philadelphia Section District Director for 2019 to 2021. Kandle served on the Section’s education and special awards committee. He hosted Section tournaments, meetings and education seminars at St. Davids. Along with that Kandle hosted a Podcast titled “Getting Better Now”, which aired 32 episodes for his fellow golf professionals. Then he created a Podcast in partnership with Golf Genius and its 8,000 contacts, titled “The Golf Professional Growth Project”.  When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020 Kandle met those challenges. He communicated with the St. Davids members and brought virtual golf instruction to their homes. Through the SDGC Board he created a “Staff Relief Fund” that provided cash envelopes of  $500 to $2,500 for furloughed employees and caddies. Through the internet he helped guide his fellow Philadelphia Section golf professionals through the pandemic during 2020.

The Masters Tournament was played in the first full week of April with limited fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. On Thursday the course played fast and the greens were mowed down to where they were brown as much as they were green. There were few scores under par for the day until Justin Rose posted a 65 which led by four strokes when all the scores were posted. On Friday Rose posted an even par 72 to take a one stroke lead into the weekend. On Saturday the scoring was still difficult until a storm came through, halting play for a little more than an hour. With the course now less firm the scoring improved. Hideki Matsuyama put together a 65 to take a four stroke lead after 54 holes. On Sunday Matsuyama held some big leads at times but he finished with bogies on three of the last four holes to win by one stroke. Matsuyama’s rounds were 69, 71, 65 and 71 for a ten under par 278. In his first time at the Masters, Will Zalatoris finished second at 279. Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele tied for third at 281. First prize was $2,070,000 from a total prize pool of $11,500,000.

After a year off due to COVID-19 the PGA Professional Championship was being played again. The tournament was also qualifying for the PGA Championship which was coming up in May. The low 20 qualified for the PGA Championship. The tournament was played at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida on its par 72 Wanamaker and par 71 Ryder Courses in the fourth week of May. The final two rounds were on the 7,088 yard Wanamaker Course. The tournament began on a Sunday so the four rounds could be televised on Golf Channel. There were 14 PGA members from the Philadelphia Section in the starting field of 312. After rounds of 67, 68 and 65 Omar Uresti began the final round with a seven stroke lead, but he then proceeded to play the first four holes in four over par. He made the turn in 40 and at one point on the back nine his lead had shrunk to two strokes but he played the his last nine in 36 strokes for 76. His 276 total won by three strokes. First prize was $60,000 from the $650,000 purse.  Frank Bensel, Jr. finished second at 279. Ben Cook was third at 281 and Larkin Gross was fourth at 283. Brett Walker tied for 8th with a 285, which qualified him for the PGA Championship in May. Walker picked up a check for $12,161.11. Players with 288 scores played off for the last four spots in the PGA. Zac Oakley and Tom Cooper tied for 40th with 292s. They each won $5,300. Trevor Bensel tied for 55th at 295, winning $3,705. Hugo Mazzalupi tied for 71st at 300 and won $2,837.50. Parks Price missed the 54 hole cut. Rich Steinmetz, Ashley Grier, John Pillar, Andrew Turner, Mark Sheftic, Michael Little, Alex Knoll and Terry Hertzog missed the 36 hole cut. Hertzog had gotten into the tournament when Rusty Harbold, who had qualified, did not play. Grier was in the tournament off being a member of the PGA Women’s Cup Team. Bensel and Pillar got in off their finish in the PGA Winter Stroke Play Championship. Turner was now the teaching professional at Berkshire Country Club and Sheftic was now the teaching professional at the Lookaway Golf Club.

Indian Valley Country Club hosted local qualifying for the US Open on the second Monday of May. There were 81 players there for 5 spots. Amateur Kyle Vance led with a five under par 67 and amateur Connor McGrath was second with a 70. Five players tied at 72. There was a sudden death playoff to determine the last three spots. Amateur Tyler Sokolis and professionals Joseph Gunnerman and David Sanders were third, fourth and fifth. No playoffs were needed.

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John Pillar

John Pillar won the inaugural Pennsylvania Senior Open on the second Tuesday of May. The two-day tournament was played at the Lehigh Country Club. A five under par 65 on Monday put Pillar five strokes in front of the field. On Tuesday he birdied three of his first six holes and at one point he led by nine strokes. He ended his round with a bogey on the l8th hole for a 72. His 36-hole total won by four strokes. Golf Association of Philadelphia president  Oscar Mestre finished second at 141. Amateur Sean Knapp was third at 144. Dave McNabb tied for fourth with amateurs Chris Fieger, Sr. and Rich Pruchnik at 145. Pillar picked up a check for $4,000 from the $15,000 purse. McNabb won $2,000. Fifteen professionals won money.

Local qualifying for the US Open was held at The Steel Club on the second Wednesday of May. There were 65 entries competing for 4 spots. Shawnee Country Club’s teaching professional Brian Bergstol led with a two under par 70. Amateurs Andy Butler and Zach Juhasz tied for second and third with 72s. The fourth and last spot went to North Carolina professional Nemanja Savic with a 73. No playoff was needed.

On the second Thursday of May local qualifying for the US Open was at the Country Club of York. There were 78 entered there for 4 spots. Maryland professional Ryan Siegler and North Carolina professional Mark Kriston tied for low with seven under par 65s. Amateurs Connor Schmidt (67) and John Devereaux (68) picked up the third and fourth spots.

Elmhurst Country Club hosted local qualifying for the US Open on the third Monday of May. There were 50 players for 3 spots. Glenmaura National Country Club assistant Anthony Sebastianelli led the field with a four under par 67. Patrick Ross, a former member of the Temple University golf team was second at 68. The third spot was won by amateur William Mirams in a sudden death playoff after posting a 69.

The PGA Championship was played in South Carolina at the Kiawah Island Ocean Course. The golf course played  as difficult as usual even though the PGA officials set it up as fairly as possible. The first day the course was 200 yards less than its full length but there was only one score under 69, a 67. On day two the wind was up at 20 mph most of the day. Five over par 149 made the cut, but along with the wind the story of the day was 50-year old Phil Mickelson who was tied for the lead at (70-69) 139. On Saturday the wind was up again. Mickelson posted a 70 to take a one stroke lead into the final round over two-time PGA champion Brooks Koepka. The course did now play any easier on Sunday. In an up and down day of birdies and bogies Mickelson put together a 73 to win my two strokes at 282. Mickelson at 50 was the oldest to win a major championship, surpassing Julius Boros who had won the PGA in 1968 at age 48. Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen tied for second at 284. Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington, Paul Casey and Harry Higgs tied for fourth with 286s. First prize from the $12,000,000 purse was $2,160,000. The Philadelphia Section’s Brett Walker was one of 20 club professionals in the starting field. He posted rounds of 77 and 77 to miss the cut.

The Senior PGA Championship was held at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the end of May. Alex Cejka who had recently won on the Senior Tour as a first alternate won for a second time. It was a convincing win as well as he won by four strokes with an eight under par 272. His rounds were 67, 70, 68 and 67. First place paid $585,000. Tim Petrovic finished second at 276. Retief Goosen and K.J. Choi tied for third with 277s. John Pillar, Dave McNabb and David Quinn missed the cut. The total purse was $3,500,000.

On the first Monday of June sectional qualifying was held at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.  Christopher Crawford, who had grown up playing golf at the Spring Mill Country Club and was now playing minitours won one of the last two spots. Crawford, who had played college golf at Drexel University, qualified for the US Open for a third time. He had qualified as an amateur in 2016 and 2017. The medalist at eight under par 136 was Canada’s Taylor Pendrith. Dylan Wu was second at 137. Crawford and Chris Baker tied for third and fourth with 139s. Crawford had made it through local qualifying in Alabama where he shot a 69 and then won a three-man playoff for the fourth and last spot. There were 74 professionals and amateurs competing for four spots.

The 35th Burlington Classic was played at the Burlington Country Club in the first week of June. The first day was a pro-am with two professionals paired with three amateurs. The professionals’ scores counted toward a two-day total for individual money. The first day the course was set up at less than its full length for the pro-am. Braden Shattuck, an assistant professional at the Bidermann Golf Club, led by one stroke after round one on Sunday. On Monday he holed 25-foot and 10-foot putts for pars on the last two holes to finish with a one over par 71. His 135 total held off Terry Hertzog and Zac Oakley who tied for second with 137s. Eight professionals; Mike Furey, Parks Price, Chris Krueger, Greg Farrow, Alex Knoll, Brian Kelly, Eddie Perrino and Hugo Mazzalupi tied for fourth at 138. Furey was now the teaching professional at Saucon Valley Country Club and Krueger was the teaching professional at the Kings Creek Country Club. Farrow was the professional at the Deerwood Country Club and Perrino was the professional at the Eagle Rock Resort.  First prize was $3,500 from the $19,204 purse.

Kevin Kraft, who was a fitting professional at 2nd Swing Golf in Wilmington, Delaware, qualified for the US Senior Open on the Cascades Course in Hot Springs, Virginia on the first Monday of June. He posted a three under par 69 to grab the second of two spots. Amateur Keith Decker was low with a 68. There were 81 professionals and amateurs entered there.

On the second Monday of June David Quinn qualified for the US Senior Open at the Argyle Country Club in Silver Springs, Maryland. He shot a four under par 67 to tie for medalist with amateur William Smith. Players with 69 scores played off for the third and last spot. There were 120 players entered there.

The US Open was played near San Diego, California at the Torrey Pines Golf Club in the third week of June. Some little know professionals led in the early rounds, but when it was all over Jon Rahm was the winner. Ten players had a chance to win during the last round. Louis Oosthuizen held the lead late in the day only to have his drive on the 17th hole roll into a ravine which led to a bogey five. Playing ahead of Oosthuizen, Rahm had birdied the 17th hole and was now one in front playing the par five 18th hole. Bunkered to the right of the green in two, Rahm (278) blasted out to 18 feet and holed the putt. Oosthuizen (279) also made a 4 on the last hole, but his 72 hole total was one stroke too high. Rahm’s rounds were 69, 70, 72 and 67. Harris English was third at 281. Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Guido Migliozzi tied for fourth with 282s. Rahm won $2,250,000 from the $12,500,000 purse. Christopher Crawford missed the cut.

The Women’s PGA Championship was played near Atlanta, Georgia at the Atlanta Athletic Club in the fourth week of June. Nelly Korda won by three strokes with rounds of 70, 63, 68 and 68 for a nineteen under par 269. The win moved her into the number one ranking in the world. Lizette Salas finished second at 272. Giulia Molinaro and Hyo Joo Kim tied for fourth at 278. Leslie Grier missed the cut. First prize was $675,000 from a total purse of  $4,600,000.

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Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk won the US Senior Open in the second week of July at the Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Nebraska. Jim Furyk was exempt from qualifying off having won a US Open and being in his first 10 years of eligibility on the Senior PGA Tour and also having been a member of one of the last five Ryder Cup Teams. Two great rounds in the middle of the tournament won the title for him. Furyk’s rounds were 72, 64, 66 and 71. His seven under par 273 won by three strokes. He began the last round with a four stroke lead, but a three over par start on the first three holes reduced his lead to one. From there he played steady golf to the finish while the course was not giving up low rounds the others. By now having won both a US Open and a US Senior Open he joined an elite group of eight who had accomplished that. First prize from the $4,000,000 purse was $720,000. Mike Weir and Retief Goosen tied for second with 276s. Rod Pampling finished fourth at 277. Kevin Kraft tied for 56th at 296 and won $8,580. David Quinn missed the cut.

The Philadelphia Open was hosted by the Country Club of York in the second week of July. Blake Hinckley, a golf professional and member of Wilmington Country Club, captured the title with a five under par (66-69) 135 to win by one stroke. With nine holes to play Hinckley was two strokes out of the lead. Then on the 11th hole he holed out from 87 yards for an eagle two. From there he went par, birdie, birdie. On the 18th hole his tee shot was in the tree line on the right, but with a two stroke lead he made a safe bogey to win by one stroke. He had qualified for the tournament by shooting a 77 at Trenton Country Club to pick up one of the last spots. Hinckley had played his college golf at the University of Maryland and he had worked as an assistant at Bidermann Golf Club in 2020. Amateur Ron Robinson finished second at 136. Billy Stewart, the teaching professional at The Ace Club, and amateurs Patrick Sheehan, Joshua Ryan and Troy Vannucci tied for third with 137s. There was a cut to the low 70 and ties at the end of the first day. First prize was $6,000 from the total purse of $30,000.

The British Open was held at the par 70 Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England during the third week of July. Collin Morikawa won his second major and it was record setting. He was the first to win two major tournaments, the 2020 PGA Championship and this British Open, the first time he participated in them. He also joined an elite group of eight who had won two majors before the age of 25. Louis Oosthuizen led for three rounds but on Sunday he slipped to a 71 while his playing partner Morikawa was putting together a bogey free 66. Morikawa (67-64-68-66=265) won by two strokes over Jordan Spieth (267). Oosthuizen and Jon Rahm tied for third with 269s. The prize money totaled $11,500,000 and first prize was $2,070,000.

Braden Shattuck won the Lehigh Valley Open in the third week of July. It was again played at the Northampton Country Club. The two-day tournament ended in a three-way tie between Shattuck (69-66=135), Brett Walker (68-67=135) and Northampton member Zach Juhasz (66-69=135). A sudden death playoff was held on the drivable 315-yard 18th hole. Juhasz made a par on the first playoff hole and was eliminated. The 18th hole was then played again. Both Shattuck and Walker drove the green with their golf balls coming to rest on the front and lower level of the two tiered green. Walker took three putts while Shattuck was two putting for the win. First prize was $1,603 from the $12,120 prize pool. Alex Knoll finished fourth at 137.

The Senior British Open was played at in Sunningdale, England at the Sunningdale Golf Club during the fourth week of July. Wales professional Stephen Dodd won with rounds of 66, 71, 62 and 68. His 267 total nipped Angel Miguel Jimenez (268) by on stroke. Darren Clark (269) was third and Bernhard Langer (271) was fourth. Jim Furyk tied for 16th at 278 winning $38,013. The total purse in US dollars was $2,500,000 and first prize was $375,000.

In late July Brandon Matthews completed the wrap around PGA Tour Latinoamerica season as the Player of the Year. This gave him full exemption to the 2022 PGA Korn Ferry Tour. He had two victories during the season and won $151,161.

The Philadelphia PGA Assistant Championship was played at Cedarbrook Country Club in the first week of August. Brett Walker captured the title by two strokes with a seven under par 137. His rounds for the one day tournament were 68 and 69. Walker made six birdies in each round. Ashley Grier finished second at 139. Brian Bergstol and Zac Oakley tied for third with 141s. This was also qualifying for the PGA Assistant Championship. The Section had five places to qualify for. Michael Tobiason posted a 142 and picked up the fifth spot in a two-man sudden death playoff. First prize was $2,101 from total prize money of $15,480.

The Pennsylvania Open was held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club during the second week of August. At the end of 36 holes the field was cut to the low 40 and ties. 47 professionals and amateurs with scores of 147 or better survived to play the last 18 holes on Thursday. A large part of the story was the heat. The first day was 90 degrees and the second day was 93. The tournament ended in a tie at even par 210 when a 12-foot birdied putt dropped for Lancaster County minitour player Alex Blickle (69-70-71). That put him in a playoff with amateur Jeff Osberg (65-72-73). A sudden death playoff began on the 18th hole, then continued on through hole numbers 1, 18 and 1. They halved the first three holes in par (4), bogey (5) and par (4). Back to number one for a fourth playoff hole, Osberg was on the green in two and Blickle was in the left rough. From 206 yards he hit a 7-iron that came to rest two feet from the hole. Osberg two putted for a par and Blickle tapped in his putt for the title. First prize was $8,000. Trevor Bensel and English professional Findlay Mason, who was working at the Philadelphia Cricket Club as a summer intern, tied for third with 212 totals. Total prize money was $40,000.

Ashley Grier won the inaugural Philadelphia Section PGA Women’s Championship on the second Thursday of August. She put together a one over par 72 at the Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. Her sister, Andrea Grier an assistant at the Wilmington Country Club, finished second with a 76. Patty Post, University of Delaware golf coach, Victoria Petrosky, Fox Hill Country Club assistant, Marjorie Jones, The Shore Club assistant and Jennifer Cully, Honey Brook Golf Course teaching professional all tied for third with 78s. First prize from the $4,568 prize pool was $1,370. Six players won money.

The Penn Oaks Golf Club hosted the Pro-Am for Wishes, in the middle of August. The tournament was played on a Sunday and Monday. On Sunday the professionals were paired with amateurs in a pro-am to raise money for charity. Three players, Brian Kelly (72-68), Zac Oakley (69-71) and Brian Bergstol (69-71) finished in a tie for first. On the first playoff hole, which was the first hole at Penn Oaks, Kelly won with a par four. Chris Krueger finished fourth alone at 141. The prize money totaled $19,201 and first prize was $2,500.

Walker Sec Champ 2021
Brett Walker 2021 Philadelphia PGA Champion

The 100th Philadelphia PGA Section Championship was played at the end of August. The Aronimink Golf Club and Applebrook Golf Club hosted the championship. There were 163 entries. On Monday half of the field was at Aronimink and half of the field was at Applebrook. On Tuesday the players changed courses. The first day no one broke par at Aronimink as three turned in even par 70s. At Applebrook Ashley Grier posted a five under par 66 which led there by one stroke. With that Grier became the first woman to lead after any round of the 100 years of the Philadelphia PGA Championship. Grier played from tees that were 85 percent of the distance the men played from. On Tuesday Brett Walker made three birdies and an eagle on the back nine at Aronimink which helped him shoot a 66. The 66 and a 67 the day before at Applebrook gave him a one stroke lead at 133. On Wednesday hurricane Ida was  closing in on the Delaware Valley. A two-tee start  was scheduled for 8 a.m., but early morning rain pushed the start back to 9 a.m. As the day went along rain arrived and at 3 p.m. play was halted at 3 p.m. with the leaders having three holes left to play. After a three and one-half  hour delay the players headed out on the course to complete the round with Zac Oakley leading by two stokes. Before play could start again there was lightening and that was the end of golf for the day. With the PGA not having access to the Aronimink course for another day it had been decided before play began on Wednesday that if the round could not be completed the day’s scores would be wiped out and the final results would be based on the first two rounds. That made Walker the Section champion for 2021. First prize was $9,000. The two-round totals left Oakley (68-67) alone in second place at 135. Billy Stewart finished third at 138 and Grier was fourth at 139. This was also qualifying for the PGA Professional Championship. The Section had 11 spots to qualify for and with Walker having finished in the top 20 there in 2020 the Section had one more spot. Rusty Harbold, Terry Hertzog and  Dave McNabb tied for fifth with 140 totals winning the fifth, sixth and seventh spots. Trevor Bensel took the eighth spot with a 141. There were six players: Parks Price, George Forster, Hugo Mazzalupi, Steve Sanderson, Mike Furey and Scott Reilly who tied for ninth and had to playoff for the last four spots. The sudden death playoff began on the 18th hole at Aronimink on Thursday. Price made a par 4 while Forster, Mazzalupi  and Sanderson made bogeys to qualify. Then the playoff for first and second alternate went to the 10th hole. Furey made a bogey 5 to be first alternate with Reilly being the second alternate. Forster was now retired as the Radnor Valley Country Club professional. Sanderson was an assistant at Pine Valley Golf Club. Reilly was the professional at the Philadelphia Country Club. The host professionals were Jeff Kiddie (Aronimink) and Dave McNabb (Applebrook). The total purse was $72,000.

Parks Price won the Haverford Classic at the Sunnybrook Golf Club in a three-hole playoff on the first Tuesday of September. Price, Brett Walker and Zac Oakley had tied for the $100,000 top prize with four under par 68s. A sudden death playoff began on the 18th hole. All three reached the green with their second shots. Price, the farther away at 25 feet, holed his putt for a birdie. Oakley missed from 20 feet and Walker missed from 12 feet. Oakley and Walker each won $3,175. Brian Bergstol finished fourth with a 69. Total prize money was $116,730.

Dave McNabb won the Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship for a second time on the third Wednesday of September. The tournament was hosted by the Huntsville Golf Club. McNabb led the two-day tournament all the way. On Tuesday he turned in a five under par 67 to lead by two strokes. A steady round of 73 the second day gave him a 140 total and one stroke victory. At one point he had a five stroke lead during the second round. John Pillar and Brian Kelly tied for second with 141s. Terry Hertzog finished fourth at 144. This was also qualifying for the Senior PGA Professional Championship. The Section had six spots to qualify for. Terry Hatch and Eddie Perrino tied for fifth at 145 to pick up the fifth and sixth spots. Hatch was the teaching professional at the Royal Oaks Golf Club. First prize was $1,075 from a purse of $6,544.

In the fourth week of September the PGA of America’s Ryder Cup team soundly defeated the European PGA’s team 19 points to 9. The US won the most points in each round except one, which they tied. In nearly every match the Americans were ranked higher in the world than their opponents. Every US player played up to their world ranking for the three days. To finish it off on Sunday the US won team won 8 of the 12 singles points. It was the largest margin of victory for any team since all of Europe became part of the Ryder Cup in 1979.

Oakley, Zac-DeBaufre Trophy
Zac Oakley with DeBaufre Trophy

The Philadelphia PGA Match Play Championship was held at the Steel Club during the first week of October. There were 19 byes used to fill out the 64 player ladder. The number two seed, Zac Oakley, and the number 13 seed, Andrew Turner, made it to the final where Oakley won by 4 & 2. To reach the final Oakley defeated Dave McNabb 6 & 5 and Turner eliminated Eric Kennedy 2 & 1. It was the second time Oakley had won the Section’s Match Play Championship. It was a dominate display by Oakley as none of his matches reached the 17th hole. First prize was $2,084 from the $12,013 prize pool.

On the second Thursday of October the Golf Association of Philadelphia defeated the Philadelphia PGA in the annual challenge match. After two years of no matches due to rain in 2019 and COVID-19 in 2020 the matches were on again. Saucon Valley Country Club hosted the match on its Grace Course. There were 12 players on each team, with at least two seniors on a team. There were 12 singles matches and 6 better ball matches. The senior team of Dave McNabb and Brian Kelly won 2-1/2 points. The Zac Oakley and Michael Little team won 2 points. The team of Trevor Bensel and Brian Bergstol won 1-1/2 points. The teams of Braden Shaddock-Dustin Wallis and Chris Krueger-Mike Furey each won 1 point.  The team of George Forster, Sr. and Hugo Mazzalupi won 0 points. Wallis was the teaching professional at Honey Run Golf Club. The final score was 10 points for the GAP and 8 for the Philadelphia PGA. With this loss the 29-year record now stood at 21 victories for the PGA against 4 victories for the GAP and 4 ties.

Dave McNabb shot a 65 on the final day of the Senior PGA Professional Championship which elevated him to a tie for 14th. His 65 was low and the only 65 that day. He put together a seven under par 281. By finishing in the top 35 he qualified for the 2022 Senior PGA Championship. McNabb won $4,550. The tournament was held in the fourth week of October at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The par 72 Wanamaker Course and par 71 Ryder Course were used the first two days with the last two rounds on the Wanamaker Course. Paul Claxton (274) defeated Mark Milke (274) in a sudden death playoff with a par on the first extra hole which was held on the 18th hole of the Wanamaker Course. First prize was $26,000. Mike Small was third at 275. Bob Sowards and Alan Morin tied for fourth with 276s. Players with 286 or better totals qualified for the PGA Senior Championship, right on the number. There were 286 senior club professionals in the starting field. The top 70 and ties made the cut for the last two rounds. Scores of 145 and better made the cut and with ties at 145, 88 players make it. Brian Kelly tied for 53rd at 289 and won $1,825. Terry Hertzog, Eddie Perrino, John Pillar and Terry Hatch missed the cut. Total prize money came to $316,000. The winner’s name was added to the Leo Fraser trophy.

Dustin McCormick, Bob Hennifer, Patrick Shine, Chip Richter, Eric Kennedy xx
Newly elected officers-Dustin McCormick, Bob Hennefer, Patrick Shine, Chip Richter, Eric Kennedy

The fall meeting of the Philadelphia PGA was held at the Green Valley Country Club on the fourth Monday of October. For the first time since the fall of 2019 the meeting was held with attendance in person due to COVID-19. At the same time the meeting was available for viewing via Zoom which made for low attendance. Clark Luis opened the meeting with his usual resounding singing of our national anthem, which had been prerecorded. John Carpineta gave the invocation. Section member and PGA District Director from District 2 gave his report on national affairs. He reported that the move of the PGA offices would take place in March and the golf courses would not open until the spring of 2023. In Section president Jeff Kiddie’s report he mentioned that the Philadelphia Section’s Marty Lyons had been voted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame. He thanked Pete Trenham for nominating Lyons. Section vice president Patrick Shine, who was the professional at the Commonwealth National Golf Club, reported that there was $645,110 in the restricted fund which was a sizable increase from one year before. The Section’s junior tour was still flourishing with 765 junior golfers registered. 85 tournaments had been held for the juniors with 3,381 entries. Three new members: Matt Kowal, formerly the head professional at Philmont Country Club, John Pillar Country Club at Woodloch Springs and Mark Sheftic, the Lookaway Golf Club teaching professional, were inducted into the Philadelphia PGA Playing Legends. The Section “Player of the Year” was Zac Oakley and he was also won the DeBaufre Trophy for the low scoring average with 68.93 strokes per round. The 68.93 average set a record for a competition that had been contested since 1964. 2021 was an election year for the Section. Patrick Shine was elected president. Peter “Chip” Richter, who was now the teaching professional at the Country Club of Harrisburg, moved up to vice president and Bob Hennefer, the professional at the Indian Spring Country Club, was elected secretary. Eric Kennedy was reelected director of tournaments and Glen Brook Golf Club professional Dustin McCormick was elected director of section affairs.

The PGA of America’s annual meeting was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the first week of November. It was held at the Wisconsin Center. The meeting was held in person, which it had not been in 2020 due to COVID-19, but  it could also be viewed on PGA.org. There was a resolution proposed by the New England Section to increase the number of delegates to the annual meeting from 2 to 3 for each PGA Section. This would give the delegates a larger percentage of  the votes and more voice in the direction of the Association. The officers, past presidents and 17 district directors each had a vote as well. The resolution failed to pass. Patrick Shine and Chip Richter were the delegates from the Philadelphia Section. Also in attendance was Executive Director Geoffrey Surrette, past presidents of the PGA of America Dick Smith, Sr. and Jack Connelly along with other Section officers and staff members.

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Marty Lyons

On November 3 Marty Lyons was inducted into the PGA of America Hall of Fame. Lyons spent all but six years of his golf career working at the Llanerch Country Club. In 1913, at the age of nine, he began caddying at Llanerch and at age 16 he dropped out of school to be the caddy master. Two years later he was the assistant pro. In 1928 he moved to Maple Shade, New Jersey where he was the professional at the Spring Hill Country Club for six years. Due to his employer’s problems with the “Great Depression” Lyons returned to Llanerch in 1934 as the assistant to Denny Shute. With Shute having won the British Open in 1933 he was away from Llanerch for many days playing tournaments and exhibitions in 1934. Late in the year Shute left for a club in Chicago and by popular acclaim of the Llanerch members Lyons was now the head professional. Lyons’ passion was junior golf. In the 1930s he began filming his juniors’ golf swings. His prize pupil, Dorothy Germain, won the 1949 US Women’s Amateur. Lyons became involved in the Philadelphia PGA affairs and in late 1941 was elected Section president, an office he held for six years. With the United States at war Lyons got the Section members involved with charities for the war effort. They raised money by playing exhibitions with the local amateurs and big name professionals. Before they were done they had built two golf courses and three putting courses at hospitals for the wounded veterans returning from the war. At the 1944 national meeting Lyons and Jimmy D’Angelo presented a plan for the PGA to have a 99-year lease at $1 a year of the Dunedin Isles Golf Club in Florida for the PGA’s winter home. Without much opposition the delegates voted for the lease. In 1956 Lyons campaigned to hold a PGA Championship at Llanerch and the 1958 championship was awarded to Llanerch. Lyons and some of the Llanerch attended the 1957 PGA Championship in Ohio to learn about hosting the championship. When they returned home Lyons wrote a letter to the PGA stating that he had attended a well run tournament with good prize money that had lost money and some PGA members chose not to enter. If the tournament was played at stroke play instead of match play, more PGA members could play and with the guarantee that most of the name professionals would be around for the final days of the tournament, a major television company might be interested in televising the tournament. At the PGA’s annual meeting in 1957 Lyons sold the delegates on changing their championship to stroke play. Then Lyons sold CBS on televising the tournament. CBS televised the last three holes on Sunday for two and one-half hours. For the first time in many years the tournament made a profit. Lyons was president of the Philadelphia Section six years, 1942 to 1947. He held the office of secretary in the PGA of America in 1949, but choose to serve only one year.

Brian Bergstol finished second at the PGA Professional Assistant Championship during the second week of November. The tournament was held at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida on the Wanamaker Course. The tournament was won by Jim Chung with a 14 under par score of 274. His rounds were 67, 65, 72 and 70 won by seven strokes over Bergstol (281). Bergstol’s rounds were 68, 71, 66 and 76. Eric Steger and Jeremy Wells tied for third with 282s. First prize was $12,000 and Bergstol won $9,400. Zac Oakley tied for tenth at 285 and won $2,850. Brett Walker finished in a tie for 13th at 286 and won $2,165,71. Michael Tobiason finished 77th at 304, winning $520. Ashley Grier missed the cut and received a check for $300. The total prize money was $150,000.

On the first Tuesday of December Zac Oakley won Event No. 3 of the PGA Tournament Series. The two-day tournament was played on the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course at Port St. Lucie, Florida. After posting a 70 in the first round Oakley began the final round three strokes behind the leader. Four birdies and an eagle on the front nine moved him into contention. He then played the second nine in two under par for 64. When  everyone playing behind him had posted their scores he was tied with Brett Walker (68-64) with 134 totals. A sudden death playoff began on the 18th hole where Oakley holed a 10-foot putt for a birdie to win the $5,000 first prize. Walker picked up $3,200 for second place. Jake Scott and Ben Kern tied for third at 137.

Three days later Zac Oakley won Event No. 4 of the PGA Tournament Series which was played on the PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course. He got off to a slow start with a two over par 37 that included a triple bogey on the first nine. A back nine 29 saved the round. A nine under par round of 62 in the second round put Oakley in the clubhouse at 128, which won by one stroke. Tyler Collet was second at 129. Dylan Newman (131) finished third and Frank Bensel (134) was fourth. First prize was $5,000.

The PGA of America “Player of the Year” was Jon Rohm and he won the Vardon Trophy with a scoring average of 69.30 strokes per round. He was also the leading money winner with $7,705,933 in 22 tournaments.

Bernard Langer was the leading money winner on the PGA Champions Tour with $3,255,499. Jim Furyk was second on the list with $3,141,663. Furyk played in 26 tournaments which was 13 less than Langer.

The celebration of the Philadelphia Section’s 100th year did not turn out as anticipated. With the continuing threat of COVID-19 there were no dinners or galas..The largest thing to celebrate was that no golf professional in the Philadelphia Section had died from the virus. Along with that, golf during 2020 and 2021 had been experiencing a boom due to people staying home and not traveling or even going to the office.

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