Hard to believe the final Winter Series event of the 2016-17 campaign is upon. A pair of Player of the Year titles hang in the balance at Penn Oaks Golf Club.
Joe Zulli of Little Mill leads the Amateur Gross category by a scant 25 points over clubmate and friend David Waxman. Zulli isn’t currently scheduled to compete Monday; Waxman is in the field. A good showing could mean a trophy.
Two-time Senior Net POY Bernard Kelly, also of Little Mill, holds an 80-point advantage over Jack McCormick of Stone Harbor. They are paired together at Penn Oaks, set to tee off No. 2.
Richard Custer and Greg Smith all but wrapped up their POY designations: Senior Gross and Amateur Net, respectively. Both are in Monday’s field at Penn Oaks.
Tomorrow is April 1, the official opening of handicap posting season. We’re a week away from The Masters.
The offseason is foreign to the Communications department. We’re always in the midst of a project or five, doing our part to uphold the Association’s mission year-round. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening in 2017 so far:
- Photo labeling. We’re tagging and archiving each photo taken during the 2016 tournament season. Well, not every single one (a bundle hit the cutting room floor), but a good portion.
- Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine (Spring 2017). Not a day goes by when we’re not working, thinking and breathing magazine. Preparing content for the next issue, which will be released prior to the BMW GAP Team Matches.
- BMW GAP Team Matches and tournament schedule. At long last, we posted a write-up on the Web site regarding the 2017 BMW GAP Team Matches. Look for the 2017 tournament schedule to be released early next week.
- Web exclusive stories. Posted a few on the Web site in January. Engaging features that didn’t make the magazine cut (editorial space reasons).
- J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Year-in-Review, schedule posters. Coming soon to a club near you. We’re responsible for copy, design, etc.
- #PolarPlay9. Heavily promoted this event, which urged members to play at nine participating indoor golf simulator facilities.
That’s a brief snapshot of activity. As for an update on my fellow Communications staffers and co-authors of this blog?
Dan is moving to Conshohocken. Marty just got his fifth haircut of 2017.
To rev up enthusiasm for the tournament season, the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine annually features a “Players to Watch” segment in its spring edition. Six players — two amateurs/middle-amateurs, two Seniors, a Junior and a Super-Senior — received that designation in 2016. How did they fare? Let’s find out together in this space.
P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club (Amateur)
- advanced through local stage in U.S. Open qualifying
- missed the match play cut in the 116th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Merion Golf Club (East Course) with scores of 80 and 75
- represented Lu Lu during the 97th Team Championship at Hidden Creek Golf Club; posted two better-ball points and 2.5 singles points
- tied for 11th in the 114th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at Huntingdon Valley Country Club with scores of 70 and 74
- placed 27th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club (Senior)
- tied for 25th in the 82nd Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Whitford Country Club
- finished third in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) at Galloway National Golf Club
- won the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf at Overbrook Golf Club; holed out from the bunker on the first extra hole to defeat Christopher Clauson of Lu Lu Country Club in the Senior Division Final
- won the Senior 27-Hole Challenge alongside Bert Kosup at French Creek Golf Club
- tied for 31st in the 46th Senior Amateur Championship at White Manor Country Club with scores of 82 and 76
- quarterfinalist in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Senior Match Play Championship presented by Allegheny Health Network at Lookaway Golf Club; lost to Robin McCool of Saucon Valley Country Club, 4&2
- tied for fourth in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Allegheny Health Network at Chester Valley Golf Club
- tied for 10th in the Senior Silver Cross Award standings
- represented the Association during the Senior Challenge Matches at Lehigh; carded a 75
- placed seventh in the Senior Player of the Year standings
Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club (Super-Senior)
- posted a Top 5 finish in the 82nd Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross)
- tied for second in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross)
- finished third in the 46th Senior Amateur Championship with scores of 80 and 74
- placed third in the Super-Senior Silver Cross Award standings
- placed third in the Super-Senior Player of the Year standings
Jacob Hanzel, Running Deer Golf Club (Junior)
- tied for 23rd in the Christman Cup presented by GlobalGolfPost at Running Deer with scores of 78 and 76
- qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn.; missed the match play cut with scores of 80 and 73
- tied for third in the 32nd Jock MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run Country Club
- tied for sixth in the Harry Hammond Award standings
- represented the Association during the Williamson Cup
- placed seventh in the Junior Player of the Year standings
Craig Kliewer, Honeybrook Golf Club (Senior)
- tied for 11th in the 82nd Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross)
- tied for 41st in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross)
- quarterfinalist in the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf; lost to Michael Vassil of the Country Club of Scranton, 1-up
- finished fourth in the 46th Senior Amateur Championship; carded rounds of 71 and 76
- placed sixth in the Senior Silver Cross Award standings
- represented the Association during the Senior Challenge Matches
- placed ninth in the Senior Player of the Year standings
Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club (Amateur)
- tied for fourth in the 32nd Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf at Waynesborough Country Club; carded rounds of 70 and 74
- quarterfinalist in the 116th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship; lost to Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 3&1
- medalist in a U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon); carded a walk-off ace to earn the honor
- advanced to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Mid-Amateur at Stonewall; lost to No. 1 seed Michael Muehr of Potomac Falls, Va., 2&1
- placed seventh in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings
We don’t claim to be experts, but I must say all of this year’s selections played up to the preseason hype. Congrats gents.
It’s been awhile since we’ve met in this space. Time to catch you up on all things Communications.
The 2016 tournament season is in the books. The fall slate of the Winter Series, too. The Communications department put together a presentation for the Player’s Dinner held Oct. 26 at White Manor Country Club. All 2016 tournament winners were recognized during the event. Attendees saw Player of the Year (William Hyndman, III, Senior, Super-Senior and Junior) video features, the 2016 highlight video and champions roll call video. Special thanks to Marty Emeno, who coordinated Player’s Dinner operations and ensured the presentation was well-structured.
The fall edition of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is available. Caddying is the topic at hand, and it’s a good one. We decided to highlight the role of a caddie and how influential it is these days. Marty and I collaborated on the main story included in that spread. Like journalists in a typical newsroom setting, we scrambled to call sources (10 for me), shuffled talking points and ultimately put together a fun piece. Cool to work on this one.
Speaking of the magazine, it never sleeps (neither do I these days, but that’s another story). We’re hard at work on the final edition of 2016. I won’t spoil what we have in store, but I sure hope you’ll enjoy nonetheless. Look for a December release.
I’m headed to Coatesville Country Club next Tuesday for a GAPTV production. Again, no spoilers on the topic. Stay tuned.
We will wrap 2016 in a nice Communications bundle next month. I wish all of you (readers who have made it this far, that is) a Happy Thanksgiving. If you need a break from the football games or the family chitchat, check out the 2016 Highlight Video. Shameless plug alert.
Today is Communications intern Tim Merrick’s last here at Golf Association of Philadelphia HQ. Tim returned to our team this tournament season and proved invaluable. We asked him to reflect on the summer that was.
Throughout the school year last year, I was thinking about summer 2016 plans. After spending the 2015 summer season with GAP as a Communications Intern, I didn’t think I was going to be able to return for a second season. I wasn’t sure it was the best move for my career moving forward, working the same internship two summers in a row. But, in December, I came to the realization that this internship was something that I couldn’t pass up. To say that I am happy with the decision I made is an understatement. I came back because I knew that this type of work would provide me with consistent work writing about golf, on-site experience at some of the area’s, and nation’s, premiere golf courses, and relationships that I will take with me for a long time.
I couldn’t have asked for a better summer with the Golf Association of Philadelphia. This year, I feel like I’ve made a lot of strides in my work. First, I feel like my writing has grown exponentially, even from last year. After working with Marty, Tony and Dan, who expect a certain standard of writing, I have been able to really hone my skills. I’ve been able to really get creative in certain areas, while also progressively tweaking my own style. Throughout the summer, I was able to talk with and write about multiple people. This experience has been valuable in teaching me how to strike a conversation with anybody, about anything. Last year, I could have been a bit shy in this area. This year, however, I feel like I was able to really talk with people and ask questions that would help my story. Finally, I think that my experiences with photos, video, social media, and Periscope have been invaluable. To watch the success of Periscope continue to rise has been awesome. From last year’s first broadcast at the Mid-Am, to last week’s 180+ live viewers at Huntingdon Valley for the Patterson Cup, it’s been amazing to watch. I’ve become a better photographer, a more accurate social media user, and a more creative videographer, all thanks to my time here with GAP.
Over my two years working with the Communications department, I’ve worked on a lot of different stories. This year, I really enjoyed working on the Sam Dalton J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholar story. Sam was a really nice kid who I really enjoyed speaking with and learning more about. Like most of those stories, I thought it was awesome to tell the story of somebody who was in need of the scholarship, has been doing really great things, and has used the scholarship to better themselves. Going on-site with Sam and writing the story was definitely one of my favorite assignments. As for the tournaments, there were quite a few that I really enjoyed. Spending four days at Merion Golf Club was amazing. But, my favorite would probably have to be the Junior Boys’ Championship at Tavistock Country Club, spent with Tony Regina. I really enjoyed doing video recaps all three days. The GAP Junior golf scene is really competitive and it was fun watching those kids play really well. The matches were intense and the course was awesome. I really enjoyed working alongside Tony for those three days and felt like we put out really good content.
I’ve been lucky to work this internship for the past two years. It’s been a tremendously fun experience and one that I won’t soon forget. I got to spend three months covering a sport that I love, at beautiful venues across the Philadelphia area, with people that have become friends. I can’t thank everybody at GAP enough for allowing me to come back and work with them. Marty, thank you for allowing me to share an office with you and helping me develop my skills as a writer. Although we joke a lot, I’ve really appreciated the time spent working with you. We’ve spent a lot of time in the cart riding around and it was really a blast. Tony, thank you being a genuinely kind person and helping me with anything that I needed. I’ve learned a lot from you in regards to videos, and really enjoyed the events that we worked together. You’re constant positive attitude is something that I look up to. And Dan, thanks for being a really good friend of mine. Although you were stuck with me for a lot of events, I wanted to thank you for putting up with me. I also want to thank you for helping me out with a lot of different things and treating me as an equal. To all of you, I appreciate the fact that I was treated as a co-worker. I’ve really enjoyed myself and learned a lot throughout my time here. I am thankful to have worked with such dedicated and skilled people.
Thanks to all of the others at GAP who have been so nice and welcoming throughout my time as an intern. Moving forward, I hope to find a job that is anywhere close to what I did here. It’ll be hard to match the experiences that I’ve had, but hopefully with the skills that I have gained and honed here, I will be somewhat as good at my job as all of you. Thank you for making this summer another one to remember.
I roamed Rolling Green Golf Club, site of the 116th U.S. Women’s Amateur, during Round One of the event’s 36-hole stroke play qualifier. Five players with Golf Association of Philadelphia ties qualified for the tournament: Radley Run’s Kate Evanko, Jericho National’s Madelein Herr, Commonwealth National’s Alessandra Liu, Yardley’s Jackie Rogowicz and Tavistock’s Meghan Stasi.
In the morning, Rogowicz, 18, of Yardley, Pa., posted a 1-over-par 72. She started on a sour note: two holes, two bogeys. Rogowicz, a rising sophomore at Penn State University, dropped birdies of five and 10 feet, respectively, on Nos. 5 (par 4, 418 yards) and 8 (par 4, 343 yards) to neutralize the errors.
“Even though the course is still wet, the greens are still pretty fast, and the pins weren’t that easy. You have to stay patient because there are a lot of birdie holes,” she said.
Rogowicz ended on a sweet note: two holes, two birdies. She hit wedges of 93 and 96 yards to four and seven feet, respectively, for birdies on Nos. 17 (par 5, 469 yards) and 18 (par 5, 486 yards).
Rogowicz competed in the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2014. She lost in a playoff for the final match play spots.
“Obviously I want to make match play, but I think I play better when I don’t have expectations. I try not to set them,” she said.
Rogowicz will tee off at 2:09 p.m. tomorrow. The Round Two schedule is as follows: Evanko, 9:27 a.m.; Herr, 9:16 a.m.; Liu, 12:52 p.m.; Stasi, 7:48 a.m.
I now turn my attention to the Joseph H. Patterson Cup. Final qualifying event is tomorrow at Lu Lu Country Club, Championship proper will take place Thursday-Friday at Huntingdon Valley Country Club. In between, perhaps I’ll have an opportunity to return to Rolling Green.