Oct. 21, 2015

Senior Flight champion Joseph Russo's 5-under 65 was the low round of the day.

Cricketeer Brennan crowned champion of Champions

  WALLINGFORD, Pa. – In a title-holding field of 42 amateur club champions, it was Philadelphia Cricket Club’s John Brennan that played as the truest champion of them all. Brennan fired a 3-under round of 67 at The Springhaven Club (par 70, 6,374 yards) to become the first Cricketeer to win a Tournament of Champions title.

| Scorecards | History |

  “I told my wife that I may never get a chance to play again in the [Tournament of Champions], so I had to get out here today,” said Brennan, who is a high school social studies teacher by trade. “With so many great players at Philly Cricket, I’m not sure if I would have ever gotten another chance. It’s a big deal to win a club championship at Cricket, so the fact that I won [the TOC] makes it mean that much more to me.”

  From the get go, Brennan was on a hunt for the hardware. His front nine of 3 under set the stage for his championship run, and hosted three birdies with zero bogey blemishes.

  But once the Audubon, Pa. resident found himself sitting comfortably at five under thanks to an eagle on No. 12, trouble struck Brennan’s game out of left field. He went on to bogey Nos. 14-16. Brennan’s lead had vanished in the blink of an eye.

  “Even though I felt like I didn’t hit a bad shot all day, that was a bad stretch,” said Brennan, 36. “Chet [Walsh] and Mike [Korcuba], my playing partners, were there for me. They started telling me, ‘You got this.’”

  Brennan, knowing he had to turn it around sooner rather than later heading to the 17th tee, bounced back in pure championship fashion.

  “I told myself that my driver was feeling good. I hit it about 60 yards out from the green on 17, then hit a wedge to three feet of the pin, made the [birdie] putt,” Brennan said. “That really got me going.”

  Another champion-like par save came on No. 18 (par 4, 370 yards) when Brennan escaped left tree trouble off the tee. He wavered on his approach club, but ultimately made the right call with a low punch shot that found its way safely to the front of the green. His two putt gave him a one-stroke victory over Green Valley Country Club’s Ben Feld, along with the Amateur Flight title.

  “This honestly just feels great, especially with the lifelong exemption and all,” Brennan said. “Any time you have a chance to put your name on a GAP trophy, it’s wonderful. It’s a great way to end another great year.”

Senior Flight

  Joseph Russo of Laurel Creek Country Club took the Senior Flight with a strong statement, firing a day-low round of 5-under 65. He topped a field of 36 Seniors who played The Springhaven Club as a par-70, 5,905 yard track.

  Russo finished his beginning nine at a respectable 1 under, but his game really caught fire after making the championship turn. Three birdies, coming on Nos. 11 (par 4, 402 yards), 13 (par 3, 182 yards), and 16 (par 3, 97 yards), fell thanks to Russo’s flatstick feeling at home on greens that were rolling in excess of 12.

  A jarred wedge for eagle, however, on No. 12 (par 5, 495 yards) ultimately cemented Russo’s spot atop the Senior Flight.

  It’s been a year of ups and downs for Russo, who, back in August, three putted the final hole of a U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifier at White Manor Country Club to miss the qualifying playoff. Russo, a resident of Washington Township, N.J., said he had to take a few weeks off from playing after that disheartening finish.

  “I was so disgusted. I put a lot of time in to get where I could qualify for that, and I thought I should have,” said the 58 year old. “It was discouraging to say the least.”

  Being able to put that disappointment in the past got a little easier for Russo on Wednesday at Springhaven. He ended his 2015 season on the highest note possible. He is, after all, a champion of Champions.

  “This feels good,” Russo said of his Senior title. “Even if this wasn’t the last tournament of the year, I still always look forward to playing in the GAP events. You always play on great golf courses against great players.”

  Ed Chylinski of Chester Valley Golf Club took home the Super-Senior title with a 8-over 78. It was the first year of the Tournament of Champions that players 65 and older competed in a Super-Senior Flight.

  Open to current Member Club amateur champions, senior amateur champions, super-senior amateur champions and previous winners, the Tournament of Champions began in 1962 in memory of Larry Malmed. The Golf Association of Philadelphia accepted the event in 1984 after Al Porter, the tournament’s coordinator, was forced to retire because of an illness. A Senior Division was added in 1992.

Golf Association of Philadelphia

Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Amateur Division

Name, club

Score

John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club

67

Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club

68

Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club

69

Michael Brown, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA

70

Erik Reisner, The ACE Club

72

Greg Blackburn, Honeybrook Golf Club

72

Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club

72

Benjamin Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

73

Christopher Clauson, Sandy Run Country Club

73

Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club

73

Zachary Falone, Rolling Green Golf Club

73

Eric Murphy, Indian Valley Country Club

74

Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club

74

Michael Shevlin, Sr., Paxon Hollow Country Club

74

Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club

75

Michael Walker, Hartefield National

75

Dave Marshall, Trenton Country Club

76

Mike Cavanaugh, Jericho National Golf Club

76

P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club

76

Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club

76

Ryan Beck, Old York Road Country Club

76

Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club

76

Tim Slizofski, North Hills Country Club

76

Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club

77

David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

78

Michael Quinn, Edgmont Country Club

78

Chris Lawler, Applebrook Golf Club

79

J.B. Whaley, Sakima Country Club

79

James Chojnacki, Valleybrook Country Club

79

James Levy, Radnor Valley Country Club

79

Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club

79

Benjamin Kotler, Squires Golf Club

80

Jonathan Radick, Northampton Country Club

80

Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club

80

Michael Limongelli, Phoenixville Country Club

81

Dan Close, Woodcrest Country Club

82

Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club

82

Adam Sutovich, Brookside CC of Allentown

83

Drew Guarino, Old York CC at Chesterfield

84

Anthony Barr, Blue Bell Country Club

88

Jonathan Kruse, Bala Golf Club

90

Joseph Gardener, III, Middletown Country Club

90

Alan Borowsky, White Manor Country Club

WD

Randy Finn, Moselem Springs Golf Club

WD

Ray Pyontek, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

NS

 

Senior Division

Name, club

Score

Joseph Russo, Laurel Creek Country Club

65

David West, Whitford Country Club

70

Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club

71

John Owens, Hidden Creek Golf Club

71

Brian Corbett, Huntsville Golf Club

72

Bob Arthur, Tavistock Country Club

76

Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club

76

Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club

76

Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield

76

Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club

77

Jim O'Brien, Indian Valley Country Club

77

Michael Beckett, Trenton Country Club

77

Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club

77

Bryan Marvin, Old York Road Country Club

78

Dennis Fellona, Merchantville Country Club

78

Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club

78

Jim Gavaghan, Jericho National Golf Club

78

John Duke, Sandy Run Country Club

78

Christopher Terebesi, Honeybrook Golf Club

79

Leonard Pearson, Philmont Country Club

79

Phil Remig, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

79

Roy Gagne, Yardley Country Club

79

Bill Augustyn, West Chester Golf & Country Club

80

Scott Murphy, Broad Run Golfer's Club

80

Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club

80

Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club

81

Frank Tuscano, North Hills Country Club

82

Pat McDevitt, Applecross Country Club

82

Stanley Casacio, Cedarbrook Country Club

83

Robert Cannon, Blue Bell Country Club

84

Sheldon Pollack, Bala Golf Club

84

Bruce Losse, Limekiln Golf Club

86

Michael Quinn, Edgmont Country Club

86

Richard Bourassa, McCall Golf & Country Club

90

Bob Pagano, Bensalem Township Country Club

96

John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club

WD

Paul De Angelis, Stonewall

NS

Philip Heckler, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

NC

 

Super-Senior Division

Name, club

Score

Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club

78

Thomas Girone, Applecross Country Club

82

Ed Zebrowski, Sea Oaks Golf Club

83

Michael Kyle, Talamore Country Club

86

Larry Helsel, Honeybrook Golf Club

94

Francis Adams, McCall Golf & Country Club

95

 

NC-no card; NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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