|*Williamson Cup results
Williamson Cup Matches set for Bent Creek Country Club
Fred E. Williamson would have wanted it this way.
A prestigious annual competition featuring some of the best junior golfers from around the world, focusing not only on score but also on formal discipline, strict adherence to the Rules of Golf and complete compliance with the traditional etiquette and courtesies of the game.
|Sean O'Hair, a PGA Tour|
rookie from Boothwyn, Pa.,
spoke at the Williamson Cup.
These hallmarks will continue to hold forth when the 43rd Williamson Cup Matches are held on Aug. 9 at the picturesque Bent Creek Country Club in the rolling Amish countryside of Lititz, Pa., Lancaster County.
The 36-hole, stroke play event features competition among four-man teams from 11 state and regional golf associations from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, Ontario, Quebec and Washington, D.C.
At one point in the history of these international matches, a team from Paris, France, participated.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia, winners of the cup five times in 10 years from 1984 to 1993, will be seeking its first victory since 2000, when Reid Benditt, Chris Binder, Tug Maude and John Sawin took home the cup at Bridgewater Country Club in Buffalo, N.Y.
The Bent Creek matches will be the first time in the last 10 years the Golf Association of Philadelphia will host the competition. The organization’s team will be selected in late July, upon the conclusion of the Junior Schedule.
"The Williamson Cup is one of the most prominent junior events in the country and we are proud to be hosting it this year," said Dave Prinz, the Junior Coordinator for the Golf Association of Philadelphia. "We look forward to providing the juniors with an experience of a lifetime."
Whoever represents the Golf Association of Philadelphia, however, will have a daunting task. Although the Association’s juniors have won the competition seven times since the matches began in 1964 at Winged Foot Golf Club, the GAP has never won in the five previous times it has hosted the event.
Williamson was one of the founders of the famed Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. In his honor and in his name, the Williamson Cup Matches were founded by his son, A Fred Williamson.
Teams from the four original cities, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Buffalo met at Winged Foot Golf Club in 1964 to institute the Williamson Cup Matches. Washington, D.C., won the competition.
Philadelphia’s initial victory came in 1969, when Don DeAngelis, Rick Osberg, Steve Marshall and Rich Monkman traveled to Canada to win the cup at Sur Le Lac Country Club in Quebec, Canada.
But the Golf Association of Philadelphia didn’t win the cup again until 1984, when a team composed of Tom Covello, Doug Gregor, Gui Kling and John Sweeney won at Winged Foot Golf Club. That win started a streak of five wins in 10 years, including wins in 1987 at Onondaga Golf & Country Club in Syracuse, N.Y., 1988 at Fox Chapel Country Club near Pittsburgh, 1991 at the Country Club of Buffalo, N.Y., and 1993 back in Quebec, Canada at Whitlock Golf & Country Club.
The Williamson Cup Matches differ from usual junior competition, in that it basically is a family affair. Players are houseguests of host club members. Social activities away from the golf club are chaperoned by those hosts. Family activities are designed to be the core of the experience for all contestants.
As a result, long lasting national and international friendships have developed over the years between Williamson Cup players and host families.
At Bent Creek, there will be a practice round on Monday, Aug. 8, with a cookout that evening. On Tuesday, the 36-hole competition will be held, followed by a reception and dinner hosted by the various associations. Sean O’Hair, a 22-year-old PGA Tour rookie who resides in Boothwyn, Pa., will be the featured dinner guest. O’Hair drew national attention as a teenager in his efforts to join the PGA Tour.
In the competition, the low three scores of the four-man team for each round will be counted. If there is a playoff, all four players’ scores will count. A medallist plaque also will be awarded to the player with the lowest overall score.
The juniors will have their hands full with Bent Creek.
The course, founded in 1991 and opened in 1993, was designed by architect Jay Morrish, who studied under Robert Trent Jones and George Fazio, and worked with Jack Nicklaus in designing Muirfield Village Golf Club and with Tom Weiskopf in designing Troon Golf & Country Club, Troon North and the TPC of Scottsdale.
Morrish was selected Golf Course Architect of the Year by Golf Digest while he was working on Bent Creek, which is his only design in the Northeast. Little earth had to be moved on the former farmland, as the natural, rolling terrain lent a great naturalness to the course.
It plays to par 71, 6,726 yards from the back tees, with a few small lakes and wetlands. But there’s sand, lots of sand.
Sand, according to an account of the design of the course, was Morrish’s "principal means of defense, and he ladled it out lavishly, opening an assortment of pits in every imaginable size and shape. By actual count, there are 80 bunkers, but so expansive are many of them that it feels – and plays – like 120."
In early August 1994, scarcely a year after it opened for play, Bent Creek hosted the Pennsylvania Open. It has also hosted an USGA Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier and the 2004 Compher Cup Matches.