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Team Philadelphia regains Compher Cup; defeats NJSGA
The Golf Association of Philadelphia defeated the New Jersey State Golf Association, 11.5-6.5, to regain the prestigious Compher Cup on a breezy and chilly Wednesday at Gulph Mills Golf Club.
The victory improved the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s record to 32-12 with four ties in the annual Compher Cup Matches between the neighboring associations. Last year, Team New Jersey cruised to a 13.5-4.5 win at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J.
"We needed 9.5 points to win and I thought the key to the victory was the great job our team did in the better-ball matches, winning four and tying one. Getting those 4.5 points was huge,” said Team Philadelphia captain Doug Zelner of Coatesville CC. “The weather conditions were definitely a factor, especially on those holes into the wind. I wish we got to play Gulph Mills more often -- it is a fantastic course, in outstanding shape and it was perfect for the Compher Cup.”
The decisive points, as it turned out, came from Team Philadelphia’s fifth group. Chris Lange of Overbrook Golf Club scored a 4&2 decision over New Jersey co-captain Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge Golf Club in singles action and then partnered with Anthony Martire of Seaview Resort & Spa for a 4&3 better-ball victory. Those two points gave Team Philadelphia the 9.5 points required to regain the Cup.
Lange’s better-ball win improved his record to a remarkable 19-2 with three ties in Compher Cup four-ball competitions.
The recently turned 55-year¬-old has competed in 24 of the 48 Compher Cups.
“It’s an honor to play in the Matches,” said Lange. “It is always at great golf courses, under challenging conditions and is always a fun day, win or lose. We are lucky Mr. Compher had the idea.”
In addition to Lange, other singles winners for Team Philadelphia were Chris Ault of Yardley CC; Tom Borsello of White Clay Creek CC; Michael Brown of Lookaway GC; Brian Gillespie of St. Davids GC; Michael Hyland of Little Mill CC and Glenn Smeraglio of Mercer Oaks GC.
The teams of Ault and Smeraglio; Borsello and Sean Leonard of Tavistock CC; and Brown and Jeff Griest of Waynesborough CC also each earned a point in the better-ball portion. Hyland and Zelner scored a half point.
In the Compher Cup, each association fields a 12-man team with players simultaneously competing in a singles match and four-ball match. There are a total of 18 possible points. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for the team.
Fred Compher, a former New Jersey State Golf Association president, conceived the neighborhood matches after leaving his post in 1959. Compher donated a silver trophy that year earmarked for such a rivalry.
In 1961, association representatives Bob Jacobson of New Jersey and Richard Ollmah of GAP completed the details. In 1962, the first Compher Cup matches took place. That year, the NJSGA side forged a 5–1 lead in the morning foursomes’ competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches for an 11.5-6.5 victory.
After the New Jersey victory, Compher himself, who was known at the time as the most successful NJSGA president in its history, presented the trophy “to promote golf between the groups.”