117th #GAPOpen: Round One - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 13, 2021

117th #GAPOpen: Round One

Pair of Philadelphia PGA Section pros lead at 4 under

YORK, Pa.–Two Philadelphia PGA Section professionals, at opposite ends of the success spectrum, are tied for the lead after Round One of the 117th Open Championship at the Country Club of York (par 70, 6,612 yards). Teaching instructor Billy Stewart of Union League Liberty Hill, the 2018 Open Champion, and Hinckley, who is two years into his professional career and plays out of Wilmington Country Club, both carded 4-under-par 66s to top the 125-player field on an oppressive hot day in Central Pennsylvania.

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A total of 17 players finished at even par or better. The cut line fell at 5-over 75 with 70 players advancing to Day Two.

The second round begins at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Due to potential weather, a two-tee start will be utilized. The leaders tee off at 9:20 a.m.

Reigning Open champion Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club’s professional, is tied for 18th at 1 over.

Stewart, 37, of Devon, Pa., has hoisted some of the most prestigious titles in Philadelphia golf. A highly-decorated GAP Junior golfer, Stewart won the 2002 Philadelphia Amateur Championship at age 18. His professional successes are plenty, including wins in the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic (2013), William Hyndman, III Memorial Classic (2014), Philadelphia Assistant PGA Professional Championship (2014-15), Pennsylvania Golf Association Open Championship (2015) and Philadelphia PGA Section Professional Championship (2018).

However, the last few years have seen a Stewart drought. That 2018 Section title was his last win.

“My passion for the game is competing. I also love teaching. But at the end of the day, I like to compete and win tournaments so to finally get back into contention here after this round, if feels good,” said Stewart, who was the Open runner-up in 2013. “It’s been a little tricky the last few years. This is my favorite thing to do, compete. It feels great to be back in contention again.”

Hinckley turned professional in April 2019 after graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in finance. He did not play at College Park, Md., but couldn’t resist the lure of the game. He served as an assistant at Bidermann Golf Club last year.

“I’m looking forward to [the final round] because I haven’t been in this positon too much. There will probably be some nerves on the first tee, they usually are. So [it’ll be] just about managing those nerves,” said Hinckley, who is moving to North Carolina and then Florida later this year for mini-tour opportunities. “My love for golf was the overriding factor [in turning professional]. And then with everything that happened last year with COVID, I decided to chase the [PGA TOUR] dream full-time.”

Hinckley learned to play the game at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club as a teenager and caddied at Applebrook Golf Club.

He had one college golf offer after graduating from Unionville High School, but decided to go academics first. Hinckley said the occasional transfer opportunity presented itself but nothing serious.

“I’d rather fail at something I like, than be successful at something I don’t like,” said Hinckley, 24, of Greenville, Del.

Stewart birdied three of the first four holes and four of the first seven. He bogeyed Nos. 9 (par 4, 471 yards) and 13 (par 4, 306 yards) but birded Nos. 14 (par 5, 525 yards) and 16 (par 4, 379 yards) to finish at 4 under. He left a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 18 (par 4, 384 yards) a roll short.

Hinckley, too, carded a bushelful of birdies as well (seven) but offset a few strokes with a bogey and a double bogey.

Although York has never played host to a GAP Major thus far, championships have been in its pedigree since opening in 1899.  The club has a multitude of Pennsylvania Golf Association events to its name, including last year’s R. Jay Sigel Match Play Championship, while also playing host to the 1999 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, the highlight of the club’s centennial season.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Round One 
Name, clubR1 Score
Blake Hinckley, Wilmington Country Club66
Billy Stewart, Union League Liberty Hill66
(a)Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club67
(a)Hayden Moffat, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association68
(a)Michael O’Brien, LuLu Country Club68
John Pillar, Sr., Woodloch Springs68
(a)Mark Miller, Philadelphia Cricket Club69
(a)Ron Robinson, LuLu Country Club69
Braden Shattuck, Bidermann Golf Club69
(a)Patrick Sheehan, Talamore Country Club69
(a)Alex Butler, Overbrook Golf Club70
(a)Jalen Griffin, Five Ponds Golf Club70
Rusty Harbold, Philadelphia Cricket Club70
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club70
(a)Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club70
David Quinn, Laurel Creek Country Club70
(a)Joshua Ryan, The 1912 Club70
(a)Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club71
(a)Michael R. Brown, Jr., LuLu Country Club71
Mike Furey, Saucon Valley Country Club71
(a)Andrew Kotler, Cherry Valley Country Club71
Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club71
(a)Morgan Lofland, Phoenixville Country Club71
(a)Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club71
(a)Caleb Ryan, The 1912 Club71
(a)Nicholas Vecellio, Moselem Springs Golf Club71
John Cooper, Green Valley Country Club72
Terry Hertzog, Merion Golf Club72
(a)Brandon Knaub, Country Club of York72
Dave McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club72
Zac Oakley, Bidermann Golf Club72
David Powers, Woodloch Springs72
Andrew Turner, Berkshire Country Club72
(a)Peter Barron, III, Galloway National Golf Club73
Trevor Bensel, Overbrook Golf Club73
(a)Christopher Dorey, Metedeconk National Golf Club73
(a)Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club73
Eddie Perrino, Eagle Rock Golf & Resort73
(a)Tucker Sandercock, Steel Club73
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club73
Michael Tobiason, Deerfield Golf Club73
Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Country Club74
(a)John Buliga, Yardley Country Club74
(a)Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club74
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club74
(a)Liam Hart, Spring Mill Country Club74
(a)Matthew Homer, Wilmington Country Club74
Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club74
(a)Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club74
(a)Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Hugo Mazzalupi, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
(a)Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club74
David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club74
(a)Jarred Texter, Conestoga Country Club74
Dustin Wallis, Honey Run Golf Club74
(a)Evan Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club75
Travis Deibert, Doylestown Country Club75
(a)Dougie Ergood, Tavistock Country Club75
(a)Zachary Falone, Little Mill Country Club75
(a)Angelo Giantsopoulos, LuLu Country Club75
(a)Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club75
(a)Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Alexander Knoll, Glen Brook Golf Club75
(a)Brendan McNamara, Sandy Run Country Club75
(a)Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club75
(a)Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club75
Nathaniel Short, Country Club of York75
(a)Chris Waldmann, French Creek Golf Club75
(a)Thomas Weir, Honeybrook Golf Club75
Missed Cut 
Ross Brown, Fox Hill Country Club76
(a)Ryan Cass, Hidden Creek Golf Club76
(a)Benjamin Feld, Green Valley Country Club76
(a)Joey Morganti, Llanerch Country Club76
Parks Price, Country Club of York76
Jason Przystup, Crossgates Golf Club76
(a)Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club76
(a)Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club76
(a)Ryan Tall, LuLu Country Club76
(a)Jack Tarzy, Medford Lakes Country Club76
(a)Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club77
Ashley Grier, Overbrook Golf Club77
(a)Buddy Hansen, Blue Bell Country Club77
(a)Richie Kline, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club77
(a)Matt Lafond, Blue Bell Country Club77
(a)Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club77
(a)Chris Orlando, Paxon Hollow Country Club77
Mark Sheftic, Lookaway Golf Club77
(a)Jeffrey Victor, Makefield Highlands Golf Club77
(a)P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club77
(a)Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club78
(a)Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club78
(a)Matt Dolinsky, Honeybrook Golf Club78
(a)Jack Hamilton, Merion Golf Club78
Joseph Kogelman, GOLFTEC-Moorestown78
(a)John McClure, Country Club of York78
(a)Brian Noonan, The Links at Gettysburg78
(a)Ross Pilliod, LedgeRock Golf Club78
(a)Corey Betham, St. Davids Golf Club79
(a)Jake Cutler, Union League Liberty Hill79
(a)Zach Dilcher, Hartefeld National79
(a)Scott Lawson, Cedarbrook Country Club79
Andy Watters, Talamore Country Club79
(a)Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club79
(a)Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association80
(a)Cal Buonocore, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
(a)Corey Haydu, Spring Mill Country Club80
(a)Joe Kerrigan, Llanerch Country Club80
(a)Matthew Krass, Radley Run Country Club80
(a)Brian Lasky, Woodcrest Country Club80
(a)Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club80
(a)John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club80
(a)Logan Snyder, Briarwood Golf Club80
(a)Christopher Warner, Makefield Highlands Golf Club80
(a)Jason Wilson, Olde Homestead Golf Club80
(a)Peter D’Angelo, Burlington Country Club81
(a)Jackson Debusschere, The Springhaven Club82
(a)Brett McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club83
(a)Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club84
(a)Sean Ebert, Doylestown Country Club85
Kevin Bales, Country Club of York86
Anthony Shields, Union League Liberty Hill86
(a)Ben Keyser, Woodcrest Country ClubWD
Bill Walker, Riverton Country ClubWD
(a)Jack Wallace, Riverton Country ClubNC
WD – withdrawal; NC – no card 
(a) – denotes amateur 

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