Another Major. Another milestone. Another slice of championship golf history awaits.
The 120th Joseph H. Patterson Cup presented by Provident Bank heads to St. Davids Golf Club Aug. 3-4. GAP, coincidentally, celebrates its 125th anniversary in step with the Wayne, Pa. venue’s 125th anniversary. The special stars align.
The Joseph H. Patterson Cup is GAP’s premier stroke-play championship and the final Major of the 2022 tournament season. It is a two-day, 36-hole event. Provident Bank returns as the event’s presenting sponsor.
St. Davids will serve as host site for the eighth time (1903, 1908, 1934, 1950, 1953, 1973, 2008). It’s brewed a distinguished group of titleholders. GAP Hall of Famers John Dyniewski, Harold B. McFarland, Buddy Marucci and William P. Smith all claimed Patterson victory there. Marucci, of note, defeated fellow Hall of Famer O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. in an 18-hole playoff at St. Davids in 1973.
St. Davids also played a key role in the Patterson Cup’s evolution. In 1934, GAP moved the event from its traditional Memorial Day weekend slot to June. Furthermore, the Patterson Cup became so popular that GAP needed two courses to host the then one day, 36-hole championship. St. Davids joined Aronimink Golf Club to accommodate the 1934 affair, won by Chris Brinke, a Detroit, Mich. transplant and Aronimink member.
St. Davids last welcomed the Patterson Cup in 2008 alongside Waynesborough Country Club. Now a posture adjustment as it struts onto the stage solo.
“I’m sure we’ll have a few spectators and some volunteers, so [players] can expect certainly a warm welcome here from the membership. They are proud that this is the eighth time we’ve hosted the Patterson Cup,” Tyler Santacroce, who started as St. Davids golf professional in December 2021, said. “As far as the golf course goes, from tee to green it’s going to be firm and fast. We have not been excluded from the drought and the heat wave that the area has had. We haven’t had a whole lot of rain. We’re plenty firm and fast right now.”
St. Davids last welcomed a GAP Major in 2018, when the Open Championship graced its grounds. Those Donald Ross greens remain just as challenging today.
“They are going to be slick as you can imagine,” Santacroce, 31, a resident of the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “If you’re above the hole you could be in trouble, and I think competitors can expect to make some good scores and make a couple birdies if they are where they should be. If they get sideways or get above the hole, then bogeys and doubles are definitely in play for everyone in the field.”
A field of 142 will traverse St. Davids in pursuit of Major glory. Not included in the rollcall is Peter Bradbeer, the event’s defending champion. He turned professional earlier this year.
Only three former champions occupy the Patterson tee sheet: Michael R. Brown, Jr. of LuLu Country Club (2018), Jamie Slonis of Tavistock Country Club (2001) and Greg O’Connor of Bellewood Country Club (2000).
Brown is in the midst of a memorable golf campaign. He won the 122nd BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Philadelphia Country Club in June. Brown, as a result, became the third individual to complete the GAP Grand Slam, joining Chris Lange (2005) and Jeff Osberg (2020). He won the Middle-Amateur Championship in 2009 and Open Championship in 2010.
“I feel good about my game physically. I haven’t done much, other than win the Philadelphia Amateur, that I’m happy about. But I feel like I’m playing better than the scores I’m shooting right now,” Brown, 49, of Maple Shade, N.J., said.
Brown tees off at 1:05 p.m. alongside Saucon Valley Country Club’s Matthew Mattare, a two-time GAP Major titleholder and former POY (2017), and Riverton Country Club’s Jack Wallace, the 2012 Pennsylvania Golf Association Middle-Amateur Champion.
“I love St. Davids because it forces you to make some decisions off the tee instead of just bombing it. I prefer a course where you have to make decisions on all of the shots, and not just some of them,” Brown said. “It does require you to manage your choices a little bit more than some other courses. It’s going to require more discipline from whomever it is who is going to win.”
Brown is currently ranked first in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings. He leads Little Mill Country Club’s Troy Vannucci, the reigning Middle-Amateur champion, by 46.6 points. Vannucci is also in the Patterson Cup field. He and Carlisle Country Club’s John Peters lead the Silver Cross Award race by three strokes. The Silver Cross Award is comprised of the qualifying rounds of the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup.
The chips feel all too familiar for Brown. A year ago, he entered the Patterson Cup in position to secure a third (2010, 2018) William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Award. And Brown initially made good on that security. He tied for second in the Patterson Cup and cracked the Top 5 in the Silver Cross Award standings. However, the day following the Patterson Cup’s completion, Brown informed GAP officials of a potential Rules of Golf violation during the final round. He told the GAP Tournament Committee that upon a further review of his round, he believes that he played from a wrong place. Brown inadvertently moved his ball in play before executing a chip shot on the bank of the 18th hole at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club. Having failed to replace his ball, Brown, therefore played from a wrong place and subsequently signed for a lower score than he recorded. He was disqualified as a result.
Player of the Year prospects adieu. Player of the Year prospects anew come St. Davids.
“Basically, barring somebody doing something really special at the U.S. Mid-Amateur or U.S. Amateur, everything will come down to the Patterson Cup and the Silver Cross Award. Two days of golf will dictate everything,” Brown said. “[The Player of the Year] is as prevalent as it could be. Period.”
GAP Magazine highlighted the history of the Joseph H. Patterson Cup in its Summer 2022 edition. The tournament honors a man who championed golf in its infancy at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Friends of Patterson donated the Cup, designed by the esteemed J.E. Caldwell & Co., to the Association in 1900.
Both the public and media may attend the 120th Joseph H. Patterson Cup presented by Provident Bank at St. Davids.
Aside from offering live scoring on its website, GAP will provide Joseph H. Patterson Cup updates via its social media outlets. Follow @GAofPhilly on Twitter and Instagram. Use the #PattersonCup hashtag when posting.
Provident Bank, a community-oriented financial institution offering “Commitment you can count on” since 1839, is the wholly owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS), which reported assets of $13.72 billion as of June 30, 2022. With $10.87 billion in deposits, Provident Bank provides a comprehensive suite of financial products and services through its network of branches throughout northern and central New Jersey, as well as Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania and Nassau and Queens counties in New York. The Bank also provides fiduciary and wealth management services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Beacon Trust Company and insurance services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Provident Protection Plus, Inc. For more information about Provident Bank, visit www.provident.bank or join the conversations on Facebook (ProvidentBank) and Twitter (@ProvidentBank).
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.
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