May 01, 2023

121st #BMWGTM: Week Two

Whitemarsh Valley weathers the weather, wins

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club (2–0, 62.5 points) slugged through a soaking, sloppy Sunday in the BMW GAP Team Matches. Now it stands, dried from the drenching at least, a win away from its first Playoff appearance since 1956.

| BMW GAP Team Matches portal | Week One recap |

Relentless rainfall throughout the Philadelphia region put Week Two on standby for most. Only 36 matches across seven divisions posted results.

Whitemarsh Valley is among those in the books. It defeated Huntsville Golf Club (0–2), 28–26, to solidify a Week Three showdown against fellow unbeaten LuLu Country Club 1 (2–0, 73 points). Co-starring as a soggy Sunday soldier, LuLu, the 2021 BMW GAP Team Matches titleholder, chugged past Tavistock Country Club (0–2), 41–13. Section 1 is the lone wolf when it comes to Week Two finals in Division AA.

“The way we look at it is every year we expect conditions like that at least one week, if not two or three. It’s just the way it is,” Matt Jasudowich, Whitemarsh Valley’s captain, said. “We’ve been up to Huntsville many times in the past, and some of the other courses north of the Lehigh Tunnel. You never know what you’re going to get up there.

“It may not be the most fun we’ll ever have. It may not be the most desirable weather conditions. But by all means, we’re ready to compete and grind it out. That’s our approach. We have a gritty bunch at Whitemarsh. They’re ready for the weather.”

In regards to weather, the BMW GAP Team Matches Rules & Regulations read as follows:

Postponement of any match due to rain is permissible only when a course is declared unplayable by the Green’s Chairman or Golf Course Superintendent of the club involved. All such postponements must be reported to the Golf Office the following day. If a course is open for play, then the match must be played. In the event of a rainout, the makeup must be completed on the following Saturday (or earlier if mutually agreeable) or the match will be scored as a draw with NO points awarded to either team. In the event the teams can’t agree on the makeup date, the team available at noon on the Saturday following the rained-out match will be declared the winner, and the match scored as default.

“I was very adamant that given the tight schedule, there really isn’t a rain date. Unless the course is completely unplayable and closed, we’re just going to have to gear up to play in the slop. Everybody was on board once they knew we were playing,” Jasudowich, 52, of Phoenixville, Pa., said.

“We have a gritty bunch at Whitemarsh. They’re ready for the weather.”

Matt Jasudowich

In its Week Two triumph, Whitemarsh Valley accrued 20.5 of its 28 points at home. It earned 94 percent of the available better-ball points. For the second consecutive week, the duo of Michael Fagan and Adam Mistretta swept the better-ball. The latter is a clean 6-for-6 in terms of singles points.   

Whitemarsh Valley will look for such impressive consistency — and much more — when it takes on LuLu in Week Three.

“On paper, it’s hard to believe they ever lose. Golf’s not played on paper; it’s played on the golf course,” Jasudowich said. “You never know what can happen on any given Sunday. I think that’s going to be our approach. Obviously, we have full respect for how great a team LuLu is. We relish the opportunity. It’s pretty exciting for us.”

Whitemarsh Valley is a patient amid a bustling BMW GAP Team Matches waiting room. Decades idle in the chair. In 2019, a long-awaited call from the receptionist’s desk: Whitemarsh Valley wins a Challenges match against Makefield Highlands Golf Club, 28.5–25.5. The Division AA doctor will see you now.

Hold on. Something’s amiss in the 2020 paperwork. The COVID-19 pandemic cancels the BMW GAP Team Matches. Back to the waiting room for Whitemarsh Valley.

When it finally enters the doctor’s office in 2021, the vitals check out in the form of a 2–1 record. Whitemarsh Valley, a three-time Team Matches champion (1941-42, 1947), stays in Division AA for a follow-up.

The Playoff wait may be over soon.

“We’re pumped at the opportunity. We know how big of a challenge it is in front of us,” Jasudowich said. “Every year, we look to take a step forward. We’ve been building some momentum as we moved up the ranks. We’re kind of the blue-collar gritty folk that like to get after it. Win, lose or draw, we’re getting after it hard and having fun along the way.”

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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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