16th Brewer Cup: Senior Final - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 28, 2023

16th Brewer Cup: Senior Final

Beck joins elite group of two-time Brewer Cup winners

LAFAYETTE, HILL, Pa. – When Bob Beck was a kid, he loved hockey.

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A defenseman by position, Beck prided himself in never giving up a goal or a lead his team worked hard to get.

Friday at Green Valley Country Club (par 71, 6,433 yards), once Beck seized a 2-up lead, he protected it at all costs.

Beck, aided by stellar ball-striking and two timely birdies, claimed the Senior Division of the 16th Brewer Cup Friday at Green Valley with a 4&3 victory over Dave West of Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association. Due to weather, both players agreed to a Friday finish after rain on Tuesday pushed back matches.

He’s the fourth player in the Senior Division to win two Brewer Cup titles. Saucon Valley Country Club’s Robin McCool (2010, 2013), LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chip Lutz (2011, 2014) and Carlisle Country Club’s Jeff Frazier (2020-21) are the others.

“I didn’t come into this week with any expectations other than trying to qualify for match play and win a match,” Beck, 63, of Allentown, Pa., said. “I wasn’t looking to do anything wonderful. I just wanted to hit good shots.”

For the first 10 holes, West and Beck were tied. They both bogeyed Nos. 4 (par 3, 167 yards) and 9 (par 4, 383 yards). Beck birdied No. 6 (par 4, 377 yards) after striking a 50-degree wedge from 102 yards to three feet. West answered with a 25-footer for a birdie on No. 8 (par 3, 140 yards), which dripped over the edge of the cup on its last roll.

When Beck needed to step up and grab control of the match he did. It began with a laced 3-wood from 235 yards on No. 11 (par 5, 504 yards). Reaching the green in two, Beck needed to navigate a multi-tiered putt from 35 feet. He did so with ease for a two-putt birdie to regain the advantage.  

“The match could have turned either way early on,” Beck said. “We both made mistakes and neither one of us capitalized. It was a lot closer of a match than the final result says. A break here and a break there usually help you get ahead.”

Beck’s break came on No. 12 (par 4, 316 yards). He striped a drive and left himself a delicate 15-footer after his second settled on the top-tier.

“I hit that putt way too hard,” Beck said. “Thankfully, it caught the center of the hole. If it missed, I might have been chipping for my par.”

That birdie moved Beck to 2-up.

West wasn’t unfamiliar with the position he was in. He was 2-down with three to play in the semifinals against Little Mill Country Club’s Adam Armagost. He won in 19 holes.

But the dagger for West was a bad bogey on No. 14 (par 4, 351 yards). Sitting pretty in the middle of the fairway, West missed the green and then a 3-footer for par to halve the hole.

Dave West

Beck closed him out with a par on No. 15 (par 3, 192 yards).

“I felt I had opportunities to get ahead in this match and I just didn’t take advantage of them,” West, 63, of Exton, Pa., said. “I struggled with easy chips as well. I give Bob all the credit. He made some solid putts and hit a lot of great drives and iron shots. I can’t be sloppy against Bob. He doesn’t make mistakes.”

When it is all said and done, Beck spent four days at Green Valley and played a total of 82 holes in hot and humid conditions.

“This week has been a grueling mental battle. I lost early in the Lehigh club championship and just wanted to take this week to work on some things,” Beck, an 11-time Lehigh club champion, said. “I have been working hard with my coach Paul Viola on trying to translate what we do on the driving range to the course. I wasn’t thinking about winning.”

The Lehigh Valley area has been the foundation for Beck and his life. He has been a member at Lehigh for 40 years and went to Lehigh University, where he was the captain of the hockey and golf teams. He currently works in wealth management for Stifel, which has a branch nearby.

“I made a decision in college to focus more on golf even though I played hockey and golf at Lehigh,” Beck said. “Then I went to Saucon Valley for the first time and it blew me away. At the time, I didn’t know there were places like that out there. That’s when golf took priority in my life.”

There’s not much rest for Beck or West in the future. Both will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur Monday at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club. Beck advanced to the Championship proper last year after qualifying at Old York Road Country Club.

On Wednesday after winning his semifinal match in 19 holes, Beck noticed tournament namesake O. Gordon Brewer, Jr. getting out of a cart to congratulate him. Beck re-introduced himself by his full name to which Brewer said smiling, “I know who you are.” 

Beck will be hard to forget now.

“It is fantastic to win the Brewer Cup,” Beck said. “Every time I am at Huntingdon Valley [Country Club], I make sure to stop in the Brewer Room and the Hyndman Room. It was a treat to see Mr. Brewer on Wednesday after winning my semifinal match. He’s accomplished so much in golf and contributed to it in the GAP region and beyond.”

The Brewer Cup is named in honor of O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., the former president of Pine Valley Golf Club. He is a two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion and veteran of 42 USGA Championships. He’s captured two Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship titles (1967, 1976), a GAP Senior Amateur Championship crown (1997) and a Senior Player of the Year (1997) as well as countless invitational titles. He is a recipient of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award and a member of the GAP Hall of Fame.


Senior Division


7. Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club, d. 8. David West, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association, 4&3.

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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