LAFAYETTE, HILL, Pa. – Mark Walkush knows what it’s like to start strong but not follow through.
After finishing one shot off medalist honors in the Senior Division of the Brewer Cup last year at Blue Bell Country Club, Walkush garnered the No. 5 seed. In his first match after 14 holes, he was in his car headed home thanks to a 5&4 lashing by No. 12 seed Mark Czerniakowski of LuLu Country Club.
“I was a bit too relaxed in my first-round match last year and I got beat up,” Walkush, 57, North Wales, Pa., said. “I got down early and I never recovered. I need to come out hot and make some putts to get some momentum.”
Walkush, a William Flynn enthusiast based on a 25-plus year stint as a member of Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club, took medalist honors in the Senior Division of the 16th Brewer Cup at Flynn’s Green Valley Country Club (par 71, 6,433 yards).
“I was at Manufacturers’ for more than 25 years so I have an affinity for William Flynn golf courses,” Walkush said. “Positioning yourself off the tee is important here. Hitting your approaches on the greens is beneficial in relieving stress around the greens. The greens are receptive because of the rain so it was nice throwing darts in there.”
Walkush got started with a dart on No. 4 (par 3, 167 yards). He speared a 8-iron that landed two feet from the cup. After two bogeys to round out the remaining holes on the front, the Sunnybrook Golf Club member got on a roll.
He rolled in a 10-foot downhill slider for birdie on No. 11 (par 5, 504 yards). He chiseled a gap wedge from 110 yards to 10 feet for a birdie on No. 14 (par 4, 351 yards). He closed with an exquisite expose of balance with a 9-iron from 130 yards to 10 feet on the last (par 4, 392 yards) for a birdie.
On a severe downhill lie, Walkush stayed in his posture and pured it. Nothing but the center of the cup on the putt.
“My golf game has been a bit of work lately. I have had a couple lessons recently that have helped turn things around,” Walkush said. “I hit my iron shots much better and more solid than I have been. From that standpoint, it was a good day.”
During his mid-adult years, golf was not a priority. His sons Alex and Derek were rowers. Derek rowed collegiately at Georgetown University.
“I didn’t play a lot in my younger days because my kids were rowers and we were always near the water on the weekends,” Walkush, who works in the pharmaceutical industry, said. “Now that they have finished school, I have got back into competitive golf again. I am enjoying it. There are a great group of guys here and GAP is a great organization. It is a lot of fun.”
Walkush gets No. 16 seed Andrew Sterge of Applebrook Golf Club in the Round of 16 at 7:30 a.m. Sterge got the last spot in match play after a 7-for-6 playoff. The quarterfinals will take place following the conclusion of the Round of 16 matches.
“I love to compete,” Walkush said. “Golf is one of those sports you can still play at my age. I love the challenge of the game. We are spoiled here in Philadelphia with such great golf courses. I work hard at the game to play the best I can.”
Super Seniors Christopher Clauson of LuLu Country Club and Tom Humphrey of Wilmington Country Club are no strangers to GAP Super-Senior success. Today, the seasoned shooters shared medalist honors by carding 2-under 69s in the Super-Senior Division of the Brewer Cup at Green Valley (par 71, 5,993 yards).
“I looked at the leaderboard on the ninth fairway which was my 18th hole and I saw that the medalist was at 69,” Humphrey, 71, of Rockland, Del., said. “I took my 9-iron and I went flag hunting. I hit a good shot and made a good putt, so all and all it was a good day.”
The aforementioned 9-iron traveled 143 yards and stopped six feet from the hole on No. 9 (par 4, 360 yards). He rolled in the downhill putt for his final red figure to grab a share of the medal.
He hunted birdies on four other occasions and mixed in three bogeys to get to the magic number.
On No. 11 (par 5, 477 yards), a hybrid from 220 yards landed just over the green. A chip and a putt resulted in his first red figure. On the No. 3 (par 5, 485 yards), Humphrey holed an easy birdie putt after his 58-degree wedge from 76 yards settled two feet from the hole. Another red number came on No. 5 (par 4, 378 yards) after a pitching wedge landed five feet from the hole. On No. 6 (par 4, 370 yards), Humphrey’s 9-iron landed 10 feet away from the hole. He rolled in the putt for another birdie.
“I love the Brewer Cup, it’s one of my favorite [events],” Humphrey, who led after Day One of the 2013 Senior Amateur at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, said. “I love GAP events in their entirety.”
Clauson, who captured his share of the medal during the day’s morning wave, found something in his game.
“I’ve been hitting the ball well, I just haven’t been converting,” Clauson, 66, of Chestnut Hill, Pa., said. “This has been the best ball-striking I’ve had all year. I might have missed one fairway all day.”
An Autoflex shaft in his driver made all the difference.
“For whatever reason it just kicks right where I want it,” Clauson said.
He carded two birdies on the day. On No. 1 (par 4, 338 yards), a wedge from 78 yards stopped 10 feet from the pin. He drained the putt for his first red figure. On the No. 15 (par 3, 183 yards), a 5-iron Clauson regarded as his “best shot of the day” landed six feet from the hole resulting in another birdie.
In 2018, Clauson won the Senior Amateur Championship. In 2022, he captured the Super-Senior Division of the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup.
Quarterfinal matches begin tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Clauson, the No. 1 seed, will face No. 8 seed John Conway of Little Mill Country Club who grabbed the last match play spot after a 3-for-1 playoff. Humphrey, the No. 2 seed, will face No. 7 seed Tom Bartolacci of LuLu at 8:45 a.m. The semifinals and Final will take place on Wednesday.
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.
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.
|Mark Walkush, Sunnybrook Golf Club||69|
|G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club||71|
|Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club||71|
|Bob Gill, Fox Hill Country Club||71|
|John Barry, Lancaster Country Club||71|
|Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club||71|
|Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club||72|
|David West, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||72|
|Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||73|
|Brian Groff, Lancaster Country Club||73|
|*Adam Armagost, Little Mill Country Club||74|
|*Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club||74|
|*George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club||74|
|*Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club||74|
|*Chris Caba, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||74|
|*Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club||74|
|Failed to qualify|
|*Glenn Smeraglio, LuLu Country Club||74|
|Joe Roeder, Merion Golf Club||75|
|Bill Davis, Merion Golf Club||75|
|Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club||75|
|Joe Coulson, Wedgewood Golf Course||75|
|Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club||75|
|Kevin Wall, Old York Road Country Club||75|
|Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club||75|
|Rufino Rosal, DuPont Country Club||75|
|Neil Gordon, Doylestown Country Club||76|
|Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country Club||76|
|John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club||76|
|P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club||77|
|Kevin Sartell, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||77|
|Joe Jasinski, Steel Club||78|
|Andy Lykon, Wedgewood Golf Course||78|
|Jeff Moyher, Merion Golf Club||78|
|Ronan Culligan, Saucon Valley Country Club||78|
|John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||78|
|Michael Fireman, Philadelphia Cricket Club||78|
|Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club||79|
|Michael Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club||79|
|Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club||79|
|Joe Arrante, Newark Country Club||79|
|Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club||79|
|Mark Hutchinson, Lookaway Golf Club||79|
|Thomas Egolf, Southmoore Golf Center||79|
|Andrew Speaker, Jericho National Golf Club||80|
|Mark Choi, Saucon Valley Country Club||81|
|Gregory Day, Old York Road Country Club||81|
|Michael Tash, Little Mill Country Club||81|
|Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club||82|
|Brian Corbett, Country Club of Scranton||82|
|Matthew Mingione, The 1912 Club||82|
|Scott Minor, The 1912 Club||83|
|Michael Stanley, Aronimink Golf Club||83|
|Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club||83|
|Mark Kosko, Greate Bay Country Club||83|
|Andy McCormick, Rolling Green Golf Club||83|
|Paul Leddy, Seaview Country Club||83|
|Fred Lening, Green Pond Country Club||84|
|Steven Harris, Hartefeld National||87|
|Alex Campbell, Cedarbrook Country Club||87|
|Jon Thomas, White Clay Creek Country Club||89|
|Bryan McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club||90|
|Scott McIntosh, LuLu Country Club||WD|
|James P. Gross, Glenmaura National Golf Club||WD|
|Christopher Clauson, LuLu Country Club||69|
|Tom Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club||69|
|Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club||71|
|Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton||71|
|Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club||71|
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||72|
|Tom Bartolacci, LuLu Country Club||72|
|*John Conway, Little Mill Country Club||73|
|Failed to qualify|
|*Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club||73|
|*Alan Wagenschnur, Newark Country Club||73|
|Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club||74|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||74|
|Ed Short, Carlisle Country Club||74|
|John Robinson, LuLu Country Club||75|
|Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club||75|
|Robert Dietrich, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||76|
|Joe Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club||76|
|Craig Scott, Glen Brook Golf Club||76|
|Frank Corrado, LuLu Country Club||76|
|Jeffrey Allen, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club||76|
|Bob Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club||77|
|Jimmy Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club||77|
|Roc Irey, LuLu Country Club||77|
|Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club||77|
|Tom Hyland, Little Mill Country Club||77|
|Ron Vannelli, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||77|
|Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||78|
|Mike Farlling, Carlisle Country Club||78|
|Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club||79|
|Robert Schubach, Wedgewood Golf Course||79|
|Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club||80|
|Mike Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||80|
|Vince Yost, Cedarbrook Country Club||80|
|Tom Mallouk, Lookaway Golf Club||80|
|Sheldon Pollack, Bala Golf Club||80|
|Richard Umani, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||81|
|Chuck Caparo, The 1912 Club||81|
|William Chase, Regents’ Glen Country Club||82|
|Brian Sexton, Seaview Country Club||83|
|Bob Dorsey, Medford Lakes Country Club||85|
|Kit Conner, Carlisle Country Club||86|
|WD – withdraw|
|* – determined in a playoff|
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