17th Brewer Cup: Stroke-Play Qualifying - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Little Mill’s Hyland takes Super-Senior medal

ELVERSON, Pa. – A total of 25 years have passed since Neil Gordon became a GAP Major champion.

His triumph at Indian Valley Country Club in the 1999 GAP Middle-Amateur Championship is still prevalent in his mind just like the imprint the game of golf has on his life.

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“I practice much more it seems these days than I did when I was younger,” Gordon, who is a managing partner of Secure Planning Group, a financial planning company, said. “Now golf pretty much encompasses my life. I take it very seriously. I try to have fun but love the competition. I enter every tournament I can and I am fortunate my job allows flexibility. My office is close to the club so if I can get there for 20 minutes, I will.”

Gordon made his foray into the GAP senior circuit just a year ago. Tuesday at French Creek Golf Club (par 71, 6,169 yards), Gordon channeled his past prowess.

His round of 69 earned him medalist honors and the No. 1 seed in the Senior Division of the 17th Brewer Cup. He will take on No. 16 seed Mike Sanfrancesco of Kennett Square Golf & Country Club in the Round of 16 at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Play was halted for 2 hours due to dangerous weather in the area.

“I have been feeling good,” Gordon, 56, of Warrington, Pa., said. “It’s funny, my wife has been getting lessons so I go and listen to what she is being taught. So you remember certain things and it has been helpful for my game. Going back to my old putter has helped my game on the greens. She was learning about hinge in the golf swing and ever since I heard the tip, I have been striking the ball a lot better.”

Gordon put on a ball-striking clinic on a layout he hasn’t seen before. The Gil Hanse design packs a punch with its sloped greens and elevation changes. 

“I am a visual player,” Gordon, of Doylestown Country Club, said. “So I am using my rangefinder on each hole just plodding along. I bring my driver, 4-wood and 2-hybrid to each tee and decide from there. Not knowing where the trouble sometimes is helpful because you are focused on making a good swing and not about the negative. I play my best when I just focus on each shot and go from hole to hole.”

Gordon got off to a hot start and went out in 1 under. He stung a 4-hybrid from 220 yards to 12 feet on No. 4 (par 5, 485 yards) for an easy two-putt birdie. He canned a 25-footer for a red figure on No. 8 (par 3, 164 yards).

His highlight of the day came on No. 11 (par 5, 460 yards). Gordon launched a lovely 7-iron from 175 yards over the infamous rock wall fronting the green to 15 feet. He would bury the eagle putt. 

A bogey on No. 15 (par 4, 287 yards) pushed Gordon to his magic number. Wednesday, the format will change and so will his attitude.

“When I am playing well, I make a lot of pars and not a lot of birdies,” Gordon said. “In the last few weeks, I have started making more birdies. Heading into match play, I know I can be more aggressive because I am making solid contact. If you don’t give away holes in match play, there’s a good chance you’ll win the match.”

Gordon finds solace in where he’s come in the game. What he’s pushing for is another GAP Major. If he wins the Brewer Cup this week, he would be the third player to win the GAP Middle-Amateur and the Brewer Cup. LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chip Lutz and Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s David Brookreson are the others.

“In reality, I am afraid of getting old,” Gordon said. “I don’t want to lose what I have. I know that it is coming, but I just want to keep playing as much as I can. Technology has made the game much easier for everyone. Back in the days of persimmons and balata balls, getting to the top of the hill at the first at Doylestown was an accomplishment. Now it is reachable in two. As long as I am having fun, I don’t know what else I would do.”

Super-Senior Division


Tom Hyland has had an unconventional source of income. Since 1978, he’s made his living playing blackjack professionally in casinos all over the country.  

“I thought I would do this to make a little money and then get a job,” Hyland, 67, of Marlton, N.J., said. “I thought I might be a teacher or something and then it just snowballed and I kept going.”

Since starting, Hyland has experienced good and bad days at the table. Presently, he averages between five and six hours a week at the casino in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“People think you win all the time. It’s a real roller coaster with big losses and big wins. You only have a real small edge,” Hyland said. “I’ve stuck with it [and] it’s been good. It supports my golf habit.”   

On Tuesday, the Little Mill Country Club member chose grass over felt and beat the field with a 1-under-par 70 to take medalist honors in the Brewer Cup Super-Senior Division (par 71, 5,886 yards) Tuesday at French Creek.

“The setup is good for me. If they set the course up short enough, sometimes I play a decent round,” Hyland said. “It’s great [to be medalist]. I figure I’m not going to have too many more highlights in my golf career, so I’ll take anything. This was a total surprise.” 

In addition to the day’s medalist performance, Hyland has had success within GAP’s Senior and Super-Senior ranks. His résumé includes wins in the Senior Division of the 2018 Tournament of Champions, which was also held at French Creek, as well as making the semifinals in the Super-Senior Division of the 2022 Brewer Cup.

“I just play a lot of tournaments. If I play badly in a tournament there’s always another one coming up, so I try to keep getting better and not get worse,” Hyland said. “I like the Brewer Cup, it’s one of my favorite events. I’ve played it virtually every year.” 

Hitting the ball on line and staying out of trouble have been aspects of Hyland’s game he feels keep him competitive. 

Hyland said his game struggled in the early part of the season. The perennial possessor of two putters in his normal collection of clubs, including a left-handed one, has changed his strategy to feature a single right-handed one.

“I got really bad with the left one. I used to putt a lot of short ones left-handed, but I got really bad with the left hand in the last year or so,” Hyland said. “I’ve abandoned that for now.”

Hyland went out in even-par 35, a single bogey on No. 7 (par 4, 343 yards) occluded an otherwise perfect card. The Hyland highlight reel featured an “unforgettable” par on No. 14 (par 4, 349 yards) after falling backward into the fescue while hitting a recovery shot. After regaining his footing, he went on to stripe a 6-iron from 159 yards to four feet. He got to the magic number with a birdie on No. 16 (par 5, 490 yards) after his 40-foot putt from the fairway jingled the bottom of the cup.

Hyland agrees that golf and blackjack both require focus and patience.

“I don’t really get upset out on the course,” Hyland said. “You might have 25 hands in a row and the dealer beats you every time. You can’t get upset, so that’s something that is similar. I’m usually fairly even-keeled out there [on the golf course].” 

Hyland assumes the No. 1 seed heading into the Quarterfinals. He will face No. 8 seed Gary Daniels of Applebrook Golf Club at 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

“I’d love to do well in this event,” Hyland said. “There’s a lot of good players. I don’t expect to win, but it would be nice to win.”  

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 345 Member Clubs and 110,000 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.

Name, club
Senior DivisionScore
Neil Gordon, Doylestown Country Club69
John Barry, Lancaster Country Club72
Brian Groff, Lancaster Country Club72
Larry Martone, Stonewall73
Mark Walkush, Sunnybrook Golf Club73
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club74
Adam Armagost, Little Mill Country Club74
Bill Davis, Merion Golf Club74
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Jeff Frazier, Carlisle Country Club74
David West, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association74
Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club74
Luis Diaz, Wedgwood Country Club74
*Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club75
*Michael Sanfrancesco, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club75
*Ronan Culligan, Saucon Valley Country Club75
Failed to qualify
*Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club75
*Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club75
*Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club75
*Doug Fedoryshyn, Applecross Country Club75
John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club76
Don Uhrig, LedgeRock Golf Club76
Joe Roeder, Merion Golf Club76
John Alterman, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club76
Tom Finn, DuPont Country Club77
Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club78
David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club78
Scott McIntosh, LuLu Country Club78
Glenn Smeraglio, LuLu Country Club78
George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club78
William Bello, Saucon Valley Country Club78
Merv Smith, Mercer Oaks Golf Course78
Adam O’Doherty, Stonewall78
Pete Moran, French Creek Golf Club79
Jared Wills, Iron Valley Golf Course80
Jeff Hudson, Olde Homestead Golf Club80
Todd Vonderheid, Bucknell Golf Club80
Chris Smedley, Hartefeld National80
Steven Harris, Hartefeld National81
Paul Hess, Hartefeld National81
Kevin Wall, Old York Road Country Club81
Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association81
Joe Arrante, Newark Country Club81
Andy Lykon, Wedgewood Golf Course82
Fred Lening, Wedgewood Golf Course82
Matthew Mingione, The 1912 Club82
Greg Mitchell, Fieldstone Golf Club82
Vincent Guarino, USGA/GAP GC82
Terrance Schmidt, USGA/GAP GC82
Andrew Speaker, Jericho National Golf Club83
Christopher Desana, Little Mill Country Club83
Mark Choi, Saucon Valley Country Club84
Thomas Egolf, Southmoore Golf Center84
Peter Ierardi, Old York Road Country Club84
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club84
T.R. Gatti, Concord Country Club86
Paul Leddy, Seaview Country Club87
Richard Young, Makefield Highlands Golf Club89
Patrick Henneghan, Whitford Country Club92
Thomas Krug, Commonwealth National Golf Club94
John Lupica, Lookaway Golf ClubWD
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country ClubWD
Edward Kelly, Old York Road Country ClubWD
Clark Holle, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis ClubWD
Michael Shevlin, LuLu Country ClubWD
G.Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
John LeBoeuf, Merion Golf ClubWD
Ed Kahn, Little Mill Country ClubWD
Denis Tighe, Lehigh Country ClubWD
Bill Murray, Burlington Country ClubWD
Andy McCormick, Rolling Green Golf ClubWD
Jon Thomas, White Clay Creek Country ClubWD
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country ClubDNF
Super-Senior DivisionScore
Tom Hyland, Little Mill Country Club70
Brian Rothaus, Five Ponds Golf Club71
Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club72
Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton72
Ron Weaver, Lancaster Country Club74
*Mike Farlling, Carlisle Country Club75
*William Chase, Valley Green Golf Course75
*Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club75
Failed to qualify
*Jeffrey Allen, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club75
Ken Phillips, Lancaster Country Club76
Steven Hefele, USGA/GAP GC76
Ed Short, Carlisle Country Club77
Jack Conway, Little Mill Country Club77
Kevin Sartell, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club77
Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association77
Jimmy Muller, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club78
Tom Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club78
Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club79
Christopher Clauson, LuLu Country Club79
Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club79
Joe Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club80
Chuck Dowds, Applebrook Golf Club81
Mike Moser, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club81
Norman Charlesworth, Wedgwood Country Club82
Robert Dietrich, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association82
Brian Sexton, Seaview Country Club82
Matt Elkes, Radnor Valley Country Club83
Stephen Jones, Applebrook Golf Club83
Thaddeus Fortin, Applebrook Golf Club84
Vince Scarpetta, Jr., Nittany Country Club84
Kit Conner, Carlisle Country Club88
David Kearney, Lehigh Country Club88
Eric Lamm, Schuylkill Country Club89
Shawn Mullen, USGA/GAP GC96
Joe Russo, Wedgwood Country ClubWD
Frank Corrado, LuLu Country ClubWD
Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf ClubWD
Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country ClubWD
Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf ClubWD
Bob Gill, Fox Hill Country ClubWD
Alan Wagenschnur, Newark Country ClubWD
Rich Thon, The Springhaven ClubWD
* – determined in a playoff
WD – withdraw
DNF – did not finish

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