17th Marston Cup - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 07, 2022

17th Marston Cup

A monumental win for LuLu’s McLaughlin

MOHNTON, Pa. — Tears of sorrow one day. Tears of joy the next. The past 48 hours buckled Scott McLaughlin into an emotional rollercoaster.

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The LuLu Country Club member laid his father, George, to rest Wednesday. George died of cancer on June 21 at the age of 78.

“I bawled my eyes out when I spoke. I didn’t think that would happen,” Scott said.

Twenty-four hours later, something McLaughlin wanted to happen, happened. He finally won a GAP championship. McLaughlin carded a 3-under-par 69 to seize the 17th Marston Cup at LedgeRock Golf Club (par 72, 6,580 yards).

North Hills Country Club’s Geoffrey Cooper earned runner-up honors at 2 under. The Marston Cup is an 18-hole stroke play championship for individuals 40-54 years of age.

“[My dad is] 100 percent the reason I got into this sport. He always followed me. He always knew I could win something,” McLaughlin, 42, of Horsham, Pa., said. “I’m sorry it was two weeks too late. I know he was looking down on me. I just know it. I looked up [at the sky] a couple of times, and the sun was beaming through the clouds. I thought maybe that was him.”

“I know he was looking down on me. I just know it.”

McLaughlin’s ray of sunshine, metaphorically speaking, came on No. 18 (par 5, 557 yards). Knowing he needed birdie to surpass clubhouse leader Cooper, McLaughlin purposely played his second shot to the bottom of the fairway, safely inside 100 yards. He grabbed a 56-degree wedge, executed a three-quarter swing and slowly retreated as his golf ball sailed 90 yards and stopped three feet from the hole location.

Cue the birdie implications.

“I’ve had putts like that before. I was actually thinking about it,” McLaughlin said of the birdie attempt. “In the Middle-Amateur at Waynesborough [Country Club in 2016], I had a two-footer for birdie to get into the playoff [for the championship]. I didn’t even hit the hole. So, I had that in my head a little bit.”

Demons dispelled. McLaughlin buried the birdie putt and pumped his fist. An emphatic “Yeah” followed.

“Just being able to close it out,” McLaughlin, who owns Strategic Planning & Insurance Advisors, said. “I don’t want to say I overcame all of my nerves out there. I made a double bogey and a bogey coming in.”

McLaughlin vaulted atop the Marston leaderboard following three straight birdies to begin his inward tour. He nearly aced No. 10 (par 3, 168 yards) following a crisp 9-iron to a foot. McLaughlin’s three-quarter sand wedge from 85 yards on No. 11 (par 4, 386 yards) left a pitch mark two inches from the hole. He made a 10-footer for birdie there. After driving the gettable 12th hole (par 4, 256 yards), McLaughlin two putted from 20 feet above the hole location.

“I drove it really well, and I had a lot of good numbers with my wedges,” he said. “I love this place. I think it’s beautiful. I love it because I feel like I can just let the driver go.”

McLaughlin curiously let go of his driver on No. 15 (par 4, 433 yards). Not while swinging it. He declined to use it, instead choosing 3-wood on the tee. That selection spearheaded the aforementioned double bogey. McLaughlin found the right fescue, forcing a bailout into the fairway. He then landed a 6-iron from 190 yards on the middle-right portion of the sprawling green, but totaled three putts for an untimely 6. McLaughlin rebounded with a birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 329 yards). The driver didn’t hold a grudge. McLaughlin landed a drive greenside left and pitched to five feet. The driver did remain in the bag on LedgeRock’s most unforgiving hole on this day, No. 17 (par 4, 410 yards). It played a stroke over par with a scoring average of 5.20. McLaughlin flayed a 3-wood to the right, then missed the green left with a 5-iron from 208 yards.

“I was lucky just to make 5 there,” he said. “[After No. 12] I started getting tight. I don’t know why you get tight. You get shorter, tighter and you don’t turn as well. I’m just happy I was able to come through when I needed to on the 18th hole.”

Like McLaughlin, Cooper, who teed off two hours earlier, caught fire on LedgeRock’s back nine to vault into contention. He rattled off four consecutive birdies: a 40-yard wedge to four feet on No. 13 (par 5, 530 yards; an 8-iron to 30 feet on No. 14 (par 3, 170 yards); an 8-iron 165 yards to 10 feet on No. 15 and a wedge 40 yards to two feet on No. 16. As for LedgeRock’s closer: salvation for McLaughlin, penance for Cooper. He walked away with a double bogey there.

“I lasered the left side. It was 270 yards, and I just hooked it. I just needed to aim farther right,” Cooper, 45, of Erdenheim, Pa., said. “When I got [to my golf ball], I had a bunch of trees and little bushes around the ball. At first, I was going to hack it out. I called [GAP volunteer and past president Bob Morey] back, and we talked through an unplayable lie. I hit a really good putt [from five feet for bogey]. I felt good about how it came off. I just played it a little too high, and it didn’t slide down.”

Golf, coincidentally, continues to slide farther down McLaughlin’s calendar these days. A 2-year-old at home. More management responsibilities at work.

“It’s funny. I don’t practice anymore. I don’t really play that much. The last four rounds have all been GAP qualifying events and this,” McLaughlin said. “I just don’t play enough golf to really feel like I can compete on the mainstage. Maybe now I’ll have more confidence. I can go out, shoot a number and hold onto it. Maybe this can be a building block for me.”

As McLaughlin held the Marston Cup trophy, the sun again peered through the clouds. Talk about timing.

“My dad loved golf just as much as I do. I was thinking about him a lot out there,” McLaughlin said. “It was good to get some closure yesterday. This is my first win in any individual tournament ever. It feels good to finally get off the snide, I guess you can say. Winning something, putting a good round together.”

Sakima Country Club’s Lodie van Tonder aced No. 2 (par 3, 117 yards) with a 60-degree wedge. It marked his first career hole-in-one … The Marston Cup honors Max Marston, who for four months in the summer of 1923, emerged as America’s best amateur golfer. Between mid-May and mid-September, Marston was virtually unstoppable through a series of club, state, national and international events. It began with the Walker Cup Matches, where Marston won two matches as the Americans successfully retained the Cup. Marston returned home to capture the Joseph H. Patterson Cup and Amateur Championship in successive weeks and, in doing so, earned the Silver Cross Award. In July, he took the Pennsylvania Amateur title and finished as low amateur in the GAP Open. In September, Marston traveled to Floosmoor Country Club outside Chicago, Ill. for the U.S. Amateur. He rallied in the second round to defeat tournament favorite Bob Jones, 2&1, before knocking off Francis Ouimet in the semifinals. He stopped defending champion Jess Sweetser in the final on the 38th hole. In that four-month span, he also captured the Merion Cricket Club championship and Pine Valley Golf Club’s Crump Cup.

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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 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, clubScore
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club69
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club70
Josh Anderson, LedgeRock Golf Club71
Neil Gordon, Doylestown Country Club71
George Audi, LedgeRock Golf Club72
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Matt Dolinsky, Honeybrook Golf Club72
Lodie van Tonder, Sakima Country Club73
Jack Carrigan, Hartefeld National74
Ryan Felpel, Foxchase Golf Club74
Dan Ayars, Sakima Country Club75
Sean Ryan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Jason Wilson, Olde Homestead Golf Club75
Matt Gaffney, Medford Village Country Club76
James Greenhalgh, Saucon Valley Country Club76
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club76
Bill Kane, Old York Road Country Club76
Jason Loehrs, McCall Golf Club76
Bill Mecca, French Creek Golf Club76
Tim Wetzel, RiverCrest GC & Preserve76
Owen Brown, Applecross Country Club77
Mike Ellis, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association77
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club77
Chris Meares, Sakima Country Club77
Jeremiah Brown, Pitman Golf Course78
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club78
Dan Pinciotti, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
Kevin Turner, Llanerch Country Club78
Johan Van Schalkwyk, Tavistock Country Club78
Kevin Bonner, Bala Golf Club79
Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek Country Club79
Jerry Newell, Fieldstone Golf Club79
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club79
Mike Biazzo, Merchantville Country Club80
Jon Chronister, Bent Creek Country Club80
Bryan Mulhern, Radley Run Country Club80
Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club81
Mark Coassolo, Brookside CC of Allentown81
Dennis Marcozzi, Range End Golf Club81
Greg O’Connor, Bellewood Country Club81
Dave Olexson, Steel Club81
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club81
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club81
Brad Abel, DuPont Country Club82
James Kaiser, Tavistock Country Club82
Craig Reiner, Moorestown Field Club82
Shawn Burns, Blue Bell Country Club83
Matthew Hutcheson, Doylestown Country Club83
Thorne Ranieri, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Jesse Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club84
Ed Brown, Rehoboth Beach Country Club84
Chang Choo, Jeffersonville Golf Club84
Brian Fisher, Spring Ford Country Club84
Steve Kollias, Concord Country Club84
Francis Vaughn, Philadelphia Cricket Club84
Kevin Anderson, Makefield Highlands Golf Club85
Marc Bertrando, Radley Run Country Club85
Timothy Gaughan, Jericho National Golf Club85
Brian Sokolowski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course85
Sean Torpey, Doylestown Country Club85
Dominic Schiavone, Pocono Farms Country Club86
Michael Boden, Aronimink Golf Club87
John Burnes, Philadelphia Cricket Club88
John May, Conestoga Country Club88
Stanley Weglarz, French Creek Golf Club88
Michael Trout, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association89
John Poole, Bala Golf Club90
Henry Ritchie, Philadelphia Cricket Club91
Jonah Mytro, Workhorse Tour92
Jian Zhang, Inniscrone Golf Club92
Minh Hang, Jeffersonville Golf Club93
Timothy Tullio, Sakima Country Club93
Scott Orsini, Gilbertsville Golf Club96
Dan Caparo, Cedarbrook Country Club97
Nathan Patterson, Meadia Heights Golf Club114
Tom Corcimiglia, Applebrook Golf ClubDNF
Gregg Angelillo, Moselem Springs Golf ClubWD
Dan Chernosky, Philmont Country ClubWD
Pete Moran, French Creek Golf ClubWD
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country ClubWD
DNF – did not finish; WD – withdrawal

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