18th Marston Cup - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Aug 29, 2023

18th Marston Cup

North Hills’ Garis strikes GAP gold at home

GLENSIDE, Pa. — What a golf fairytale for Drew Garis Tuesday.

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Most birdies made in a round. First GAP victory. All at the place he grew up in the game.

Garis carded a 4-under-par 67 to win the 18th Marston Cup at North Hills Country Club (par 71, 6,405 yards). Talamore Country Club’s Keith Matt finished second at 2 under. LuLu Country Club’s Scott McLaughlin, the tournament’s defending champion, tied for third.

The Marston Cup is open to individuals 40-54 years of age. 

“This is fantastic. It hasn’t sunk in yet,” Garis, 40, of Glenside, Pa., said. “I always felt that I had some skill. I know how good the golfers are in this area, To come out and post a number like this feels good. I had some goals that I want to achieve, and this certainly checks off a box for me. To come out here and do what I’m capable of feels great.”

The box Garis wanted to check: assert his name in a GAP championship. He did one better Tuesday.

An unexpected opening triggered an unexpected result. Garis snuck a birdie from the front of No. 1 (par 4, 340 yards) green after lifting a wedge from 59 yards. He followed with a four-footer on No. 2 (par 5, 504 yards). Garis sailed the green with a 4-iron from 230 yards, but executed a calculated chip that released properly. His pitching wedge came in handy for birdies on Nos. 4 (par 5, 610 yards) and 6 (par 4, 406 yards): 120 yards to 10 feet on the former, 125 yards to 15 feet on the latter. Garis quickly cleansed a bogey on No. 7 (par 3, 158 yards) by firing back-to-back birdies. On No. 8 (par 4, 432 yards), he sunk a downhill 12-footer that broke off the edge. Credit a 7-iron from 175 yards for the setup. Garis converted a 15-footer on No. 9 (par 3, 191 yards) to reward a crisp 5-iron.

Eleven putts on the front nine.

“I gave myself a lot of good birdie looks. I was inside 15 feet what felt like all day. It was nice to see putts going in,” Garis, a surety professional with Lockton Companies in Blue Bell, Pa., said. “I was in disbelief after some of the ones I made on the front nine.”

Five under on the scorecard.

“[Former North Hills golf professional] Ronnie Rolfe was a big influence on me here growing up. He holds the course record here at 8 under,” Garis said. “He was always supportive. I wanted to see what I could do and keep making some birdies.”

Not so fast, said a bogey on No. 10 (par 4, 315 yards). Garis silenced his inner naysayers with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 (par 5, 530 yards) and 13 (par 4, 373 yards). He made a 20-footer on the former after finding the fringe with a 40-yard pitch. A majestic 9-iron punchout from under a tree on No. 13 resulted in a 15-footer for birdie. On the par 5, 508-yard 15th hole, Garis, with green to maneuver and an angle to attack, elevated a wedge from a swale to a foot.

Garis’ career-best at North Hills is 66. He stood at 7 under.

“It was very surreal,” Garis said. “I was uncomfortable most of the day. I had never been there.”

The leaderboard discomfort showed. Poor tee positioning facilitated a bogey on No. 16 (par 4, 389 yards) and a double bogey on No. 17 (par 4, 412 yards). Still, Garis, a three-time men’s champion at North Hills (2013, 2018, 2021), held the clubhouse cards over Matt and his fellow Marston chasers.  

Garis totaled 25 putts on a day he’ll never forget.

“I was happy when I found out about The Marston Cup, because I just turned 40 in November [2022]. This is the eighth time I’ve broken par this year,” Garis said. “North Hills is a big part of my life. I try to play here once a week if I can. My sons, Will (10) and Ryder (8), used to wake me up in the morning, and we’d come down here and go to the practice green. If I ever said no, I knew the next day I had to say yes.”

Garis was elected to serve on the GAP Executive Committee for 2023. He chairs the organization’s Junior Committee and sits on the Championship Committee. As currently constituted, the winner of The Marston Cup receives exemptions into the following year’s Middle-Amateur Championship, BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and Joseph H. Patterson Cup.

Garis may raise an eyebrow if that becomes new business at the next meeting.

“I might have to ask what their intentions are,” he said.

The Marston Cup honors Max Marston of Merion Cricket Club and Pine Valley Golf Club, who in 1923, emerged as America’s best amateur golfer. GAP Magazine highlighted Marston’s career year in its Summer 2023 edition

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.

Name, clubScore
Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club67
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club69
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club70
Brian Fisher, Spring Ford Country Club71
Rich Owsik, Rolling Green Golf Club71
Peter Williamson, LuLu Country Club71
Sean Leonard, Tavistock Country Club72
Josh Anderson, LedgeRock Golf Club72
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club72
Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club73
Dan Ayars, Sakima Country Club73
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club74
Matthew Hutcheson, Doylestown Country Club75
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Cory Reighard, Honeybrook Golf Club75
Ryan McDonald, Merion Golf Club76
Jordan Mulrain, North Hills Country Club76
Sean McMonagle, Tavistock Country Club76
Pat Curiale, Medford Village Country Club76
Adam Bracy, Tavistock Country Club76
Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club76
James Greenhalgh, Eligo Club76
Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
Jeff Huntzinger, Philmont Country Club78
Bill Mecca, French Creek Golf Club78
Travis Jett, Bluestone Country Club78
Dan Delaney, Stonewall78
Ryan Gracey, Hartefeld National78
Dan Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
John Holsinger, Talamore Country Club79
Brian Alling, Blue Bell Country Club79
Josh Isler, Stonewall79
Nick Madden, LuLu Country Club79
Sean Torpey, Doylestown Country Club79
Tom Zubrzycki, Burlington Country Club79
Pete Moran, French Creek Golf Club79
Brian Keane, Mercer Oaks Golf Course79
Bill Murray, Burlington Country Club79
Ric Sucro, Cedarbrook Country Club79
Jon Rusk, LuLu Country Club80
David Guertler, Merion Golf Club80
Ryan Goldenberg, Waynesborough Country Club80
Ed Brown, Rehoboth Beach Country Club81
George Crouse, Ed Oliver Golf Club81
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club81
Michael Rosci, The Springhaven Club81
Kevin Maguire, Laurel Creek Country Club82
Mark Miller, Philadelphia Country Club82
Bradley Roberts, Little Mill Country Club82
John Delaney, Running Deer Golf Club82
Craig Reiner, Moorestown Field Club83
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club83
Garrett McVaugh, Moorestown Field Club83
Kenneth Matt, USGA/GAP GC83
John Burnes, Philadelphia Cricket Club83
Jim Rosenbaum, Old York Road Country Club83
Michael Boden, Aronimink Golf Club83
Jeremiah Brown, Pitman Golf Course84
Dominic Schiavone, Pocono Farms Country Club84
Bill Kane, Old York Road Country Club84
Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club85
David Wolf, Legacy Club at Woodcrest85
Adam Kolodczak, Fieldstone Golf Club85
Brian Bygott, Tavistock Country Club85
Elliot Fink, Schuylkill Country Club85
Brett Davidoff, Talamore Country Club85
Mike Biazzo, Merchantville Country Club86
Kevin Anderson, Makefield Highlands Golf Club87
Christian Magdefrau, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club87
Jason Dunham, Bon Air Country Club88
Scott Houchen, Honeybrook Golf Club88
Scott Bracken, Medford Village Country Club88
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club88
Minh Hang, USGA/GAP GC89
Don Mowery, Conestoga Country Club89
Brandon Anapol, Cedarbrook Country Club90
David Walters, Huntingdon Valley Country Club91
John May, Conestoga Country Club95
Timothy Tullio, Sakima Country Club98
Andy Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club98
Troy Hathaway, USGA/GAP GC103
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country ClubWD
Kevin Merlini, North Hills Country ClubWD
WD – withdrawal

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