Feb 01, 2024

GAP Majors restructured; Amateur champion exempt into U.S. Amateur

There are major changes coming to a pair of GAP Majors.

The Middle-Amateur Championship and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup are expanding from 36 to 54 holes, beginning in 2024. Each event will now be listed on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and eligible for points.

The 41st Middle-Amateur Championship, presented by NJM Insurance Group, is May 21-22 at Commonwealth National Golf Club. The Joseph H. Patterson Cup, presented by Provident Bank, is Aug. 7-8 at Concord Country Club.

The event structure for each event is as follows:

Middle-Amateur Championship

  • The field of 144 players will be cut to the low 48 scores and ties after Round One. For Rounds Two and Three, players will be paired in twosomes. There will no repairing before the final round.

Joseph H. Patterson Cup

  • The field of 144 players will be cut to the low 40 scores and ties after Round One. For Rounds Two and Three, players will be paired in twosomes. There will no repairing before the final round. Consequently, the Silver Cross Award, presented to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying round(s) of the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup, expands to five rounds.

Additionally, the playoff for the Middle-Amateur and Patterson Cup, moves from a four-hole aggregate format to a sudden-death playoff.

The following GAP events are already ranked by WAGR and receive points: Brewer Cup (senior), BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship (amateur), Delaware Amateur Championship, Delaware Open Championship and Junior Boys’ Championship.

The fee structure for GAP’s multi-day events that require qualifying was modified. Those events include the Middle-Amateur, BMW Philadelphia Amateur, Open Championship and Joseph H. Patterson Cup. Cost for the Qualifying will be $90 with an additional $110 fee required for advancing into the Championship. The fee for exempt players is $200. (The professional fee for the Open Championship will also be staggered: $150 qualifying and $225 for the Championship proper.) Cart fees are not included in this pricing. There is a $35 cart fee for all qualifying.

Amateur Champion receives U.S. Amateur exemption

New this year, the winner of the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship receives an automatic bid into the U.S. Amateur Championship. Last May, the USGA announced revisions to that event’s qualifying model. The U.S. Amateur will move from a one-stage, 36-hole qualifying format to a two-stage qualifying format with an 18-hole local qualifier and an 18-hole final qualifier.

As part of the changes, the USGA announced exemptions into the Championship proper for state, Allied Golf Associations, regional and national amateur champions based on established criteria and historical WAGR event power rankings.

Additionally, the BMW Amateur runner-up as well as the two semifinalists from that championship earn exemptions into the U.S. Amateur Final Qualifying.

All four players are exempt from 2025 U.S. Amateur Local Qualifying.

Also, the 2023 Champion is locally exempt for the 2024 U.S. Amateur.

Junior-Junior Boys’ returns

The Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship, for ages 10 to 13, returns to the schedule for the first time since 2021. The competition will be a one-day, 18-hole event held July 23 at Moorestown Field Club. The field size is limited 39 players.

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.

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