24th Mid-Am travels to Stonewall (North Course) - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 18, 2007

24th Mid-Am travels to Stonewall (North Course)

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia rings in the Major Championship season on Wednesday and Thursday, May 23-24, at Stonewall (North course) with the 24th Middle-Amateur Championship.

  Back to defend his title for the third straight year is longtime Golf Association of Philadelphia standout Chris Lange of Overbrook GC. Lange, 52, became the first repeat winner of the Mid-Am at a very difficult and challenging Commonwealth National GC when he outlasted a strong field by a stroke.

  “[The Mid-Am has] been good to me the last two years, obviously,” said Lange of his early season success. “I love Stonewall. It’s a great place. I think the [North Course] is a great complement to

  the Old Course. They shot great scores there in the U.S. Amateur, so depending upon what the weather brings, there are birdies out there.”

  As always, a host of challengers will attempt to dethrone Lange including Brian Gillespie of St. Davids GC, the 2001 Amateur Champion; Tom Gramigna of Tavistock CC, a three-time New Jersey State Golf Association Mid-Am champion; Bill Lawler, the 2006 Senior Player of the Year; Andrew Mark, the reigning Stonewall Club Champion; Michael McDermott of Merion GC, the 2001 and 2004 Mid-Am champion and a three-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Award winner; Oscar Mestre, Jr. of Overbrook GC, the 2002 Mid-Am champion; Bill McGuinness of Tavistock CC, a former Amateur Champion and the 2003 Mid-Am runner-up; Jamie Slonis of Tavistock CC, the 2001 Patterson Cup winner; Glenn Smeraglio of Yardley CC, a two-time Silver Cross winner and the 2006 Marston Cup winner; Mike Tash of Tavistock CC, a three-time Patterson Cup winner and two-time Silver Cross champion; and P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia CC, a perennial championship contender.

  “It means a lot. It’s considered one of the majors and ever since the event went to 36 holes (in 2001), most of the players believe it took a step up in significance,” said Mestre, 47, of Berwyn, Pa. “It’s an event we all strive to be competitive in and win. For me personally, having my name on that trophy is nice because of the quality of the field. Philadelphia forever has prided itself on the strength of the golfers being in the Mid-Am category. For us career amateurs, it is an important feather in our cap and something we take great pride in.”

  The Middle-Amateur is for players 25 years of age and older.

  The GAP Middle-Amateur started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Am as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Mid-Am was for players 30 years of age and older. That Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA’s guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field begins with 132 players. Players must have a GAP/USGA Handicap Index of 7.0 or lower.

  This is the first full scoring event toward the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.

  Other past Mid-Am champions in the field include: Gary Daniels of Aronimink GC (1985); Chris Terebesi of Chester Valley GC (1990); Tash (1994); Chip Lutz of Berkshire CC (1998); Frank McFadden of Overbrook GC (1997); McDermott (2001, 2005) and Rick Umani of Philadelphia Publinks GA (1996).

  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 135 Member Clubs and 60,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

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