39th #GAPMidAm: Preview - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 20, 2022

39th #GAPMidAm: Preview

Jericho National welcomes 39th Mid.-Am.

The television show “Jericho,” which focused on a small town in the aftermath of a nuclear attack, only lasted two seasons.

| Event portal | Media guide | Course flyover |

The memories made at Jericho National Golf Club, host site of the 39th Middle-Amateur Championship, will last a lifetime. The two-day, 36-hole event will be contested May 24-25 at the New Hope, Pa. venue. It is the first Major of the 2022 GAP tournament season.

The Middle-Amateur Championship is restricted to individuals 25 years of age or older. There is a cut to the Top 70 players and ties for the final round.

Scott McNeil returns as defending champion. The Philadelphia Publinks GA member captured his second Middle-Amateur title a year ago at Lookaway Golf Club in Buckingham, Pa. McNeil also won in 2015 at St. Davids Golf Club. He is looking to become the only player with three Middle-Amateur victories to his credit. Merion Golf Club’s Michael McDermott holds a record-four Middle-Amateur titles (2001, 2004, 2008, 2013).

“I’d really like to do something of that nature and make history in the GAP, one way or another. Will that put any more pressure on me as I go? I don’t believe so,” McNeil, 36, of Springfield, Pa., said. “The event and the moments within are big enough that I don’t think I can get any more nervous than I already feel while it’s happening.”

McNeil likens the state of his golf game to that of his title run at Lookaway.

“It’s going to be tee it up and then wait and see what happens as I go,” he said. “I don’t get to play as much golf as everybody else, but I put some time in practicing. If I can get in contention, then I feel like I’ve practiced enough where I’ll be able to handle my nerves.”

Unlike a fair share of the 148-player field, McNeil carries minimal Jericho National experience. He saw it for the first time during a practice round May 19.

“It’s a similar style to Lookaway: a nice, big plot of property,” McNeil said. “Tee shots force you to play the golf hole the way it’s designed. It’s not just grip-and-rip. Hopefully this nice, hot weather dries it out from what it was yesterday. I don’t have a 3-wood, so I hit hybrid off the tee. Without roll, I won’t quite hit it far enough out there to get a decent scoring club in my hand, so I’m hoping this warm weather firms it up so that it plays into my hands.”

McNeil tees off at 12:35 p.m. alongside Merion Golf Club’s Michael Davis, the 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship runner-up, and Jeff Osberg, a former Middle-Amateur Champion (2020) and four-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year (2015-16, 2019-20).

Other former Middle-Amateur titleholders in the field include Ben Feld of Green Valley Country Club (2017); Matthew Mattare of Saucon Valley Country Club (2016); Peter Barron, III of Galloway National Golf Club (2014); John Brennan of Philadelphia Cricket Club (2012); Glenn Smeraglio of LuLu Country Club (2011); Michael R. Brown, Jr. of LuLu (2009); Oscar Mestre of Overbrook Golf Club (2002); Neil Gordon of Doylestown Country Club (1999) and Michael Tash of Stone Harbor Golf Club (1994).

Jericho National previously hosted the Middle-Amateur, then an 18-hole stroke play event, in 2000. The event switched to a 36-hole format the following year. Jericho National also welcomed the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 2001.

Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, Jericho National opened in 1999. It features dramatic bunkering, contoured greens and natural splendor stemming from Jericho Mountain, a breathtaking ridge that measures more than 440 feet at its highest point.

Aside from offering live scoring presented by NJM Insurance Group on its website, the Association will provide Middle-Amateur updates via Twitter. Follow @GAofPhilly and connect by using the hashtag #GAPMidAm. 

A William Hyndman, III Player of the Year points event, the Middle-Amateur started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. GAP followed suit with the USGA in creating a Middle-Amateur, 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 Middle-Amateur was only available to players 30 years of age or older.

The GAP Executive 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. It also, as previously mentioned, changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round.

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.

Share This: