41st Middle-Amateur Championship: Round One - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Hughes and Kramarski out in front, 36-hole final day awaits

HORSHAM, Pa. – Sean Hughes and Kevin Kramarski, two New Jersey natives with differing GAP experiences, now have one thing in common.

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They share the Round One lead of the 41st Middle-Amateur Championship presented by NJM Insurance Group after rounds of 68 Tuesday at Commonwealth National Golf Club (par 71, 6,755 yards).

John Lalley, a 2023 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship Semifinalist from Llanerch Country Club, sits in solo third after a round of 69.

Defending champion Dave Mecca of Wemberly Hills Golf Club is not in the field.

A total of 51 players made the cut. On Day Two, players will go off in twosomes. There will be no re-pair for the third round.

Kramarski, a long-time GAP competitor, and Hughes, playing in his first GAP Major, didn’t try to do too much at Commonwealth National. They kept the ball in play and made limited mistakes. 

“This was my first bogey-free round in competition,” Hughes said. “I didn’t find myself in too many precarious situations. I take it one shot at a time. The most stressful part of my round was having to make a five-footer for par. I was lagging a lot of putts close.”

The USGA/GAP GC member kicked it into gear on No. 4 (par 4, 370 yards) when he hit a gap wedge from 112 yards to inside three feet for his first red-figure of the day.

Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 (par 4, 381 yards) and 8 (par 3, 103 yards) would get him to 3 under. He hit a gap wedge from 125 yards to eight feet on No. 7 and hit a 56-degree wedge to 20 feet on No. 8.

“I played a practice round last week,” Hughes, 26, Washington Township, N.J., said. “Commonwealth National really suits my eye. You are hitting a lot of fairway woods off the tee and I am quite confident with those clubs. If you hit the ball in play here, you have a chance to score.”


Hughes played collegiately at Rutgers University-Camden. His squad made the Division III National Championship in 2019, his senior year, by winning the North Eastern Athletic Conference.

Hughes’ skills have evolved since graduation. His scoring average in college was 80.3. His scoring average in GAP Majors: 68.

He said he owes a lot of his improvement to caddying at Pine Valley Golf Club the last four years.

“Caddying has really helped my ability to read greens and understand sightlines,” Hughes said. “You start to really learn what is important on the golf course.”

Kramarski has a long journey in GAP events. A mainstay since he was a junior, Kramarski has started to find his footing the last few years. Highlighted by a T7 in the 2022 Joseph H. Patterson Cup at St. Davids Golf Club and his first Compher Cup team appearance this year.

“I have never played Commonwealth before,” Kramarski, 27, of Moorestown, N.J., said. “I did a lot of prep work based on the GAP course flyover. I felt like I was able to do a good job of keeping my head on straight all day. I felt like my club selection off the tee was strong. I generally hit the ball straight and out here being in play is a must. Commonwealth tests your mental strength on each shot.”

Four birdies mixed with a bogey on No. 7 summed Kramarski’s scorecard. His bogey didn’t feel like one. 

“I’ve noticed that I have been keeping my blow up holes to a minimum,” Kramarski said. “Today on No. 7 I hit what I thought was a great 5-wood but it ended up in the penalty area. I scrambled from over the green to save bogey. In the past, I would have let that get to me. I hit the shot I wanted. It just didn’t work out.”

New this year, the Middle-Amateur Championship and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup expand from 36 to 54 holes. Each event will be listed on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and eligible for points.

The following GAP events already receive points in the WAGR Men’s Ranking: Brewer Cup (senior), BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship, Delaware Amateur Championship, Delaware Open Championship and Junior Boys’ Championship (junior).

“I am a huge fan of the changes to the tournament,” Kramarski said. “I don’t remember what my best WAGR rank was. I think it was in the 1500s. But then after a bit your ranking goes away when people pass you. I am hoping I have a good finish so I can get back to being listed in the WAGR rankings.”


Kramarski, a history buff, will look to make his own history Wednesday at Commonwealth National. He would be the first player from Moorestown Field Club to hoist a GAP Major title.

“The difference for me is being able to have more fun playing the game,” Kramarski said. “It’s bad to say that I don’t have any expectations, I just have tried to not put any pressure on myself. I want to enjoy it.”

Chris Lange of Overbrook Golf Club won the last time Commonwealth hosted the Middle-Amateur in 2006.

The Middle-Amateur Championship is open to individuals 25 years of age or older. 

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 individuals. 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. Furthermore, GAP lowered the handicap index requirement from 7.0 to 5.0 in 2023.

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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.

Name, clubR1
Sean Hughes, USGA/GAP GC68
Kevin Kramarski, Moorestown Field Club68
John Lalley, Llanerch Country Club69
Stewart Rickenbach, Huntingdon Valley Country Club70
Zak Drescher, Bent Creek Country Club70
Peter Barron, III, Galloway National Golf Club70
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club71
Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club71
Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club71
Zach Arsenault, Medford Village Country Club71
Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club72
Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club72
Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club72
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club72
Richard Riva, LuLu Country Club72
Carter Field, LuLu Country Club72
David Kim, LuLu Country Club73
Brock Kovach, LedgeRock Golf Club73
Ben Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club73
Anthony Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club73
Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club73
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club73
Rich Owsik, Rolling Green Golf Club73
William Howard, Applebrook Golf Club74
Matt Dolinsky, Galen Hall Golf Club74
Matthew Barnes, LuLu Country Club74
Jon Rusk, LuLu Country Club74
Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club74
Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club74
Colin Smith, Bidermann Golf Club74
Conor Gilbert, Bent Creek Country Club74
Will Wears, Briarwood Golf Club74
Andy Butler, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Steve Owens, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Jack Wallace, Riverton Country Club75
Michael R. Brown, Jr., LuLu Country Club75
Owen Mulhern, Whitford Country Club75
Scott McNeil, The 1912 Club75
Conner Charlebois, Bala Golf Club75
Zack Amole, French Creek Golf Club75
Colin Sanderson, Jericho National Golf Club75
Jeff Frazier, Carlisle Country Club75
Dan Ayars, Sakima Country Club75
Dom Guerrera, Coatesville Country Club75
Jonathan Radick, Spring Mill Country Club76
Thomas Weir, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association76
Alexander Kim, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club76
Alex Anderson, Huntsville Golf Club76
Joey Russo, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia76
Connor Vanin, DuPont Country Club76
Failed to qualify
Daniel Bolstein, LuLu Country Club77
Matthew Kocent, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Brandon Dalinka, The Ridge at Back Brook77
Matthew Bastian, Rolling Green Golf Club77
Colin Mahon, Rolling Green Golf Club77
Mark Miller, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Jared Tendler, Jericho National Golf Club77
Joseph Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club77
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club77
Brandon Roche, Little Mill Country Club77
Zach Dilcher, LedgeRock Golf Club78
R.J. Wren, LuLu Country Club78
Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club78
Jim Sullivan, Jr., LuLu Country Club78
Greg Sadowski, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association78
Daniel Oh, Blue Bell Country Club78
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club78
Eric Spiller, The Legacy Club78
Christopher Reedman, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
Mark Farley, The 1912 Club79
Erik Reisner, The 1912 Club79
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club79
Lodie van Tonder, Sakima Country Club79
Christian Haldeman, Saucon Valley Country Club79
Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club79
Sam Pancoast, Radley Run Country Club79
Brad McFadden, Merion Golf Club79
Steve Passalacqua, Greate Bay Country Club79
Bryan Keeling, Spring Mill Country Club79
Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club79
Sean Ebert, Doylestown Country Club80
Joe Rueter, Sandy Run Country Club80
Daniel Wu, Bluestone Country Club80
Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
Scott Kalamar, Green Pond Country Club80
Evan Kilchenstein, USGA/GAP GC80
John Barry, Lancaster Country Club80
Tony Bevevino, Irem Country Club80
Daniel Rudershausen, Bidermann Golf Club80
Matthew Crescenzo, LuLu Country Club80
Pete Feicht, DuPont Country Club80
Neil Gordon, Doylestown Country Club81
Ben Keyser, The Legacy Club81
Ryan Meisenzahl, Little Mill Country Club81
Erik Bowren, Old York Road Country Club81
Matthew Romond, USGA/GAP GC81
Mike Basileo, USGA/GAP GC81
Eric Naccarelli, Valleybrook Country Club81
Tyler McGarry, Huntsville Golf Club81
Ryan Jones, Northampton Valley Country Club81
David Ripa, Running Deer Golf Club81
Nathan Fry, Green Pond Country Club81
Robert Olseski, Applebrook Golf Club82
Marc Fillari, Pennsauken Country Club82
Brett Diakon, Commonwealth National Golf Club82
Greg Berdini, Scotland Run Golf Club82
Stephen Brown, Philadelphia Cricket Club82
Matt Teesdale, The 1912 Club82
Matthew Marcelli, Applebrook Golf Club82
Alex Butler, Overbrook Golf Club82
Matt Grossman, Green Valley Country Club82
Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club82
John Delaney, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club82
Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club82
Matthew Kristick, Huntingdon Valley Country Club83
Erik Ragusa, Raven’s Claw Golf Club83
Patrick Rutter, Schuylkill Country Club83
Sean Sigall, Little Mill Country Club83
Beau Guarino, Riverton Country Club84
Cory Meyer, Huntingdon Valley Country Club84
John Boyles, Hartefeld National84
John Willard, Spring Mill Country Club85
Greg Wasserson, Green Valley Country Club85
Ryan Wolbach, Brookside Country Club85
Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association85
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club85
Lou Tonon, Greate Bay Country Club85
Peter Ucciferro, North Hills Country Club86
John Robinson, LuLu Country Club86
Brian Keane, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Joseph Polidoro, Scotland Run Golf Club87
Brandon Jackson, Wemberly Hills Golf Club87
Matt Crilley, Steel Club88
Oskar Gerhardson, RiverCrest GC & Preserve89
Billy Hallman, Lehigh Country Club89
Pat Cliggett, Spring Mill Country Club92
Jeff Peltier, Stone Harbor Golf Club93
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country ClubWD
Corey Betham, St. Davids Golf ClubWD
Ryan Orcutt, Green Pond Country ClubWD
Joel Goldberg, Kennett Square Golf & Country ClubWD
Anthony Saltarelli, Philmont Country ClubNC
NC – no card
WD – withdraw

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