62nd Tournament of Champions - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Oct 08, 2019

62nd Tournament of Champions

Northampton’s Juhasz captures TOC crown

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MT. LAUREL, N.J. — Zachary Juhasz lounged on the terrace at Laurel Creek Country Club Tuesday. Occasional pacing, lighthearted chatter and plenty of deep breathes filled nearly two hours of waiting.

The Northampton Country Club member posted an even-par 71 in the 62nd Tournament of Champions at Laurel Creek (par 71, 6,488 yards). Anxiety over that number’s spot atop the leaderboard churned Juhasz’s stomach. The nerves settled once he realized it held, therefore allowing his hands to hold his first GAP trophy.

“For me to win Player of the Year [for Golf Association of the Lehigh Valley], I was told last night around 10 that I needed to place in the Top 4 today. That was my whole goal,” Juhasz, 22, of Bethlehem, Pa., said. “Once I realized I was close to the top of the leaderboard, I said, ‘It would be nice to win this, too.’”

Juhasz’s pursuit of a POY honor kicked into high gear after he captured the Lehigh Valley Amateur a week ago. A double bogey to start his TOC title chase, however, nearly shifted that momentum into reverse. Juhasz launched a drive into water on No. 1 (par 4, 403 yards). Back-to-back birdies thereafter — a 60-degree wedge 90 yards to four feet on No. 2 (par 4, 365 yards), a sand wedge to 15 feet on No. 3 (par 3, 132 yards) — reversed his fortunes.

“I didn’t want to come out here for no reason,” he said.

“It was a big summer for me.”

Zachary Juhasz

Juhasz erased a three-putt bogey on No. 4 (par 4, 391 yards) with a birdie on No. 5 (par 5, 503 yards), where he reached the green in two strokes with a gap wedge. Juhasz closed his outward tour with red on the par 5, 535-yard No. 9. A 5-iron from 192 yards hooked left of the putting surface. Juhasz followed with a swift chip to 15 feet. He birdied No. 11 (par 4, 380 yards) after hitting a gap wedge 145 yards to 15 feet.

A trio of holes on Laurel Creek’s back nine made Juhasz feel like a hospital patient waiting to hear the doctor’s good word. A three-putt bogey on the par 3, 157-yard 14th hole spooked. A drive to the mogul’s peak on the par 5, 510-yard 15th hole stifled.  

“I tried to hit it out with a 7-iron, and it shanked to the right and almost went out of bounds. Then I hit a pitching wedge into the bunker because it didn’t move. Then I skulled it into the bunker, and it came back. Then I hit it onto the green and two-putted [for double bogey],” Juhasz said.

A birdie on the par 4, 402-yard 16th hole saved. Juhasz blasted a drive to 110 yards, punched a gap wedge to 20 feet and drained the ensuing putt.

“It was a big summer for me. It was the first time I won Northampton’s [stroke play and match play] club championship,” Juhasz, who works for Juhasz Home Improvements, said. “I finished in the Top 20 at the [Pennsylvania Golf Association] Amateur. All in all, it was a great year.”

One that may end in a POY honor for Juhasz. He needs to capture GALV Tournament of Champions Oct. 11-12 at Lehigh Country Club to secure such a distinction.

Senior & Super-Senior Division
The first time Barry Wiseman played Laurel Creek, he walked away with a score of 69 to his name. The Talamore Country Club member matched that number Tuesday, earning the event’s Senior Division (par 71, 6,074 yards) title.

“I’ve always liked this place. I’ve had some good experiences here,” Wiseman, 56, of New Hope, Pa., said. “I used to play in the Laurel Creek Invitational, so I certainly knew the course. And I played in a [BMW GAP] Team Match here last year. This place kind of suits me.”

Sure does.

Wiseman, who started on the back nine, birdied three of his last five holes to vault atop the leaderboard. Two putts from 20 feet on No. 5 (par 5, 503 yards) did the trick after Wiseman reached the green with a 4-iron from 215 yards. He sent an 8-iron 145 yards upwind to 25 feet on the next hole (par 4, 352 yards).

“I kind of eased one down the hill, and it happened to fall in. I was due because I had 10-footers I kept missing,” Wiseman, a Talamore member of three years, said. His final birdie came on No. 7 (par 3, 168 yards) in the form of a 5-iron to 20 feet.

Competitive golf is a rarity for Wiseman these days. He spends most summer days with his children or around the club. So why did the real estate appraiser break the mold Tuesday?

“If you have an opportunity to play Laurel Creek in a tournament, why not?” Wiseman said.

John Turner relished the opportunity to compete alongside Saucon Valley Country Club’s Robin McCool, an accomplished player on the GAP circuit.

“That was the highlight of the day for me, other than having a good score,” Turner, 68, of Media, Pa., said. “He’s such a gentleman. He has such great tempo. He’s just so accurate with his irons. It’s remarkable. It was good playing with him. I was really impressed. I hope he was impressed.”

Rest assured McCool applauds his compatriot. Turner carded an even-par 71 to win the Super-Senior Division (par 71, 6,761 yards).

“The pairing calmed me down. I said, ‘Let’s go out, enjoy yourself and watch Robin McCool play,’” Turner, a three-time Super-Senior champion at The Springhaven Club, said.

Turner almost pressed the panic button after leaving his trusty 56-degree wedge at Laurel Creek’s practice area.

“I rely very heavily on my short game. I use that club a lot,” Turner said. “I finally started playing away from bunkers just to make sure I didn’t short side myself, which I should have been doing anyway.”

After cutting a hybrid to a foot for birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 373 yards), Turner, who started on the back nine, retrieved his 56-degree wedge and proceeded to further redden his scorecard: a five-footer for birdie on No. 4 (par 4, 331 yards), a 20-footer on No. 7 (par 3, 145 yards).

“I didn’t mind going after some pins on the back nine. It’s remarkable how one club will change how you play a hole,” Turner said.

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 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Amateur Division
Name, club, score
Zachary Juhasz, Northampton Country Club71
Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club72
Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club72
C.J. Bell, McCall Golf Club73
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club73
Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club73
Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club74
Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club74
Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club75
Bill Burke, Sea Oaks Country Club75
Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown75
Nick Genuario, Coatesville Country Club75
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club75
Richard Stolz, Merchantville Country Club75
Lodie van Tonder, Sakima Country Club75
A.J. Donatoni, Fox Hill Country Club76
Kyle Magnusson, Old York CC at Chesterfield76
Tucker Sandercock, Steel Club76
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club77
Ryan Coccagna, Chambersburg Country Club77
Jesse Hazam, Carlisle Country Club77
David Kimbley, Philadelphia Publinks GA77
Michael Wilson, Buck Hill Golf Club77
David Herbst, West Shore Country Club80
Joseph Markmann, Talamore Country Club80
Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club80
Adam Bracy, Rancocas Golf Club81
Dwight Diorio, Rolling Green Golf Club81
Patrick McCusker, Jr., Sandy Run Country Club81
Cory Meyer, Philmont Country Club81
Matt Dudas, Indian Valley Country Club82
Kavian Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club83
Matthew Brooks, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club83
Hayden Greer, Laurel Creek Country Club83
Conner Charlebois, Bala Golf Club85
Brian Corcoran, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club87
Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club92
David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf ClubNS
Joe Campisano, Five Ponds Golf ClubWD
Senior Division
Barry Wiseman, Talamore Country Club69
Luis Diaz, Philadelphia Publinks GA70
Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club71
Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club71
Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club73
Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club73
Joe Roeder, Little Mill Country Club73
Joseph Russo, Laurel Creek Country Club73
William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club74
Tom DiCinti, Mercer Oaks Golf Course75
Matt Mingione, The 1912 Club75
Brian Rothaus, Philmont Country Club75
Tim Sindorf, Laurel Creek Country Club75
Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club75
Norman Charlesworth, Running Deer Golf Club76
Dennis Konczyk, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale76
Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club77
Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club77
Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club78
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club78
Craig Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club78
Bryan Marvin, Old York Road Country Club79
Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton79
Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club80
Richard deSante, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club80
Jeff Klein, Bluestone Country Club80
Bradley Bernosky, Broad Run Golfer’s Club81
Douglas Dotzman, Philmont Country Club81
David Swiderski, Merchantville Country Club81
Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club81
Steve Jones, Applebrook Golf Club83
Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA83
John Willadsen, Sakima Country Club83
Miguel Biamon, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club84
Paul Hess, Hartefeld National84
John Kivitz, McCall Golf Club84
Guy McKeone, Reading Country Club84
Peter Mellone, Loch Nairn Golf Club84
Narendra Bam, Radnor Valley Country Club86
Robert DellaSala, Brookside CC of Allentown86
Charles Gayser, Raven’s Claw Golf Club88
Robert Reed, Sunnybrook Golf Club89
Joseph Funk, The Bucks Club101
Timothy Rimmer, Indian Valley Country ClubNS
David Strohl, Olde Homestead Golf ClubNS
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf ClubWD
Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country ClubWD
Super-Senior Division
John Turner, The Springhaven Club71
Bruce Gladish, Sandy Run Country Club76
Stephen Kocinski, Sakima Country Club78
Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club78
Nick Pallante, Carlisle Country Club79
Dave Jacobson, Medford Village Country Club81
David Kearney, Lehigh Country Club81
Barry Darnell, Wedgwood Country Club82
Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club82
Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club82
Lou Longo, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club83
David Lovitz, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club84
Frederick Christie, Loch Nairn Golf Club85
Doug Putnam, Talamore Country Club85
Edward Roberts, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club85
Richard Toledo, Sea Oaks Country Club85
Kevin Pappas, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Randall Smith, Green Valley Country Club86
Jon Mabry, Moorestown Field Club87
Michael DeSantis, Hartefeld National92
Edward Brzezowski, Concord Country Club93
Ed Kocher, LedgeRock Golf Club96
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club100
Richard Bennett, Radnor Valley Country ClubWD
John Owens, Tavistock Country ClubWD
NS — no show; WD — withdrawal

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