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.”
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.
|Name, club, score|
|Zachary Juhasz, Northampton Country Club||71|
|Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club||72|
|Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club||72|
|C.J. Bell, McCall Golf Club||73|
|John Buliga, Yardley Country Club||73|
|Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club||73|
|Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||74|
|Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club||74|
|Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club||75|
|Bill Burke, Sea Oaks Country Club||75|
|Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown||75|
|Nick Genuario, Coatesville Country Club||75|
|John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club||75|
|Richard Stolz, Merchantville Country Club||75|
|Lodie van Tonder, Sakima Country Club||75|
|A.J. Donatoni, Fox Hill Country Club||76|
|Kyle Magnusson, Old York CC at Chesterfield||76|
|Tucker Sandercock, Steel Club||76|
|Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club||77|
|Ryan Coccagna, Chambersburg Country Club||77|
|Jesse Hazam, Carlisle Country Club||77|
|David Kimbley, Philadelphia Publinks GA||77|
|Michael Wilson, Buck Hill Golf Club||77|
|David Herbst, West Shore Country Club||80|
|Joseph Markmann, Talamore Country Club||80|
|Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club||80|
|Adam Bracy, Rancocas Golf Club||81|
|Dwight Diorio, Rolling Green Golf Club||81|
|Patrick McCusker, Jr., Sandy Run Country Club||81|
|Cory Meyer, Philmont Country Club||81|
|Matt Dudas, Indian Valley Country Club||82|
|Kavian Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club||83|
|Matthew Brooks, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club||83|
|Hayden Greer, Laurel Creek Country Club||83|
|Conner Charlebois, Bala Golf Club||85|
|Brian Corcoran, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||87|
|Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club||92|
|David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club||NS|
|Joe Campisano, Five Ponds Golf Club||WD|
|Barry Wiseman, Talamore Country Club||69|
|Luis Diaz, Philadelphia Publinks GA||70|
|Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club||71|
|Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club||71|
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||73|
|Patrick O’Brien, North Hills Country Club||73|
|Joe Roeder, Little Mill Country Club||73|
|Joseph Russo, Laurel Creek Country Club||73|
|William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club||74|
|Tom DiCinti, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||75|
|Matt Mingione, The 1912 Club||75|
|Brian Rothaus, Philmont Country Club||75|
|Tim Sindorf, Laurel Creek Country Club||75|
|Steve Walczak, Wilmington Country Club||75|
|Norman Charlesworth, Running Deer Golf Club||76|
|Dennis Konczyk, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale||76|
|Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club||77|
|Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club||77|
|Scott Carney, Commonwealth National Golf Club||78|
|Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club||78|
|Craig Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club||78|
|Bryan Marvin, Old York Road Country Club||79|
|Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton||79|
|Barry Cahill, Radley Run Country Club||80|
|Richard deSante, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club||80|
|Jeff Klein, Bluestone Country Club||80|
|Bradley Bernosky, Broad Run Golfer’s Club||81|
|Douglas Dotzman, Philmont Country Club||81|
|David Swiderski, Merchantville Country Club||81|
|Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club||81|
|Steve Jones, Applebrook Golf Club||83|
|Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA||83|
|John Willadsen, Sakima Country Club||83|
|Miguel Biamon, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||84|
|Paul Hess, Hartefeld National||84|
|John Kivitz, McCall Golf Club||84|
|Guy McKeone, Reading Country Club||84|
|Peter Mellone, Loch Nairn Golf Club||84|
|Narendra Bam, Radnor Valley Country Club||86|
|Robert DellaSala, Brookside CC of Allentown||86|
|Charles Gayser, Raven’s Claw Golf Club||88|
|Robert Reed, Sunnybrook Golf Club||89|
|Joseph Funk, The Bucks Club||101|
|Timothy Rimmer, Indian Valley Country Club||NS|
|David Strohl, Olde Homestead Golf Club||NS|
|Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club||WD|
|Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club||WD|
|John Turner, The Springhaven Club||71|
|Bruce Gladish, Sandy Run Country Club||76|
|Stephen Kocinski, Sakima Country Club||78|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||78|
|Nick Pallante, Carlisle Country Club||79|
|Dave Jacobson, Medford Village Country Club||81|
|David Kearney, Lehigh Country Club||81|
|Barry Darnell, Wedgwood Country Club||82|
|Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club||82|
|Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club||82|
|Lou Longo, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club||83|
|David Lovitz, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||84|
|Frederick Christie, Loch Nairn Golf Club||85|
|Doug Putnam, Talamore Country Club||85|
|Edward Roberts, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club||85|
|Richard Toledo, Sea Oaks Country Club||85|
|Kevin Pappas, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||86|
|Randall Smith, Green Valley Country Club||86|
|Jon Mabry, Moorestown Field Club||87|
|Michael DeSantis, Hartefeld National||92|
|Edward Brzezowski, Concord Country Club||93|
|Ed Kocher, LedgeRock Golf Club||96|
|John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club||100|
|Richard Bennett, Radnor Valley Country Club||WD|
|John Owens, Tavistock Country Club||WD|
|NS — no show; WD — withdrawal|
August 25, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 4, 2023
December 1, 2023
November 30, 2023
November 27, 2023
November 22, 2023
November 21, 2023
November 21, 2023
November 17, 2023
November 17, 2023
November 15, 2023
November 14, 2023
November 9, 2023
November 9, 2023
November 7, 2023
October 30, 2023
October 30, 2023
October 26, 2023
October 25, 2023