28th Middle-Amateur Championship. - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 25, 2011

28th Middle-Amateur Championship.

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  Instead, the St. Davids GC member kept his game on track, rallying with four birdies and an eagle to shoot a day’s best 4-under-67 Wednesday at Laurel Creek CC (par 71, 6,742 yards) in the 28th Middle-Amateur Championship. Gillespie, 35, of Wayne, Pa., enters tomorrow’s second and final round with a two-shot lead over local hopefuls Michael Hyland and Ryan McCarty, both of Little Mill CC, and star senior circuit competitor Chip Lutz of LedgeRock GC.

Michael Hyland eyes his
tee shot on No. 14 (par 3, 165 yards).

  Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. Gillespie, McCarty and Lutz, the day’s final grouping, tee off at 11:30 a.m.

  The cut line for the low 70 players and ties fell at 80. A total of 74 players of the 125 advanced into Day 2.

  “There’s no better time to be 2 over than after two holes is kind of what I was thinking. You have 16 holes to make it up,” said Gillespie, the 2001 Amateur Champion. “I played a practice round here. I was pretty comfortable and knew what was ahead of me. It seemed like the holes were in fairly accessible locations so I felt like if I made a few good swings and made a few good putts I could get back in it, which I did. I got lucky. You have that mentality every time you go out and sometimes it doesn’t work your way. Today it did.”

  Gillespie’s turnaround started in style on No. 5 (par 5, 505 yards). He hammered a 6-iron from 205 yards, downwind, to 25 feet below the hole.

  “I made a really nice putt. It was right in the heart,” said Gillespie of the eagle three. “That got me back to even [par] and kind of settled me down and gave me an everything’s-going-to-be-fine kind of feeling.”

  Gillespie added a nice two-putt birdie from 50 feet on No. 9 (par 5, 545 yards) to make the turn in 1 under. On No. 11 (par 4, 396 yards), Gillespie surprised himself when his 30-foot downhill birdie dropped in the right side of the hole.

  “It’s not a putt you are trying to make. The hole looks really small going down that green,” said Gillespie who moved to 2 under after that. “It dropped in and I felt really good.”

  Gillespie added another red figure on No. 13 (par 4, 387 yards) when he knocked a wedge from 123 yards to 15 feet and made the birdie chance. He noted a momentum saving 80-foot, two-putt par on No. 14 (par 3, 165 yards) before carding his final birdie of the day on No. 15 (par 5, 521 yards). He knocked a 3-iron 240 yards to 60 feet and two putted.

  Gillespie carded three solid pars on the three difficult closing holes.

  “I got a softball game tonight so I’ll try not to get hurt,” said a laughing Gillespie. “I had a good round. I’m excited. I’m only halfway home and anything can happen.”

  In addition to the 2001 Amateur win, other top Gillespie GAP finishes included a runner-up performance in the 2003 Amateur and a second-place effort in the 2009 Patterson Cup. His top Mid-Am finish also came in 2009, a third-place showing.


  GAP-wise, the last couple years are a resurgence of sorts for Gillespie.

  “I can’t point my finger at something in the last couple years as a turning point for me. There are really only four or five rounds that make or break your year. You could play well all year, and have four or five bad days in GAP events and it looks like you had a bad year,” said Gillespie. “I’m trying to focus a little more in these events. I’ve been trying to keep my swing thoughts clean and simple. Today after the first two holes everything went my way.”

  A trio of challengers hover two shots behind the good-fortuned Gillespie.

  Hyland and McCarty are nearby New Jersey residents with a ton of Laurel Creek CC course knowledge.

  Hyland, 32, of Marlton, N.J., graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1997 where in his four years on the golf team, the Lancers never lost a home match at Laurel Creek.

  Hyland opened his round with five birdies in his first 13 holes before a pair of misguided 7-irons gave three shots back.

  Hyland birdied No. 3 (par 3, 167 yards) with a 7-iron he hit to three feet; No. 5 when he knocked a 6-iron from 195 yards on the green in two and two putted; No. 8 (par 4, 346 yards) with a wedge from 100 yards that stopped a foot from the hole; No. 9 with a 7-iron from 183 yards and an ensuing two putt and No. 13 (par 4, 387 yards) with a 140-yard wedge shot that stopped eight foot shy of the hole.

  His two poor 7-irons, a push on No. 14 (par 3, 165 yards) and heavy effort on No. 18 (par 4, 437 yards), resulted in a bogey and double bogey, respectively.

  Hyland said he’s never seen such calm conditions at Laurel Creek in all his time here. He’s hoping the wind picks up tomorrow.

  “I would be extremely happy if that happens,” said Hyland.

  McCarty, 25, of Voorhees, N.J., was a Laurel Creek junior member when he was 16 and 17 years old.

  He recently graduated from Rutgers Law School and will begin studying for the bar exam next week.

  “The last three weeks I’ve been playing a lot of golf. This is kind of my window,” said McCarty. “I know generally where to hit it off the tee here because there is a little bit more room than it looks. And I made some putts. It definitely helped [being a member here]. There are some intimidating shots around here and if you don’t know what club to hit or where to hit it, it makes it that much more difficult.”

  McCarty birdied No. 3 after hitting a 7-iron to 15 feet; No. 5 on the strength of a two-putt from 30 feet; No. 9, playing his ball down the adjacent 18th, with a pitching wedge from 120 yards that stopped eight feet from the hole; and No. 11. He bogeyed No. 12 (par 4, 434 yards) after going long over the green but responded with a birdie on No. 14 (par 3, 165 yards) when his 6-iron stopped eight feet behind the hole. He failed to get up-and-down on No. 15 and then finished the last three holes in 1-over par.

  “If you can get through those last three holes at 1 over, that’s like gaining a stroke on the field,” said McCarty. “They are the toughest holes here.”

  Lutz, 56, of Reading, Pa., was the Golfweek National Senior Player of the Year in 2010. And he’s off to another good start, having won four senior events this past winter down South.

  A perennial Mid-Am contender, Lutz is a two-time event champion: 1998 and 2007.

  Wednesday, his round was pretty benign. Lutz drained a 25-foot birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 405 yards) but missed a short second putt on No. 2 (par 4, 368 yards) to fall back to even. He birdied the fourth hole (par 4, 405 yards) with an 8-iron from 150 yards to 10 feet and No. 15 after rocketing his 3-wood from 247 yards onto the collar of the green and getting up-and-down.

  “I struck the ball solidly. I hit it to the right spots on the green. I left a lot out there,” said Lutz. “I’m pleased with the results even though the score could have been better. I’ll be a couple back, but it’s a good position to be in. If you put something up, the guys will have to work at.”

NOTES–All three Laurel Creek CC members who qualified for the Championship Proper made the cut: Lee Cook, Geoff Cooper and Andrew Dietz. Cooper carded a 4-over 75; Dietz a 5-over 76 and Cook a 7-over 78 … Jamie Slonis of Tavistock CC aced the par 3, 167-yard No. 3 with a 7-iron. “I hit a little draw,” the Sewell, N.J. resident said. “It was coming right in at the flagstick. It hit just short of it [the hole location]. It kind of disappeared, though, because you can’t see it the way the green sits. The group ahead – [Michael] McDermott, [Tom] Gramigna and [Michael] Brown – raised their hands and said it was in. I knew it was going to be a decent shot. I never counted on it going in.” The hole-in-one marked the sixth of Slonis’ career. He last carded one two years ago during Tavistock’s Club Championship. Today’s ace gave Slonis a welcome boost. “It’s nice to get off to a good start, even though I followed it up with two bogeys,” he said. “I had a bad three-putt (on No. 4) and then I put a ball in the water on No. 5. But then I made a birdie on the hole after that to get it back to 1 under.” Slonis, 42, finished at 1 under and stands tied for fifth entering tomorrow’s second round. He is well-familiar with the Mt. Laurel, N.J. track. He worked as an assistant professional at Laurel Creek in 1991. “I’ve always liked this golf course. I’ve always done OK here,” Slonis, the 2001 Patterson Cup Champion, said.

Name, club Score
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club 67
Ryan McCarty, Little Mill Country Club 69
Chip Lutz, LedgeRock Golf Club 69
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club 69
Michael Brown, Lookaway Golf Club 70
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club 70
Robert Cunningham, Overbrook Golf Club 71
Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 71
Louis Giovi, Old York CC at Chesterfield 72
William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club 72
Douglas Zelner, Coatesville Country Club 72
Robert Good, Merion Golf Club 72
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club 72
James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club 73
Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club 73
Kenneth Matt, Philadelphia Publinks GA 73
William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club 74
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club 74
Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club 74
David Smith, Doylestown Country Club 74
David West, Whitford Country Club 74
John Brennan, Spring Ford Country Club 74
Chris Hynoski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 75
Geoffrey Cooper, Laurel Creek Country Club 75
Tom DiCinti, Links Golf Club 75
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club 75
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club 75
Michael Walker, Loch Nairn Golf Club 75
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club 75
Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 75
Andrew Dietz, Laurel Creek Country Club 76
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club 76
Michael LaGrasso, Little Mill Country Club 76
Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club 76
Anthony Martire, Seaview Resort & Spa 76
Dan Pickering, Indian Valley Country Club 76
Robert Bechtold, Loch Nairn Golf Club 76
Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club 76
Fred Jones, Merion Golf Club 76
Kyle Davis, Fieldstone Golf Club 76
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 76
Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club 76
Scott Klee, Indian Valley Country Club 76
James Donnelly, Merion Golf Club 77
Matthew Finger, Wedgwood Country Club 77
Sean Leonard, Tavistock Country Club 77
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club 77
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club 77
Rodney James, Five Ponds Golf Club 77
Tom Borsello, White Clay Creek Country Club 77
Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club 77
Gregg Angelillo, Moselem Springs Golf Club 77
Michael Quinn, Edgmont Country Club 77
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 78
Michael Moffat, Five Ponds Golf Club 78
Lee Cook, Laurel Creek Country Club 78
Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club 78
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club 78
Alan Lazzarino, Loch Nairn Golf Club 78
Ryan Gelrod, Commonwealth National Golf Club 78
Craig Scott, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 78
Rich Pruchnik, West Chester Golf & Country Club 78
Michael Rose, Meadowlands Country Club 78
Arthur Kania, Jr., Merion Golf Club 78
Christopher Ault, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 79
Daniel Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club 79
Gil Moniz, Jr., Running Deer Golf Club 79
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club 79
Lance Oberparleiter, Little Mill Country Club 80
Ray Pyontek, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 80
Jim Rattigan, Schuylkill Country Club 80
Steven Budenz, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 80
Joe Frey, Edgmont Country Club 80
John Murphy, II, Wildwood Golf & Country Club 80
Failed to qualify
Matthew Gaffney, Little Mill Country Club 81
Jack Anderson, Yardley Country Club 81
David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 81
Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club 81
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club 81
Jeff Osberg, Llanerch Country Club 81
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club 81
Scott Orr, Brookside Country Club 81
Stephen McIntyre, Five Ponds Golf Club 81
Jon Thomas, Back Creek Golf Club 81
Blake Cleary, Wilmington Country Club 82
Luis Diaz, Philadelphia Publinks GA 82
Mike Amtsberg, Brookside Country Club 82
Sean Remington, Green Valley Country Club 82
Christopher Lucci, Brookside Country Club 82
Chris Lilley, Northampton Valley Country Club 83
G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club 83
Paul Rogowicz, Yardley Country Club 83
Frank Savarese, Philadelphia Publinks GA 83
Frank Corrado, Jr., Jericho National Golf Club 83
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club 83
John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 84
Bradley Roberts, Wedgwood Country Club 84
Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster Country Club 84
Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club 84
Matt Jasudowich, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 84
Christopher Thude, Torresdale-Frankford Country Club 84
George Griffaton, Brookside Country Club 84
Michael Shoup, Sandy Run Country Club 84
Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club 85
Gerry Baldachino, Old York CC at Chesterfield 85
John Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club 85
Steve Lubin, Five Ponds Golf Club 85
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club 86
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club 86
Michael Evangelista, Concord Country Club 86
John Aloisio, Running Deer Golf Club 87
Michael Cole, Torresdale-Frankford Country Club 87
Johan van Schalkwyk, Burlington Country Club 87
Art Brosius, DuPont Country Club 87
Alex Cameron, Merchantville Country Club 88
Robert Savarese, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club 89
Brian Fisher, Philadelphia Publinks GA 89
Tom Carter, Philadelphia Cricket Club 90
Dino Stathis, Metedeconk National Golf Club 90
Kevin Hinkle, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 91
William Bello, Metedeconk National Golf Club 96
Danny Osada, Philadelphia Publinks GA 98
Francis Hamm, Country Club of Scranton WD
Brian Foxx, Cherry Valley Country Club WD
Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club DQ
DQ-disqualification; WD-withdrawal

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