Amateur Chris Lange takes 100th Open Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 21, 2004

Amateur Chris Lange takes 100th Open Championship

  GLADWYNE, Pa-Chris Lange’s resume is as impressive as any current or former player in the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The 49-year-old is a three-time Amateur and a three-time Patterson Cup (the Association’s stroke play competition) champion. The longtime Overbrook GC member also has finished as the Low Amateur in the Philadelphia Open Championship twice – a second- and third-place showing.

  On Wednesday, Lange bettered those two notable prior Open placings in grand style, taking the 100th Open Championship as administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at the extremely difficult and challenging Philadelphia CC (par 70, 6,956 yards). Lange posted a 1-over-par total (141), the low golfer in the field of 60 players – 45 professionals from the Philadelphia Section of the PGA and 15 amateurs.

  The Open is a 36-hole, one-day event.

   “This is very special,” said Lange, the first amateur to take the Open since Michael Brown did so in 1997. “I’ve been close a couple, but I was never able to finish the job.”

  Dave Quinn, the golf professional at Links Golf Club, placed second with a 143 total (71-72) and Michael McDermott, the reigning Golf Association Player of the Year from Llanerch CC, finished third with scores of 73-71 for a 144 finish.

  Defending champion Brian Kelly placed seventh with rounds of 76-71 and 147 total (7-over par).

  Kim Verrecchio, a teaching professional at Waynesborough CC, who made history by becoming the first woman to ever compete in the Open, carded rounds of 92 and 87 for a 179 total.

  “I’m glad I played. Everyone involved was very supportive,” said Verrecchio, 35, of Havertown, Pa. “The golf course was much more difficult than I could have ever prepared for.”

  Lange’s victory marked the 11th time an amateur has captured the Open Championship. Only amateur’s James B. McHale, Jr. (1948), William Hyndman, III (1968-69), R. Jay Sigel (1975, 77-78, 80, 86-87) and Brown (1997) have ever captured Open titles.

  With Philadelphia CC playing long and difficult, Lange proved a model of consistency – at least as close as one could on this day. He made four bogeys and four birdies in the first round. On the final 18 holes, he registered four bogeys and three birdies.

  Lange never strayed too far from a fairway or green all day. And on his final nine, he separated himself from the rest of the field with two fantastic birdies. On No. 1 (par 4, 325 yards), his 28th hole the Bryn Mawr, Pa. resident dropped a Lob Wedge to three feet. On No. 2 (par 4, 353 yards), Lange landed a 52-degree wedge 15 feet from the hole before making the putt for another birdie.

  “That separated me from everyone else,” said Lange. “I knew that.”

  Lange kept the round together after that with four pars and three bogeys.

  He bogeyed the last two holes with the result well in hand.

  “I knew at the 34th hole I had a three or four-shot lead,” said Lange, “but I still felt pretty nervous.”

  Quinn posted a 71 in the morning trailing only Lange. His position never changed the rest of the day. The 38-year-old Marlton, N.J. resident posted a 72 in his final round, never seriously making a run at the leader.

  “I couldn’t get the speed of the greens in the afternoon,” said Quinn, who did take home the top professional prize of $4,400. Amateurs are not eligible for prize money. “I was parring everything and then I made a couple of bad swings coming in. I could never really challenge him.”

  Quinn surprised himself with the top finish. He just missed qualifying for the PGA Championship by a stroke after a strong push at the recent Club Professional’s Championship.

  Being so close, Quinn assessed his game and made some swing changes, for what he called the long run. Today, he finally witnessed some positive results.

  NOTES-The total purse for the Open Championship was $23,250. The top 15 professionals received prize money … Verrecchio played from the same set of tees as the male competitors. She qualified at the Philadelphia Section of the PGA Open Qualifier at Downingtown CC. There, under section standards, she played from 82 percent of the golf course.

Pos Name Club Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Total
1 (a) Chris Lange Overbrook GC 70 71 141
2 David W. Quinn Links Golf Club 71 72 143
3 (a) Michael P. McDermott Llanerch Country Club 73 71 144
4 William J. Sautter Talamore at Oak Terrace 73 72 145
T5 Stuart Ingraham Overbrook Golf Club 74 72 146
T5 Steve A. Madsen Wilmington Country Club 74 72 146
7 Brian Kelly Bucknell Golf Club 76 71 147
T8 (a) P. Chet Walsh Philadelphia Country Club 74 74 148
T8 Terry Hertzog Bent Creek Country Club 74 74 148
T10 William Walker Talamore at Oak Terrace 75 74 149
T10 Dave Roberts Cedarbrook Country Club 76 73 149
T12 Travis W. Deibert Lehigh Country Club 75 75 150
T12 Bobby Kershner Spring Ford Country Club 73 77 150
T12 Hugh P. Reilly Twining Valley Golf Club 75 75 150
T12 Orist G. Wells, Jr. Pitman Golf Club 73 77 150
T12 Tom Ryan Phoenixville Country Club 76 74 150
17 George Frake, II Little Mill Country Club 77 74 151
T18 (a) Oscar L. Mestre, Jr. Overbrook Golf Club 76 76 152
T18 (a) Jamie Slonis Tavistock Country Club 76 76 152
T18 John D. Allen Sunnybrook Golf Club 78 74 152
T18 Graham Dendler Merion Golf Club 77 75 152
T18 Paul Galczyk Westover Inn Golf Club 76 76 152
T18 Paul A. Oglesby Merion Golf Club 76 76 152
T18 Greg Farrow Deerwood Country Club 77 75 152
T18 Mark Parisi Christiana Country Club 79 73 152
T18 Rob Shuey Golf Club at Felicita 75 77 152
T27 (a) Lynn T. Kilduff Huntsville Golf Club 76 77 153
T27 (a) Brian Gillespie St. Davids Golf Club 80 73 153
T27 John Cooper Meadowlands Country Club 79 74 153
T27 George Forster Radnor Valley Country Club 75 78 153
T31 (a) Anthony M. Apostolico Deerfield Golf & Tennis Club 81 74 155
T31 John DiMarco Laurel Creek Country Club 79 76 155
T31 John Spina Talamore at Oak Terrace 78 77 155
T34 (a) Steve J. Owens Wildwood Golf & Country Club 79 77 156
T34 (a) John M. Pelet Wyncote Golf Club 79 77 156
T36 Craig Frank The Hills at Perkiomen 83 74 157
T36 Peter S. Kowalinski Ledgerock Golf Club 79 78 157
T36 Ralph Viola Golf Edu Incorporated 76 81 157
T39 (a) Chris Gallagher Penn Oaks Golf Club 80 78 158
T39 Steve Hudson Philadelphia Cricket Club 79 79 158
T39 Sean P. Smyth Blue Ridge Country Club 81 77 158
T42 (a) Scott Ehrlich Meadowlands Country Club 82 77 159
T42 Sean M. Riley Philadelphia Cricket Club 78 81 159
T44 David L. Fields Brookside Country Club 79 81 160
T44 David A. Eaton Philadelphia Country Club 78 82 160
T46 (a) Sean Seese Huntingdon Valley Country 79 82 161
T46 Andrew Barbin Chesapeake Bay Golf Club 83 78 161
T48 Doug M. Delaney Sand Barrens Golf Course 80 82 162
T48 Tom P. Gilbert Gulph Mills Golf Club 85 77 162
50 J.R. Delich Philadelphia PGA 80 83 163
T51 Barry W. Dear South Jersey Golf Center 77 87 164
T51 Jim J. Smith Jr. Talamore at Oak Terrace 78 86 164
53 (a) Michael A. Tash Tavistock Country Club 82 83 165
T54 (a) Geoff Forcino Waynesborough Country Club 82 85 167
T54 Robert M. Lennon Blue Herron Pines Golf Club 82 85 167
56 Daniel J. Ayars Links Golf Club 84 84 168
57 Kimberly A. Verrecchio Waynesborough Country Club 92 87 179
T58 John Appleget Blue Herron Pines Golf Club 79 NC NC
T58 Rick Osberg Logo Osberg 83 WD WD
WD-withdrawal; NC-no card

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