Jul 14, 2009

Brewer Cup: Final four of Senior Division set; Howson and Smith in Super-Senior final

 SPRING HOUSE, Pa.–A few months ago, Thomas Bartolacci, Jr. and Roc Irey captured the State Senior Better-Ball Championship only a few miles from Old York Road CC at Commonwealth National GC. Tomorrow, the two longtime friends, and sometimes partners, square off in one of two Brewer Cup Senior Division semifinals at OYR. The winner of that contest will face the victor of the Michael Dougherty of Huntingdon Valley CC and Charles Jones of Blue Bell CC match in the final set for 12:30 p.m.

“We play golf together and hunt together,” said Bartolacci, 58, of Washington Crossing, Pa. “I’m sure we are going to have fun.”

  Added a smiling Irey, 57, of Furlong, Pa., “We’ll be talking about a lot more than golf.”

  Irey, the Senior Division’s top seed after qualifying from Lookaway GC, advanced into his first Brewer Cup semifinal with victories over Bennett Meyer of Philmont CC, the No. 16 seed, 4&3, in the first round and John Emmel, Jr., of Links GC, the ninth seed, 3&2, in the quarterfinals. Bartolacci of Saucon Valley CC, the No. 4 seed, who will also be in his first Brewer Cup semifinal, defeated James Muller of Manufacturers G&CC, the 13th seed, 5&4, in the opening round and defending champion David Brookreson of Huntingdon Valley CC, the 12th seed, 4&3, in the quarters.

  “The great thing is one of us will be in the final,” said Bartolacci, who recently worked security for the U.S. Women’s Open at Saucon.

  Bartolacci and Brookreson were All Square after 10 holes in their afternoon quarterfinal match, when a four-hole run, in essence, decided the outcome.

  Bartolacci took holes Nos. 11-14 to go 4-up. He birdied No. 11 (par 4, 365 yards) when he hit a 9-iron from 118 yards uphill to 25 feet and made the putt; parred No. 12 (par 4, 345 yards) after both players hit their approaches over the green and he got up-and-down and Brookreson didn’t; parred No. 13 (par 4, 401 yards) after coming up just short of the green and Brookreson three-putted from 25 feet for bogey; and birdied No. 14 (par 3, 159 yards) with a 7-iron that he hit to two feet.

  “I played well,” said Bartolacci. “I was [the equivalent of] 1-under par at the Road. That’s as good as I can play.”

  Irey, who was 3-up early in his quarterfinal contest with Emmel, made the turn at 1-up when he sniped his drive on No. 10 (par 4, 399 yards) left of the entrance road. Emmel sat pretty in the fairway about 135 yards out. Irey chipped through the trees back into the fairway and landed his pitching wedge approach from 130 yards 25 feet below the hole. Emmel, however, could not capitalize and pulled his second shot into the left greenside bunker, flew the green with his next effort and chipped up to five feet. Irey two putted for bogey and Emmel made his short one for the same. On the next hole, No. 11 (par 4, 365 yards), Irey launched a wedge from the adjacent 12th fairway and 130 yards out to a foot to go 2-up.

  Irey would close out the match a few holes later with a par on No. 16 (par 3, 173 yards).

  “We both agreed that No. 10 was the difference in the match,” said the charismatic Irey. “I went from losing the hole to halving it. We were throwing stones at each other.”

  Dougherty, of Huntingdon Valley CC, the No. 3 seed, defeated Michael Quinn of Edgmont CC, 59, of East Fallowfield, Pa., the No. 11 seed, 1-up, in his quarterfinal match. Dougherty, 60, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., moved 2-up in his match with Quinn when he birdied No. 16 (par 3, 173 yards) with a 5-iron to 10 feet. Quinn responded on No. 17 (par 4, 404 yards) with a 5-iron from 171 yards to six feet to get a hole back, however, on No. 18 (par 4, 401 yards), both failed to get up-and-down after hitting poor drives to give Dougherty the win.

  Charles Jones, the No. 7 seed, from Blue Bell CC, parred the final hole to defeat Anthony Kondracki, the 15th seed, from Fox Hill CC, 1-up, in his quarterfinal match.

  Jones, 58, of Collegeville, Pa., knocked a wedge on No. 18 (par 4, 401 yards) from 129 yards to eight feet and two putted for par. Kondracki, 55, of Kingston, Pa., did his best by rattling the flagstick with his fourth shot from the left greenside bunker, but it just wouldn’t fall.

Super-Senior Division (65 year of age and older)
  Jay Howson, Jr., of St. Davids GC, the No. 5 seed, will face Richard Smith, the No. 7 seed, from Philadelphia CC, in the Super-Senior final set for 12:45 p.m.

  Howson, 71, of Malvern, Pa., defeated top seed and friend Robert Housen, 71, of Brielle, N.J., and Pine Valley GC, 4&3, in the semifinals and Lawrence Capuzzi, Sr., 67, of Broomall, Pa., and Rolling Green GC, 4&3, in the quarterfinals. Smith, 72, of Villanova, Pa., advanced with victories over James Sherratt, 70, of Montgomeryville, Pa., and Old York Road CC, the No. 6 seed, 2&1, in the quarters and O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., 72, of Pine Valley, N.J. and Pine Valley GC, the No. 2 seed and reigning Super-Senior champion, 1-up, in the quarterfinals.

  Howson shot the equivalent of 1-over par in his afternoon round and missed only four greens in defeating Housen.

  “I’m looking forward to [the final],” said Howson, who is also a member of Pine Valley GC. “I’m looking forward to a friendly match with one of my good friends.”

  Smith moved 3-up after 10 holes and was never less than 2-up at any point after that.

  The Brewer Cup is named in honor of Gordon Brewer. Brewer, the current president of Pine Valley GC, is a two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion and veteran of 42 USGA Championships. He’s captured two Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship titles (1967, 1976), a GAP Senior Amateur Championship crown (1997) and a Senior Player of the Year (1997) as well as countless invitational titles. And just last year was recognized for his contributions to the game with the USGA’s Bob Jones Award.

  The Brewer Cup is open to Senior players with a handicap index of 7.0 or less and Super Seniors with an index of 12.0 or less.

  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 134 Member Clubs and 56,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

Senior Division
1. Roc Irey, Lookaway GC, d. 9. John Emmel, Jr., Links GC, 3&2
4. Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., Saucon Valley CC, d. 12. David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley CC, 4&3
7. Charles Jones, Blue Bell CC, d. 15. Anthony Kondracki, Fox Hill CC, 1-up
3. Michael Dougherty, Huntingdon Valley CC, d. 11. Michael Quinn, Edgmont CC, 1-up

First round
1. Irey d. 16. Bennett Meyer, Philmont CC, 4&3
9. Emmel, Jr. d. 8. Lee King, Berkshire CC, 1-up
4. Bartolacci, Jr. d. 13. James Muller, Manufacturers G&CC, 5&4
12. Brookreson d. 5. Terrence Sawyer, Commonwealth National GC, 3&2
15. Kondracki d. 2. Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley GC, 5&4
7. Jones d. 10. Robert Ockenfuss, Indian Valley CC, 19 holes
3. Dougherty d. 14. Wally Swiger, Huntingdon Valley CC, 2-up
11. Quinn d. 6. Thomas DiCinti, Links GC, 3&1

Super-Senior Division
5. Jay Howson, Jr., St. Davids GC, d. 1. Robert Housen, Pine Valley GC, 4&3
7. Richard Smith, Philadelphia CC, d. 6. James Sherratt, Old York Road CC, 2&1

1. Housen d. 8. Curt Fromal, The Springhaven Club, 6&5
5. Howson, Jr. d. 4. Larry Capuzzi, Sr., Rolling Green GC, 4&3
7. Smith d. 2. O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley GC, 1-up
6. Sherratt d. 3. Thomas Isola, Whitford CC, 6&5

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