Commonwealth National Golf Club takes Team Match title - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 12, 2007

Commonwealth National Golf Club takes Team Match title

  HORSHAM, Pa.– Commonwealth National Golf Club, a long-shot title contender when the GAP Team Matches began in April, turned in a well-rounded collective effort on Saturday to take its first-ever championship. Team CNGC recorded 85.5 points to outdistance foes Philadelphia Cricket Club (76.25), Huntingdon Valley Country Club (75.5) and Llanerch Country Club (44.25) in the GAP Team Matches Playoff.

  “Until we won, I never thought we could, even though I told the guys we would,” said John Robinson, the Commonwealth National Golf Club captain. “This is the best tournament in the country. It’s unique format, history and the number of people and clubs participating all over the Association each week. It’s a big deal because so many people from the team to the club can feel good about the victory.”

  Commonwealth National Golf Club was appearing in its third straight GAP Team Matches Playoff. Its top finish prior was a third-place showing in 2005. Drawing off those prior Playoff experiences, Robinson structured his Commonwealth line-up accordingly. It resulted in three of the four CNGC squads scoring more than 20 points at their respective sites. Commonwealth scored 24.5 points at home, 24 at Llanerch Country Club and 21.5 at Philadelphia Cricket Club.

  “We learned a little bit of a lesson that if you play it straight forward with your lineup it doesn’t always work out for you,” said Robinson. “You still have to make it happen and get it done. You still have to execute. It’s easy to get distracted playing three matches at the same time. I told the guys, just play the golf course.”

  James Ferrero, Jr., playing in the third position at the Commonwealth site, and Craig Burton, in that same slot at Llanerch, each scored a team-high 10.5 points. Robinson tallied 10.25 points at Philadelphia Cricket Club. Ferrero, in fact, was a late substitute for Team 1 regular Matt Bellis, who injured his back and was forced to sit the Playoff out.

  It’s those types of performances, the unexpected ones, that equated to a victory.

  “You hope your great players play well,” said Robinson, “but it’s the depth that wins.”

  Other contributors included Brett Diakon (eight points at Cricket); Ken Matt (eight points at Commonwealth); Ryan Gelrod (nine points at Huntingdon Valley) and Scott Carney and Michael Anderson (each had 6.5 points at Llanerch). Anderson, a two-time club champion, arrived late in the week from England to compete.

  The GAP Team Matches Playoff format is individual match play with 12 total players competing from each club. Three-man teams from each club play at the four sites with each individual match worth three points. An additional quarter point is awarded for margin of victory. The four final teams were decided in the round-robin portion of the GAP Team Matches in the three prior weeks.

  A record 316 teams from 127 member clubs took part in the GAP Team Matches this year.

  In short about the GAP Team Matches: Each team competes in a four-team round robin on three Sundays in April/early May with the Playoff and Challenge Matches taking part the Saturday after the completion of the trio of matches. There are seven divisions with AA serving as the championship bracket. Challenges are held for teams in Divisions AA, A and B to determine upward or downward mobility. Winners of Divisions C, D, E and F automatically move up, replacing the last-place finishers in the divisions above them.

  The GAP Team Matches, or the Interclub Matches as they were originally called, served as the basis for the founding of the Association in 1897, and today, just like then, serves as a source of club pride. The GAP Team Matches have been held every year with the exception of 1943-45 (World War II) and 1994 (ice storm).

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