SOMERS POINT, N.J. — It’s shaping up to be a critical few weeks for Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Sean Semenetz. A new job, a national championship appearance, and now, a GAP Major berth are all in the cards in the coming days and weeks.
Semenetz, a former Drexel Dragon, traversed Greate Bay Country Club’s track (par 70, 6,488 yards) with minimal blemishes and three birdies en route to a 1-over round of 71. That card earned him medalist honors for the day’s Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf.
The Cricketeer bettered a field of 82 #GAPMidAm hopefuls. The low 18 players and ties secured their tee times in the Championship proper to be played May 23-24 at Llanerch Country Club.
By day’s end, the cut line stopped at 7-over 77 in the first of four Qualifiers which featured a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start.
The last time a #GAPMidAm Qualifier was contested at Greate Bay – or at least, was attempted – was in late April 2016. On that fateful day, players took the course, only to be faced with an unwelcomed snow storm. Play was called after just a few holes as golfers walked off the course with ice dangling from their hats. The event was pushed back two weeks in order to find warmer weather.
Today? Not the case. It was, to put it simply, a spring awakening for the field.
It was even more sublime for Semenetz.
“This was big for me. The Mid.-Am. is my favorite event. Being someone who is over 25, works every day, it’s nice to compete against those guys that share that with you,” said Semenetz, 31, of Philadelphia, Pa. “I like to have a cocktail, play some good golf, that’s what it’s all about. To walk away with my first medal, too, made qualifying even better.”
The Cricketeer began his round on No. 2 (par 4, 434 yards), feeling comfortable from the get go. Pars paired with the occasional bogey were the theme early on, but a red number on the par-5, 541-yard 6th gave him the confidence he needed going forward. It was there where a driver-hybrid combination led him to a chip and a putt for a tap-in birdie.
It was more of the same steady golf until Semenetz kicked his game up a notch headed to the home stretch. On No. 15, he drilled a driver down the center of the fairway, crushed a hybrid that rolled up near the front of the green, pitched safely onto the green and converted his second birdie of the day.
Semenetz ultimately clinched the medal honor with a birdie on Greate Bay’s opener (par 4, 380 yards), his last hole of the day. He smoked a driver with the wind at his back, leaving a short wedge into the green that left him with a testy 20-footer. Semenetz drained it.
“It literally looked like it went six different ways. But hey, it went down,” he said. “It was the perfect way to top the round off.” The Philadelphia, Pa. native has made two #GAPMidAm appearances – Gulph Mills (2014) and St. Davids 2015). He’s experienced in GAP Major qualifying play. Therefore, he knew what he had to do today.
“The motto of the day was just to survive and advance. Period. We did that,” he said. “Our group was all playing [near the top of the leaderboard], so we were keeping it positive out there. Good vibes all around.”
Semenetz is also experienced on the national stage as well. Partner Jack Wallace and he have qualified for the U.S. Four-Ball Championship three out of the previous four years. That wild success rate has earned them the nickname of “Four-Ball legends” among GAP players.
The duo will head down to Tequesta, Fla. to compete in this year’s rendition, May 19-23 at Jupiter Hills Club.
“If we reach the Finals of the Four-Ball, we won’t be able to play in the Mid.-Am. Either way, we wanted to come out here and put together a good competitive round so we could shake the rust off. We’re hedging our bets a little bit, but obviously want to do well in both events,” he said.
The most important date on his calendar, however, doesn’t fall in May. It’s Monday. Semenetz begins a new software sales position with Entech, a global provider of consumer lending platforms.
“I’ve been trying to live it up a little before then, trying to sneak in as much golf as I can,” said Semenetz, who travels on Sunday to Saucon Valley Country Club to compete in Cricket’s opening week of the BMW GAP Team Matches. “It’s going to be a big Monday for me.”
The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.
The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.
The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA’s guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field begins with 132 players.
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club||71|
|Michael Olson, Medford Village Country Club||72|
|Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club||73|
|Robert Good, Merion Golf Club||74|
|Mark Coassolo, Brookside CC of Allentown||75|
|Brett Cybulski, Medford Village Country Club||75|
|Brian Herman, Merchantville Country Club||75|
|Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale||75|
|John Moore, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club||75|
|Frank Kohute, Running Deer Golf Club||76|
|Dave Marshall, Running Deer Golf Club||76|
|Cory Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club||76|
|Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club||77|
|Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club||77|
|Robert Curry, North Hills Country Club||77|
|Ben Keyser, Woodcrest Country Club||77|
|Mark Kosko, Little Mill Country Club||77|
|David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||77|
|Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club||77|
|Joseph Russo, Running Deer Golf Club||77|
|Failed to qualify|
|Sumeet Arora, Honeybrook Golf Club||78|
|Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club||78|
|Bill Murray, Stone Harbor Golf Club||78|
|Ryan O’Leary, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||78|
|Steven Passalacqua, Greate Bay Country Club||78|
|Casey Reed, Medford Lakes Country Club||78|
|Dan Wach, Galloway National Golf Club||78|
|Adam Warner, Tavistock Country Club||78|
|G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club||79|
|Mike Hartsough, The Springhaven Club||79|
|Sean McMonagle, Tavistock Country Club||79|
|Joe Zulli, Little Mill Country Club||79|
|Paul Bickford, Wedgwood Country Club||80|
|Andrew Carnevale, North Hills Country Club||80|
|Brian Dorey, Metedeconk National Golf Club||80|
|Gabe Gant, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia||80|
|Joey Hoban, Radley Run Country Club||80|
|Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club||80|
|Matt Krass, Radley Run Country Club||80|
|Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club||80|
|Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club||80|
|Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club||80|
|David Waxman, Little Mill Country Club||80|
|Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club||81|
|Brian Bygott, Tavistock Country Club||81|
|Brandon Capone, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||82|
|Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield||82|
|Chris Jackson, Little Mill Country Club||82|
|Jeff Klagholz, Aronimink Golf Club||82|
|Carlos Ochoa, Little Mill Country Club||83|
|Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||83|
|John Simone, Philmont Country Club||83|
|Peter Ucciferro, Philadelphia Publinks GA||83|
|Paul Leddy, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club||84|
|Jordan Mulrain, North Hills Country Club||84|
|James Ridgway, The Shore Club||84|
|John Burke, Running Deer Golf Club||85|
|Stephen Freda, Greate Bay Country Club||85|
|Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club||86|
|Ryan O’Donnell, Rolling Green Golf Club||86|
|Brad Cornforth, Loch Nairn Golf Club||87|
|Dwight Diorio, Rolling Green Golf Club||87|
|Brendan May, North Hills Country Club||87|
|James Schmidt, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||87|
|Darren Taillie, Laurel Creek Country Club||87|
|Phil Cillo, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia||88|
|Taylor Kellogg, Philadelphia Cricket Club||88|
|Brian Kelly, Laurel Creek Country Club||88|
|Sean Coary, Applebrook Golf Club||89|
|Douglas Christensen, Rolling Green Golf Club||90|
|Nicholas Gaudio, Valleybrook Country Club||90|
|Kevin Morita, Valleybrook Country Club||90|
|Jeffrey Peltier, Stone Harbor Golf Club||90|
|Trevor Seufer, Stonewall||90|
|Kevin Turner, Radnor Valley Country Club||90|
|Matthew Vassil, Country Club of Scranton||90|
|Gene Goudy, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||92|
|Steve Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club||92|
|Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club||93|
|Daniel Dillon, Medford Village Country Club||94|
|Joe Spitaleri, Inniscrone Golf Club||102|
|Jerry Crane, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA||NS|
|Philip Damico, McCall Golf & Country Club||WD|
|Nelson Hargrove, Merion Golf Club||WD|
|Mark Howarth, Rolling Green Golf Club||WD|
|Sean Leonard, Tavistock Country Club||WD|
|WD- withdrawal; NS-no show|
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