Finger, Lutz card 2-under 69s to sit atop 33rd Mid.-Am. leaderboard - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 25, 2016

Finger, Lutz card 2-under 69s to sit atop 33rd Mid.-Am. leaderboard

PAOLI, Pa.–It’s a contrast in perspectives for the pair sitting atop the 33rd Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf leaderboard. Chip Lutz is a multi-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Major winner, a national champion and a Senior hall of famer. He’s a hunted name no matter the tournament stop. Matthew Finger, on the other hand, has emerged the last few years as a frequent force in the tri-state area golfing arena. Seemingly always knocking, Finger remains in search of that door-opening score. 

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  Those two enter Thursday’s second and final round as co-leaders after each posted 2-under-par 69s on Wednesday at Waynesborough Country Club. They’ll begin their last 18 holes, along with Dan Bernard of Aronimink Golf Club (1 under), at 11:20 a.m.

  A warm day coupled with a pesky breeze and a demanding layout created a compact Day 1 leaderboard.

  The top 28 players are separated by only five shots.

  The storyline is legacy versus validity for the two co-leaders.

  “It’s good to be a contender at my age,” said Lutz, 61, of Reading, Pa. “I’m happy to be close coming into the final day. I always hope I’m close on the last nine holes. If I get off to a reasonably good start, stay close and have nine to play, I like my chances. Anything can happen and as long as you have that opportunity that’s what makes it exciting.”

  Lutz’s Mid.-Am. track record is head-shaking. He is a dual winner, taking titles in 1998 and 2007, and in the last eight Middle-Amateur Championships in which he’s competed (he didn’t participate in 2013 or 2015), the LedgeRock Golf Club member has finished no worse than fifth.

  A victory tomorrow would make Lutz, the reigning U.S. Senior Amateur champion, the oldest Mid.-Am. winner in history. In addition to his Middle-Amateur titles, Lutz has won the Association’s Junior, Amateur and Senior championships. 

  Finger, of DuPont Country Club, recorded his best Mid.-Am. performance in 2014 when he closed with a 5-under 66 at Gulph Mills Golf Club to shoot up the leaderboard and place fifth. In 2015, he fell in the final match for the New Jersey State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship.

  “I’ve not led too many tournaments in GAP; it’ll be a little different,” said Finger, 38, of Woolwich Township, N.J. “There will be a little bit more attention. Spectators, scoreboards, GAP officials. I’ve always been good at staying with the game plan and not get ahead of myself.”

  Finger and Lutz reached red figures in similar style, putting a premium on fairways and greens. A necessity with Waynesborough’s ruthless rough.

  Lutz turned his front-side in 1-under 34 behind three birdies and two bogeys. He registered eight pars and a birdie on the back, his lone red digit coming on No. 14 (par 3, 175 yards). He ripped a 7-iron to 15 feet right of the hole and drained the putt.

  Finger, who started on the back nine, the more difficult side of the two, turned in an impressive 3-under 33. He birdied four holes including three of the last four. The highlight coming on No. 17 (par 3, 212 yards) when he ripped a 4-iron to six feet and made the birdie putt.

  The course stats for the day had the back nine (40.5 average) playing two strokes higher than the front side (38.1).

  On Finger’s outward trek, he bogeyed two of the first four holes, but birdied No. 7 (par 5, 546 yards) with a 12-foot putt up the hill. He parred his final two holes for a 69.

  “I was in total control of the driver today,” said Finger, who recently competed in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club. He and partner Michael Korcuba advanced to match play but fell in the first round. “Playing 90 holes at Winged Foot with difficult conditions and fast greens really prepared me well for this course. Waynesborough is a difficult golf course. I find myself playing better on difficult golf courses. I don’t hit it very long but I hit it pretty straight. You have to find the fairways here, avoid the fairway bunkers and keep it out in front of you.”

  Defending champion Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club posted an opening-round 78 and is in a tie for 57th.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. 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.

Name, clubTotal
Chip Lutz, LedgeRock Golf Club69
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club69
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club70
Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club70
Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club70
Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club71
Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club71
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71
John Robinson, Lu Lu Country Club71
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club71
Nathan Sutherland, Heidelberg Country Club71
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club72
Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club72
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club72
Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club73
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club73
Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club73
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club73
Michael R. Brown, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA73
William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club73
David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club74
Perry Landis, Moselem Springs Golf Club74
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club74
Rodney James, Heidelberg Country Club74
Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club74
Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course74
Ari Flaisher, McCall Golf & Country Club75
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club75
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club75
Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club75
Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club75
Matthew Gaffney, Running Deer Golf Club75
Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club75
Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale76
Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club76
James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club76
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club76
Jeffrey Huntzinger, Philmont Country Club76
Michael DiMeglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course76
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club76
Tyler Rae, Bidermann Golf Club76
Adam Warner, Tavistock Country Club77
Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club77
Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club77
Kevin Haag, Makefield Highlands Golf Club77
Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club77
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club77
Paul Bickford, Little Mill Country Club77
Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club77
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club77
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club78
Brian Winters, Spring Ford Country Club78
Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club78
Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club78
James O’Connor, Penn Oaks Golf Club78
Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club78
John Cyb, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club78
Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club78
Patrick Welsh, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
Paul Liebezeit, Aronimink Golf Club78
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club78
Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club78
Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
Failed to qualify
Ashley Brasfield, Rolling Green Golf Club79
Frank Petrash, IV, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club79
Jason Loehrs, Philadelphia Publinks GA79
Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club79
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club79
Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club79
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club79
Tim Westfall, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve79
Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale80
Andrew Ploszay, Chester Valley Golf Club80
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club80
Bradley Roberts, Little Mill Country Club80
Brian Dorey, Metedeconk National Golf Club80
Brian Fisher, Phoenixville Country Club80
Cory Reighard, Llanerch Country Club80
Eric Murphy, Indian Valley Country Club80
Gary E. Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club80
James Donnelly, Merion Golf Club80
Mark Peterson, Waynesborough Country Club80
Michael Santerian, Wedgwood Country Club80
Sam McFall, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
Andrew Zoeller, Waynesborough Country Club81
Bill Boyle, Metedeconk National Golf Club81
Charles Meadows, Whitford Country Club81
Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek Country Club81
Dan Wach, Blue Heron Pines Golf Club81
Derek Schwendinger, Trenton Country Club81
Michael Dunn, Little Mill Country Club81
Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club81
Michael Walker, Hartefeld National81
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club81
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club81
David West, Applecross Country Club82
Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club82
Hunter Hanson, Waynesborough Country Club82
Michael Vassil, Country Club of Scranton82
Ron Weaver, Bent Creek Country Club82
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club82
Alex Hargaden, Bala Golf Club83
Jim Rosenbaum, Old York Road Country Club83
John Burke, Running Deer Golf Club83
Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club83
Mark Hill, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club83
Alexander Penza, Llanerch Country Club84
Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club84
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club84
Mark Lovell, DuPont Country Club84
Tim Pici, Chester Valley Golf Club84
Blake Cleary, Wilmington Country Club85
Brian Corbett, Huntsville Golf Club85
David Guertler, Laurel Creek Country Club85
Hee Yoo, Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg 85
James Somers, Makefield Highlands Golf Club85
Steve Mroozian, Makefield Highlands Golf Club85
Frank Kohute, Running Deer Golf Club86
Patrick McCusker, Jr., Plymouth Country Club86
Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club86
Timothy Haberbusch, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Dave Landau, Berkshire Country Club87
Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club87
John Birk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club87
Nicholas Lukow, Woodstone Country Club87
Jared Palubinski, Schuylkill Country Club88
Eugene Maginnis, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club90
Scott Storck, Philadelphia Cricket Club93
Cory Siegfried, Aronimink Golf ClubDQ
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf ClubWD
James Wybar, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Mario Canal, Laurel Creek Country ClubWD
Maximillian Muller, Manufacturers Golf & Country ClubWD
DQ-disqualification; WD-withdrawal

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