40th #GAPMidAm: Round One - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 22, 2023

40th #GAPMidAm: Round One

Beck, Rickenbach share lead at even par

SPRING HOUSE, Pa. — A petulant breeze and Old York Road Country Club’s (par 71, 6,632 yards) testy, firm greens kept the area’s top middle-amateurs at a distance Monday in GAP’s first Major of the campaign. When the opening round of the 40th Middle-Amateur Championship presented by NJM Insurance Group was complete, a pair of fresh faces fended off the field of 140 to lead at even par. Home-club hopeful Ryan Beck, a four-time OYR Men’s Club Champion, and Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Stewart Rickenbach both navigated the treacherous track in 71 strokes. A gaggle of pursuers follow, with 26 players within four shots of the tandem.

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It is the highest score for a first-round leader since Chris Lange’s even-par in 2006 at Commonwealth National Golf Club. He would go on to victory that year.

The second round begins at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. The final group of Beck, Rickenbach and Ben Feld of Green Valley Country Club, the 2017 Middle-Amateur Champion, starts at 11:40 a.m. The cut line fell at 8-over par with the low 70 players and ties advancing (71 total).

“I have been a member here my whole life, basically,” Beck, 36, of Ambler, Pa., said. “My dad joined when I was the age of 5. The course right now is in the best condition it has ever been in. This club and this area is home to me. There is such a home-course advantage here for the members playing. I know the course is tough and if you play two rounds at even par, you’ll have a chance to win. Tomorrow is going to be fun.”

“A course like this you have to pick your spots [when you go at the flags],” said Rickenbach, 28, of Doylestown, Pa., a member of Huntingdon Valley’s victorious BMW GAP Team Matches squad. “There are certain pins you can’t even flirt with. You have to hit to the center of the green and accept the two putt from there. I won’t change what I hit off tees or anything like that tomorrow. I’ll play the same game I played today and hopefully that’s good enough to get it done.”

Beck’s scorecard included four birdies and four bogeys. On Nos. 10 (par 4, 408 yards) and 12 (par 4, 354 yards), he made short putts for 3. He then stole one from the field on No. 16 (par 3, 211 yards) when he drained a 40-footer from the front fringe of green to get to 2 under with two holes to play. However, a pair of poor approach shots on Nos. 17 (par 4, 409 yards) and 18 (par 4, 420 yards) resulted in subsequent bogeys.

Rickenbach recorded three birdies, an eagle, three bogeys and a double bogey. His eagle came on No. 15 (par 5, 527 yards), his sixth hole – he started on the back nine, when he chipped in from 20 feet right of the flag. Rickenbach took advantage of a good break as his second shot, a 4-iron from 225 yards, skidded out of the greenside bunker sand and stopped on top of the lip.

Defending Middle-Amateur champion Troy Vannucci of Little Mill Country Club withdrew after advancing into match play of the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with partner Jack Irons. The pair fell in their Round of 32 match, 1-down.

In addition to Feld, other GAP Major Champions lurking included Gregor Orlando of Philadelphia Cricket Club (2017 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion); Brian Gillespie of St. Davids Golf Club (2001 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion) and Jacoby Chappa of Maple Dale Country Club (2022 Delaware Amateur Championship). Those three are tied for fifth.

Past Middle-Amateur Champions to make the cut are Scott McNeil of The 1912 Club (4-over); John Brennan of Philadelphia Cricket (5-over); Glenn Smeraglio of LuLu Country Club (5-over); Michael R. Brown, Jr. of LuLu Country Club (6-over) and Matt Mattare of Saucon Valley Country Club (6-over).

A William Hyndman, III Player of the Year points event, the Middle-Amateur started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. GAP followed suit with the USGA in creating a Middle-Amateur, 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 only available to players 30 years of age or older.

The GAP 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 individuals. It also, as previously mentioned, changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. Furthermore, GAP lowered the handicap index requirement from 7.0 to 5.0 in 2023. 

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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Round One 
Name, clubScore
Ryan Beck, Old York Road Country Club71
Stewart Rickenbach, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71
Benjamin Feld, Green Valley Country Club72
John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club72
Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club73
Zachary Falone, Makefield Highlands Golf Club73
Jacoby Chappa, Maple Dale Country Club73
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club73
Nathan Fry, Green Pond Country Club73
Jon Rusk, LuLu Country Club74
David Mecca, Glen Oak Country Club74
Dan Keenan, Little Mill Country Club74
Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club74
Scott McNeil, The 1912 Club75
Jonathan Radick, Spring Mill Country Club75
Ben Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Andy Butler, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Scott Ehrlich, Waynesborough Country Club75
Zak Drescher, Bent Creek Country Club75
Jake Fazio, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Brian Fisher, Spring Ford Country Club75
Tyler McGarry, Huntsville Golf Club75
Mark Benevento, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Robert Olseski, Applebrook Golf Club75
Daniel Rudershausen, Bidermann Golf Club75
Joseph Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club75
Marty McGuckin, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Jon Rudisill, Little Mill Country Club76
Matt Dolinsky, Honeybrook Golf Club76
Brock Kovach, LedgeRock Golf Club76
Bryan Ott, Schuylkill Country Club76
Glenn Smeraglio, LuLu Country Club76
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Zach Dilcher, Hartefeld National77
Billy Howard, Applebrook Golf Club77
John Meyers, Makefield Highlands Golf Club77
Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club77
Michael R. Brown, Jr., LuLu Country Club77
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club77
Gregory Markus, Laurel Creek Country Club77
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club77
Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club77
Sean Flanigan, Sakima Country Club77
Daniel Oh, Blue Bell Country Club77
Alex Hosier, French Creek Golf Club77
Matt Crilley, Steel Club77
Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club77
Brendan Mahoney, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Ryan Carroll, Bidermann Golf Club78
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club78
Dan Ayars, Sakima Country Club78
Ryan Cass, Hidden Creek Golf Club78
Matt Teesdale, The 1912 Club78
Patrick Rutter, Schuylkill Country Club78
Alexander Kim, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Edward Kelly, Old York Road Country Club79
Stephen Scott, Legacy Club at Woodcrest79
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club79
Ryan McDonald, Merion Golf Club79
Ryan Gracey, Hartefeld National79
James Egan, Glen Oak Country Club79
Jared Tendler, Jericho National Golf Club79
Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club79
James Greenhalgh, Eligo Club79
Kevin Maguire, Laurel Creek Country Club79
Ryan Richardson, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association79
Scott Kalamar, Green Pond Country Club79
Failed to qualify 
Eric Carlidge, North Hills Country Club80
Dan Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
Josh Isler, Stonewall80
Dan Brown, Llanerch Country Club80
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club80
Daniel Wu, Bluestone Country Club80
Joseph Fabrizio, Aronimink Golf Club80
Joshua Krumholz, Moselem Springs Golf Club80
Greg O’Connor, Bellewood Country Club80
Matt Crawford, Spring Mill Country Club81
Ryan O’Leary, Makefield Highlands Golf Club81
Phil Potter, Radley Run Country Club81
Sal Cucinotti, Talamore Country Club81
John Lalley, Llanerch Country Club81
Andrew Carnevale, North Hills Country Club81
Lee Nonnemacher, Steel Club81
Ben Cutler, Philadelphia Cricket Club81
Kevin Kramarski, Moorestown Field Club81
Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club81
Beau Guarino, Riverton Country Club81
Matthew Bastian, Rolling Green Golf Club81
Brett Brenner, Ramblewood Country Club81
Jack Wallace, Riverton Country Club81
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club81
Brandon Beatty, The Springhaven Club81
Ryan Jones, Northampton Valley Country Club81
Marc Fillari, Pennsauken Country Club81
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket Club81
Robert Robertson, Avalon Golf Club82
Blake Reifsnyder, LedgeRock Golf Club82
Matthew Marcelli, Applebrook Golf Club82
Tony Bevevino, Irem Country Club82
Ryan Winton, Merchantville Country Club82
Ross Pilliod, LuLu Country Club82
Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club82
Brian Wojtko, Old York Road Country Club82
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club82
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club82
G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club82
Ben Keyser, Legacy Club at Woodcrest82
Colin Smith, Bidermann Golf Club83
Steve Kollias, Concord Country Club83
Pete Moran, French Creek Golf Club83
Bryan Keeling, Spring Mill Country Club83
Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club83
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club83
Chris Meares, Pitman Golf Course83
Patrick McCusker, Sandy Run Country Club83
Daniel Dillon, Medford Village Country Club83
Joe April, Waynesborough Country Club84
David Ripa, Running Deer Golf Club84
Matthew Crescenzo, LuLu Country Club84
Ric Sucro, Cedarbrook Country Club84
Jim Rosenbaum, Old York Road Country Club85
Travis Falkner, USGA/GAP GC85
Lodie van Tonder, Sakima Country Club85
Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association86
Christopher Pitts, Tavistock Country Club86
Lance Oberparleiter, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia87
Mike Hoffman, Coatesville Country Club87
Ryan Barnett, Aronimink Golf Club87
Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club88
Jerry Newell, Fieldstone Golf Club88
Nick Madden, LuLu Country Club89
Seth Hartman, USGA/GAP GC89
Adam Bracy, Tavistock Country Club90
Charles Meadows, Whitford Country Club90
Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association90
Cole Willcox, USGA/GAP GCWD
Sean McMonagle, Tavistock Country ClubWD
Ed McCusker, Five Ponds Golf ClubWD
Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country ClubWD
Anthony Saltarelli, Philmont Country ClubNC
WD – withdrawal; NC – no card 

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