116th #GAPOpen: Preview - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 08, 2020

116th #GAPOpen: Preview

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Majors, News


Open graces Galloway National for first time

GAP Major, Galloway National Golf Club. A meeting 25 years in the making.

|Tee times | History | Fact sheet |

The 116th Open Championship heads to the Jersey Shore layout July 13-14. A field of 82 (42 professionals, 40 amateurs) will compete in the two-day, 36-hole stroke play event.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAP canceled qualifying altogether, thus making the Open Championship invitation-only. Participants can use single-rider carts for transportation. Caddies and spectators (exceptions apply here) are prohibited.

The guaranteed purse for professionals is $10,000.

Upon inception, Galloway National, a Tom Fazio design, earned ink in Golf Digest as one of “America’s Best New Courses.” The accolades — breathtaking vistas, gripping green contours, careful craftsmanship, a striking mix of sand and water, etc. — pour in with each passing year. 

“The golf course is in great shape,” Jason Lamp, Galloway National’s Director of Golf and General Manager, said. “The thing about Gallloway is that if you have a weakness in your game, Galloway is going to expose it. One thing about this golf course is that you have to have your A game to play, and to play well for two days.”

“The thing about Galloway is that if you have a weakness in your game, Galloway is going to expose it.”

Jason Lamp
Director of Golf/General Manager

Galloway National previously hosted the New Jersey State Golf Association’s Mid-Amateur Championship (2012, 2010, 2006, 2002). A handful of GAP events (e.g. Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) in 2016, Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship in 2013) graced the grounds since.

But never a GAP Major. Until now.

“That was one of the things we wanted to do for the 25th anniversary of the club,” Lamp, 53, of Northfield, N.J., said. “I talked to Kirby (Martin, GAP Director of Competitions) three years ago and said, ‘We have our 25th anniversary coming up, and I think it’d be time to host a Major here.’ It wasn’t even a question. He said, ‘What about the Open in July?’ I said, ‘Let’s put it on the calendar.’ Even with everything going on, we’re still very excited. I know it’s one of the most prestigious events in the GAP.” 

Lamp certainly knows the Open Championship’s prestige firsthand. He won in 1998 at Aronimink Golf Club. Despite an exemption into this year’s affair, Lamp isn’t competing due to injury. He underwent a fusion on his lower back in October 2019. Lamp’s since returned to the golf course, but isn’t ready for competition yet.

A past champion may be absent, but the defending champion isn’t. Pine Valley Golf Club’s Jeff Osberg is looking to add a third Open crown to a crowded mantle. In 2016, he defeated Christopher Crawford in a four-hole aggregate playoff at The Ridge at Back Brook. Osberg carded rounds of 67 and 68 to prevail by two strokes a year ago at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, his former home of six years (2013-18).

“When the Open comes around, I always feel like it’s the peak of the middle of the season. This year is different. It doesn’t feel like the middle of the season,” Osberg, 36, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., said. “However, I felt that I prepared well for the Philadelphia Amateur. I think I’m preparing well for the Open. I’m really looking forward to getting back to competitive golf. I’m excited that GAP was able to pull off another tournament.” 

Osberg, a three-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year (2015-16, 2019), finished as a quarterfinalist in the aforementioned BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship last month at Lancaster Country Club. Although it wasn’t a competitive — formally speaking — event, Osberg did traverse Galloway National in early March prior to golf’s shutdown due to COVID-19. The venue’s demand for accuracy resonates.

“I hadn’t played Galloway in 10, 15 years, and I was immediately reminded of how great the course is,” Osberg said. “It’s extremely difficult but at the same time very fair. I’m happy I was able to play it this year to remind me of it because you could use a bit of knowledge. It’s hard from the second you tee off until the time you’re done. That’s assuming the wind doesn’t blow. If the wind blows, then it’ll be extremely challenging.”

Osberg tees off at 8:47 a.m. alongside fellow former Open champion (2018) Billy Stewart of The ACE Club. Other past winners in the field include Matthew Mattare of Saucon Valley Country Club (2017); Matthew Teesdale of The 1912 Club (2014); Andrew Mason of Huntingdon Valley (2011-12); Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford Country Club (2009); David Quinn of Laurel Creek Country Club (2006); Brian Kelly of Bucknell Golf Club (2003, 2000) and Stuart Ingraham of MGOLF Driving Range & Learning Facility (1994).

For the second straight year, Ashley Grier, an assistant professional at Overbrook Golf Club, will compete. In 2019, she became the first female to vie in the Open Championship since Kimberly Verrecchio (2004).

GAP Hall of Famer R. Jay Sigel holds the most Open titles at six. He won all of those as an amateur.

Of note, amateurs dominated the past decade, winning nine of the last 10. The Open Championship is a William Hyndman, III Player of the Year event.

Connect with the Open Championship via GAP’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Use #GAPOpen when posting.

The media is welcome to attend. Contact Martin D. Emeno, Jr., GAP Director of Operations, at 610-687-2340 ext. 27 or via email at memeno@gapgolf.org in advance for information regarding protocols.

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 Association’s 288 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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