May 08, 2010

Huntingdon Valley CC cruises to 32nd GAP Team Matches Championship

  Huntingdon Valley CC ended its near decade-long title drought in the Golf Association of Philadelphia Team Matches Saturday by defeating Glenmaura National GC, Mercer Oaks GC and Merion GC for the 2010 crown.

James Sullivan, Sr. of Huntingdon Valley CC
putts into a strong wind on the 18th hole
on Saturday at Merion GC.

  In the victory, Huntingdon Valley scored 102.5 points, 40 ahead of its nearest rival Merion. Glenmaura National posted 52.25 points while Mercer Oaks earned 50.5 points in the Playoff.

  “It feels good,” Huntingdon Valley captain Douglas Gregor said. “I think we all played well across the board. We’re fortunate enough that we had a lot of depth this year.”

  Huntingdon Valley’s depth proved to be its greatest asset in the Playoff. With rough winds creating challenging conditions at already-challenging courses, the team still managed to shine on the road. At Merion, Mike Gregor, Doug’s brother, scored a remarkable 11.75 points while teammate James Sullvan, Sr. added 8.75 points. At Glenmaura National GC, Sean Seese and Craig Scott, Huntingdon Valley’s leading scorer through the first three weeks, posted 10 and 10.5 individual points, respectively. Doug Gregor, as well as Mike Lambert and Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., scored well at Mercer Oaks GC. Lambert led the trio with 10.25 individual points.

  And at home, it was Kevin Bondi, playing in the No. 3 position, rolling to 11 points.

  “These guys have meant everything,” Gregor said. “You need 12 strong players across the board each week. You don’t necessarily need to be top-heavy. You need equally strong guys across the board. We were fortunate to have that this year.”

  The 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 each hole per margin of victory.

  Course familiarity was an integral part in Huntingdon Valley’s Playoff strategy. Seese and Scott had traversed Glenmaura National before, and Michael Dougherty, Mike Gregor and Sullivan, each had experience playing at Merion. In fact, Mike Gregor and Robert Galbreath, Jr., who weren’t able to compete in any of the prior weeks, each played in the Playoff and provided a significant spark.

  Huntingdon Valley now holds a record 32 GAP Team Matches titles.

  “It’s unbelievable. It’s fantastic,” Pinciotti said. “We put together a great effort. Every week, everybody put in their best, and every week, everybody gave it their all.”

  Prior to the Final, Doug Gregor considered Huntingdon Valley, who last won in 2001, to be the underdog. On Saturday, the underdog became the top dog in the GAP Team Matches.

  “We did not expect this result,” Doug Gregor said. “I know the other three teams had done so well during the first three matches. We gave them the utmost respect. We were lucky to play well in the Final. It feels great. Between 2001 and now, Tavistock, Commonwealth (National) and Merion have all won. A lot of great teams and clubs have deserved the title. We’re fortunate to win it this year.”

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