Huntingdon Valley CC hosts 107th Open Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 18, 2011

Huntingdon Valley CC hosts 107th Open Championship

  Since its founding in 1897, Huntingdon Valley CC has served as the proving ground of champions. Legendary figures such as O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., William Hyndman, III, W.B. McCullough, Jr., Harold McFarland and Linc Roden, III, to name a few, have all called the William Flynn creation home.

  On July 20, the demanding iconic venue will produce a champion of a different sort, Golf Association of Philadelphia Major winner. The organization’s third Major of the season, the 107th Open Championship, visits the club’s Toomey/Flynn nines where temperatures are forecasted to be in the low-to-mid 90s. The field consists of 72 players, 41 amateurs and 31 professionals, competing over 36 holes of stroke play. It is a walking only event.

  “I prefer the most difficult conditions possible,” said 2010 Open Champion and amateur Michael Brown of Lookaway GC, who faced similar circumstances a year ago at Philmont CC (North Course). “I’m excited to be defending the title. It was an unexpected win last year, but I’m going to do everything possible to win again.”

  This will be the sixth time Huntingdon Valley CC hosts the Association’s third oldest championship and first time since 2003. Brian Kelly of Bucknell GC won his second of two Open titles that year.

  Huntingdon Valley CC has withstood the test of time and champions thanks to its layout and treacherous green complexes.

  “Huntingdon Valley is a great place to have the Open because it is one of the real challenging tests anywhere and especially here in Philly,” said five-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Michael McDermott, 36, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “With the way the weather has been lately, we’ll have the firm and fast conditions Huntingdon Valley is famous for. Whoever wins it will have earned it.”

  Last year, Brown, 38, Cheltenham, Pa., earned the win in style, outlasting Greg Farrow, the Deerwood CC professional, in a five-hole playoff (four-hole aggregate, one-hole sudden death). The Brown victory marked only the 13th time an amateur has captured the Open Championship. Mark Miller of Yardley CC was the last amateur to do so prior in 2007. In all, only seven individual Amateur players have won the tournament. Jay Sigel heads that group with six victories.

  Brown and Farrow needed 41 holes and 13 hours to decide last year’s tilt. A Brown two-putt from 40-feet underneath the moonlight on No. 1 secured his second Major title.

  “I’m not the type of player to shoot 10-12-under par. If winning score is around even par I have a chance. I could see that [this year being the case],” said Brown, the 2009 Mid-Am Champion. “I said my victory was unexpected because I guess my perception was because I’m an amateur, half the field was better than I was [because they are pros]. It was an important tournament for me because I played professional golf for seven years and didn’t win anything. So to beat a strong field that included the area’s top professionals is satisfying.”

  Brown’s defense won’t be easy as a dangerous and talented group of amateurs and professionals search for glory.

  Previous Open titleholders in this year’s field include John Appleget of Wildwood G&CC (2002), Graham Dendler, Trenton CC’s professional (2005), Stu Ingraham of M Golf Driving Range (1994), Brian Kelly of Bucknell GC (2000, 2003), David Quinn of Links GC (2006) and Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford CC (2009).

  Among the amateurs vying for the 2011 Open crown are McDermott, brothers James Kania, Jr. of Overbrook GC, the 2009 William Hyndman, III Player of the Year, and Michael Kania of Overbrook GC, the 2010 Amateur runner-up; Glenn Smeraglio of Mercer Oaks Golf Course, the 2011 Middle-Amateur Champion; and Huntingdon Valley hopeful Andrew Mason.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia serves as the sole administrator of the Open Championship. In 2007, it increased the field size from 60 to 72 players.

  Forty-seven players secured a spot in the field by qualifying at either Radley Run CC or Riverton CC. The remaining 25 earned exemptions based on previous results. Participants include professionals who are members in good standing of the Philadelphia Section PGA, head professionals of GAP Member Clubs and amateurs who are members of member clubs and carry a handicap index of 7.0 or less.

  As always, the public and media are welcome to attend.

  Huntingdon Valley is located at 2295 Country Club Drive in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

Share This: