HVCC Amateur Andrew Mason defends Open Championship title - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 21, 2012

HVCC Amateur Andrew Mason defends Open Championship title

*William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings
*Photo Gallery

 PINE VALLEY, N.J. – The laurels of 2011 gave Andrew Mason of Huntingdon Valley Country Club some special opportunities this summer. 

  He’s spent the majority of this golf season traveling and competing in prestigious national amateur tournaments like the Sunnehanna Amateur, Porter Cup and The Players Amateur, to name just a few. 

  Monday, Mason made his 2012 Golf Association of Philadelphia debut in as smashing a style as his season of a year ago. 

  The reigning William Hyndman, III Amateur Player of the Year successfully defended his Open Championship in front of an appreciative crowd of 1,417 at historic Pine Valley Golf Club (par 70, 6,962 yards) with a 4-over-par 144 total for the 36 holes. He became the first player to defend his title since professional Frank Dobbs of Spring-Ford Country Club in 1990-91. He is the first amateur to go back-to-back since legendary R. Jay Sigel of Aronimink Golf Club in 1986-87. 

  “I think I’m just lucky I was able to play well two years in a row for an event I was geared up for,” said Mason, 23, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “To win last year at my home club, Huntingdon Valley, meant a lot and to win it again this year at such a terrific venue is special.” 

  Travis Deibert, the head professional at Commonwealth National Golf Club, took home low professional honors and the first-place $10,000 check. The total professional purse for the 108th Open Championship was $50,000. Deibert, in the first group to finish, posted a 6-over 146 and watched as professional contenders for the top prize fell by the roadside. 

  “It’s a great honor to be here playing at Pine Valley and makes this all the more special,” said Deibert, 38, of Doylestown, Pa. “It’s a tough day and it’s just a matter of grinding it out and not trying to make a big number.” 

  Mason opened his defense with an even-par 70 in the morning, the tournament’s low score. He paired up bogeys and birdies, three each, the final red figure coming on the No. 18 (par 4, 475 yards) green when he hit a 7-iron from 180 yards to five feet and made the putt. 

  “That gave me a lot of momentum heading into the afternoon,” said Mason, whose top amateur invitational finish this year was a tie for eighth in The Players Amateur in Hilton Head, S.C. 

  As the golf course continued to firm up and wind started to become a factor, par became everyone’s friend. 

  Mason and groupmate Dave McNabb of Applebrook Golf Club, as it turned out, used strong play and the golf course to separate themselves from the field early in Round 2. McNabb, who posted a first-round 73, birdied two or his first four holes in the afternoon to move to 1-over overall and vault to the top of the leaderboard. Mason in that stretch stood at 2 over. 

  “I kinda knew the situation. I was pressing myself on the front nine in the second 18 because I was playing with Dave and he was scoring pretty well and I was 2 or 3 over,” said Mason. “As soon as I turned to the front side, I really started playing well. Until the last hole, I was 1 under on that side. Even on the last hole I knew where I stood.” 

  Mason made hay on the first five holes of the front side, his back eight, by playing that treacherous quintet in even par. McNabb was 4 over thru those five included a double bogey on No. 1 (par 4, 421 yards) after a poor drive. 

  Mason then sealed his place atop the Open throne for a second straight year with a birdie on No. 6 (par 4, 394 yards), his 16th hole, with a pitching wedge to eight feet that moved him to 3 over for the tournament and a three-shot lead. He bogeyed No. 8 (par 4, 326 yards), his final hole – players started from No. 9 on the back side – when he purposely went the conservative route. 

  “I was trying to win instead of trying to finish moderately,” said Mason of the biggest difference between the Open and those other summer invitationals. “This was by far the best I hit it all summer.” 

  Deibert’s low pro finish gave the five-year Commonwealth veteran his second biggest career pay day. 

  In 2010, Deibert won the Haverford Trust and its $45,000 winner’s share. 

  Deibert was 4 over in his first 10 holes of Round 2 – he started on No. 9 – but finished with eight straight pars to shoot up the leaderboard. 

  Included in that stretch was a fantastic up-and-down on No. 8 (par 4, 326 yards) from 92 yards after finding the brush left off the tee. 

  “I didn’t really know here I stood until my last hole” said Deibert, who is the proud father of a 1½ month old baby boy named Jackson. “I looked at the scoreboard on No. 8 and said this is a big [par] putt. I need to make this to save [par] and see what happens.” 

  The 72-player field was comprised of 41 amateurs and 31 professionals. 

  Play was suspended for 53 minutes at 6:21 p.m. when lightning was detected in the area. 

NOTES–This marked only the fourth time the Open Championship visited Pine Valley (1923, 1941, 2002).
In 2002, John Appleget, now a teaching professional out of Wildwood Golf & Country Club, bested John DiMarco, Laurel Creek Country Club’s head professional, in an 18-hole playoff by four strokes. Both players finished a demanding test tied at 4-over-par 144. The same score as this year’s winner.

Name, clubR1-R2-Total
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club70-74–144
Travis Deibert, Commonwealth National Golf Club72-74–146
(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club73-73–146
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club73-75–148
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club77-71–148
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club78-71–149
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club74-75–149
Terry Hatch, Hidden Valley Golf Course74-75–149
(a) Brandon Matthews, Fox Hill Country Club79-71–150
(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club75-75–150
Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club73-77–150
(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club77-73–150
(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club74-76–150
Jakob Gerney, Trump National GC – Phila.73-77–150
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course75-75–150
(a) Brian Colbert, White Manor Country Club75-75–150
(a) Benjamin Smith, Little Mill Country Club77-75–152
(a) Matthew Finger, Woodcrest Country Club77-75–152
(a) Eric Williams, Makefield Highlands Golf Club80-72–152
Stuart Ingraham, MGOLF Driving Range78-74–152
John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs77-75–152
(a) Greg Wolfe, Cavaliers Country Club80-72–152
(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club78-75–153
(a) Cory Siegfried, Philadelphia Country Club78-75–153
John Allen, GolfTEC Mainline77-77–154
David Quinn, Links Golf Club78-76–154
(a) P.J. Tighe, Little Mill Country Club81-73–154
John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club77-77–154
Eddie Perrino, Mountain Laurel Golf Club77-77–154
Hugh Reilly, Jr., Twining Valley Golf Club71-83–154
Joey Pohle, Indian Valley Country Club77-78–155
(a) Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club77-78–155
William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club79-76–155
Colin Corrigan, Saucon Valley Country Club78-77–155
(a) Alexander Hicks, Wildwood Golf & Country Club79-77–156
Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club76-80–156
(a) Sean Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club78-79–157
(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club76-81–157
(a) Gregg Angelillo, Moselem Springs Golf Club83-74–157
(a) Charles Cai, Old York CC at Chesterfield80-78–158
(a) Michael Brown, Philadelphia Publinks GA79-79–158
(a) Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville Country Club74-84–158
(a) Zachary Herr, Jericho National Golf Club77-81–158
Don Allan, Woodcrest Country Club81-77–158
(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Little Mill Country Club77-81–158
(a) William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club79-81–160
(a) Jimmy Wolfe, Bellewood Golf Club78-82–160
Hugo Mazzalupi, Philadelphia Cricket Club80-80–160
David Fields, Brookside C.C. of Allentown82-79–161
Bill Walker, The Bucks Club78-84–162
(a) Michael Johnson, Talamore Country Club83-79–162
David Clark, Pine Valley Golf Club83-80–163
(a) Brett Diakon, Commonwealth National Golf Club80-83–163
(a) Scott McNeil, Philadelphia Publinks GA82-81–163
Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club80-84–164
(a) Russell Hartung, Doylestown Country Club84-80–164
(a) Ryan O’Donnell, Rolling Green Golf Club81-84–165
(a) James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club75-90–165
(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club83-82–165
(a) James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club86-81–167
Anthony Schweppe, GolfTEC Willow Grove87-80–167
(a) David West, Whitford Country Club88-80–168
(a) Phil Rothermel, Philadelphia Publinks GA89-84–173
(a) Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club87-95–182
(a) Matthew Kreuter, Philadelphia Cricket Club87-102–189
Robert Shuey, Dauphin Highlands Golf CourseNC
(a) Michael Walker, Loch Nairn Golf ClubWD
Nathan Fry, Southmoore Golf CourseWD
(a) Steve Owens, Wildwood Golf & Country ClubWD
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country ClubWD
Mike Moses, Concord Country ClubWD
Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf ClubWD
(a) denotes amateur
NC-no card; WD-withdrawal

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