Jul 21, 2011

HVCC’s Mason chisels perfect performance in taking home Open title

*2011 Open Championship Media Guide
*William Hyndman, III Player of the Year Standings
*Event photos

 HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. – Andrew Mason crafted a timeless masterpiece on Wednesday in the 107th Open Championship at Huntingdon Valley CC (par 70, 6,902 yards). The 22-year-old amateur navigated 36 holes of his home course with Michangelo-like precision, finishing at 5-under-par 135 amidst grueling, intense heat to win the Association’s third oldest tournament by a whopping seven strokes. He was the only player under par. Teaching professional Stu Ingraham of M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center placed second to cash the $7,000 top professional prize. Matt Mattare, an amateur from Saucon Valley CC, and teaching pro Mark Sheftic of Merion GC tied for third at 143.

  Mason’s victory earned him a spot amongst an elite group on a variety of levels. He is only the eighth individual amateur to win the Open. Michael Brown of Lookaway GC won last year. Mason’s win was also only the 14th time an amateur has finished on top of the leaderboard. Jay Sigel finished first six times, William Hyndman, III twice and the other handful once each.

  “I can’t even describe how it feels,” said the understated Mason of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “The names on the list of champions are amateur golf in Philadelphia.”

  Mason is also only the fourth player from the venerable and player-rich club of Huntingdon Valley to win an Open. Pro Jack Campbell won the first two Opens ever competed in 1903-04; Hyndman, III took the 1968-69 renewals and recently retired longtime professional Jack Connelly earned the 1979 title.

  And if that wasn’t enough, Mason, perhaps most impressively, blazed one of the area’s most treacherous tracks for a competitive course record of 65 in Round 1. 

  “I knew what the record was,” said Mason of his first-round gem, “even though I’m sure the players back in the day probably blew that out of the water.” Doug Gregor of Huntingdon Valley CC carded a 66 in the 1991 Lynnewood Hall to hold the previous mark.

  Mason, who has eyed a strong Open performance since qualifying at Riverton CC a few weeks ago, stated his Championship intentions early and often.

  He birdied three of his five holes and started his round with five straight threes.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 382 yards), Mason lofted a wedge from 50 yards to 20 feet and rolled in the birdie; on No. 2 (par 4, 448 yards) he choked down a pitching wedge from 115 yards and hit it to 10 feet for 3; and then on No. 4 (par 4, 304 yards) knocked his 2-iron five yards short of the green before chipping up to four feet. In between, he registered a pair of par 3s. Mason moved to 4 under on No. 9 (par 4, 455 yards), statistically the third toughest hole on the course, when he dropped a pitching wedge from 135 yards to 20 feet and made the downhill try.

  A bogey on No. 11 (par 4, 377 yards) temporarily halted Mason’s momentum, but the Temple senior knocked a pitching wedge from 125 yards to four feet on the next hole, No. 12 (par 4, 420 yards), for an easy birdie. He added a sixth and final red circle to the scorecard on No. 15 (par 5, 574 yards) when he launched a 2-iron from 265 yards onto the green 35 feet away from the hole. He would two putt.

  “I thought the home course advantage would be big but you have to play well to take advantage of that,” said Mason. 

  As heat wilted away the competition in Round 2, Mason kept his championship mettle.

  Starting on No. 10, he birdied the 12th with a 25-foot putt. He bogeyed No. 13 (par 3, 172 yards) after his tee shot landed 40 feet away from the hole but responded, once again, on No. 15 with a short chip to gimme range. A bogey on No. 18 (par 4, 440 yards) after a poor drive saw Mason make the turn at even in Round 2 but still at 5-under overall.

  At the time, Graham Dendler of Trenton CC was his closest pursuer at 1 under.

  “I thought coming into the tournament 1 or 2 under would win it,” said Mason. “Once I got it to 6 under, I tried to stay with that pace.”

  Mason birdied No. 1, his 10th hole, and No. 7 (par 5, 566 yards), but sandwiched a pair of bogeys on the frontside par 3s to finish at even par and 5-under overall.

  Ingraham, playing in the last group, edged Sheftic for low pro honors.

  It was Ingraham’s second straight low pro finish. He won the Philadelphia Section of the PGA’s Hyndman Memorial Classic on Monday and took home the first prize of $1,100.

  “Before the day started I thought 142 would win it,” said Ingraham, 51, of Newtown Square, Pa. “I think this is the hardest course in Philadelphia. This is such a great challenge.”

NOTES–Mason’s victory margin pales in comparison to the 1975 efforts of Sigel. He won the Open that year by an astounding 12 shots at Bidermann GC … the 72-player field consisted of 41 amateurs and 31 professionals … Defending Michael Brown of Lookaway GC tied for 20th with a 150 total … last year’s low professional Greg Farrow of Deerwood CC placed fifth with a 144 score.

Name, clubR1-R2–Total
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club65-70–135
Stuart Ingraham, M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center72-70–142
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club72-71–143
(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club72-71–143
Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club73-71–144
Graham Dendler, Trenton Country Club68-77–145
John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs73-73–146
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club71-75–146
(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club77-70–147
David Quinn, Links Golf Club76-71–147
(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Little Mill Country Club74-73–147
(a) Sean Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club70-77–147
(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club72-75–147
(a) Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club74-74–148
(a) Connor McNicholas, Commonwealth National Golf Club77-72–149
(a) Vince Boyle, Torresdale-Frankford Country Club76-73–149
Travis Deibert, Commonwealth National Golf Club76-73–149
(a) Nelson Hargrove, Merion Golf Club74-75–149
(a) Greg Matthias, Hartefeld National74-75–149
(a) James Sullivan, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course78-72–150
William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club74-76–150
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club76-74–150
John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club75-75–150
Joey Pohle, Philadelphia Cricket Club78-72–150
(a) Michael Brown, Lookaway Golf Club74-76–150
Scott Hunter, Overbrook Golf Club76-74–150
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club78-72–150
Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club75-75–150
(a) Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club79-72–151
(a) Jeff Osberg, Llanerch Country Club78-73–151
Jeffrey Bonicky, Sea Oaks Golf Club77-74–151
(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club78-74–152
(a) Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club72-80–152
Tony Perla, Radnor Valley Country Club77-75–152
(a) Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville Country Club77-76–153
Hugh Reilly, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club77-76–153
(a) Joseph Gunerman, Jericho National Golf Club70-83–153
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club82-72–154
(a) Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club77-77–154
Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club80-74–154
(a) Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club82-73–155
(a) Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club81-74–155
(a) Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club78-77–155
John Allen, Linfield National Golf Club78-77–155
(a) Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club75-80–155
David Clark, Pine Valley Golf Club80-76–156
(a) Benjamin Smith, Little Mill Country Club81-75–156
(a) Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., Saucon Valley Country Club82-75–157
(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club81-76–157
Rick Hughart, Tavistock Country Club78-79–157
(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club79-79–158
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course80-78–158
Bill Walker, Bala Golf Club78-80–158
(a) Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club80-78–158
(a) Ryan Gelrod, Commonwealth National Golf Club78-81–159
(a) Blayze DiPasquale, Commonwealth National Golf Club81-79–160
Chandler Withington, Merion Golf Club83-77–160
Neil Maurer, Bayside Resort76-84–160
(a) Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek Country Club77-83–160
(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club86-75–161
(a) Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club82-79–161
(a) Scott Storck, Philadelphia Cricket Club81-81–162
Frank Bianco, Frankie B Golf Schools at Groffs Farm Golf Links82-84–166
Ian Dalzell, Huntingdon Valley Country Club87-80–167
(a) Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club82-85–167
(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside C.C. of Allentown85-82–167
Chris Orlando, Downingtown Country Club81-86–167
John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club86-82–168
(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club86-83–169
(a) Alex Blickle, LedgeRock Golf Club87-89–176
Robby Walizer, Gulph Mills Golf Club83-WD–WD
Michael Moses, Concord Country Club79-WD–WD

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