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Inaugural Net Championship

Ninety miles, no problem: Net Championship unites

WILMINGTON, Del. — As Michael Andreassi’s golf ball sailed in his direction, Robert Klein wiped his putter in the greenside grass. He, of course, moved ever so slightly the moment Andreassi yelled, “Fore!”

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“You probably didn’t want to take a picture of that one,” Klein said.

Perhaps not. But the moment paints a perfect portrait of the Inaugural GAP Net Championship, conducted Thursday at White Clay Creek Country Club (par 72, 6,467 yards). Andreassi and Klein met for the first time on the first tee. The latter didn’t stare daggers after the former’s wayward golf shot on No. 1 (par 4, 375 yards). He instead cracked a smile and let mishits be mishits.

“Everybody’s out here just to have fun,” Klein, 48, of Middletown, Del. “I play in a lot of the GAP Member Play Days. You’re playing a lot of places you couldn’t normally get on. But this particularly event, it was at a great course.”

“That’s my favorite stuff about GAP events: getting out and seeing new people, people who enjoy golf and have a passion for it,” Andreassi, 32, of Yardley, Pa., added. “Everyone’s friendly. Everyone’s here to have a good time.”

The Net Championship is a product of a refined GAP tournament schedule, one that meets the changing needs of its membership. It affords a singular opportunity for high-handicap golfers to compete in a championship setting.

The event’s scoring format is individual net Stableford. Once a player meets his or her net limit (net double), then he or she picks up.

“It gives everybody a chance. If you play a little well, above what your handicap is, then you can score well,” Klein, a commercial real estate appraiser, said. “There’s not a lot of pressure because you’re killing yourself to make pars. You’re never out of a hole.”

Andreassi, a Yardley Country Club member, and Klein, in a sense, embody the Net Championship’s spirit. Strangers who become friends through a shared love of golf. The results didn’t seem to matter. The experience along the way did.

“We had a great time. It was nice to get out and play somewhere different with a new group of guys,” Andreassi, who works in property management, said. “That’s why I came. I never come down [to Delaware] to play. It was cool to have an event down here and finally get a chance to play in Delaware.”

Despite a shared profession in real estate, the subject only came up in passing. Andreassi and Klein, a Jeffersonville Golf Club member, traded stories that didn’t involve work.

“You just disconnect and go play,” Klein said.

Disconnect from technology. Connect on the golf course. The Net Championship brought two golfers who live 87 miles apart together.

LuLu Country Club’s Jeremy Puglia and Commonwealth National Golf Club’s Michael Rose posted 38 points to finish tied atop the Men’s Division. In a match of cards, Rose, 66, of Fountainville, Pa., prevailed. GAP uses the USGA-recommended scorecard tiebreaking method, which starts with back-nine totals. Rose earned 20 points to Puglia’s 19.

Saucon Valley Country Club’s Laurie Stewart won the Women’s Division with 35points.

“I had a wonderful time,” Stewart, 63, of Center Valley, Pa., said. “It was a challenging course. I’m not used to all of the obstacles, but I managed to get through them.”

Stewart points to the par 5, 424-yard 15th hole as the day’s highlight. A pinpoint driver/3-wood combination set up a favorable yardage of 120. Stewart then hit a 7-iron to four feet.

“That was a fun hole,” she said.

Such a descriptor mirrors Stewart’s reasoning for entering the Net Championship.

“I just thought it would be fun. I’m trying to get out and play more, do a little bit more championship play,” Stewart said. “I’m trying to improve my game and have some fun.”

GAP
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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Results
Men’s Division
Name, clubPoints
*Michael Rose, Commonwealth National Golf Club38
Jeremy Puglia, LuLu Country Club38
Hal Brown, Five Ponds Golf Club36
George Crouse, Ed Oliver Golf Club36
Robert Klein, Jeffersonville Golf Club35
Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club34
Alex Wisniewski, White Clay Creek Country Club34
Jay Dilworth, The Shore Club34
Jian Zhang, Inniscrone Golf Club34
Mark Lefkof, Ed Oliver Golf Club33
Charles Swalagin, USGA/GAP GC33
Eric Naccarelli, Valleybrook Country Club33
Matthew Miller, Golf Tour Greater Philadelphia32
Joseph Lunardi, Llanerch Country Club32
Michael Fujita, Ed Oliver Golf Club32
Tyler Wray, Penn Oaks Golf Club32
Jeff Vecere, The Shore Club31
Trent Thompson, Lederach Golf Club31
Ken Beard, Ed Oliver Golf Club31
Vince Pitcherella, Applecross Country Club31
Steve Poorman, Inniscrone Golf Club31
Pete Farina, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association30
R.B. D’iorio, The Springhaven Club30
Robert Hemphill, Ed Oliver Golf Club30
Keith Wilson, Ed Oliver Golf Club30
Craig Olson, Five Ponds Golf Club30
John Daub, Deerfield Golf Club30
Kevin Frank, Little Mill Country Club30
Terrance Schmidt, Talamore Country Club29
Danny Gross, Five Ponds Golf Club29
Joseph DeAngelis, Makefield Highlands Golf Club28
Michael Andreassi, Yardley Country Club28
Scott Miller, Five Ponds Golf Club28
Jason Marie, Five Ponds Golf Club27
Timothy Kiorpes, Lookaway Golf Club27
Bret Olpp, Riverview Country Club27
George Marshalek, Coatesville Country Club27
Allan Shannon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club27
Terrance Welsh, The Shore Club27
Kenneth Prince, Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club26
Ted Hospodar, Overbrook Golf Club26
Carl Vollmer, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club26
Marc Kolonoski, Workhorse Tour26
Thomas Brennan, Moselem Springs Golf Club26
Edward Birk, Five Ponds Golf Club25
Edward Coppinger, Stone Harbor Golf Club25
Rodney Williams, Mulligan’s Pointe25
Paul Moler, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club25
Jeffrey Amrhein, Briarwood Golf Club25
Richard Breder, The Shore Club24
Eric Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club24
Robert Krotee, Lebanon Country Club24
Vincent Botto, White Oaks Country Club23
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club23
Fran Doyle, Makefield Highlands Golf Club22
Matthew McGuire, Paxon Hollow Country Club22
Robert DeLong, Radnor Valley Country Club22
Gavin O’Leary, The Springhaven Club22
Robert Hsu, Lookaway Golf Club22
Tom Bell, Meadia Heights Golf Club21
J.T. Clarke, Running Deer Golf Club21
Ronald Scalingi, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club21
Henry Holst, Lancaster Area #17621
George Dreier, Makefield Highlands Golf Club20
Frank Andrusiewicz, Mercer Oaks Golf Course20
Scott Dichter, Meadia Heights Golf Club19
Don Neill, LuLu Country Club19
Jason Arce, Golden Pheasant Golf Course17
Robert Corrigan, Concord Country Club15
Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association14
Mario Ventresca, Cedarbrook Country ClubNS
Joe Novak, Kings Creek Country ClubWD
Ernie Menold, Eagles Mere Country ClubWD
William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks Golf AssociationWD
 
Women’s Division
Name, clubPoints
Laurie Stewart, Saucon Valley Country Club35
Muffy McCabe, French Creek Golf Club29
Amy Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club29
Carol Landgraf, Riverton Country Club27
Tracey MacGown, Saucon Valley Country Club25
Karen Hilliard, Spring Ford Country Club24
Catherine Kraus, Saucon Valley Country Club24
Jan Heller, Saucon Valley Country Club21
Susan Reiser, Waynesborough Country ClubNS
Mary McNamara, Whitemarsh Valley Country ClubWD
* – won in scorecard playoff
NS – no show; WD – withdrawal