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!”
“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.”
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.
|*Michael Rose, Commonwealth National Golf Club||38|
|Jeremy Puglia, LuLu Country Club||38|
|Hal Brown, Five Ponds Golf Club||36|
|George Crouse, Ed Oliver Golf Club||36|
|Robert Klein, Jeffersonville Golf Club||35|
|Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club||34|
|Alex Wisniewski, White Clay Creek Country Club||34|
|Jay Dilworth, The Shore Club||34|
|Jian Zhang, Inniscrone Golf Club||34|
|Mark Lefkof, Ed Oliver Golf Club||33|
|Charles Swalagin, USGA/GAP GC||33|
|Eric Naccarelli, Valleybrook Country Club||33|
|Matthew Miller, Golf Tour Greater Philadelphia||32|
|Joseph Lunardi, Llanerch Country Club||32|
|Michael Fujita, Ed Oliver Golf Club||32|
|Tyler Wray, Penn Oaks Golf Club||32|
|Jeff Vecere, The Shore Club||31|
|Trent Thompson, Lederach Golf Club||31|
|Ken Beard, Ed Oliver Golf Club||31|
|Vince Pitcherella, Applecross Country Club||31|
|Steve Poorman, Inniscrone Golf Club||31|
|Pete Farina, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||30|
|R.B. D’iorio, The Springhaven Club||30|
|Robert Hemphill, Ed Oliver Golf Club||30|
|Keith Wilson, Ed Oliver Golf Club||30|
|Craig Olson, Five Ponds Golf Club||30|
|John Daub, Deerfield Golf Club||30|
|Kevin Frank, Little Mill Country Club||30|
|Terrance Schmidt, Talamore Country Club||29|
|Danny Gross, Five Ponds Golf Club||29|
|Joseph DeAngelis, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||28|
|Michael Andreassi, Yardley Country Club||28|
|Scott Miller, Five Ponds Golf Club||28|
|Jason Marie, Five Ponds Golf Club||27|
|Timothy Kiorpes, Lookaway Golf Club||27|
|Bret Olpp, Riverview Country Club||27|
|George Marshalek, Coatesville Country Club||27|
|Allan Shannon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||27|
|Terrance Welsh, The Shore Club||27|
|Kenneth Prince, Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club||26|
|Ted Hospodar, Overbrook Golf Club||26|
|Carl Vollmer, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club||26|
|Marc Kolonoski, Workhorse Tour||26|
|Thomas Brennan, Moselem Springs Golf Club||26|
|Edward Birk, Five Ponds Golf Club||25|
|Edward Coppinger, Stone Harbor Golf Club||25|
|Rodney Williams, Mulligan’s Pointe||25|
|Paul Moler, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club||25|
|Jeffrey Amrhein, Briarwood Golf Club||25|
|Richard Breder, The Shore Club||24|
|Eric Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club||24|
|Robert Krotee, Lebanon Country Club||24|
|Vincent Botto, White Oaks Country Club||23|
|John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club||23|
|Fran Doyle, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||22|
|Matthew McGuire, Paxon Hollow Country Club||22|
|Robert DeLong, Radnor Valley Country Club||22|
|Gavin O’Leary, The Springhaven Club||22|
|Robert Hsu, Lookaway Golf Club||22|
|Tom Bell, Meadia Heights Golf Club||21|
|J.T. Clarke, Running Deer Golf Club||21|
|Ronald Scalingi, Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club||21|
|Henry Holst, Lancaster Area #176||21|
|George Dreier, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||20|
|Frank Andrusiewicz, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||20|
|Scott Dichter, Meadia Heights Golf Club||19|
|Don Neill, LuLu Country Club||19|
|Jason Arce, Golden Pheasant Golf Course||17|
|Robert Corrigan, Concord Country Club||15|
|Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||14|
|Mario Ventresca, Cedarbrook Country Club||NS|
|Joe Novak, Kings Creek Country Club||WD|
|Ernie Menold, Eagles Mere Country Club||WD|
|William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association||WD|
|Laurie Stewart, Saucon Valley Country Club||35|
|Muffy McCabe, French Creek Golf Club||29|
|Amy Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club||29|
|Carol Landgraf, Riverton Country Club||27|
|Tracey MacGown, Saucon Valley Country Club||25|
|Karen Hilliard, Spring Ford Country Club||24|
|Catherine Kraus, Saucon Valley Country Club||24|
|Jan Heller, Saucon Valley Country Club||21|
|Susan Reiser, Waynesborough Country Club||NS|
|Mary McNamara, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||WD|
|* – won in scorecard playoff|
|NS – no show; WD – withdrawal|