Lange set to defend Philadelphia Open Championship title - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 18, 2005

Lange set to defend Philadelphia Open Championship title

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Philadelphia Open

  Chris Lange of Overbrook GC looks to become the first amateur to repeat as Philadelphia Open champion since Jay Sigel did so in 1986-87 when the 101st Open Championship visits Aronimink GC on Wednesday. Lange, 14 other amateurs and 45 professionals from the Philadelphia Section of the PGA will comprise the 60-player field competing in the one-day, 36-hole stroke play tournament.

  Last year, Lange became only the fifth amateur to capture an Open title and the victory marked just the 11th time an amateur has captured the championship at all. Only amateur’s James B. McHale, Jr. (1948), William Hyndman, III (1968-69), R. Jay Sigel (1975, 77-78, 80, 86-87), Michael Brown (1997) and Lange have captured Open titles.

  “It’s been a great year because a lot of people have acknowledged [the win],” said Lange, 50, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “Aronimink is a great golf course. I live right next door and have played it hundreds of times. I know the course real well. There are no secrets.”

  At Philadelphia CC last year, Lange finished at 1-over par, two shots clear of Links GC pro Dave Quinn and three strokes to the good of Michael McDermott, then playing out of Llanerch CC who now represents Merion GC.

  “This is the strongest field of the year in the Golf Association of Philadelphia,” said McDermott, 30, of Havertown, Pa. “Every player in the tournament deserves to be there and has accomplished something.”

  McDermott has been the low amateur in the Open in 2000 and again in 2003 and has placed in the top 10 overall in three of the last four years.

  The Philadelphia Open has been played annually since 1903, with the exception of 1943 and 1945, due to World War II and is the third oldest tournament in the Golf Association of Philadelphia, only behind the Amateur Championship and Patterson Cup.

  The Open began as a 72-hole medal play tournament and was later changed to match play format. In 1913, the tournament returned to its original format and was reduced to its current 36-hole medal play format in 1940.

  A four-hole cumulative score playoff will resolve a championship tie.

  Six prior Opens have been held at Aronimink GC: 1935 (Ted Turner of Pine Valley GC); 1959 (Aronimink shared host duties with Overbrook GC; George Fazio of Philadelphia Cricket Club); 1963 (Al Besselink of Sunny Jim GC); 1971 (Ted McKenzie of Waynesborough CC); 1980 (R. Jay Sigel of Aronimink GC); and 1998 (Jason Lamp of Blue Heron Pines GC).

  Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. for the first round and 12:45 p.m. for the second. An awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of play at approximately 7 p.m.

  The list of past Open champions is rich in history and include current Senior PGA Tour members Jay Sigel and Ed Dougherty, former PGA Tour regulars Dick Hendrickson and George Fazio, and legendary amateur William Hyndman, III. Johnny J. McDermott, Tommy Armour, Al Besselink and Dick Smith have also captured the Open at one time.

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