May 26, 2010

LedgeRock GC’s Lutz scorches Mid.-Am. field with 5-under 67

  PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.–Chip Lutz cited putting woes, amongst other factors, in calling last May’s Middle-Amateur Championship his final one. A smooth 5-under par later left this year’s Mid.-Am. field wishing Lutz had kept his promise.

*Day One video | *Round 2 tee times | *Scorecards | *Event photos | *Preview | *History

 Lutz, 55, of Reading, Pa., carded his spectacular score on a sweltering spring day at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course (par 72, 7,047 yards). He holds a one-shot lead over Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann Golf Club with a round to go. Cricket’s Rob Savarese stands alone in third at 3 under. A total of 75 players made the cut in the 36-hole event. The cutline fell at 79.

Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann GC watches his birdie
putt on No. 15 drop in through the side door.

The Middle-Amateur Championship is the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s first Major of the season. Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. The final group of Lutz, Jeremiah and Savarese start at 12 p.m.

  Defending champion Michael Brown of Lookaway Golf Club posted a respectable 1-under 71. He stands in a tie for fifth.

  “I thought that at the time,” said Lutz who became Senior tournament eligible in January. “This year I have so many senior events on the schedule, I thought it would be good for me to get more rounds in so I’ve tried to play more competitive golf. I don’t think I’m going to drop back in the Amateur tournaments but certainly in this Mid.-Am., I’ve had some success the last few years with a couple of wins and thought based on the time of year and schedule I have, it would be a good time to try and continue that.”

  Lutz’s recent track record in the Mid.-Am. is unparalleled.

  He won the tournament in 2007 and has tied for fifth and fourth, respectively, in the following two years.

  The year prior to his victory he placed second. Lutz also captured the 1998 edition when the tournament was a one-round event.

  “I played solid. The key for me today was really putting,” said Lutz, who is ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek Magazine national senior rankings. “I made a few good saves for par to keep me in the round and then made birdie putts later which really made the difference today.”

  Lutz opened his round with six straight level par scores including a nice 10-foot save on No. 1 (par 4, 412 yards). However, on the final three holes of his front nine Lutz went from the middle of the pack to the top of the charts with birdies on Nos. 7-9. On No. 7 (par 4, 439 yards), Lutz knocked a 6-iron from 170 yards to 10 feet left of the hole and made the putt. On No. 8 (par 4, 403 yards), he added another three to the scorecard when his 9-iron from 133 yards hit the flagstick and stopped three feet from the cup. On the difficult ninth hole (par 3, 228 yards), Lutz’s impressive surge continued when he launched a 22-degree rescue wood to eight feet and made the birdie. Two pars followed before Lutz moved to 4 under on No. 12 (par 4, 381 yards) with a 60-degree wedge from 60 yards that stopped eight feet away. A short birdie putt on the reachable par 5, 511-yard 14th then pushed Lutz into sole possession of the lead at 5 under. Lutz played in the afternoon. Jeremiah teed it up in the morning.

  Lutz’s lone hiccup came next, on No. 15 (par 3, 200 yards), when he flubbed a pair of chip shots, one from the bunker, the other from the rough, but a fantastic sidehill eight-foot bogey save actually served as a momentum keeper. He would add his sixth and final birdie two holes later when he grooved a 60-degree wedge from 52 yards to five feet.

  Lutz comes into the Mid.-Am. off a very successful winter season in Florida and victories up North in both the State Better-Ball Championship and Berks County Match Play Championship, the latter occurring this Sunday at his home course.

  “I think coming out of the winter I’ve been spending a little more time in Florida in the offseason,” said Lutz of his recent Mid.-Am. success. “I feel like I have a little more bit game coming into the spring here and that gives me a little bit more momentum coming into this tournament.”

  In contrast to Lutz, Jeremiah, 41, of Spring Grove, Pa. will be in search of his first GAP trophy of any kind.

  Jeremiah, a former golf professional – his last stop came at Hartefeld National in 2000 – was reinstated as an amateur in 2002.

  This is only his third Mid.-Am. experience.

  “My approach tomorrow will be the same as it was today,” said Jeremiah, “to be relaxed and take it as it comes.

  “I’ve had some good rounds this spring so it’s not totally shocking (Jeremiah has registered some rounds in the 60s early in the year.) I have work and two kids and you can only practice when you can. You have to learn to do the best you can and accept the results.”

  On this day the results were sensational.

  Jeremiah opened his round on No. 1 (par 4, 412 yards) when he knocked a 9-iron from 136 yards to 10 feet and made the right to left breaking birdie putt. Two holes later, Jeremiah was forced to lay up with his second shot on the par 5, 499-yard third hole after his drive found the rough, and it proved to be a good thing as his third stroke, a lob wedge from 79 yards, stopped eight feet from the cup to move to 2 under. A bogey on No. 5 (par 3, 185 yards) after he found the left greenside bunker temporarily halted Jeremiah’s rally, but he started the ball rolling again on No. 7 (par 4, 439 yards) when he clipped a 9-iron from 140 yards to a foot.

  Jeremiah’s own heat index then went off the charts on two of the next three holes.

  On No. 8 (par 4, 403 yards), he chipped in for birdie from 25 feet after missing the green left and then on No. 10 (par 4, 422 yards) carded another three from 30 feet after his approached trickled off the back of the green. He stood at 4 under.

  “I felt pretty comfortable [on No. 8], said Jeremiah. “It was an uphill chip shot to the hole and I had a pretty good lie. On No. 9, believe it or not, I lipped the cup from 15 yards away. On No. 10, my approach just trickled off the back. The chip was dead center. It wouldn’t have been more than three inches from the cup if it didn’t go in.”

  A missed green resulted in a bogey on No. 13 (par 4, 448 yards), but Jeremiah drained a left to right winding 25 footer on No. 15 (par 3, 200 yards) for a two to get back to 4-under par. He parred the final three holes to finish a sterling performance.

NameClubOutInScore
Chip LutzLedgeRock Golf Club333467
William JeremiahBidermann Golf Club333568
Robert Savarese, Jr.Philadelphia Cricket Club343569
Thomas GramignaTavistock Country Club363470
Brian GillespieSt. Davids Golf Club363571
Robin McCoolSaucon Valley Country Club353671
Michael BrownLookaway Golf Club373471
Douglas ZelnerCoatesville Country Club363672
Glenn SmeraglioMercer Oaks Golf Course383472
Thomas HylandLittle Mill Country Club363672
Rich PruchnikWest Chester Golf & Country Club333972
Tom BorselloWhite Clay Creek Country Club363773
William McGuinnessTavistock Country Club373673
Jeff OsbergLlanerch Country Club373673
Marc MandelWhite Manor Country Club353873
Andy AchenbachRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve373673
Christopher LangeOverbrook Golf Club373673
Peter Barron, IIIStone Harbor Golf Club363773
Rodney JamesFive Ponds Golf Club363773
Thomas E. Timby, Jr.The Bucks Club373673
Michael RogersOverbrook Golf Club363874
Michael LaGrassoLittle Mill Country Club373774
Alexander Maguire, Jr.Brookside Country Club363874
John BrennanSpring Ford Country Club413475
Matthew FingerWedgwood Country Club363975
Mark PetersonPhiladelphia Cricket Club363975
Buddy ReedBack Creek Golf Club383775
John AloisioGreate Bay Country Club403575
Roc IreyLookaway Golf Club373875
Kevin KellyPhiladelphia Cricket Club373875
George Connell, Jr.Gulph Mills Golf Club393675
Ed ChylinskiChester Valley Golf Club363975
Scott McLaughlinCommonwealth National Golf Club383775
Douglas GregorHuntingdon Valley Country Club363975
P. Chet WalshPhiladelphia Country Club383775
James DonnellyMerion Golf Club383876
Rand MendezFieldstone Golf Club383876
Gerry BaldachinoOld York CC at Chesterfield373976
Christopher StorckMoselem Springs Golf Club383876
Ryan GelrodCommonwealth National Golf Club373976
G. Patrick DoughertyPhiladelphia Cricket Club393776
Matthew GaffneyLittle Mill Country Club364076
Sean LeonardTavistock Country Club383876
Bill MurrayMerchantville Country Club383977
Daniel Pinciotti, Jr.Huntingdon Valley Country Club403777
Gary DanielsAronimink Golf Club393877
Chris EsbenshadeBent Creek Country Club383977
Stephen SeidenConcord Country Club384078
Tom DiCintiLinks Golf Club384078
Brian CorbettHuntsville Golf Club374178
Robert GillFox Hill Country Club393978
Frank PolizziWhitemarsh Valley Country Club403878
David WestWhitford Country Club384078
David ShieldsPhiladelphia Publinks GA374178
Scott KleeIndian Valley Country Club393978
Sean CoyleLlanerch Country Club374178
Francis McFaddenOverbrook Golf Club403878
John SimonePhilmont Country Club393978
Louis GioviMercer Oaks Golf Course403878
Joseph RussoRunning Deer Golf Club374178
William LawlerFox Hill Country Club394079
Joe ViechnickiSaucon Valley Country Club403979
Robert HarringtonMerion Golf Club394079
Gary DanielsSaucon Valley Country Club413879
Tom CarterGreate Bay Country Club403979
Roger StoneDowningtown Country Club433679
Jim GavaghanJericho National Golf Club433679
Oscar MestreOverbrook Golf Club394079
Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.Saucon Valley Country Club394079
Tim SindorfBurlington Country Club413879
Neil GordonFive Ponds Golf Club413879
David LiottaWhitemarsh Valley Country Club374279
Chris KallmeyerPhiladelphia Cricket Club403979
Ron WeaverMeadia Heights Golf Club413879
David LivermoreGreate Bay Country Club433679
Failed to qualify
Scott StorckPhiladelphia Cricket Club394180
Michael QuinnEdgmont Country Club413980
Brad SokolGreen Valley Country Club374380
John Murphy, IIWildwood Golf & Country Club413980
Paul RogowiczYardley Country Club404080
Steven BudenzYardley Country Club423880
Daniel FeeneyMakefield Highlands Golf Club394180
Raymond ThompsonOverbrook Golf Club413980
Brian SextonSeaview Resort & Spa374380
Rich ThonThe Springhaven Club404181
Todd VonderheidHuntsville Golf Club423981
Scott OrrBrookside Country Club404181
Jamie SlonisTavistock Country Club404181
Robert BechtoldLoch Nairn Golf Club404181
David BrookresonHuntingdon Valley Country Club384381
John CobbTavistock Country Club423981
Zac RobertsonEdgmont Country Club404282
Ken SimCommonwealth National Golf Club394382
Joseph RoederLinks Golf Club404282
Scott BergsonLittle Mill Country Club433982
Jhoon ChangPhiladelphia Cricket Club424082
Kenneth RalstonHuntsville Golf Club424082
Bill BoyleMetedeconk National Golf Club394382
Eric HoltTorresdale-Frankford Country Club434083
Anthony List, Jr.Llanerch Country Club424183
Michael RosePhilmont Country Club434083
Kevin BairLoch Nairn Golf Club424183
Joshua IslerChester Valley Golf Club384583
Drew PanebiancoTalamore Country Club394483
John DonnellyConcord Country Club434184
Bennett MeyerPhilmont Country Club434184
Eugene Maginnis, Jr.Whitemarsh Valley Country Club424284
John MullinsFive Ponds Golf Club434184
Nick VerrecchioRolling Green Golf Club444084
Matt DolinskyHoneybrook Golf Club434184
Jason BarkleyHuntsville Golf Club394584
Peter MimmoNorth Hills Country Club434285
James PrendergastBrookside Country Club404585
Jake SuplickiFive Ponds Golf Club444185
Jon ThomasHartefeld National444185
Steve LubinFive Ponds Golf Club424486
Kevin CahillWaynesborough Country Club444286
Ari FlaisherFive Ponds Golf Club414687
Dino Volpi, IIIPlymouth Country Club434487
James HaynieLu Lu Country Club464187
Bill TurnerPhiladelphia Publinks GA434689
John VenneTorresdale-Frankford Country Club434891
Gregg AngelilloMoselem Springs Golf ClubDQDQDQ
Michael DecapuaNorthampton Country ClubNCNCNC
Richard UmaniPhiladelphia Publinks GAWDWDWD
David SmithDoylestown Country ClubWDWDWD
Jim RattiganSchuylkill Country ClubWDWDWD
DQ-disqualification; NC-no card; WD-withdrawal

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