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.
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.
|Chip Lutz||LedgeRock Golf Club||33||34||67|
|William Jeremiah||Bidermann Golf Club||33||35||68|
|Robert Savarese, Jr.||Philadelphia Cricket Club||34||35||69|
|Thomas Gramigna||Tavistock Country Club||36||34||70|
|Brian Gillespie||St. Davids Golf Club||36||35||71|
|Robin McCool||Saucon Valley Country Club||35||36||71|
|Michael Brown||Lookaway Golf Club||37||34||71|
|Douglas Zelner||Coatesville Country Club||36||36||72|
|Glenn Smeraglio||Mercer Oaks Golf Course||38||34||72|
|Thomas Hyland||Little Mill Country Club||36||36||72|
|Rich Pruchnik||West Chester Golf & Country Club||33||39||72|
|Tom Borsello||White Clay Creek Country Club||36||37||73|
|William McGuinness||Tavistock Country Club||37||36||73|
|Jeff Osberg||Llanerch Country Club||37||36||73|
|Marc Mandel||White Manor Country Club||35||38||73|
|Andy Achenbach||RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||37||36||73|
|Christopher Lange||Overbrook Golf Club||37||36||73|
|Peter Barron, III||Stone Harbor Golf Club||36||37||73|
|Rodney James||Five Ponds Golf Club||36||37||73|
|Thomas E. Timby, Jr.||The Bucks Club||37||36||73|
|Michael Rogers||Overbrook Golf Club||36||38||74|
|Michael LaGrasso||Little Mill Country Club||37||37||74|
|Alexander Maguire, Jr.||Brookside Country Club||36||38||74|
|John Brennan||Spring Ford Country Club||41||34||75|
|Matthew Finger||Wedgwood Country Club||36||39||75|
|Mark Peterson||Philadelphia Cricket Club||36||39||75|
|Buddy Reed||Back Creek Golf Club||38||37||75|
|John Aloisio||Greate Bay Country Club||40||35||75|
|Roc Irey||Lookaway Golf Club||37||38||75|
|Kevin Kelly||Philadelphia Cricket Club||37||38||75|
|George Connell, Jr.||Gulph Mills Golf Club||39||36||75|
|Ed Chylinski||Chester Valley Golf Club||36||39||75|
|Scott McLaughlin||Commonwealth National Golf Club||38||37||75|
|Douglas Gregor||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||36||39||75|
|P. Chet Walsh||Philadelphia Country Club||38||37||75|
|James Donnelly||Merion Golf Club||38||38||76|
|Rand Mendez||Fieldstone Golf Club||38||38||76|
|Gerry Baldachino||Old York CC at Chesterfield||37||39||76|
|Christopher Storck||Moselem Springs Golf Club||38||38||76|
|Ryan Gelrod||Commonwealth National Golf Club||37||39||76|
|G. Patrick Dougherty||Philadelphia Cricket Club||39||37||76|
|Matthew Gaffney||Little Mill Country Club||36||40||76|
|Sean Leonard||Tavistock Country Club||38||38||76|
|Bill Murray||Merchantville Country Club||38||39||77|
|Daniel Pinciotti, Jr.||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||40||37||77|
|Gary Daniels||Aronimink Golf Club||39||38||77|
|Chris Esbenshade||Bent Creek Country Club||38||39||77|
|Stephen Seiden||Concord Country Club||38||40||78|
|Tom DiCinti||Links Golf Club||38||40||78|
|Brian Corbett||Huntsville Golf Club||37||41||78|
|Robert Gill||Fox Hill Country Club||39||39||78|
|Frank Polizzi||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||40||38||78|
|David West||Whitford Country Club||38||40||78|
|David Shields||Philadelphia Publinks GA||37||41||78|
|Scott Klee||Indian Valley Country Club||39||39||78|
|Sean Coyle||Llanerch Country Club||37||41||78|
|Francis McFadden||Overbrook Golf Club||40||38||78|
|John Simone||Philmont Country Club||39||39||78|
|Louis Giovi||Mercer Oaks Golf Course||40||38||78|
|Joseph Russo||Running Deer Golf Club||37||41||78|
|William Lawler||Fox Hill Country Club||39||40||79|
|Joe Viechnicki||Saucon Valley Country Club||40||39||79|
|Robert Harrington||Merion Golf Club||39||40||79|
|Gary Daniels||Saucon Valley Country Club||41||38||79|
|Tom Carter||Greate Bay Country Club||40||39||79|
|Roger Stone||Downingtown Country Club||43||36||79|
|Jim Gavaghan||Jericho National Golf Club||43||36||79|
|Oscar Mestre||Overbrook Golf Club||39||40||79|
|Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.||Saucon Valley Country Club||39||40||79|
|Tim Sindorf||Burlington Country Club||41||38||79|
|Neil Gordon||Five Ponds Golf Club||41||38||79|
|David Liotta||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||37||42||79|
|Chris Kallmeyer||Philadelphia Cricket Club||40||39||79|
|Ron Weaver||Meadia Heights Golf Club||41||38||79|
|David Livermore||Greate Bay Country Club||43||36||79|
|Failed to qualify|
|Scott Storck||Philadelphia Cricket Club||39||41||80|
|Michael Quinn||Edgmont Country Club||41||39||80|
|Brad Sokol||Green Valley Country Club||37||43||80|
|John Murphy, II||Wildwood Golf & Country Club||41||39||80|
|Paul Rogowicz||Yardley Country Club||40||40||80|
|Steven Budenz||Yardley Country Club||42||38||80|
|Daniel Feeney||Makefield Highlands Golf Club||39||41||80|
|Raymond Thompson||Overbrook Golf Club||41||39||80|
|Brian Sexton||Seaview Resort & Spa||37||43||80|
|Rich Thon||The Springhaven Club||40||41||81|
|Todd Vonderheid||Huntsville Golf Club||42||39||81|
|Scott Orr||Brookside Country Club||40||41||81|
|Jamie Slonis||Tavistock Country Club||40||41||81|
|Robert Bechtold||Loch Nairn Golf Club||40||41||81|
|David Brookreson||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||38||43||81|
|John Cobb||Tavistock Country Club||42||39||81|
|Zac Robertson||Edgmont Country Club||40||42||82|
|Ken Sim||Commonwealth National Golf Club||39||43||82|
|Joseph Roeder||Links Golf Club||40||42||82|
|Scott Bergson||Little Mill Country Club||43||39||82|
|Jhoon Chang||Philadelphia Cricket Club||42||40||82|
|Kenneth Ralston||Huntsville Golf Club||42||40||82|
|Bill Boyle||Metedeconk National Golf Club||39||43||82|
|Eric Holt||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||43||40||83|
|Anthony List, Jr.||Llanerch Country Club||42||41||83|
|Michael Rose||Philmont Country Club||43||40||83|
|Kevin Bair||Loch Nairn Golf Club||42||41||83|
|Joshua Isler||Chester Valley Golf Club||38||45||83|
|Drew Panebianco||Talamore Country Club||39||44||83|
|John Donnelly||Concord Country Club||43||41||84|
|Bennett Meyer||Philmont Country Club||43||41||84|
|Eugene Maginnis, Jr.||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||42||42||84|
|John Mullins||Five Ponds Golf Club||43||41||84|
|Nick Verrecchio||Rolling Green Golf Club||44||40||84|
|Matt Dolinsky||Honeybrook Golf Club||43||41||84|
|Jason Barkley||Huntsville Golf Club||39||45||84|
|Peter Mimmo||North Hills Country Club||43||42||85|
|James Prendergast||Brookside Country Club||40||45||85|
|Jake Suplicki||Five Ponds Golf Club||44||41||85|
|Jon Thomas||Hartefeld National||44||41||85|
|Steve Lubin||Five Ponds Golf Club||42||44||86|
|Kevin Cahill||Waynesborough Country Club||44||42||86|
|Ari Flaisher||Five Ponds Golf Club||41||46||87|
|Dino Volpi, III||Plymouth Country Club||43||44||87|
|James Haynie||Lu Lu Country Club||46||41||87|
|Bill Turner||Philadelphia Publinks GA||43||46||89|
|John Venne||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||43||48||91|
|Gregg Angelillo||Moselem Springs Golf Club||DQ||DQ||DQ|
|Michael Decapua||Northampton Country Club||NC||NC||NC|
|Richard Umani||Philadelphia Publinks GA||WD||WD||WD|
|David Smith||Doylestown Country Club||WD||WD||WD|
|Jim Rattigan||Schuylkill Country Club||WD||WD||WD|
|DQ-disqualification; NC-no card; WD-withdrawal|