Jul 17, 2019

McNabb, Osberg sit atop 115th #GAPOpen

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HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.–On a sweltering 94-degree summer day with high humidity, Dave McNabb scorched the Huntingdon Valley earth. McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club’s professional, carded the day’s low score, a scintillating 4-under-par 66, in Round 1 of the 115th Open Championship at a firm, fast and fiery Huntingdon Valley Country Club (par 70, 6,785 yards). McNabb leads closest pursuer, amateur Jeff Osberg of Pine Valley Golf Club, a former Huntingdon Valley member, by a shot. No other player in the 126-player field broke par.

The cut to the low 60 players and ties fell at 6-over par. A total of 66 players (38 amateurs, 28 professionals) advanced to Day 2. Due to impending weather, the Association will utilize a split tee start beginning at 7 a.m. The final group tees off No. 1 at 8:40 a.m.

Defending champion Billy Stewart, 35, of Devon, Pa., a teaching professional at The ACE Club, finished at 4-over-par 74. Ashley Grier, who became the second woman to compete in an Open, carded an 82. Grier, 34, of Springfield (Delco), Pa., is an assistant professional at Overbrook Golf Club. She recently competed in the Symetra Tour’s Valley Forge Invitational at Raven’s Claw Golf Club in late May and in mid-June made an LPGA Major appearance in the Women’s KPMG Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota (see accompanying story).

“This is a tournament I’ve been trying to win for 25-plus years. I’ve come close a couple of times but haven’t pulled it off,” said McNabb, 53, of  Newark, Del. “I’m happy to be off to a good start today and will continue to focus and stay positive tomorrow and see what happens at the end of the day.”

McNabb’s closest call came in 2008, when he tied for second at Lookaway Golf Club. Last year, McNabb, with son Dalton on the bag, like today, stood on No. 18 at St. Davids Golf Club tied for the lead. A poor drive resulted in a double bogey on the last and cost him a spot in the four-hole aggregate playoff.

Osberg, 35, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., recently left HVCC after six years. He won the 2016 Open in a playoff over Chris Crawford of Spring Mill Country Club.

McNabb, in the first group out, blistered the scorecard from the beginning.

He recorded six birdies and a bogey on the Toomey nine (front) to turn at 5-under. His only Flynn nine blemish came when he dunked his No. 13 (par 3, 172 yards) tee ball into the pond with a  7-iron that came up “about a yard or two short” of the green. An ensuing birdie on No. 15 (par 5, 573 yards) offset a bit of that damage.

“To shoot 66 around here on this golf course is really a feat,” said McNabb, the reigning Philadelphia Section PGA Senior Player of the Year. “The golf course is firm and fast. I really love how this place plays. It is such a demanding test tee to green. You have to pay attention for all 18 holes.”

On No. 1, (par 4, 376 yards), McNabb knocked a 58-degree wedge from 60 yards to six feet. On No. 3 (par 3, (par 3, 217 yards), the fourth hardest hole on the course in relation to par with a 3.6 scoring average, McNabb ripped a newly implemented 7-wood to 15 feet. “I just put that club in the bag last night,” he said. A poor tee ball on No. 4 (par 4, 366 yards) resulted in a bogey but McNabb responded with a fury. He made four birdies in the next five holes.

The birdie barrage was as follows: No. 5 (par 3, 163 yards) an 8-iron to eight feet; No. 6 (par 4, 436 yards) a 136-yard pitching wedge to 20 feet; No. 8 (par 4, 365 yards) a 58-degree wedge from 95 yards to 15 feet and No. 9 (par 4, 458 yards) a 9-iron from 150 yards spun to six feet.

“Early on in the year my game was hit-or-miss,” said McNabb. “But I’ve put some time and effort in the last month or so, when I could. Quite frankly, I’ve tried to refocus when I practice, which has really paid some dividends. I’ve hit a lot of great golf shots, just not a lot of great scores. I saw this coming but I didn’t seeing it coming today on this golf course.”

Osberg opened his round with nine pars before carding four birdies and a bogey on his inward track.

He started the back nine birdie-bogey – on No. 10 (par 4, 396 yards) he lifted an 8-iron from 167 yards to 12 feet but on No. 11 (par 4, 371 yards) missed the green and made a 5. He responded immediately on No. 12 (par 4, 396 yards) when his wedge from a 135 yards stopped three feet from the cup. He made birdie. On No. 15 (par 5, 573 yards) he two putted from 30 feet after reaching the green in two and on No. 16 (par 4, 360 yards) drained a 20-foot downhiller after a pitching wedge from 141 yards.

He won the 2018 Huntingdon Valley Club Championship.

“I think it’s important. This is a course that requires a lot of [local] knowledge. You have to take your time, figure out where you want to land it and what it’s going to do after it lands,” said Osberg. “Being comfortable off the tee and knowing what I want to do on every hole is nice to be able to do that.”

Osberg’s already had two close calls in GAP Majors this season. He tied for ninth in the Middle-Amateur after holding the 27 lead. Weeks later, he lost in the Final of the 119th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship to Jeremey Wall.

“I don’t think there was anything in particular that went wrong in either of those two tournaments for me not to win,” said Osberg. “I still felt really great after both of them.”

NOTES–The Open Championship is GAP’s third oldest championship. The Amateur is 119 years old and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup is 117.

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 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, clubScore
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club66
(a) Jeff Osberg, Pine Valley Golf Club67
(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club70
(a) Lukas Clark, Jericho National Golf Club70
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club70
Zac Oakley, Bidermann Golf Club70
Eric Kennedy, Overbrook Golf Club71
(a) Vincent Kwon, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71
(a) Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club71
Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Country Club72
(a) William Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club72
(a) Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club72
(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club72
(a) Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course72
(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club72
(a) Mariano Medico, Fox Hill Country Club72
Scott Reilly, Philadelphia Country Club72
(a) Zach Arsenault, Little Mill Country Club73
Brian Hollins, Links Golf Club73
Alexander Knoll, Blue Shamrock Golf Club73
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club73
Brett Melton, Radley Run Country Club73
(a) Michael O’Brien, Bala Golf Club73
Brendon Post, University of Delaware73
David Quinn, Philmont Country Club73
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club73
(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club73
(a) Ambrose Abbracciamento, Jericho National Golf Club74
(a) Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club74
(a) Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club74
(a) Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club74
(a) Scott Ehrlich, Waynesborough Country Club74
Matthew Episcopo, Pine Valley Golf Club74
(a) Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club74
(a) Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club74
Greg Matthias, Tavistock Country Club74
David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club74
(a) Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club74
(a) Caleb Ryan, Philadelphia Publinks GA74
(a) Joshua Ryan, GAP Youth on Course74
(a) Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club74
Billy Stewart, The ACE Club74
Andrew Turner, Sunnybrook Golf Club74
(a) Michael Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club75
Patrick Butkus, Tavistock Country Club75
(a) Nicholas Gianelos, Radley Run Country Club75
Russell Harbold, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
(a) Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club75
Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club75
(a) Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
(a) Marty McGuckin, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club75
Stephen Sieracki, Woodcrest Country Club75
(a) Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club75
Dustin Wallis, Out Door Country Club75
(a) Parker Wine, Radley Run Country Club75
Mark Anderson, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
(a) Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club76
Michael Ferguson, Philadelphia Cricket Club76
Mike Furey, Blue Shamrock Golf Club76
Jakob Gerney, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia76
(a) Kyle Henofer, Indian Valley Country Club76
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek76
(a) Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club76
(a) Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
(a) Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club76
Failed to qualify
(a) Peter Barron, III, Galloway National Golf Club77
Vincent Kabaso, Laurel Creek Country Club77
(a) Wills Montgomery, Bala Golf Club77
(a) Brandon Raihl, Hartefeld National77
(a) John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club77
(a) Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club77
(a) Adam Armagost, Philadelphia Publinks GA78
Trevor Bensel, Overbrook Golf Club78
(a) Benjamin Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
(a) Stephen Lorenzo, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club78
(a) Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club78
Tom Michaels, Berkshire Country Club78
(a) Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club78
Ross Seaman, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club78
(a) Michael Thomas, Scranton Municipal Golf Course78
(a) Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Bill Walker, Riverton Country Club78
(a) Corey Betham, Philadelphia Publinks GA79
(a) Ryan Cass, Hidden Creek Golf Club79
(a) Luca Jezzeny, Doylestown Country Club79
(a) Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club79
(a) Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton79
Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club79
(a) Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club79
(a) Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club79
Michael Paukovits, St. Davids Golf Club79
(a) Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club79
(a) James Sullivan, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club79
(a) Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club79
(a) Andy Beittel, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club80
(a) Nicholas Fioravante, LedgeRock Golf Club80
(a) James Gillespie, Jr., Concord Country Club80
Terry Hertzog, Country Club of York80
(a) Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club80
(a) Alex Pillar, CC at Woodloch Springs80
(a) J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club80
(a) Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown81
(a) Serge Hogg, Philadelphia Publinks GA81
Eddie Perrino, Eagle Rock Golf & Resort81
(a) Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club81
Ashley Grier, Overbrook Golf Club82
Eric Keeler, Gulph Mills Golf Club82
(a) Nick Madden, Lu Lu Country Club83
(a) Mike Valentine, Commonwealth National Golf Club83
(a) Jason Wilson, Philadelphia Publinks GA83
(a) Stewart Rickenbach, Five Ponds Golf Club85
(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside CC of Allentown86
(a) Kevin Kornuszko, Spring Mill Country Club86
(a) Jack Sterbenz, Little Mill Country Club87
(a) Robert Fyock, Heidelberg Country Club92
(a) Brian Rentz, Meadia Heights Golf Club99
(a) Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
(a) Jack Hamilton, Merion Golf ClubWD
Stuart Ingraham, Mgolf driving rangeWD
(a) Ross Pilliod, LedgeRock Golf ClubWD
(a) Kevin Rossi, Scranton Municipal Golf CourseWD
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country ClubWD
(a) Jack Sullivan, The Shore ClubWD
Steve Swartz, Out Door Country ClubWD
WD-withdrawal
(a)-denotes amateur

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