May 20, 2015

McNeil parks name on top of Middle-Amateur leaderboard

WAYNE, Pa.–Scott McNeil officiates Junior Varsity basketball games during the winter; upwards of seven a day. That’s a lot of hours in tiny gyms with children and testing parents questioning your mental faculties.

| Scorecards | Round 2 Tee Times | Day 1 video recap |

  On Wednesday, McNeil tuned out the challenge of a top-quality field and gusty conditions to lead after Round 1 of the 32nd Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf. McNeil, in the first group to open play at 7:30 a.m., finished at 2-under par at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,545 yards). His 68 was the lone under-par score of the day. McNeil holds a three-shot advantage over Michael Carr of Plymouth Country Club.

  The second and final round begins at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. A total of 71 players made the cut, which fell at 79. The final group of McNeil, Carr and Ryan Gelrod of Philadelphia Cricket Club begin at 11:20 a.m.

  “In refereeing, you can’t get frustrated. You have to stay focused and busy in your mind for five to six hours,” said McNeil, 29, of Philadelphia, Pa. and Bala Golf Club. “If you can stay mentally busy there, you should be able to stay mentally busy here and focused between shots. This is no different than refereeing six basketball games in a row from the time you hit the range to the time you head out.”

  This is McNeil’s third Middle-Amateur appearance. He tied for 10th in 2012 at Chester Valley Golf Club and tied for 28th in 2013 at Fieldstone Golf Club.

  Carr, 28, of East Norriton, Pa., has competed in the last two Mid.-Ams. He finished tied for fifth in 2013 and, last year at Gulph Mills Golf Club, tied for sixth.

  Defending champion Peter Barron, III of Stone Harbor Golf Club finished at 6-over 76 and finds himself tied for 25th.

  “[Gulph Mills] and this are similar,” said the 39-year-old Barron. “I think this was a little firmer. Wedges would one hop and released a little bit. But if you struck it well with your irons, they pretty much stopped.”

  Both are architect Donald Ross designs.

  McNeil, the parking facilities manager at 10 Rittenhouse Square, turned his front-nine in even-par 35. He double bogeyed No. 2 (par 4, 444 yards) when his approach flew the green into the back bushes but responded with an eagle on No. 4 (par 4, 370 yards). He sank an 89-yard second shot with a 58-degree wedge.

  “[It was a] back pin with firm greens and a little downwind. I was able to hit a 58-degree [wedge] that landed about 10 feet short of the pin, kicked a little to the left, right at the stick, checked and went in,” said McNeil. “It’s one thing to hit them close but you always have to execute and when they go in without having to execute that’s a great thing.”

  McNeil tapped in a birdie putt on No. 8 (par 5, 490 yards) after reaching the green in two, but gave the stroke right back with a blocked 4-iron on No. 9 (par 3, 232 yards) that landed in the bunker. He failed to get up-and-down.

  On the back nine, McNeil and his steady play continued. He registered seven pars and two birdies, not surprisingly, both on par 5s for the stout hitter. He sank a 25-foot putt for 4 on No. 11 (par 5, 545 yards) and reached No. 16 (par 5, 502 yards) in two shots with a wedge from 150 yards to 25 feet. He lagged his eagle try to tap-in range for birdie.

  McNeil mentioned a change to his stance, widening it, and grip made in the winter that has helped his game grow.

  Last week, he medaled in the U.S. Open Local Qualifier at Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia.

  “The changes I made in the winter allow me to be able to look at any shot and know I am going to strike it solid and put it in a good place a majority of the round. It’s going to allow me to stay mentally tough,” said McNeil. “Good ball-striking will go a long way in me being able to consistently keep my scores down lower.”

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.

  The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA’s guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field began with 130 players.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, club Score
Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club 68
Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club 71
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club 72
Christopher Ault, Burlington Country Club 73
Mark Peterson, Philadelphia Cricket Club 73
Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club 73
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 74
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club 74
Brandon Murdock, Llanerch Country Club 74
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 74
David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 74
David West, Whitford Country Club 74
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club 74
Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 74
Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club 74
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club 74
Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club 74
Andy Latowski, Philadelphia Cricket Club 75
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club 75
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 75
Jon Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club 75
Matthew Gaffney, Little Mill Country Club 75
Serge Hogg, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club 75
Thomas Timby, Jr., The Bucks Club 75
Chris Lawler, Inniscrone Golf Club 76
Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 76
Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club 76
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club 76
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club 76
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club 76
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club 76
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club 76
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club 76
Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club 76
Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club 76
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club 76
Bill Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club 77
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club 77
Brett Cybulski, Merchantville Country Club 77
Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club 77
Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club 77
John Murphy, II, Wildwood Golf & Country Club 77
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club 77
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club 77
Michael R. Brown, Links Golf Club 77
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club 77
Robert Savarese, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club 77
Rodney James, Golden Oaks Golf Club 77
Sean McCauley, Jr., Galloway National Golf Club 77
Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club 78
Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club 78
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club 78
Joe April, Philadelphia Cricket Club 78
Rand Mendez, Fieldstone Golf Club 78
Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club 78
Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club 79
Brian Corbett, Huntsville Golf Club 79
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club 79
Frank Petrash, IV, Philadelphia Cricket Club 79
James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club 79
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 79
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club 79
Jason Loehrs, Philadelphia Publinks GA 79
Jeff Klagholz, Aronimink Golf Club 79
John Grove, Chester Valley Golf Club 79
John Nottage, Commonwealth National Golf Club 79
Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club 79
Rich Pruchnik, Downingtown Country Club 79
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club 79
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club 79
Failed to qualify
Conrad Von Borsig, White Manor Country Club 80
Jeffrey Moyher, Merion Golf Club 80
Joe Perese, Philmont Country Club 80
Justin VanHyning, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 80
Mark Czerniakowski, Blue Bell Country Club 80
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club 80
Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club 80
Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club 80
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club 80
Christopher Clauson, Sandy Run Country Club 81
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 81
Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club 81
Gerard Rosato, Plymouth Country Club 81
Kevin McDermott, Llanerch Country Club 81
Michael Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club 81
Michael Moffat, Commonwealth National Golf Club 81
Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club 81
Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club 81
Ryan Orcutt, Philadelphia Publinks GA 81
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club 82
Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club 82
George Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club 82
Jason Whaley, Sakima Country Club 82
Jim Engler, Sea Oaks Golf Club 82
Leland Weaver, Hartefeld National 82
Mark Hill, Rolling Green Golf Club 82
Matthew Welsh, St. Davids Golf Club 82
Stephen Hudacek, III, Glenmaura National Golf Club 82
Thomas Humphrey, Wilmington Country Club 82
Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 83
Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club 83
Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club 83
David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 83
J.J. Berenato, Llanerch Country Club 83
Miguel Biamon, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 83
Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield 83
David Waxman, Little Mill Country Club 84
Elias Chua, Fieldstone Golf Club 84
Jon-Michael Socaris, Broad Run Golfers Club 84
Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia 84
Michael Hodges, The Springhaven Club 84
Bob Beck, Lehigh Country Club 85
Brad George, Aronimink Golf Club 85
Robert Gill, Fox Hill Country Club 85
Trevor Seufer, Stonewall 85
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club 86
John Kopacz, Five Ponds Golf Club 86
Kenneth Matt, Philadelphia Publinks GA 86
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club 86
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club 86
Robert Brown, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club 86
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club 86
Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 87
Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club 87
Patrick Phillips, Philadelphia Publinks GA 87
Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club 87
Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club 88
Jimmy Taylor, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 98
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club WD
Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club WD

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