LITITZ, Pa.-Craig Smith of Fairmount CC carded a par on the closing hole to halve the day’s final match and help the New Jersey State Golf Association defeat the Golf Association of Philadelphia in the Compher Cup, 9½-8½, on Wednesday at Bent Creek Country Club.
New Jersey regained the Compher Cup for the first time since 1995.
“It’s nice to get a win,” said Allan Small of Fairmount CC, the New Jersey
captain. “So many matches were back and forth. We were fortunate.”
The match came down to the final pairing with Philadelphia needing a victory from captain Michael Tash of Tavistock CC to earn the necessary nine points to retain the cup.
Smith watched his putt to end any drama roll a couple paces to the low side, and Tash had a look from 15 feet left of the hole for the victory. It too slipped past.
“Just one of those things,” said Tash, 42, of Glassboro, N.J.
Team New Jersey regained the title on the strength of its singles play. The NJSGA earned 6.5 points in individual play and 3.5 in the better-ball competition.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia still leads the series 28-11-4.
The Compher Cup pits a 12-man team from each association simultaneously competing in a singles match and better-ball match. There are a total of 18 possible points. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for the team.
Fred Compher, a former New Jersey State Golf Association president, conceived the neighborhood matches after leaving his post in 1959. Compher donated a silver trophy that year earmarked for such a rivalry.
In 1961, association representatives Bob Jacobson of New Jersey and Richard Ollmah of GAP completed the details. In 1962, the first Compher Cup matches took place at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J. That year, the NJSGA side forged a 5–1 lead in the morning foursome competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches to cruise to an 11 1/2–6 1/2 victory.
After the New Jersey victory, Compher himself, who was known at the time as the most successful NJSGA president in its history, presented the trophy “to promote golf between the groups.”