Two teams fire 56, top flights at Lehigh
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — First Mother Nature. Then the COVID-19 pandemic.
Extenuating circumstances can try, but they won’t deny the GAP Women’s Spring Scramble. Heavy rainfall moved the inaugural edition to the fall a year ago. The global health crisis postponed the 2nd edition, originally slated for May, to Thursday at Lehigh Country Club (par 70, 5,348 yards).
Maybe next year it will actually be contested in the spring. But hey, at least the Women’s Spring Scramble set roots despite such roadblocks. The interest and enthusiasm emanating from GAP’s membership made it possible.
Fifteen teams of four competed in a net scramble format, which included two flights determined by handicap index. A collection of Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia stalwarts — Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Isabella DiLisio and Becky Sanderson, Gulph Mills Golf Club’s A.K. Frazier and Commonwealth National Golf Club’s Karen Siegel — won the First Flight with a score of 14-under-par 56.
The Second Flight saw a crosstown — better yet cross (Saucon) creek — rivalry atop the leaderboard. Saucon Valley Country Club’s Pam Kennedy, Tracey MacGown, Sam Morrow and Kimberly Watts — prevailed with a 14-under-par 56. Jackie Beck, Denise Hobbie, Ingrid Russo and Amy Scalici of the host club finished three shots back. The aforementioned bested fellow Lehigh members Colleen Baker, Christine Jaeger and Amy and Laree Beans by a stroke.
“The GAP provided a great opportunity.”Laree Beans
“We play in a lot of interclub matches here, so we know the course pretty well,” MacGown, 62, of Bethlehem, Pa., said. “It was a gorgeous day on a nice course. It was in great shape.”
With course experience in its back pocket, the Saucon Valley squad delivered complimentary play throughout the day. Case in point: No. 16 (par 3, 105 yards). Kennedy’s tee shot caught the front bunker. MacGown, a GAP Executive Committee member, flailed her tee shot to the right. Watts also caught the guarding sand with a pitching wedge
Pressure on Morrow. She delivered by knocking a 9-iron to 12 feet above the flagstick.
“I only hit my 9-iron because Kim was short with her pitching wedge. We owe part of that to Kim,” Morrow said.
Part of that being a par after a foreboding start. Such a sequence reflected a team theme: one shot fails, the next succeeds.
“We had flexibility. We always had choices,” Kennedy, 58, of Bethlehem, Pa., said.
“We never had to scramble,” MacGown added.
Apart from a clutch tee shot on No. 16, Morrow executed lengthy birdie putts on Nos. 6 (par 5, 453 yards), 7 (par 3, 134 yards) and 11 (par 5, 419 yards) to elevate the Saucon Valley squad. She made a 56 official by converting a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 340 yards), the team’s final hole in a shotgun start.
“My thought was ‘Put it in the cup and let’s get done,’” Morrow, 61, of Coopersburg, Pa., said.
Morrow and her teammates voiced support for the Women’s Spring Scramble and its continuance despite roadblocks in consecutive years. By the same token, Laree Beans, who played alongside her mother Amy, felt proud that Lehigh accommodated the event — with membership support to boot.
“I’m glad that we put a couple of teams in. It was nice to be out here competing as a team and trying to do the best we could,” Beans, 35, of Bethlehem, Pa., said. “I’ve actually never played in a GAP event before, so for me, it’s neat to have an event like this that I can play in. As a former athlete, we’re all looking for ways to be competitive again and have fun in doing that. The GAP provided a great opportunity.”
Beans played field hockey for the University of North Carolina, winning a national championship in 2007. She started to crossover to golf two years ago.
“It was definitely fun to be in an environment where you’re playing, playing,” Beans said.
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 288 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.
|Alkexandra Frazier/Becky Sanderson/Karen Siegel/Isabella DiLisio||Gulph Mills Golf Club/Philadelphia Cricket Club/Commonwealth National Golf Club||56|
|Barb Maier/Noreen Mohler/Sue Steindel/Lorraine Leander||Fox Hill Country Club/Northampton Country Club/Glenmaura National Golf Club/Valley Country Club||58|
|Laura Martin/Teresa Burns/Meredith Earley/Chris Kiernan||Philadelphia Country Club/White Manor Country Club||60|
|Anne Rampolla/Erin McKarski/Judith Dwyer/Erica Hyman||Saucon Valley Country Club||61|
|Donna D’amore/Suzy Armbruster/Joy Wallace/Barbara Barry||Woodstone Country Club & Lodge||61|
|Deborah Wheatley/Allesson Rode/Debra Stiefel/Kim Kuehn||LPGA Amateur GA Poconos/Glen Brook Golf Club||62|
|Anne Wenninger/Cheryl Hildebrant/Jane Moyer/Linda Knabb||Allentown Municipal Golf Course/Woodstone Country Club & Lodge||63|
|Tracey MacGown/Pam Kennedy/Kimberly Watts/Sam Morrow||Saucon Valley Country Club||56|
|Jackie Beck/Amy Scalici/Ingrid Russo/Denise Hobbie||Lehigh Country Club||59|
|Christine Jaeger/Amy Beans/Colleen Baker/Laree Beans||Lehigh Country Club||60|
|Oh Porntipa Mukdasatit/Jackie Finegan/Sharon Hudacek/Suzanne Ritterbeck||Glenmaura National Golf Club||63|
|Wynn Harris/Linda Kennedy/Teresa Hillegass/Kasey Lucard||Commonwealth National Golf Club/Waynesborough Country Club/LuLu Country Club||63|
|Bridget Mathias/Valerie Andreychik/Susan Panebaker/Kathy Kishbaugh||Frosty Valley||64|
|Susan Scott/Jennifer Goodman/Bhamini Amin/Mary Hunsberger||Northampton Country Club||64|
|Cheryl Farrell/Marie Nieto/Donna Amato/Marlen Smith||Glenmaura National Golf Club||65|