One of the first competitive chances of the season for some of the region’s finest, the prestigious Compher Cup is set for April 16 at The Ridge at Back Brook.
The GAP’s 12-member team, led by honorary captain Roc Irey, looks to continue its winning ways in the annual team event between the GAP and the New Jersey State Golf Association. In last year’s event, the GAP team came out victorious for the fifth straight year, defeating the NJSGA, 14-4, at Sunnybrook Golf Club. The GAP currently leads the all-time series, 38–13, with five ties.
The format is simple: each Association fields a 12-man team. Players simultaneously compete in a singles match and four-ball match. A total of 18 points is available. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for the team.
Serving as the honorary captain, Irey, a three-time Compher Cup competitor, is a welcome addition at the roster’s helm. He’s made noise on the Senior and Super-Senior circuits in the past decade, and brings valuable experience and leadership to the table.
“It’s always an honor to be selected or to even make the team through the past season’s performances. This time around, it’s a great honor to be selected as the captain,” said Irey, 66, of Furlong, Pa. “Playing great golf courses while competing against a strong New Jersey team is always fun. Looking at our team members and potential lineup, I’d say we have assembled a great group, hopefully setting us up for a sixth straight win.”
Fred Compher, a former NJSGA 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. That year, the NJSGA side forged a 5–1 lead in the morning foursomes’ competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches for an 11.5-6.5 victory. After New Jersey’s victory, Compher, who was known at the time as the most successful NJSGA president in its history, presented the trophy to promote golf between the groups.