COATESVILLE, Pa. — A career-best front nine score carried Coatesville Country Club’s Richard Saylor into the captain’s chair at the TEE IT FORWARD — Spring Net Championship Tuesday. The home-club hopeful opened with a 1 over (gross) and never looked back, posting 39 points en route to his first Golf Association of Philadelphia victory.
“This is exciting for me,” Saylor, of Coatesville, Pa., said. “I’m glad to represent Coatesville (Country Club) well.”
Playing in his first Spring Net Championship, Saylor, who resides across from 13th hole at Coatesville (par 71, 6,123 yards) had a feeling course familiarity would work in his favor. It did.
“I figured the home-field advantage would be a real bonus,” Saylor, 61, said. “I played the front as well as I ever have in the 23 years I’ve been a member here. I kept the ball in the fairway, and that’s really not my game. Fairways are a premium here. I putted really well on the front, but I expected to. What I didn’t expect was that my tee ball would be as accurate as it was.”
Saylor hit eight fairways on his outward tour. His only miss occurred on the first hole (par 5, 469 yards). Saylor’s 7-iron from 138 yards landed short of the green. He chipped on and converted a 12-footer for a net birdie. Saylor fired a gross birdie on the par 4, 272-yard No. 7 following a crisp drive and a soft wedge to 10 feet below the flagstick.
“I made a lot of par saving putts on the front,” Saylor, a 13-handicapper, said. “The greens were perfectly true. Chris Walton, our superintendent, did a great job to have this course playing phenomenal. I’ve never seen our greens putt any better.”
Saylor wasn’t as swell on his venture inward. On the rolling No. 10 (par 5, 519 yards), he three-putted for bogey (gross) after reaching the green in regulation. Saylor, who equipped his driver on 16 occasions Tuesday, saw his tee shot on the strenuous No. 13 (par 3, 215 yards) settle underneath a pine tree, adjacent the right greenside bunker. He nestled a chip onto the green and two-putted from 25 feet.
“There was a narrow window between branches,” Saylor said of his second shot. “My mind said if you just hit a wedge, it’s going to go through that window. It did. That was a fortunate shot.”
Saylor survived Coatesville’s self-proclaimed “Amen Corner,” carding net pars on Nos. 12 (par 3, 219 yards), 13 and 14 (par 4, 401 yards). He became “sloppy” on No. 15 (par 5, 530 yards). Saylor missed the green with a 6-iron and failed to convert a 20-footer to save par.
“The back I find more difficult here,” he said. “I guess I started playing pretty tight. I’m very happy with the front. I get frustrated that I can’t put 18 holes together. But the back is hard for me here.” The Spring Net Championship, formerly known as the First Handicap Tournament, is open to players 18 years of age and older with handicap index less than 36.0. The event began in 1946.
This year, the Association adopted the TEE IT FORWARD parameters for the event. It also changed the scoring format to net Stableford.
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 145 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.
|Richard Saylor, Coatesville Country Club||39|
|Frank Andrusiewicz, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||37|
|Ralph Smith, III, Concord Country Club||36|
|Edsel Rutenbar, Concord Country Club||35|
|Hal Brown, Five Ponds Golf Club||35|
|Charles Caparo, Plymouth Country Club||33|
|William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks GA||32|
|Chang Choo, Blue Bell Country Club||32|
|John Sivel, Bala Golf Club||32|
|Rick Ames, Philadelphia Publinks GA||32|
|Chad Collingwood, Spring Ford Country Club||32|
|Thomas Hare, III, Philadelphia Country Club||32|
|Brian Kreamer, Bala Golf Club||31|
|Robert Murray, McCall Golf & Country Club||31|
|Thomas Schneiders, Philadelphia Cricket Club||31|
|George Reby, Greate Bay Country Club||30|
|Joseph Templin, LedgeRock Golf Club||30|
|Edward Attarian, Commonwealth National Golf Club||29|
|Chuck Clifford, Spring Ford Country Club||29|
|Brian Mulvenna, White Oaks Country Club||29|
|C. Michael Conway, Plymouth Country Club||29|
|Joseph DeAngelis, Jericho National Golf Club||28|
|Gregory Rowe, Downingtown Country Club||28|
|Luke Pape, Tavistock Country Club||28|
|Brett Weisberg, Philadelphia Cricket Club||27|
|Dave Dillon, Huntsville Golf Club||27|
|John O’Rourke, McCall Golf & Country Club||27|
|Ed Kocher, Bent Creek Country Club||26|
|Jack Impriano, Applebrook Golf Club||26|
|Art Brosius, Golf Course at Glen Mills||25|
|Derek Partin, White Oaks Country Club||25|
|Chris Myers, Greate Bay Country Club||25|
|Edward Osciak, Jr., Loch Nairn Golf Club||25|
|Edward Blomstedt, Talamore Country Club||24|
|David Dugery, Bala Golf Club||24|
|Edward Wudyka, Jr., White Manor Country Club||24|
|Brian Glancey, Jericho National Golf Club||23|
|Donald Galbraith, Stonewall||23|
|Tom Watchko, Plymouth Country Club||23|
|Bill Quinlan, Spring Ford Country Club||23|
|Joe Barbara, Jericho National Golf Club||23|
|Vaughn Smith, Penn Oaks Golf Club||23|
|Aaron Johns, Spring Ford Country Club||23|
|Francis Robinson, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club||21|
|Gary Lean, Five Ponds Golf Club||18|
|Michael Denner, White Manor Country Club||18|
|Schuyler Wickes, Phoenixville Country Club||16|
|Nicholas Zanni, Philadelphia Publinks GA||12|
|John VanDame, Five Ponds Golf Club||WD|
|Michael Sauter, Cedarbrook Country Club||WD|
|George Hilley, McCall Golf & Country Club||WD|
|Paul Young, Talamore Country Club||WD|
|Bill Rooney, Greate Bay Country Club||NS|
|Gary Zimmer, Philadelphia Country Club||NS|