June 6, 2018
HORSHAM, Pa. – Lookaway Golf Club’s Roc Irey has undergone two cancer surgeries over the past four months. His doctors have told him to take it easy on the golf.
Irey made things look easy at Commonwealth National Golf Club (par 71, 6,071 yards). The 65-year-old, fighting prostate cancer and set to undergo more treatment in a few weeks, fired a 1-under 70 to claim the Frank H. Chapman Cup Super-Senior title.
It was his first Golf Association of Philadelphia individual trophy. Irey topped a field of 45 Super-Senior hopefuls.
“It means a lot. I’ve played in GAP events for a long time, but this is my first piece of hardware,” said Irey, of Furlong, Pa. “You guys have made it tough on me.”
Not on Wednesday.
The champion’s day started with a red number on No. 1 (par 5, 477 yards). A driver set him with a 5-iron second shot that left him with a wedge shot from 40 yards out. Irey placed the wedge approach to 10 feet, which he drained for 4. Bogey blemishes on Nos. 2 (par 4, 353 yards) and 9 (par 4, 400 yards) – both three putts – left him at 1 over making the turn.
Commonwealth’s testing back hosted Irey’s championship run. A red number surfaced on No. 11 (par 5, 485 yards), where Irey went 3-wood off the tee, followed by 7-iron and wedge from 80 yards. He jarred a six-footer there to get level.
It was down the homestretch where the champion claimed the hardware. On No. 16 (par 3, 159 yards), Irey equipped 8-iron. A 20-foot birdie bomb came soon after. The real deciding hole was ultimately No. 17 (par 3, 334 yards). Irey ripped a stinging driver to the left edge of the fairway, leaving him with just 80 yards in. His wedge skipped on the front of the green, settling to six feet. The putt was good.
Irey bettered Philadelphia Publinks GA’s Buck Jones, last year’s Super-Senior Silver Cross Award winner, by a single stroke.
As a former member of Commonwealth, in its first four years of existence beginning in 1990, Irey utilized his experience to put himself in position consistently to succeed. The former GAP Executive Committee Member hit 17 greens in regulation.
“I was all over the flagstick and greens today. I was stuffing almost everything,” he said.
Doctors have informed Irey his prostate cancer has spread. The next step in his fight with cancer is radiation therapy, which will run two months. As a frequent GAP competitor and friend of all, Irey knows he’ll have support from his fellow competitors and the Association.
“What else can you do? You go out and play golf. The doctors have told me to take it easy and not to pick up a club at times. But I come out here and play with my buddies. In the Warner Cup, I wasn’t allowed to play, but I came out anyway,” said Irey, who finished tied for second at Concord Country Club with a 4-over 75. “I was just chipping and bumping the ball around. That’s all.”
Irey is scheduled to play in the GAP Senior Amateur Championship. He says he’ll have to play it by ear depending on how treatment goes.
“We’ll see what happens. But like I said, what else can you really do,” said Irey. “You just take it day-by-day and keep fighting.”
Keep fighting, Roc.
Frank H. Chapman, a Whitemarsh Valley Country Club member, served as the Association’s secretary-treasurer for 23 years. He died on June 7, 1955 at the age of 88. The Gross tournament, now in its 11th year, is held in his honor.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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.
|Super-Senior Division results|
|Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club||70|
|Buck Jones, Philadelphia Publinks GA||71|
|Robert Billings, Rolling Green Golf Club||73|
|Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club||73|
|Tom DiCinti, Mercer Oaks Golf Course||74|
|John Gonsior, Limekiln Golf Club||74|
|Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club||74|
|Dan Burton, Lancaster Country Club||75|
|Gary Gordon, Philadelphia Cricket Club||75|
|Bennett Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club||75|
|Sheldon Pollack, Bala Golf Club||75|
|Howard Press, Little Mill Country Club||75|
|Alan Van Horn, Commonwealth National Golf Club||75|
|Don Donatoni, White Manor Country Club||76|
|Raymond Pawulich, Little Mill Country Club||76|
|Frank Polizzi, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||76|
|Dave Jacobson, Medford Village Country Club||77|
|Drew Swenda, Jr., Fieldstone Golf Club||77|
|Matthew Bellis, Commonwealth National Golf Club||78|
|Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club||78|
|Richard Krauss, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club||78|
|Terrence Sawyer, Lu Lu Country Club||78|
|Bernie Zbrzeznj, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||78|
|O. Gordon Brewer, Jr., Pine Valley Golf Club||79|
|Joe Cordaro, Saucon Valley Country Club||79|
|William Lawler, Fox Hill Country Club||79|
|Thomas Mallouk, Lookaway Golf Club||79|
|David Taylor, White Manor Country Club||79|
|Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||80|
|Bob Majczan, Lookaway Golf Club||80|
|Charles McClaskey, Philadelphia Publinks GA||81|
|Robert Ockenfuss, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||81|
|James Prendergast, Spring Ford Country Club||81|
|Michael Nilon, Philadelphia Country Club||82|
|Robert Lodovici, Little Mill Country Club||83|
|John Owens, M.D., Tavistock Country Club||83|
|Jeffrey True, Lebanon Country Club||83|
|Eugene Maginnis, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||84|
|Mark Monkhouse, Makefield Highlands Golf Club||85|
|Carl Everett, Merion Golf Club||86|
|Gil Golding, Commonwealth National Golf Club||90|
|Paul Keating, Aronimink Golf Club||90|
|Frank Petrecco, Yardley Country Club||93|
|Richard Smith, Philadelphia Country Club||94|
|Art Brosius, DuPont Country Club||WD|
|WD — withdrawal|