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Frank H. Chapman (Net): Bala

Metedeconk’s Penso places at top of Chapman (Net) at Bala

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PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – After retiring last year, Metedeconk National Golf Club’s Michael Penso is hoping to to improve his swing and scores.

Consider Thursday at Bala Golf Club (par 68, 5,048 yards) a nice start.

In an 18-hole individual Stableford Net format, Penso fired a gross score of 8-over 76, translating to 42 Net points, en route to the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Net) overall title. Penso bested a field of 38 players for the win at Bala.

Under pleasant skies featuring lingering summer temperatures, almost identical nines — 4-over gross on each side — helped Penso pick up the trophy. At the turn, he stood at 21 points. Bala’s back side hosted the champion’s lone, true birdie.

On the par-5, 470-yard 10th hole, Penso blasted a drive and approach shot into appealing position at 115 yards out. A perfect punch 9-iron cozied up to 15 feet and the sliding putt fell for 4.

“I hit a ton of greens today and the putting was solid,” said Penso, 60, of Millstone Township, N.J. “I definitely hit more greens than I usually do at home at Metedeconk, and these greens are very small. I was proud of that.”

Due to a difficult double bogey on No. 13 (par 3, 159 yards) thanks to a bunker blunder, Penso was trending in the wrong direction for a moment. However, four-straight gross pars arrived just in time on Nos. 14-17, steadying the ship. A net par on Bala’s finisher (par 4, 354 yards) after escaping tree trouble off the tee sealed the deal.

“I was surprised with today’s round. I haven’t shot in the 70s in years, and I know this is a par 68, but it’s still a really nice result,” said Penso, a Metedeconk member of six years.

After 38 years spent at Prudential, Penso is now enjoying the golf course more and more. With more free time, and now a trophy to his name, future GAP tournaments may help him achieve his goal of lowering scores.

Picking up trophies is one way to reach that goal.

“GAP does such a great job at every event, really making [golf] fun,” said Penso. “Whether it’s net events, Member Play Days, you name it. It’s all great.”

Women’s Division

In a five-player Women’s Division, Saucon Valley Country Club’s Tracey MacGown took the top honors.

Filing a 14-over gross score of 82, MacGown’s 36 Stableford points earned her the trophy. Six net birdies helped propel the GAP Executive Committee member to victory.

“I just felt like I was playing well altogether, hitting the tee ball well. The distances were manageable, so it was a very fun day,” said MacGown, 61, of Bethlehem, Pa. “[Bala] is a nice course, and it played very friendly from the women’s tees. But you had to have a good short game because the greens are like postage stamps. You need to be able to get up-and-down here.”

MacGown, also a member of the GAP Women’s Committee, was excited to see another Women’s Division in the mix.

“Everything has been great. We had [14] players [Monday in the Tee it Forward – Fall Net Championship],” she said. “I think it’s important to continue get the word out. We’re trying to get people talking about it.”

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 Net tournament is held in his honor.

GAP
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 274 Full 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.

Men’s Division OverallStableford
Michael Penso, Metedeconk National Golf Club42
Gerald Barr, Lehigh Country Club40
Michael Kyle, Talamore Country Club40
Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club36
Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club35
Walter Jenkins, Manufacturers’ Golf & CC35
James McGuckin, Philadelphia Country Club35
Don Neill, Lu Lu Country Club35
Tom Watterson, Loch Nairn Golf Club35
Antonio Leta, Blue Bell Country Club34
Francis Tan, Medford Lakes Country Club34
Steven Alger, Lebanon Country Club33
Mick Dunphy, Flourtown Country Club33
William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks GA33
Edward Osciak, Jr., Loch Nairn Golf Club33
Pete Farina, Philadelphia Publinks GA32
Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks GA32
Gerry McCloy, Flourtown Country Club32
Ned Moore, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club32
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club32
W. Frank Skilton, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club31
Sev Panossian, Golf Course at Glen Mills30
John Siegrist, Philadelphia Publinks GA30
Stephen Can, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club29
Charlie Dielmann, Lebanon Country Club29
Brendan Burke, Flourtown Country Club28
Scott Case, Philadelphia Publinks GA28
Kevin Dunleavy, The ACE Club28
Rick Ames, Philadelphia Publinks GA27
Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club27
Scott Dichter, Meadia Heights Golf Club27
Hank Collins, Philadelphia Publinks GA26
Tom Gorman, Rolling Green Golf Club26
Tom Rajtik, Stone Harbor Golf Club22
Shahab Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club13
Steve Cooper, Laurel Creek Country ClubWD
Jack Polidori, DuPont Country ClubWD
Jerry Maxwell, Jr., Five Ponds Golf ClubNC
Women’s Division Overall
Tracey MacGown, Saucon Valley Country Club36
Pamela Can, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club33
Donna D’Amore, Woodstone Country Club & Lodge27
Alison Kellock, Flourtown Country Club25
Suzanne Armbruster, Woodstone Country Club & Lodge23
Flight 1Stableford
Thomas O’Rourke, Chester Valley Golf Club36
Michael Civitello, Chester Valley Golf Club35
Walter Jenkins, Manufacturers’ Golf & CC35
Antonio Leta, Blue Bell Country Club34
Steven Alger, Lebanon Country Club33
Pete Farina, Philadelphia Publinks GA32
Gerry McCloy, Flourtown Country Club32
Sev Panossian, Golf Course at Glen Mills30
Scott Case, Philadelphia Publinks GA28
Kevin Dunleavy, The ACE Club28
Tom Gorman, Rolling Green Golf Club26
Tom Rajtik, Stone Harbor Golf Club22
Shahab Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club13
Jack Polidori, DuPont Country ClubWD
Flight 2
Michael Penso, Metedeconk National Golf Club42
Don Neill, Lu Lu Country Club35
Francis Tan, Medford Lakes Country Club34
Mick Dunphy, Flourtown Country Club33
Ned Moore, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club32
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf Club32
W. Frank Skilton, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club31
John Siegrist, Philadelphia Publinks GA30
Charlie Dielmann, Lebanon Country Club29
Rick Ames, Philadelphia Publinks GA27
Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club27
Scott Dichter, Meadia Heights Golf Club27
Steve Cooper, Laurel Creek Country ClubWD
Flight 3
Gerald Barr, Lehigh Country Club40
Michael Kyle, Talamore Country Club40
James McGuckin, Philadelphia Country Club35
Tom Watterson, Loch Nairn Golf Club35
William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks GA33
Edward Osciak, Jr., Loch Nairn Golf Club33
Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks GA32
Stephen Can, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club29
Brendan Burke, Flourtown Country Club28
Hank Collins, Philadelphia Publinks GA26
Jerry Maxwell, Jr., Five Ponds Golf ClubNC
Women’s Flight
Tracey MacGown, Saucon Valley Country Club36
Pamela Can, Hopewell Valley Golf & Country Club33
Donna D’Amore, Woodstone Country Club & Lodge27
Alison Kellock, Flourtown Country Club25
Suzanne Armbruster, Woodstone Country Club & Lodge23
NC – no card; WD – withdrawal