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#GAPMidAm Qualifier: Coatesville

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Trio shares medal in #GAPMidAm Qual. at Coatesville

COATESVILLE, Pa. – Three #GAPMidAm hopefuls took an unexpected roller coaster journey on Coatesville Country Club’s hills and slopes. Their thrill ride led them to a share of medalist honors.

Chris Esbenshade of Bent Creek Country Club, James O’Connor of Penn Oaks Golf Club and Dan Rudershausen of Kennett Square Golf & Country Club were the successful riders Tuesday at Coatesville (par 71, 6,267 yards). All three fired even-par rounds of 71 to secure a share of the top spot in a GAP Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier.

The cut line stopped at 5-over 76 when all was said and done, resulting in the low 21 players and ties advancing to the championship proper. Rolling Green Golf Club will host the 36th Middle-Amateur Championship on May 22-23.

The medalists combined for 15 birdies on the day to lead a leaderboard of 87 hopefuls. Those red numbers were paired with 10 bogeys sprinkled throughout, hence the general feeling of rockiness among the victorious circle.

Rudershausen’s six birdies led the field. However, a three-putt double on No. 13 (par 3, 180 yards) combined with four bogeys left his round level. It still resulted in the shared top spot and a berth into another GAP Major.

“Honestly, it was an interesting round,” said Rudershausen, 33, of Kennett Square, Pa. “I was just happy to come here and hit the middle of the club face, because driving over here, I wasn’t feeling great about it. But at the end of the day, it’s all about qualifying, and while it was up-and-down, it was still a 71.”

O’Connor’s round was propelled by a near-ace on No. 4 (par 3, 170 yards). His 8-iron dart landed just over the cup, resulting in a tap-in birdie putt. It was enough to settle his game, as O’Connor carded the fewest amount of bogeys among the medalists.

“If you don’t know this course, you can put yourself in some troubling spots,” said O’Connor, 37, of West Chester, Pa. “Luckily I have some course knowledge, and was able to navigate it. The birdies obviously helped me out. Now it’s on to Rolling Green.”

It was on Esbenshade’s final three holes where his ride peaked. On No. 7 (par 4, 315 yards), his drive left him with an 80-yard punch shot that ran through the green. His chip shot took the slope and jarred for a 3. A 50-footer dropped on the 8th (par 4, 365 yards) while an up-and down par on No. 9 (par 4, 360 yards) sealed the even-par round.

“The first nine was all about playing it safe and making sure my round was in a good place. My back nine, however, was a completely different story,” said Esbenshade, 43, of Lititz, Pa. “It was just one of those kinds of days where all the birdie putts were dropping. It was really a true roller coaster ride out there.”

After their Coatesville adventure, next up will be a highly-anticipated ride on Rolling Green’s championship turf.

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 273 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.

Qualifiers (name, club, score)
Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek CC71
James O’Connor, Penn Oaks Golf Club71
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square GC71
Zach Dilcher, Hartefeld National72
Cory Reighard, Llanerch Country Club72
Jim Donnelly, Merion Golf Club73
Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club73
Robert Harrington, Merion Golf Club73
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club73
Scott Storck, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square GC74
Francis Nattle, Philadelphia Publinks GA74
Brett Wallace, Kennett Square GC74
Garrett Basalyga, Cedarbrook CC75
William Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley CC75
John Lalley, Llanerch Country Club75
Kenneth Matt, Talamore Country Club75
Philip Potter, Radley Run Country Club75
Samuel Sherrill, Downingtown CC75
Rich Pruchnik, Downingtown CC76
Jonathan Radick, Spring Mill Country Club76
David Shields, Flourtown Country Club76
Failed to qualify
Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club77
Matt Krass, Radley Run Country Club77
Scott Lumbatis, Hershey Country Club77
Larry Gauger, Radnor Valley Country Club78
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Nick Genuario, Coatesville Country Club78
David Kimbley, Coatesville Country Club78
John Nottage, Commonwealth National GC78
Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA78
Greg Blackburn, Honeybrook Golf Club79
Joseph Dulka, DuPont Country Club79
Christopher Gebhard, Lebanon CC79
William Howard, V, Applebrook Golf Club79
Alan Kliewer, Lebanon Country Club79
Greg Bender, Honeybrook Golf Club80
Ted Brennan, Philadelphia Country Club80
Dan Brown, Llanerch Country Club80
Joe Corcoran, Five Ponds Golf Club80
Timothy McCabe, Bon Air Country Club80
Steven Passalacqua, Greate Bay CC80
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National GC80
Beau Guarino, Sea Oaks Country Club81
Dave Landau, Berkshire Country Club81
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club81
Ryan Riviezzo, Honeybrook Golf Club81
Jim Rosenbaum, Old York Road CC81
Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club81
Tyler Canfield, Downingtown CC82
Ted Harris, Yardley Country Club82
Brett Murphy, The Shore Club82
Tom Racius, Royal Manchester Golf Links82
Matthew Shevlin, Philadelphia Publinks 82
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club82
Christian Stiles, Hartefeld National82
Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club83
Brian Fisher, Phoenixville Country Club83
Patrick McCusker, Jr., Sandy Run CC83
Jerry Newell, Fieldstone Golf Club83
Ryan Pace, Whitford Country Club83
Christopher Schukay, Valleybrook CC83
John Burke, Running Deer Golf Club84
Sam Pancoast, Radley Run Country Club84
Scott Polk, Coatesville Country Club84
Ellis Chandler, Honeybrook Golf Club85
Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club85
Steve Jones, Applebrook Golf Club85
Michael Lewers, Aronimink Golf Club85
Charles Meadows, Whitford Country Club85
Eric Palumbo, Rolling Green Golf Club85
Jeffrey Shanahan, Applebrook Golf Club85
Elliot Sheftel, Lehigh Country Club85
Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club85
Gary Hopkins, Wyncote Golf Club86
Jason Wilt, Philadelphia Publinks GA86
Warren Immel, White Manor CC87
Kyle Price, White Clay Creek Country Club87
Tyler Ulrich, LedgeRock Golf Club87
Michael Boden, Aronimink Golf Club88
Lee Calfo, Rolling Green Golf Club88
Larry Kelly, Whitford Country Club90
Michael Reed, St. Davids Golf Club90
Bryan Allain, Honeybrook Golf Club95
Brendan McNamara, The ACE Club102
Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf ClubWD
Jay Vasil, Fox Hill Country ClubWD
WD – withdrawal