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#GAPOpen: Little leads at 4 under after Round 1

Lookaway’s Little leads 116th Open after Round 1

| Scorecards | History | Round 2 Tee times |

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – Michael Little was officially named the Lookaway Golf Club professional – his first head position – in June. A career assistant, the title change, obviously, brought on greater responsibilities. Atypically, Little’s game has gotten stronger since becoming Lookaway’s main man.

Little’s strong season continued in the 116th Open Championship Monday at Doylestown Country Club (par 72, 6,557 yards). He carded an opening-round 4-under 68 to grab a one-stroke, first-round lead on a field of the Philadelphia area’s top amateurs and professionals.

Amateurs Will Davenport of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, the 2019 Middle-Amateur Championship, and Brandon Dalinka of The Ridge at Back Brook are in second place after carding 3-under 69s. In all, 10 players are under par.

The final round begins at 8 a.m. Little and Davenport are paired together in the final group at 12:30 p.m. Defending champion Jeff Osberg, an amateur from Pine Valley Golf Club, is in 11th place at even par.

Will Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

“This is always an event I asterisk on my schedule. I always want to play well in this event and I finally did and it feels really good,” said Little, 36, of North Wales, Pa. “I’ve had some opportunities to work on my game, but being the new head pro at Lookaway, there are a lot more responsibilities. I think that’s actually freed me up to not think as much as [about my game], knowing I have a big responsibility to go back to the club. I feel that’s really helped my game this year versus hurting it.”

Little has already recorded two Philadelphia PGA Section victories this season as well as securing the 2020 DeBaufre Scoring Average title. He won the William Hyndman, III Memorial Classic at Huntingdon Valley Country Club and the TaylorMade Classic at White Manor Country Club, both in August.

“I went over a few basics over the two days, to tighten up my clubface and to work on my putting stroke. I came out today thinking about trying to execute and not worry too much about shooting a good score. That seemed to benefit me today,” said Little, whose top career finish in the Open was a tie for fifth in 2017 at Philadelphia Country Club.

Little’s focus resulted in 12 pars, five birdies and a bogey.

He opened with a red figure on No. 1 (par 5, 540 yards) after lifting a lob wedge from 50 yards to a foot. On No. 8 (par 4, 297 yards), Little almost drove the green. His tee ball landed in the greenside bunker and he got up-and-down for birdie. A bogey on No. 12 (par 4, 352 yards) proved to be his lone blemish before finishing in a flurry with three birdies in his final six holes. Little canned a 50-footer from the fringe on No. 13 (par 3, 196 yards); hit another fantastic short flop shot on No. 14 (par 5, 501 yards) from 30 yards to three feet and converted a short birdie putt on No. 18 (par 5, 519 yards) after finding the greenside bunker.

The final birdie was a bit of redemption for Little who bogeyed that hole in 2019 to fall out of a playoff for the Doylestown Open title.

Little’s confidence received an added boost recently. He qualified for his third PGA Professional Championship with a Top-5 finish in the 99th Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship in late September.

Davenport turned in 3 under, but finished his inward side level. He bogeyed No. 16 (par 4, 380 yards) due to a wayward drive but responded on No. 17 (par 3, 163 yards) with a 30-foot birdie.

Dalinka finished in a frenzy. He birdied Nos. 17 (par 3, 163 yards) and 18 (par 5, 519 yards), both times hitting a 7-iron. He hit it to 15 feet in the 17th and just missed an eagle putt from eight feet on the final hole before tapping if for birdie.

The Open Championship is GAP’s third oldest championship. The Amateur is 119 years old and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup is 117.

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 288 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.

Name, clubScore
Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club68
(a) Brandon Dalinka, The Ridge at Back Brook69
(a) William Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club69
(a) Michael R. Brown, Jr., LuLu Country Club70
Alexander Knoll, Glen Brook Golf Club71
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club71
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71
(a) Connor McNicholas, The 1912 Club71
Zac Oakley, Bidermann Golf Club71
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club71
Trevor Bensel, Overbrook Golf Club72
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club72
(a) Jeff Osberg, Pine Valley Golf Club72
David Quinn, Laurel Creek Country Club72
Steve Swartz, West Shore Country Club72
Andrew Turner, French Creek Golf Club72
(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club72
(a) David Herbst, West Shore Country Club73
John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs73
Braden Shattuck, Bidermann Golf Club73
Billy Stewart, The ACE Club73
Ross Brown, Fox Hill Country Club74
Pat Butkus, Tavistock Country Club74
Christopher Filling, Seaview Golf Club74
Ashley Grier, Overbrook Golf Club74
(a) Jalen Griffin, Five Ponds Golf Club74
Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring Golf Course74
(a) Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club74
(a) J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club74
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club74
Michael Tobiason, Deerfield Golf Club74
(a) Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Dustin Wallis, Dustin Wallis Golf74
(a) Lukas Clark, Galloway National Golf Club75
(a) Jack Irons, Little Mill Country Club75
Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club75
David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club75
Brendon Post, University of Delaware75
(a) Matthew Teesdale, The 1912 Club75
Travis Deibert, Doylestown Country Club76
Joseph Kogelman, GOLFTEC – Moorestown76
Hugo Mazzalupi, Patriots Glen National Golf Club76
Dustin McCormick, Glen Brook Golf Club76
Parks Price, Country Club of York76
(a) Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve77
Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club77
(a) Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club77
(a) Tony Peressini, Doylestown Country Club77
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club78
Jeffrey Herb, Waynesborough Country Club78
Bob Lennon, Wilmington Country Club78
Greg Matthias, Tavistock Country Club78
(a) Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club78
(a) Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club79
(a) Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club79
Billy Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club80
(a) Zach Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club82
(a) Peter Barron, III, Galloway National Golf ClubWD
(a) Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf ClubWD
(a) Kyle Deisher, Huntingdon Valley Country ClubWD
(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country ClubWD
Mike Furey, Saucon Valley Country ClubWD
Stuart Ingraham, MGOLF Driving Range & Learning FacilityWD
(a) Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf ClubWD
Bill Walker, Riverton Country ClubWD
(a) Zachary Falone, Sakima Country ClubDQ
DQ – disqualification; WD – withdrawal
(a) – amateur