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Hilliard, Yahrling take Chapman (Net) titles at Medford Lakes

Aug. 29, 2018

MEDFORD LAKES, N.J. – Makefield Highlands Golf Club’s Michael Yahrling used a back-nine charge to win the overall title in Wednesday’s Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Net) at a scorching Medford Lakes Country Club (par 71, 5,779 yards).

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  Filing 44 Stableford net points, Yahrling bettered defending champion Hank Collins of Philadelphia Publinks GA in a match of scorecards for the victory.

  Because both players finished with 44 points, the USGA recommended tiebreaking method of back-nine net scores was needed to decide the trophy’s fate. Collins and Yahrling matched each other identically on the front and back nines – 20 and 24 points, respectively – meaning the next tiebreaking step was used. Yahrling’s 17 points bettered Collins’ 15 points over the final six holes, earning him the hardware.

   “Well, that’s surprising,” said the 22-handicapper upon learning of the win. “I’ll take it!”

  A 14-over gross round of 85 got the job done for the champion. After a “solid and steady” performance on Medford’s front side, he turned the jets on coming in.

  Four straight bogeys to begin the back steadied Yahrling’s game. Then, when he would eventually need them most, pars began to surface during those fateful final six holes.

  On the par-4, 324-yard 14th hole, Yahrling placed his drive on the left side of the fairway, but proceeded to find the bunker with his approach shot. Yahrling’s trusty sand wedge was pulled from the bag and used to perfectly splash his third shot to six feet, where he’d sink the gross 4. Next, on No. 15 (par 3, 135 yards), Yahrling took 7-iron off the tee to the front of the green. A 60-foot birdie look almost dropped, but a tap-in par was also well received.

  The 16th hole (par 4, 315 yards) hosted a driver, 6-iron combination that led to a two putt from 25 feet. Soon after, No. 17 (par 4, 297 yards) became the highlight of Yahrling’s round. A fairway drive there left him with 130 yards out, resulting in a 7-iron approach that nestled up to 12 feet. Yahrling got that putt to drop for the gross birdie and four crucial net points.

  Despite recording just a single point on Medford’s finishing hole (par 5, 490 yards) due to a double bogey, it was enough for the win.

   “I don’t hit the ball very far off the tee – maybe 210, 220 at the most – but I can keep it on the short stuff. I also don’t hit many greens in regulation,” said Yahrling, 58, of Doylestown, Pa. “But what I do well is scramble. It’s all about the chipping and the overall short game for me. The goal was to card points on every hole, and that’s what I was able to do.”

  Collins, who found himself on the wrong side of the match of cards, took home the Chapman (Net) last year at Sand Barrens Golf Club, now known as Union League National Golf Club, where he collected 45 net points. This time, it was another’s time to shine.

   “If you look at my track record at GAP events, there aren’t many memorable finishes. My GAP Locker will tell you that,” said Yahrling, previously a 22-year member at Indian Valley Country Club. “It’s the first time I’ve ever even placed in a GAP event, so it’s a great feeling to [win the trophy].”

  Wednesday’s heat played a major factor for most of the field. Temperatures reached a high of 96 degrees, with a “feels-like” temperature reading of 104 degrees. Despite that, the champion remained cool throughout.

   “I have experience playing in the heat, so it didn’t bother me too much today,” said Yahrling, a licensed mortgage broker . “We played a round at RiverCrest [Golf Club & Preserve] earlier this summer, and it felt like it was 114 degrees outside. Compared to that, today was a nice one.”

  In the three-player Women’s Flight, it was Spring Ford Country Club’s Karen Hilliard taking the top spot.

  Hilliard, playing as a 24 handicap in her second GAP appearance, fired a gross score of 93 translating to 39 Stableford points and the win.

   “Everything just clicked today,” said Hilliard, 52. “I’m very long off the tee, so with the yardages, I was able to take advantage. It definitely makes a difference when you’re closer to the green.”

  The Douglassville, Pa. resident has been playing serious golf for four years. It’s a goal of her to play more competitively. She says today’s trophy will only fuel that desire even more.

   “I just came out here to gain experience playing in competitions. I figured it would be good to put myself in an event where I don’t know any of the players or the golf course in order to get that different experience,” she said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. It was a good time.”

  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.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 260 Member Clubs and 75,000 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.

Overall
Name, club Points
*Michael Yahrling, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 44
*Hank Collins, Philadelphia Publinks GA 44
Francis Tan, Medford Lakes Country Club 42
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf & Country Club 42
Basil Gilfillian, Little Mill Country Club 40
Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club 39
Jerry Maxwell, Jr., Five Ponds Golf Club 38
Sev Panossian, Golf Course at Glen Mills 37
James Nesbitt, Merion Golf Club 37
Murray Felzer, White Manor Country Club 36
Zoltan Varga, The Springhaven Club 36
Gary Crompton, Limekiln Golf Club 35
Gil Golding, Commonwealth National Golf Club 35
Edward Osciak, Jr., Loch Nairn Golf Club 35
William Choy, Flourtown Country Club 34
Kenneth Dazen, Medford Village Country Club 34
Michael Kyle, Talamore Country Club 34
Mick Dunphy, Flourtown Country Club 33
Gerry McCloy, Flourtown Country Club 31
Frank Petrecco, Yardley Country Club 31
Ed Kocher, LedgeRock Golf Club 30
Don Neill, Lu Lu Country Club 30
Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks GA 30
Frank Cook, Jr., McCall Golf & Country Club 29
Timothy Kiorpes, Lookaway Golf Club 29
Jess Jastrzembski, PineCrest Country Club 28
Shahab Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club 27
Richard Duryea, Flourtown Country Club 27
Brendan Burke, Flourtown Country Club 26
William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks GA 26
Joseph Viscuso, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 24
Douglas Mael, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 24
Jeff Romano, Valleybrook Country Club 18
James Miller, Makefield Highlands Golf Club WD
Joe Kelly, Deerwood Country Club WD
First Flight
Name, club Points
Francis Tan, Medford Lakes Country Club 42
Sev Panossian, Golf Course at Glen Mills 37
Murray Felzer, White Manor Country Club 36
Zoltan Varga, The Springhaven Club 36
Gary Crompton, Limekiln Golf Club 35
Gil Golding, Commonwealth National Golf Club 35
William Choy, Flourtown Country Club 34
Kenneth Dazen, Medford Village Country Club 34
Mick Dunphy, Flourtown Country Club 33
Gerry McCloy, Flourtown Country Club 31
Frank Petrecco, Yardley Country Club 31
Ed Kocher, LedgeRock Golf Club 30
Don Neill, Lu Lu Country Club 30
Shahab Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club 27
Richard Duryea, Flourtown Country Club 27
Joseph Viscuso, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 24
Jeff Romano, Valleybrook Country Club 18
James Miller, Makefield Highlands Golf Club WD
Second Flight
Name, club Points
Hank Collins, Philadelphia Publinks GA 44
Michael Yahrling, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 44
John O’Rourke, McCall Golf & Country Club 42
Basil Gilfillian, Little Mill Country Club 40
Mike Connell, The Springhaven Club 39
Jerry Maxwell, Jr., Five Ponds Golf Club 38
James Nesbitt, Merion Golf Club 37
Edward Osciak, Jr., Loch Nairn Golf Club 35
Michael Kyle, Talamore Country Club 34
Timothy Joyce, Philadelphia Publinks GA 30
Frank Cook, Jr., McCall Golf & Country Club 29
Timothy Kiorpes, Lookaway Golf Club 29
Jess Jastrzembski, PineCrest Country Club 28
Brendan Burke, Flourtown Country Club 26
William Erskine, Philadelphia Publinks GA 26
Douglas Mael, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 24
Joe Kelly, Deerwood Country Club WD
Women’s Flight
Name, club Points
Karen Hilliard, Spring Ford Country Club 39
Alison Kellock, Flourtown Country Club 33
Charlotte Kocher, LedgeRock Golf Club 17
Stableford scoring
*-decided in match of cards (final six net scores)
WD-withdrawal