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Marston Cup: Doylestown

Finger takes Marston title at Doylestown

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – Matt Finger didn’t know much about Doylestown Country Club (par 72, 6,435 yards) before this season. Now, it’s become more than a friend — and winner’s circle host — to him.

Finger fired a 2-under 70 Monday to win the Marston Cup overall trophy, claiming the title by two strokes. A DuPont Country Club member, Finger bettered a field of 55 players aged between 40 to 54 years of age with a 10.0 Handicap Index or lower.

The first red number for the champion rolled in from 20 feet on No. 6 (par 4, 368 yards). That got things going, considering he missed four other birdie putts on Doylestown’s front side, all from 10 feet or closer.

“I definitely left a few out there on the front side, so that was disappointing,” said Finger, who finished with the day’s lone red number. “But then I got things started well right away on the back.”

That he did. On No. 10 (par 4, 365 yards), another 20 footer for birdie fell after a gap wedge from a fairway bunker found the putting surface. Another was jarred immediately after on No. 11 (par 4, 415 yards). A perfect sand wedge approach from 100 yards nestled to within two feet, leading to the tap-in 3.

Things were going smoothly into the red until Finger found disaster on No. 14 off the tee. He bombed his drive, but it found a small patch of reeds on the left side. His third shot was placed behind a tree, and then eventually a three putt ended the par-5, 499-yarder with a double bogey.

“You’re going to have one or two bad breaks like that each round. It’s just how you manage it,” said Finger. “Luckily I was able to bounce back from it in a big way.”

Always bounce back.

Finger’s birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 380 yards) dropped from 10 feet helped him do just that. Then, on Doylestown’s finisher (par 5, 519 yards), the shot of the day came from 225 yards out. With a 3-hybrid in hand, Finger pummeled one onto the green and two putted for a clutch birdie to end at 2-under par, good enough for the victory.

Originally set for Aug. 13, the first Marston Cup date was washed out after inclement weather abruptly swept through the Doylestown area that morning. The club, who recently hosted the GAP Open Oct. 5-6, generously offered the reschedule date — hence today’s Oct. 19 appointment.

“I only got three holes in on the original date. We actually got stuck in the maintenance shed for over an hour due to the rain and lightning,” recalled Finger.

He grew closer to Doylestown a few weeks back in his GAP Open appearance. Finger carded a 5-over 77 in the first round of the Open before withdrawing due to a commitment in the Metropolitan Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship, where he’d go on to finish tied for runner-up. Despite that up-and-down round, he says that experience helped him tremendously this time around, propelling him to a major Marston moment.

“That was critial to today’s success, definitely,” said Finger, 43, of Wilmington Del. “I was able to kind of know where to miss today, and there were some similar pin positions that I knew where to attack. And I definitely knew you couldn’t miss it above the hole.”

The Marston win tops a recent stretch of strong performances by Finger. In addition to the MGA Mid-Am runner-up finish, he placed tied for ninth in the GAP Middle-Amateur Championship at LedgeRock Golf Club

“I’ve kind of hit my groove here lately,” said Finger. “I’ve got my swing down and I feel good about my game.”

Nothing speaks more to Finger’s self confidence than today’s prestigious trophy claim.

The Marston Cup honors Max Marston. For four months in the summer of 1923, Marston was America’s best amateur golfer. Between mid-May and mid-September, Marston was virtually unstoppable through a series of club, state, national and international events.

It began with the Walker Cup Matches, where Marston won two matches as the Americans successfully retained the Cup. Marston returned home to capture the Patterson Cup and Amateur Championship in successive weeks and, in doing so, earned the Silver Cross Award. In July, he took the Pennsylvania Amateur title and finished as low amateur in the Golf Association of Philadelphia Open. In September, Marston traveled to Floosmoor Country Club outside Chicago, Ill. for the U.S. Amateur. He rallied in the second round to defeat tournament favorite Bob Jones, 2&1, before knocking off Francis Ouimet in the semifinals. He stopped defending champion Jess Sweetser in the final on the 38th hole. In that four month span, he also captured the Merion Cricket Club championship and Pine Valley Golf Club’s Crump Cup.

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.

Overall
Name, clubScore
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club70
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club72
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club73
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club74
Dan Ayars, Running Deer Golf Club75
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club75
Matthew Scriff, Steel Club75
Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club76
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Danny Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Chris Meares, Sakima Country Club77
Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club78
Rob Johnson, Steel Club78
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club78
Kevin Turner, Llanerch Country Club78
Eric Dahl, Five Ponds Golf Club79
Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Pete Moran, Whitford Country Club79
Steve Oh, Running Deer Golf Club79
Brian Fisher, Spring Ford Country Club79
Eric Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club79
David LaRosa, Cedarbrook Country Club80
Jeff Long, Riverton Country Club80
Ken Matt, Talamore Country Club81
Mark Czerniakowski, LuLu Country Club82
Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club82
Phillip Damico, McCall Golf Club82
Michael Kandravi, Llanerch Country Club82
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Brian Brannigan, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club83
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club84
Bill Kane, Old York Road Country Club84
Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club85
John Puskar, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club85
Jesse Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club86
Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club86
Michael Sanfrancesco, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club87
Arabinda Behura, Dauphin Highlands Golf Club87
Steve Nafranowicz, Talamore Country Club87
Jules Quinones, Blue Bell Country Club87
Jim Sherma, Hershey Country Club87
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club88
Bernard McCole, The Bucks Club88
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club89
Brian Alling, Blue Bell Country Club91
Scott Bracken, Medford Village Country Club91
Mark Chelak, Talamore Country Club93
John Riviezzo, Cobbs Creek Golf Club94
Timothy Hatter, Five Ponds Golf Club96
Erik Ervin, DuPont Country ClubDNF
Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf ClubNS
Jim Gallagher, Running Deer Golf ClubWD
Dan Chernosky, Towanda Country ClubWD
Flight One (2 and lower Handicap Index)Score
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club70
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club72
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club73
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club74
Dan Ayars, Running Deer Golf Club75
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket Club75
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club75
Matthew Scriff, Steel Club75
Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club76
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Danny Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Chris Meares, Sakima Country Club77
Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club78
Rob Johnson, Steel Club78
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club78
Eric Dahl, Five Ponds Golf Club79
Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Pete Moran, Whitford Country Club79
Steve Oh, Running Deer Golf Club79
Ken Matt, Talamore Country Club81
Mark Czerniakowski, LuLu Country Club82
Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club82
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club84
Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club85
Michael Sanfrancesco, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club87
Dan Chernosky, Towanda Country ClubWD
Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf ClubNS
Flight Two (2.1 and higher Handicap Index)Score
Kevin Turner, Llanerch Country Club78
Brian Fisher, Spring Ford Country Club79
Eric Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club79
David LaRosa, Cedarbrook Country Club80
Jeff Long, Riverton Country Club80
Phillip Damico, McCall Golf Club82
Michael Kandravi, Llanerch Country Club82
Brian Brannigan, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club83
Bill Kane, Old York Road Country Club84
John Puskar, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club85
Jesse Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club86
Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club86
Arabinda Behura, Dauphin Highlands Golf Club87
Steve Nafranowicz, Talamore Country Club87
Jules Quinones, Blue Bell Country Club87
Jim Sherma, Hershey Country Club87
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club88
Bernard McCole, The Bucks Club88
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club89
Brian Alling, Blue Bell Country Club91
Scott Bracken, Medford Village Country Club91
Mark Chelak, Talamore Country Club93
John Riviezzo, Cobbs Creek Golf Club94
Timothy Hatter, Five Ponds Golf Club96
DNF – did not finish; NS – no show; WD – withdrawal