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Marston Cup: Yardley

Cricket’s Brennan bashes way to Marston Cup trophy at Yardley

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YARDLEY, Pa. – Philadelphia Cricket Club’s John Brennan just returned from a trip to Ireland where his game grew accustomed to a new style of golf. It was a trip for the ages spent traversing Old Head Golf Links.

By the time he arrived at the Marston Cup at Yardley Country Club (par 72, 6,250 yards), he hadn’t hit a golf ball since his last shot under Old Head’s 40 mile-per-hour windy conditions. It appears the luck of the Irish traveled back with him to the States, as Brennan fired a 1-under 71 Wednesday to win the Marston Cup title.

Brennan, who rode five birdies to the winner’s circle, bettered a field of 55 players aged between 40 to 54 years of age with a 10.0 Handicap Index or lower.

While the end result was triumphant, Brennan found himself 2 over after his first-five holes on American soil. After a 95-minute delay due to lightning began the field’s day, his links-influenced game needed a few strokes to “get back to the American style.” Searching for his game’s roots, Brennan recalled friendly advice from former Yardley basher Chris Ault, a regular on GAP Major leaderboards.

“I played with Chris in the [BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship], and he told me just to hit driver everywhere here. That’s when I decided to hit it the rest of the day, and I hit it awesome,” said Brennan, 40, of Collegeville, Pa.

The boom stick led the way on No. 6 (par 4, 310 yards), landing greenside, and led to a 10-foot birdie conversation after a nice chip on. A driver, 3-wood combination on No. 7 (par 5, 550 yards) meant a simple two-putt for the red number. The eventual champion made the turn at 1-over par.

Yardley’s second side was good to Brennan beginning early. On No. 10 (par 5, 550 yards), the successful driver, 3-wood recipe was again implemented and a 10-foot putt fell for the 4. On the back nine’s second par 5, the 490-yard 14th, Brennan tapped in for birdie after a 30-foot eagle attempt just missed. Four pars followed suit, but a bogey emerged on the long par-3, 195-yard 17th hole after Brennan failed to get up-and-down. Brennan returned to level par headed to the final tee.

“I thought I made the putt on No. 17,” said Brennan. “I somewhat knew where I stood because I checked after 13 holes. I knew [Cricket’s Ryan Gelrod] was in the clubhouse at even par, and I knew [Philadelphia Country Club’s P. Chet Walsh], who I was playing with, was playing well, too.

Just in time, Brennan’s driver was pulled. The booming strike landed on the front fringe on the 18th green (par 4, 305 yards), rolled past the cup and settled within 20 feet. His eagle look trickled down the green and just slid past the cup. His birdie bettered Walsh’s par, meaning Brennan was victorious as the lone player in the red.

Brennan, playing in the day’s last group, got the job done in his first year of eligibility. It’s been an event he’s had marked on his calendar for a few years now after hearing good things regarding the event’s atmosphere and playing field.

“I was excited to play in this one for awhile now. It’s a great group of guys, and we’re really out here to have a good time,” said Brennan, a Spring Ford High School social studies teacher and tennis coach. “No offense to anyone, but there’s no kids out here. It’s all guys just enjoying their rounds and playing good golf. If you’re hitting more than 15 balls at the driving range before your round, your probably doing something wrong.”

While Brennan’s Major win in the 2012 GAP Middle-Amateur Championship at Chester Valley Golf Club still sits atop his trophy case, the Marston win is just another addition to his growing collection of GAP hardware.

“Golf isn’t the end of the world. I had a very nice start to the season in the [William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings], and I may have played well in the Patterson Cup, but I decided to go on vacation with my wife to Old Head,” said Brennan, who skipped the #PattersonCup last week at Applebrook Golf Club. “But today was a nice day. I was really looking forward to it, and it was awesome.”

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
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club71
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club72
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club72
Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club73
Ronald Jamarowicz, White Clay Creek Country Club73
Dan Close, Woodcrest Country Club74
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club74
Ed Brown, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club75
Derek Schwendinger, Trenton Country Club75
Darran Cassar, Old York CC at Chesterfield76
Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf Club76
Andy Strock, Trenton Country Club76
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Mike Valentine, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club76
Peter Moran, Whitford Country Club77
George Petrellis, Commonwealth National Golf Club77
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club77
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club77
Michael Kandravi, Llanerch Country Club77
William Kane, Old York Road Country Club77
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club78
Vincent Totka, Old York CC at Chesterfield78
John Cyb, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club79
David Levine, Makefield Highlands Golf Club79
John Oliver, Mercer Oaks Golf Course79
Michael Reardon, Philmont Country Club79
Chris Schukay, Valleybrook Country Club79
Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club80
Michael Minter, Makefield Highlands Golf Club80
Brian Alling, Blue Bell Country Club80
Doug Borgerson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club80
Brian Fisher, Phoenixville Country Club80
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club80
David LaRosa, Cedarbrook Country Club81
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club82
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club83
Scott Radio, Olde Homestead Golf Club83
Thorne Ranieri, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Daniel Caparo, Cedarbrook Country Club84
Terrance Schmidt, Talamore Country Club84
Jason Kowalski, Yardley Country Club85
Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club85
Timothy Haberbusch, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Scott Bracken, Medford Village Country Club87
Jim Sherma, Hershey Country Club87
Daniel McManamon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club88
John Plumley, Tavistock Country Club88
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country Club89
Matthew Scriff, Steel Club90
Christopher Wagner, Mercer Oaks Golf Course90
David Smith, Cedarbrook Country Club91
Jian Zhang, Loch Nairn Golf Club97
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Keith Matt, Talamore Country ClubWD
Jim Gallagher, Running Deer Golf ClubWD
Justin Gohn, Concord Country ClubWD
Jay Nistad, Medford Village Country ClubWD
Stephen Northrup, Rolling Green Golf ClubWD
First Flight
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club71
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club72
Larry Benedetto, Concord Country Club73
Dan Close, Woodcrest Country Club74
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club74
Ed Brown, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club75
Derek Schwendinger, Trenton Country Club75
Darran Cassar, Old York CC at Chesterfield76
Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf Club76
Andy Strock, Trenton Country Club76
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Mike Valentine, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club76
Peter Moran, Whitford Country Club77
George Petrellis, Commonwealth National Golf Club77
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club77
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club77
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club78
Vincent Totka, Old York CC at Chesterfield78
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club79
David Levine, Makefield Highlands Golf Club79
John Oliver, Mercer Oaks Golf Course79
Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club80
Michael Minter, Makefield Highlands Golf Club80
David LaRosa, Cedarbrook Country Club81
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club82
Timothy Haberbusch, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Matthew Scriff, Steel Club90
Kevin Kelly, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Keith Matt, Talamore Country ClubWD
Jim Gallagher, Running Deer Golf ClubWD
Justin Gohn, Concord Country ClubWD
Jay Nistad, Medford Village Country ClubWD
Stephen Northrup, Rolling Green Golf ClubWD
Second Flight
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club72
Ronald Jamarowicz, White Clay Creek Country Club73
Michael Kandravi, Llanerch Country Club77
William Kane, Old York Road Country Club77
John Cyb, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
Michael Reardon, Philmont Country Club79
Chris Schukay, Valleybrook Country Club79
Brian Alling, Blue Bell Country Club80
Doug Borgerson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club80
Brian Fisher, Phoenixville Country Club80
Mark Hodgson, Medford Village Country Club80
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club83
Scott Radio, Olde Homestead Golf Club83
Thorne Ranieri, Rolling Green Golf Club83
Daniel Caparo, Cedarbrook Country Club84
Terrance Schmidt, Talamore Country Club84
Jason Kowalski, Yardley Country Club85
Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club85
Scott Bracken, Medford Village Country Club87
Jim Sherma, Hershey Country Club87
Daniel McManamon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club88
John Plumley, Tavistock Country Club88
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country Club89
Christopher Wagner, Mercer Oaks Golf Course90
David Smith, Cedarbrook Country Club91
Jian Zhang, Loch Nairn Golf Club97
WD – withdrawal