Mr. Smith goes to a GAP Major
William Smith’s wanted to take a stab at a GAP Major since Chambersburg Country Club, his home of 20 years, joined the Association three years ago. He just needed the schedule stars to align.
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They finally did Tuesday when Joseph H. Patterson Cup Qualifying presented by Provident Bank descended upon Frosty Valley (par 72, 6,876 yards). Smith made the most of his first attempt, carding a 3-over-par 75 to earn medalist honors and one of three qualifying spots and ties available.
The cut line stopped at 4-over-par 76. Blue Bell Country Club’s Buddy Hansen and Irem Country Club’s Jonathan Wilson also advanced.
The 119th Joseph H. Patterson Cup presented by Provident Bank will take place Aug. 4-5 at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club.
“That was a heck of a test today, and the scores were indicative of it,” Smith, 52, of Newville, Pa., said. “The course was in great shape, but wow. Some pins were just tucked, and it just kind of played mind games with you. It was tough out there.”
Smith, seeing Frosty Valley for the first time, admittedly “hung on” thanks to caddie and good friend Bobby Martin. And to the pairing, Mark Czerniakowski of LuLu Country Club and Ian Masenheimer of Lehigh Country Club.
“We were all playing pretty well. Mark and Ian were 1 over on the front nine, and I was 3 over. The back nine sort of snuck up on Mark and Ian. I’m just happy to get through,” Smith, who won the Pennsylvania Golf Association Middle-Amateur Championship in 2008, said.
An unscathed inward tour — a birdie against a bogey — did the trick. On No. 12 (par 3, 166 yards), Smith tugged his 7-iron and missed a 12-footer to save par. He overshadowed that miscue with a birdie on No. 14 (par 4, 397 yards), where he hit a 9-iron 140 yards to 18 feet below the hole location.
Smith, a sales representative for Ashley Furniture, is two weeks removed from competing in the U.S. Senior Open at Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Neb. He missed the cut with rounds of 76 and 78.
“The guys out there were the guys I grew up watching and idolizing. Legends of the game. Talking to them, hitting balls with them, picking their brain … it was such an incredible experience,” Smith said. “I played a practice round with Jim Furyk, who’s a friend of mine. Of course, he ultimately won the tournament. I knew he was going to be tough. It was a privilege to be there. Now I want to keep doing it.”
Smith will now get a chance to sharpen his national championship pedigree among GAP’s brightest stars at Manufacturers’.
“If I can obviously get on the green and make it about putting, then I feel confident. I’m a pretty darn good putter,” Smith said. “Fairways, greens and let’s get putts to the hole and give it a shot.”
Joseph H. Patterson Cup
The second oldest Championship in GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia), the Joseph H. Patterson Cup memorializes a man who fostered the game in its infancy. Joseph Henry Patterson, a Philadelphia Cricket Club member, competed in the first out-of-town match played by a team of Philadelphians. Friends of Patterson donated the Cup, designed by J.E. Caldwell & Co., to the Association in 1900.
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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|William Smith, Chambersburg Country Club||75|
|Buddy Hansen, Blue Bell Country Club||76|
|Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club||76|
|Failed to qualify|
|Mark Czerniakowski, LuLu Country Club||78|
|Joseph Grad, Country Club of Scranton||78|
|Jay Pagana, Susquehanna Valley Country Club||81|
|Jesse Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||85|
|Blake Reifsnyder, Honeybrook Golf Club||85|
|Ian Masenheimer, Lehigh Country Club||86|
|Brian Trymbiski, Doylestown Country Club||86|
|Eamon Evans, Glenmaura National Golf Club||WD|
|WD – withdrawal|