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Players Series at Jericho National

Cass, McMonagle top Players Series at Jericho

| Scorecards |

NEW HOPE, Pa. – Four players found future opportunity Monday at the first-ever GAP Players Series event.

In the first of three Players Series events, Ryan Cass of Hidden Creek Golf Club and Sean McMonagle of Tavistock Country Club topped a 73-player field of future GAP Major hopefuls. Cass and McMonagle each fired 1-under rounds of 71 to earn a share of the event’s top-spot medal at Jericho National Golf Club (par 72, 6,840 yards).

Also earning exemptions via today’s event were Liam Hart of Spring Mill Country Club and Ryan Gelrod of Philadelphia Cricket Club, who each carded even-par 72s.

The fortunate four earned exemptions into next year’s GAP Middle-Amateur Championship (if 25 years or older), BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and Joseph H. Patterson Cup. Players are eligible to compete in only one Players Series event. In addition, those who compete in a 2020 GAP Major will not be eligible to play in a Players Series event. The final two Players Series events include a July 21 date at French Creek Golf Club, followed by July 29 at Green Valley Country Club.

Cass utilized an electric front nine — a 4-under start — that ignited his round. His first red number came on the club’s opener (par 5, 559 yards) after a perfect drive was followed by a 250-yard approach that just found the right rough. A 20-foot chip nestled up and led to birdie. The next arrived on No. 3 (par 4, 363 yards) where Cass dropped a 20 footer for birdie.

A string of three birdies rounded out Cass’ fabulous front nine. He two-putted for birdie on No. 7 (par 5, 523 yards), lipped out for eagle on No. 8 (par 4, 280 yards) after finding the green with 4-wood, and dropped a 20-foot curler on No. 9 (par 4, 435 yards) after a 5-iron approach. That birdie streak would feature the last red numbers of the day for Cass.

“After the front nine, I was thinking, just try and go low. Try to shoot something crazy,” said Cass, a former Rutgers University-Camden player. “And then, unfortunately there on the back nine, I definitely found some issues with my game.”

It was when that mindset clicked on that trouble brewed. Bogeys on Nos. 10, 14 and 17 showed up on the card, but when all was said and done, the damage wasn’t enough to bump Cass out of the top spot or exempt status.

“I just got a little loose and made some bad mistakes. I lost a ball off the tee on No. 17, but was able to make birdie on my second ball which was big. At the end, I was just trying to get in the house under par, and I was able to do that,” said Cass, 31, of Lawnside, N.J.

McMonagle, playing in one of the day’s first twosomes, posted the early benchmark number at 71. His round included five birdies with a plethora of perfected wedge shots, leading to short, converted putts, featuring numerous two-foot tap ins. Those came on Nos. 4 (par 4, 400 yards), 6 (par 4, 390 yards), 9, 13 (par 4, 401 yards) and 17 (par 5, 510 yards).

Tavistock’s Sean McMonagle

“I really mostly had kick-in birdies. The longest birdie putt I think I had was a 12 footer. My wedges were really working,” said McMonagle, 37, of Merchantville, N.J. “I’ve never played here before today, so I kind of told myself I just needed to show up and play my own game. I’ve been playing well lately, and I just qualified for the New Jersey State Amateur Championship last week, so it was good to keep that going today.”

McMonagle says he targeted today’s Players Series event immedietaly upon hearing of it. Exemptions or not, the chance to compete was enticing enough.

“Right now, with [COVID-19] going on, I think it’s really important to be fully understanding. Many things were cancelled, and with [GAP Majors] qualifying being gone, I’m just happy to be out here and get this chance. I’m glad I was able to make the most of it,” he said. “I definitely didn’t take it for granted with everything else going on.”

Both medalists noted these future exemptions will offer a chance at a highly successful season in 2021 on the course, plus crucial schedule openings and flexibility.

“In a way, I feel like I was almost more nervous today than some of the GAP Majors I’ve played in because I wanted to be exempt moving forward. It makes work easier logistically, and really just makes everything a lot easier,” said Cass. “When I saw the Players Series, I was incredibly excited. GAP did a phenomenal job today putting the event on. It was great to be out here.”

“You know, [2021] will probably be the first year I don’t have to worry about looking where I’m going to try to qualify, so it really opens up the schedule up. I won’t have to worry as much about setting golf trips and vacations up. I’ll be able to get more family time in, which will be really nice,” said McMonagle, who finished tied for 14th in last year’s GAP Middle-Amateur Championship at Rolling Green Golf Club. “The Players Series is just a fantastic idea overall.”

While four Players Series players punched tickets into GAP Majors already, more opportunity awaits. Registration is still open for the final two GAP Players Series events. Register here for the French Creek event (July 21), and here for the Green Valley event (July 29).

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.

Qualifiers 
Name, clubScore
Ryan Cass, Hidden Creek Golf Club71
Sean McMonagle, Tavistock Country Club71
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Liam Hart, Spring Mill Country Club72
Failed to qualify 
Dominic Foti, Yardley Country Club73
Thomas Weir, Honeybrook Golf Club73
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club74
Kevin Karabin, Glen Oak Country Club74
Greg DeLuca, Trenton Country Club75
Michael Winter, Seaview Country Club75
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club76
Mark Czerniakowski, LuLu Country Club76
Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club76
Phil Formica, Yardley Country Club77
Brian Gardner, Philadelphia Publinks77
Brad McFadden, Merion Golf Club77
Ryan Orcutt, Green Pond Country Club77
Christian Deussing, Jericho National Golf Club78
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club78
Scott McLaughlin, LuLu Country Club78
Brad Mills, Wedgwood Country Club78
Alex Seelig, Reading Country Club78
Daniel Tennekoon, Makefield Highlands Golf Club78
Ryan Barnett, The ACE Club79
Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield79
Jordan Cooper, Woodcrest Country Club79
Kent Dolby, Jr., Waynesborough Country Club79
Jeff Shockley, Makefield Highlands Golf Club79
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club79
Sal Cucinotti, Talamore Country Club80
Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek Country Club80
Billy Reube, Huntingdon Valley Country Club80
Lodie Von Tonder, Sakima Country Club80
Jeff Wood, Wedgwood Country Club81
Ryan Borrmann, Five Ponds Golf Club81
Salvatore Galati, Woodcrest Country Club81
Joseph Rueter, Sandy Run Country Club81
Michael Lewers, Aronimink Golf Club82
Brendan Mahoney, Philadelphia Cricket Club82
Matthew Massott, Woodcrest Country Club82
Adam Usher, Medford Lakes Country Club82
Dan Hinckley, Northampton Country Club83
David Levine, Makefield Highlands Golf Club83
Mike May, Jeffersonville Golf Club83
Regan Papariello, St. Davids Golf Club83
Zach Paris, Penn Oaks Golf Club83
Nate Pierce, Spring Ford Country Club83
Christopher Pitts, Tavistock Country Club83
Ian Zang, Makefield Highlands Golf Club83
Jack Kearns, Trenton Country Club84
Matthew Law, Jericho National Golf Club84
Shane Nocito, Yardley Country Club84
Gary Roberts, LuLu Country Club84
Matt Crawford, Spring Mill Country Club85
Tom DiCinti, Philadelphia Publinks85
James Gavaghan, Commonwealth National Golf Club85
Ryan Jones, Northampton Valley Country Club86
Andrew Kuhn, Makefield Highlands Golf Club86
Jacob Liberman, Radnor Valley Country Club86
Tom Eisenhower, Westwood Golf Club87
Scott Brody, Golden Pheasant Golf Course88
Matt Crilley, Steel Club89
Eric Shenyo, White Clay Creek Country Club90
Paul Stewart, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale90
Albert McFadden, Valley Country Club92
Matt Barkann, The 1912 Club93
Dick Beck, Blue Bell Country Club93
Bradford Rogers, Philmont Country Club94
Joe Rooney, Medford Lakes Country Club96
Chuck Kuntz, Overbrook Golf Club101
Chris Binder, Riverwinds Golf ClubWD
Phillip Damico, McCall Golf ClubWD
Kevin Hilton, Spring Mill Country ClubWD
WD – withdrawal