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Team Championship Qualifying: Philmont

Philadelphia Cricket tops Team Qualifying

HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. — A Marty-Marty interaction illustrates a captain’s passion for his team.

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During Round One of the 119th Joseph H. Patterson Cup presented by Provident Bank, Marty McGuckin approached Marty Emeno, Jr., GAP Director of Operations, with a burning question. The Philadelphia Cricket Club member wanted to know the fate of Team Championship Qualifying, which was postponed June 8 due to severe weather.

Emeno assured McGuckin that the event would indeed see the light of day. So McGuckin marked his calendar for Aug. 27 at Philmont Country Club (par 70, 6,658 yards) and delivered on his desire to play. He carded a 1-under-par 69 to lead Philadelphia Cricket Club in Team Championship Qualifying Friday.

Old York Road Country Club’s Ryan Beck and LedgeRock Golf Club’s Michael Weinert shared individual medalist honors at 4-under-par 66. On the wings of Weinert’s heroics, LedgeRock advanced to the Championship proper, which will take place Sept. 30 within its confines.

LedgeRock joins Philadelphia Cricket, Huntingdon Valley Country Club and LuLu Country Clubat the title table. The low four of six scores count toward the team total.

“Obviously, we didn’t win the BMW GAP Team Matches this year, and to me and a lot of the guys at the club, that’s something that we value. The Team Championship is an extension or a second version of the Team Matches,” McGuckin, 23, of Valley Forge, Pa., said. “There are a lot of guys at our club who really value team golf. This is the one tournament of the year, aside from the Team Matches, that we’re able to do that. I’ve never played [in the Championship proper], but everyone says it’s the best day in golf. I’m looking forward to it.”

After missing a 10-footer for par on No. 11 (par 3, 228 yard), McGuckin surged forward on behalf of the Cricketeers. He hammered a 6-iron 204 yards to 15 feet above the hole location on No. 12 (par 5, 495 yards). Two putts translated into a birdie. He nearly holed out for eagle on No. 15 (par 4, 420 yards) with wedge from 95 yards. A kick-in birdie thereafter moved McGuckin to even. On the downhill par 3, 181-yard 17th hole, he buried a 25-footer for birdie after targeting an 8-iron flag-high left.

“This is course is one where you have to really kept it in play off the tee. If you don’t, then you’re either in trees, bunkers or long grass,” McGuckin, who saw Philmont for the first time Friday, said. “My goal was to give myself as many birdie opportunities as I could. On the back nine, I happened to roll a couple of them in.”

McGuckin also happened to call the right clubmate last night. Needing a last-minute replacement for Cricket’s team, he reached out to U.S. Amateur Four-Ball partner Scott Storck — “a fill-in for a fill-in.”

Storck and his wife Kristen welcomed their second child, Will, 16 days ago.

“I wasn’t really in a great state of mind. I had a terrible range session. I didn’t get great sleep,” Storck, 51, of Blue Bell, Pa., said. “But for these team competitions, for whatever reason, I’ve played OK in the past. It’s just about not making a big mistake to hurt your team. I didn’t beat Marty, though, so I’m bummed about that.”

Certainly not bummed about aiding Cricket’s championship prospects. Storck, as well as Robby Walizer, carded respective even-par 70s. Poetic that Storck fields a phone call from McGuckin moments after his score became final.

“Enjoy the rest of your day, and good job,” Storck told his compatriot.

Michael Weinert

A Storck phone call is perfect here. His brother Chris, who served as LedgeRock’s team captain, needed a fourth to round out his team. So, he made a (sort of) long distance phone call last night.

“I guess Chris was watching me on the leaderboard [in U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying on Monday at Carlisle Country Club]. He called me and said, ‘By chance, can you come down and play tomorrow?’ I said, ‘I guess,’” Weinert, 26, of Syosset, N.Y., said. Weinert missed the cut by three strokes at Carlisle.

An indifferent Weinert departed at 5:15 a.m. Two-plus hours later, he arrived at Philmont for the first time. Weinert played like a cagey club veteran, not a wide-eyed newcomer.

“My putting was pretty solid today,” Weinert, who works as a caddie at Meadow Brook Club in Jericho, N.Y., said. “If my irons are off, basically my whole game is off. But luckily, my irons were pretty solid. They were my go-to.”

Weinert opened with a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 392 yards), where a punch 8-iron from 149 yards out of the left rough stopped 15 feet above the flagstick. He knocked a 9-iron to two feet for another birdie on No. 3 (par 3, 161 yards). Weinert continued to command Philmont’s par 3s. On No. 8 (par 3, 131 yards), he hit a 50-degree wedge to 22 feet for birdie. He sent a 5-iron to 11 feet above the hole location on the 11th hole (228 yards) for another 2. Weinert inked his final birdie on No. 14 (par 4, 445 yards), where he drilled a 9-iron 162 yards to 14 feet.

Weinert is relatively new to the competitive circuit. He recently started participating in Metropolitan Golf Association events. Weinert also played collegiately for Lehigh-Carbon Community College. He travels to LedgeRock, where his family holds membership as well, twice a year.

“There are a lot of great people there. It’s a great atmosphere with a lot of great players,” Weinert said.

Weinert proved Friday that he’s one of LedgeRock’s great players. But such a notion induces an unexpected laugh.

“It’s been a work in progress,” Weinert said. “It’s a long road. My game’s starting to finally click.”

Beck’s game kept clicking at Philmont. Two weeks removed from capturing his third men’s championship at Old York Road, he inked 31 (4 under) on his inward tour Friday to tie the medalist mark.

“I was really steady off the tee. My ball-striking was really good. I caught fire on the back nine and made some birdies,” Beck, 34, of Ambler, Pa., said. “My game’s been pretty good. Things started clicking in the club championship. Obviously, it’s continuing.”

Team Championship Qualifying determines which four GAP Member Clubs will compete in the Team Championship. Participants must field at least six players to be eligible. The low four scores of each team make up the qualifying total. In the event of a tie, the fifth player’s score is used.

The Championship proper features eight-man teams playing an alternate shot format in the morning, with singles matches in the afternoon.

Philadelphia Cricket holds four titles (2013, 2015, 2018-19). The Team Championship was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 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.

Qualifiers
Philadelphia Cricket Club281
Mark Benevento73
*Taylor Kellog72
Marc Mandel75
*Marty McGuckin69
*Scott Storck70
*Robby Walizer70
LedgeRock Golf Club283
*Josh Anderson72
*Michael Weinert66
Luke FagleyNS
*Ross Pilliod73
Grant SkyllasNS
*Chris Storck72
LuLu Country Club287
*Michael R. Brown, Jr.73
*Christopher Clauson74
Scott McLaughlin82
*Ron Robinson68
John Simone76
*Jon Rusk72
Huntingdon Valley Country Club287
*Stephen Cerbara70
Jake Fazio77
*Cory Meyer75
Joe Perese76
*Sean Ryan70
*Sean Seese72
Failed to qualify
Little Mill Country Club289
*Zachary Falone70
*Jack Irons70
*Dan Keenan75
Vince KwonNS
Sean Sigall84
*Jack Sterbenz74
Riverton Country Club290
*Zach Arsenault76
*Andrew Bowers71
Robert Cummings79
*Beau Guarino73
*Chris Lawler70
Ben Litt77
Old York Road Country Club296
*Ryan Beck66
*Andrew Blasek77
*Erik Bowren76
Jim Rosenbaum81
*Jack Walsh77
Brian Wojtko80
Commonwealth National Golf Club297
*Brett Diakon72
*Kevin Lydon73
*Cesar Martinez73
Luke Marvin85
*Ken Sim78
Vince Varvolis78
DuPont Country Club299
*Brad Abel76
*Michael Boyle75
*Joe Dulka74
Ken Merritt90
*Steve Oh74
Mark Wachter77
Moorestown Field Club301
*Timothy Casale76
Brandon Davis90
*Jimmy Kramarski74
*Kevin Kramarski74
Garrett McVaugh86
*Eric Piro77
Running Deer Golf Club302
Tom Alestock85
*Stephen Barry74
Josh Bennett84
*Andy Kerestesy81
*Joseph Russo71
*Adam Usher76
The Springhaven Club306
Alex Barone93
*Paul Berg78
*Jared Brown73
*Nick Calabrese75
Matthew Hurchalla86
*Kevin Smith80
Mercer Oaks Golf Course307
*Brandon Capone77
*Ken Clayton79
*Mark Cubberley75
Ryan Luke84
Brian TrippNS
*Andrew Ward76
Wedgwood Country Club309
*Paul Bickford77
*Luis Diaz79
*James Gillespie74
*Jim Sellers79
Dan Smith89
Jeff Wood81
Whitford Country Club318
*Bruce Cowgill78
Chris Ellinger86
Jamie HarrellNS
*Andrew LaRosa83
*Charles Meadows77
*Steve Pallini80
Bala Golf Club319
*Lars Beck80
*Andrew Kelly86
*Thomas Kelly77
Brian Kreamer86
John Pagana86
*Nate Pillion76
Sakima Country Club319
John Burke85
*Rodney Dare84
*Chris Meares78
*Gilbert Moniz82
Matt Rieger86
*Lodie van Tonder75
* – counted toward team total; NS – no show