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#VirtualGAPMatches: Week 1

Winners new and old highlight online race

The inaugural — and hopefully only, for humanity’s sake — edition of the BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches received the response anticipated by its organizers.

At least one person voted.

| Week 1 results |

All kidding aside (for now), Week One of the BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches generated a favorable response from a community quarantined due to COVID-19. A points-allocation system based on votes determined Division AA victors in each section. More than 22,000 ballots stuffed the boxes.

The likes of mainstays such as Llanerch Country Club, Overbrook Golf Club and Tavistock Country Club all posted victories to keep the Playoff promise as bright as Carole Baskin’s cat clothing. LuLu Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club 1, two of the paper favorites given physical and digital makeup, pounded the social media pavement to the Week One winner’s circle as well.

Now, an inaugural event doesn’t present a defending champion per se. But Huntingdon Valley Country Club, by virtue of its triumph in the actual BMW GAP Team Matches a year ago, gets priority ink here. It defeated Aronimink Golf Club, 24–12, in Week One of online action.

“We couldn’t be happier with the result,” Dan Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley’s captain, said. “It goes to show that hard work at your keyboard pays off just as much as hard work on the driving range. I hope our typing talents as a team continue to shine in Week Two.”

College cancellations paid dividends for Huntingdon Valley. Once Temple University’s spring season fell by the wayside, the McGrath brothers — Conor (sophomore) and Liam (redshirt junior) — returned home and became eligible to compete. Hence 3.5 points in Huntingdon Valley’s pocket. Add another five from the Isztwan brothers, Brian and Patrick, at home.

“I think the brotherly bragging rights played in our favor. It’s clear that both the Isztwan brothers and McGrath brothers tried to one-up each other in votes,” Pinciotti said. “It helped us in the long run. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Vince Kwon and Sean Seese, who both earned three points apiece for us at home. Well done gents.”

Covered the old (a record-33 titles brand Huntingdon Valley as Father Time in Team Matches lore), onto the new. How about Division AA rookie Hartefeld National reeling off a Week One win? It overcame Northeastern Pennsylvania’s finest in Glenmaura National Golf Club, 20.5–15.5.

“It’s a good thing it’s the BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches. We feel that we have a strong presence on social media,” Brandon Raihl, Hartefeld National’s captain, said. “All of the winter golf we played maybe gave us an edge, too.”

Since he couldn’t physically bestow Hartefeld’s MVP crown (social distancing, folks), Raihl gave a virtual shoutout to Mike Walker, who, playing in the No. 1 spot at home, posted two points in an upset win over nine-time AGA/GAP Men’s Player of the Year Eric Williams. A recent addition to Mark Agnew’s family inspired a surprising tie with Glenmaura National’s Stephen Hudacek, III, the 2011 BMW Philadelphia Amateur runner-up.

“He and his family just welcomed a baby this year, so I think that, for some reason, gave him more responsibility. It’s clearly carried over into his golf game,” Raihl said.

Is a Week Two victory over votes vacuum LuLu in the cards? That depends on communication at the club level.

“Our head professional (Eric Williams; a different one) sent an email to the membership about the BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches. Too bad it was after the deadline for Week One,” Raihl said. “We should have more people on board for voting in Week Two. We’ll need it against LuLu.”

The BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches now needs votes on Week Two matchups. The more it receives, the closer it gets to social media stardom amid COVID-19. Use the hashtag #VirtualGAPMatches on your campaign pins.

Hey, if Tiger King can become a craze, then so can the BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches. Maybe.

Week 1 results

Section 1

LuLu 21, Running Deer 15

Hartefeld 20.5, Glenmaura 15.5

Section 2

LedgeRock 19.5, Cricket 2 16.5

Cricket 1 23.5, Little Mill 12.5

Section 3

Overbrook 21.5, Old York Road 14.5

Tavistock 18.5, Whitemarsh Valley 17.5

Section 4

Huntingdon Valley 24, Aronimink 12

Llanerch 27.5, Commonwealth 8.5

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.