BRYN MAWR, Pa. – After carding a team score of 1-under-par 279, the local squad from Overbrook GC lapped the field to top the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Team Championship Qualifier at Overbrook GC (par 70, 6,558 yards) Monday.
Overbrook GC’s Chris Lange, 2008 Warner Cup Champion Andy Thompson, Oscar Mestre, Jr., Mark Endres, Frank McFadden and 2007 Senior POY Ray Thompson rode their home-course knowledge to card the best four-round total of the day and surpass the field by an astounding 11 strokes.
Defending Team Champion Yardley CC (290), 2008 GAP Team Matches Champion Tavistock CC (299) and Whitford CC (303) rounded out the qualifiers for the Championship set to take place on June 26 at Wyoming Valley CC.
“It’s a huge advantage,” said Lange of playing on his home course. “The course is in great shape. It’s firm, fast and the greens are fast, so knowing where you don’t want to be and what you have to do is a big advantage.”
“It’s homer-land for us,” joked McFadden of his team’s success at their home track. “We’ve got about 45 years experience per guy in at least five out of six of our guys.”
“That’ll do it,” he said.
Ability also helped as the Overbrook squad posted the only sub-par rounds of the day in Lange’s 3-under-par 67 and Andy Thompson’s 2-under-par 68.
“Obviously playing at your home golf course, you know where you can miss shots so you have a certain comfort level,” said Mestre, who carded a 1-over-par 71. “But there can also be a little more pressure because it’s your own course, especially if you get a little bit behind the eight ball.”
However, that pressure did not seem to affect the Overbrook team, who now goes for it’s 15th Team Championship since 1949, as most of their players stayed out of trouble under the beautiful weather conditions.
“I pretty much kept control of the ball all day long,” Lange said. “I made a couple putts that you want to make in that five-foot range and made a couple birdies.”
Lange started his day on No. 10 (par 3, 179 yards) with birdie after knocking a 7-iron 15-ft past the hole and draining the right-to-left breaking putt. And after a bogey on the next hole (No. 11, par 4, 439 yards), Lange quickly got back into red numbers with a birdie on the par 5 12th hole (520 yards) and never looked back.
Before it was all over, the 53-year-old made two more birdies on hole Nos. 1 (par 4, 381 yards) and 4 (par 4, 434 yards) to finish as the individual leader in the clubhouse.
“The biggest factor for us is that we are all getting old,” Lange joked. “If we could overcome our age playing against these young guys, maybe we’ll have a chance in the Championship.”
Added Lange, “When you play in a team event in golf, it really is a team thing. You need good output from all of the guys playing.”
“We all enjoy the competition and the comradery,” said Mestre of playing alongside his club mates. “I think what makes us all better is that we have been around each other and that we’ve competed against one another for so long.”
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 136 Member Clubs and 56,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.
|Oscar Mestre, Jr.||71*|
|Failed to qualify|
|Huntingdon Valley CC||308|
|Dan Pinciotti Jr.||79*|
|Robert Galbreath Jr||76*|
|The Springhaven Club||308|
|James Denon, Jr.||85|
|Mr. Michael Hodges||81|
|Mercer Oaks GC||311|
|Greate Bay CC||313|
|Robert de Rojas||77*|
|Glen Oak CC||317|
|Joseph Grubb, III||86*|
|Mr. Mike Book||96|
|Olde York CC||318|
|P. Chet Walsh||76*|
|Brookside CC of Allentown||324|
|Mr. Tim Nagle||78*|
|Mr. Robert Della Sala||88|
*-denotes score counted; WD-withdrawal