PREVIEW: 116th #GAPOpen at Doylestown - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Oct 02, 2020

PREVIEW: 116th #GAPOpen at Doylestown

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116th Open set for dazzling Doylestown

A venue switch means a Major moment for the 116th GAP Open Championship’s new home.

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The #GAPOpen tees off at Doylestown Country Club, Oct. 5-6. The William Flynn design, hosting its first GAP Major, will offer a true test of par-72 championship golf for the Open field of 27 amateurs and 38 professionals.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAP canceled qualifying altogether, thus making the Open Championship invitation-only. Originally set for Galloway National Golf Club, the Open was moved to Doylestown in the wake of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Participants are permitted to use single-rider carts for transportation. Caddies and spectators (exceptions apply here) are prohibited.

The guaranteed purse for professionals is $10,000.

Although the club has hosted 25 GAP championships over its 104 years of existence, Doylestown’s first GAP Major week will begin Monday. It’s an honor the club and its membership is accepting with open arms, even on short notice.

“It’s a great thing for the club. Due to all of its history, everyone here at Doylestown is excited for hosting next week,” said Travis Deibert, Doylestown’s Head Professional of two seasons. “We’re through the roof about it. Testing the golf course against an elite field of amateurs and professionals, it’s something we’re prepping very seriously for.”

Under the watch of first-year Superintendent Greg Marsala, the course itself has been playing “fantastic, firm and fast” for most of the season. Depending on rain and wind totals leading up to the GAP Open, “it will be a treat to see how the course holds up.”

“Testing the golf course against an elite field of amateurs and professionals, it’s something we’re prepping very seriously for.”

“The scoring itself will depend on the conditions. We’ve had the rough a little higher than usual this season. I expect the scores to be fairly low overall, but you never know,” said Deibert, 46, of Pipersville, Pa. “All of the par 5s are mostly reachable, but then again, we do have small greens and a fairly tight golf course. We’re excited to see the true test it puts up.”

Deibert, the low professional in the 2012 GAP Open at Pine Valley Golf Club, will be teeing off in the first round’s last twosome at 1:30 p.m.

“For me, being a part of the field at [my home club], that’s really cool. I’ve played in quite a few of Opens over the years. It’s great to be a part of such a dynamic event,” said Deibert.

Not only will Deibert be taxed with competing against GAP’s best pros, but also its amazing amateurs, who have won nine of the past 10 Open titles. Pine Valley’s Jeff Osberg, the defending champion, is looking to etch his name on a third Open trophy. In 2016, he defeated Christopher Crawford in a four-hole aggregate playoff at The Ridge at Back Brook. Osberg carded rounds of 67 and 68 to prevail by two strokes a year ago at Huntingdon Valley Country Club.

“I’ve only played Doylestown one time. I actually tried to play up there a few years ago with Travis, but had to rush out of there and only got to see three holes or so,” said Osberg, 36, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “For me, the GAP Open is always an interesting one. I grew up caddying in it for my Dad when he was playing as a professional. Now, for me, it’s just another GAP Major that I try to focus on every season. Especially playing against a great field of both pros and amateurs.”

Osberg is fresh off a GAP Middle-Amateur Championship victory at LedgeRock Golf Club — a win which helped him complete the career GAP Major grand slam. William Hyndman, III Player of the Year implications will also be on the line at Doylestown. Osberg enters the week with 682.5 points. Zach Barbin of Loch Nairn Golf Club, this year’s BMW Philadelphia Amateur and Joseph H. Patterson Cup winner, sits close behind with 670 points.

“I think I do a great job of not getting ahead of myself. Priority number one is just to put myself in position after the first round to have a chance at winning. This past week at the [Middle-Amateur] is an example of that,” said Osberg, who carded a first-round 71 followed by a scorching second-round 68 last week at LedgeRock.

Osberg tees off at 9 a.m. alongside fellow former Open champion (2018) Billy Stewart of The ACE Club. Barbin will get things started at 10:40 a.m.

Other past winners in the field include Matthew Teesdale of The 1912 Club (2014); Andrew Mason of Huntingdon Valley (2011-12); Rich Steinmetz of Spring Ford Country Club (2009); David Quinn of Laurel Creek Country Club (2006); Brian Kelly of Bucknell Golf Club (2003, 2000) and Stuart Ingraham of MGOLF Driving Range & Learning Facility (1994).

For the second straight year, Ashley Grier, an assistant professional at Overbrook Golf Club, will compete. In 2019, she became the first female to vie in the Open Championship since Kimberly Verrecchio (2004).

GAP Hall of Famer R. Jay Sigel holds the most Open titles at six. He won all of those as an amateur.

Connect with the Open Championship via GAP’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Use #GAPOpen when posting.

The media is welcome to attend. Contact Martin D. Emeno, Jr., GAP Director of Operations, at 610-687-2340 ext. 27 or via email at in advance for information regarding protocols.


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.

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