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Preview: 30th Philadelphia Challenge Matches

30th Philadelphia Challenge Matches set for Saucon’s Grace

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Coming off a second-consecutive win in 2021, the GAP team strives to make it three trophy raises in a row in the 30th Philadelphia Challenge Matches.

The annual Philadelphia Challenge Matches returns to Saucon Valley Country Club this week, as the honorary team event tees off Oct. 18 on the glorious Grace course.

The Matches pits two 12-man teams, including two senior contestants (55 years or older), from the Golf Association of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Section of the PGA in a concurrent individual match and four-ball match. Each match is worth one point. Ties are halved.

Due to inclement weather in 2019, followed by cancellation due to COVID-19 in 2020, the trophy sat unclaimed for two seasons before last year’s GAP victory. In the 2018 edition at Lehigh Country Club, Team GAP took home the trophy with 10 points overall bettering the Section’s 8. The Section team currently leads the all-time series, 21–4 with four ties.

Robin McCool, a driving force and founder of the event, will lead Team GAP as honorary captain at his home club.

Take a look at Team GAP:

Chris Ault, Yardley Country Club

  • First appearance
  • T-3: GAP Middle-Amateur
  • T-9: GAP Open
  • Round of 32: BMW Philadelphia Amateur

Peter Barron, III, Galloway National Golf Club

  • Fifth appearance (2009-11, 2016)
  • T-2: Delaware Open
  • T-9: Patterson Cup
  • Semifinalist: NJSGA Mid-Amateur
  • T-13: GAP Middle-Amateur

John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club

  • Seventh appearance (2008-10, 2012-13, 2016)
  • GAP Open Champion
  • 3rd place – Silver Cross Award
  • Round of 16: BMW Philadelphia Amateur
  • T-20: Patterson Cup
  • T-47: GAP Middle-Amateur

Michael R. Brown, Jr., LuLu Country Club

  • Eighth appearance (2008-11, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2021)
  • William Hyndman, III Player of the Year
  • BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion
  • Silver Cross Award winner
  • Runner-up: Patterson Cup
  • T-5: GAP Middle-Amateur
  • Qualified: U.S. Open (Local)

Ben Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

  • First appearance
  • Runner-up: PAGA R. Jay Sigel Match-Play
  • Match Play: U.S. Mid-Amateur
  • T-37: GAP Middle-Amateur

Andrew Keeling, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

  • Second appearance (2021)
  • T-4: Patterson Cup
  • T-4: Silver Cross Award
  • T-47: GAP Middle-Amateur

Jeff Frazier, Carlisle Country Club

  • Second appearance (2021)
  • GAP Senior Player of the Year
  • Semifinalist: U.S. Senior Amateur
  • Champion: Frank H. Chapman Memorial
  • Champion: PAGA Men’s Senior Match Play Championship
  • Third place: PAGA Senior Amateur Championship
  • T-4: GAP Senior Amateur
  • Runner-up: Senior Silver Cross Award
  • Match Play: Brewer Cup
  • T-19: GAP Middle-Amateur

Matt Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club

  • Third appearance (2016-17)
  • T-5: GAP Middle-Amateur
  • Qualified: U.S. Mid-Amateur
  • T-9: GAP Open
  • T-15: Patterson Cup
  • T-10: MAGA Ike Stroke Play Championship

Rij Patel, Country Club of York

  • First appearance
  • Runner-up: GAP Open
  • Runner-up: PAGA Amateur
  • 5th – Delaware Amateur
  • 9th – Delaware Open

Chris Storck, LedgeRock Golf Club

  • First appearance
  • Senior Silver Cross Award winner
  • T-2: Francis B. Warner Cup
  • T-7 – GAP Senior Amateur
  • T-7: Frank H. Chapman Memorial
  • Champion: Senior Four-Ball Stroke Play
  • Qualified: U.S. Senior Amateur

Cole Willcox, Merion Golf Club

  • Second appearance (2007)
  • 3rd: Patterson Cup
  • Qualified: U.S. Open (Local)
  • T-11: GAP Middle-Amateur

Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club

  • Third appearance (2018, 2021)
  • GAP Middle-Amateur Champion
  • Quarterfinalist: BMW Philadelphia Amateur
  • Co-medalist: BMW Philadelphia Amateur Stroke-Play Qualifying
  • T-5: NJSGA Mid-Amateur Championship
  • 8th: NJSGA Amateur Championship

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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.