July 18, 2018
WAYNE, Pa.–Brett Melton has been a Philadelphia Section PGA revelation since coming to the area early last year.
| Scorecards | History | Notebook | Day 1 Video |
He was the 2017 Omega Player of the Year and registered the lowest scoring average in the section in addition to recording a handful of victories.
This year has been more of the same. He has three wins and again leads the Section POY standings.
Melton, the first assistant at Radley Run Country Club, now finds himself on the cusp of joining Philadelphia’s golfing elite.
Melton carded a 4-under-par 66 at St. Davids Golf Club to grab the first-round lead in the 114th Open Championship at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,531 yards).
The Open is the third oldest championship in the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Only the BMW Philadelphia Amateur (118) and Patterson Cup (116) are older.
The 44-year-old resident of Coatesville, Pa. posted a clean card – four birdies and 14 pars – against the deepest field in Philadelphia golf.
A total of 133 players competed – 89 amateurs and 44 professionals.
The cut line fell at 3 over with 70 players advancing to the second and final day.
“If you are playing, I always feel like I’m trying to play to win or to play as good as possibly can,” said Melton, who won the Indiana State Open twice. “[I try] to do my thing and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. I just do the best I can and see where it falls.”
Melton, despite not seeing St. Davids until the day before, and that was only eight holes worth, grew up in French Lick, Ind., on a Donald Ross designed course.
“Donald Ross courses are [all] similar,” said Melton whose wife Dawn is from Plymouth Meeting, Pa. “They have a certain look and feel. You can kind of see where to hit the ball and what he gives you.”
What Melton took on Wednesday was solid ball striking and steady putting.
He hit 14 greens in regulation and made a couple nice par savers to keep his round, which started on the back nine, intact. He cited up-and-downs on Nos. 12 (par 4, 454 yards) and 3 (par 4, 349 yards) after a couple of errant blows required one putts.
Melton birdied No. 11 (par 5, 543 yards) when almost reaching the green in two. He converted an eight-footer for 4; No. 16 (par 5, 504 yards) after hitting his second shot – a 5-iron from 195 yards – to six feet and two putted; and No. 18 (par 4, 394 yards) thanks to a sand wedge from 111 yards that stopped six feet from the cup.
He added a final birdie on No. 8 (par 5, 490 yards) when he roped a 5-iron from 194 yards that stopped against the back collar of the green. He eventually drained a five-footer for birdie.
Melton was a five-time Indiana Section PGA Player of the Year.
“I shot 76 last week at Huntingdon Valley. I didn’t see 66 coming today but I got it going and started hitting it well,” said Melton.
Melton’s margin for error will be razor-thin tomorrow.
There are 24 players within four strokes of the lead. There is a trio in second place, one shot back – Radnor Valley Country Club professional George Forster; amateur Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and David Quinn, a teaching professional at Philmont Country Club.
Osberg (2016) and Quinn (2006) are former Open Champions. Forster’s best Open finish was a fourth-place showing. He did that in 2000 and 2015.
Osberg was a question mark for the tournament. He cracked a rib when he slipped going to retrieve his son’s toy from the Huntingdon Valley Country Club kiddie pool in mid-May and landed against the concrete side. Osberg has swung a club once since. And that was Saturday on the HVCC range.
Though Osberg, 34, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., said his rib wasn’t a factor, he did say his chronic back problem reared its head again.
“[Back] flare-ups happen now and again,” said Osberg.
Forster, 62, of Blue Bell, Pa. said it was only the third time in competition he’s kept a clean scorecard. He made three birdies and 15 pars. He was recognized as a Philadelphia PGA Playing Legend in 2015.
Quinn, 52, of Marlton, N.J., hit 17 greens in regulation. He made four birdies and one bogey.
“My goal coming into today was to play safe golf, especially, being a two-round tournament,” said Quinn, also recognized as a Philadelphia PGA Playing Legend.
Defending Open champion Matt Mattare of Saucon Valley Country Club carded an even-par 70.
NOTES–An amateur has won the last nine Open Championships … the 2017 low professionals were Brian Bergstol of Shawnee Country Club and Tony Perla of LedgeRock Golf Club. Bergstol is tied for sixth place at 1-under par; Perla is in a tie for 16th at even par.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 260 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Brett Melton, Radley Run Country Club||66|
|George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club||67|
|(a) Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||67|
|David Quinn, Philmont Country Club||67|
|Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club||68|
|Zac Oakley, Waynesborough Country Club||68|
|(a) Peter Barron, III, Greate Bay Country Club||69|
|Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Country Club||69|
|(a) Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club||69|
|(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club||69|
|(a) Vincent Kwon, Little Mill Country Club||69|
|David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||69|
|(a) Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club||69|
|Billy Stewart, The ACE Club||69|
|(a) Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club||69|
|(a) Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club||70|
|(a) John Buliga, Yardley Country Club||70|
|(a) Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club||70|
|(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club||70|
|David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club||70|
|(a) Alex Mulrooney, DuPont Country Club||70|
|Tony Perla, LedgeRock Golf Club||70|
|(a) Ryan Rucinski, Fieldstone Golf Club||70|
|(a) Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||70|
|(a) Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club||70|
|(a) Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club||71|
|(a) Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club||71|
|(a) Ben Feld, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||71|
|Michael Ferguson, Philadelphia Cricket Club||71|
|(a) John Foley, Raven’s Claw Golf Club||71|
|(a) Brock Kovach, LedgeRock Golf Club||71|
|Chris Krueger, Kings Creek||71|
|Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club||71|
|John Pillar, Sr., CC at Woodloch Springs||71|
|(a) Kevin Sarlo, Jr., Burlington Country Club||71|
|(a) Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||71|
|(a) Brian Todaro, Rolling Green Golf Club||71|
|(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club||71|
|(a) Parker Wine, Radley Run Country Club||71|
|John Allen, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||72|
|(a) John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club||72|
|(a) Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club||72|
|(a) Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf Club||72|
|(a) Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club||72|
|Mike Furey, Mahoning Valley Country Club||72|
|(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72|
|Zack Kempa, Chester Valley Golf Club||72|
|(a) Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club||72|
|Ryan Lagergren, Stonewall||72|
|Corey McAlarney, Squires Golf Club||72|
|(a) Regan Papariello, St. Davids Golf Club||72|
|Brendon Post, PGA||72|
|(a) Erik Reisner, The ACE Club||72|
|(a) John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club||72|
|Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club||72|
|(a) Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club||72|
|(a) Jason Wilson, Philadelphia Publinks GA||72|
|Christopher Dymek, Manasquan River Golf Club||73|
|(a) Luke Fayocavitz, Glen Oak Country Club||73|
|(a) Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown||73|
|Terry Hatch, Hickory Valley Golf Club||73|
|(a) Kyle Henofer, Indian Valley Country Club||73|
|(a) Bryan Keeling, Spring Mill Country Club||73|
|Greg Matthias, Tavistock Country Club||73|
|(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club||73|
|(a) Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club||73|
|Anthony Napoletano, Golf Course at Glen Mills||73|
|(a) Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club||73|
|(a) Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club||73|
|(a) Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club||73|
|Failed to qualify|
|(a) Ambrose Abbracciamento, Jericho National Golf Club||74|
|Trevor Bensel, Overbrook Golf Club||74|
|(a) Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club||74|
|(a) Dominic Digiacomo, Greate Bay Country Club||74|
|Robert Hennefer, Indian Spring Country Club||74|
|Terry Hertzog, Country Club of York||74|
|Stuart Ingraham, MGOLF Driving Range & Learning Facility||74|
|Dean Kandle, St. Davids Golf Club||74|
|(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club||74|
|Tom Michaels, Berkshire Country Club||74|
|(a) Jonathan Radick, Spring Mill Country Club||74|
|(a) Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club||74|
|(a) Michael Thomas, Scranton Municipal Golf Course||74|
|(a) Oliver White, Stonewall||74|
|(a) Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club||75|
|(a) Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club||75|
|Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club||75|
|(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club||75|
|(a) Matt Keim, Brookside Country Club||75|
|Joseph Kogelman, GOLFTEC Moorestown||75|
|(a) Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||75|
|Kevin Nicholson, White Manor Country Club||75|
|John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club||75|
|Bill Walker, Riverton Country Club||75|
|(a) R.J. Wren, LedgeRock Golf Club||75|
|(a) Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||76|
|(a) Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club||76|
|(a) Cole Berger, White Manor Country Club||76|
|(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club||76|
|(a) Lukas Clark, Jericho National Golf Club||76|
|Matthew Episcopo, Pine Valley Golf Club||76|
|Jakob Gerney, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia||76|
|(a) Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club||76|
|Eric Keeler, Gulph Mills Golf Club||76|
|Richie Krebs, Briarwood Golf Club||76|
|(a) Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club||76|
|(a) Paul Mauer, Stonewall||76|
|(a) Jack Melville, Lu Lu Country Club||76|
|(a) Wills Montgomery, Bala Golf Club||76|
|Michael Paukovits, St. Davids Golf Club||76|
|(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club||76|
|(a) Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club||77|
|(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside CC of Allentown||77|
|William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club||77|
|(a) Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club||77|
|(a) Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club||77|
|(a) Ronald Yanoski, III, Glen Oak Country Club||77|
|(a) Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||78|
|(a) Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club||78|
|(a) Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club||78|
|(a) Jack Habeeb, Country Club of Scranton||78|
|(a) Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club||78|
|(a) P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club||79|
|(a) Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club||79|
|(a) Hayden Greer, Laurel Creek Country Club||79|
|Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring Country Club||79|
|(a) David West, Philadelphia Publinks GA||79|
|(a) William Howard, V, Applebrook Golf Club||81|
|(a) Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club||82|
|(a) Thomas Lewis, Commonwealth National Golf Club||88|
|(a) Dan Close, Woodcrest Country Club||NC|
|(a) Ron Nattle, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA||WD|
|Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club||WD|
|NC-no card; WD-withdrawal|