Spring Ford CC’s Steinmetz sets record, wins Open Championship - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 23, 2009

Spring Ford CC’s Steinmetz sets record, wins Open Championship

*William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings

LITITZ, Pa. – On a day when birdies and eagles came in bunches for many, Rich Steinmetz registered more than any other.

  The Spring Ford CC head professional finished the 36 holes of the 105th Open Championship in a record 10-under par on Wednesday at Bent Creek CC (par 71, 6,681 yards), finishing with an impressive second-round 64, to win the title. Both Steinmetz’s final score and aggregate total established new marks.

  “Awesome. I’ve come close a couple of times. It’s one of the top wins in my career,” said Steinmetz, the 2006 Philadelphia Section of the PGA Player of the Year and 2007 Sectional Championship winner.

  Adam Condello, an assistant professional at Aronimink GC, and Mark Sheftic, the teaching professional at Merion GC, tied for second at 6 under. Conrad Von Borsig of Concord CC earned Low Amateur honors with a 4-under-par 138.

  Defending champion Greg Pieczynski, a teaching professional at the Academy of Golf Center and the first-round leader, finished at 4 under as well.

  Steinmetz’s total, in relation to par, eclipsed Joseph Lewis of Tredyffrin CC’s previous mark of 8-under-par 136 set at Llanerch CC in 1942. Gene Feiger of Overbrook GC held the lowest aggregate Open total when he shot a 135 at Laurel Creek CC in 1995. Steinmetz’s aggregate score was 132.

  “I hit the ball about the same in both rounds but I was hitting more shots really close in [the second round],” said Steinmetz, 37, of Gilbertsville, Pa. “I had a couple of good five to 10 footers as well. My wedge game was really on. I put myself in good position to have wedges in and I hit a lot of shots tight.”

  Steinmetz’s title run started on the first hole of his second 18. Playing the back nine first, Steinmetz knocked a wedge from 127 yards to a foot on No. 10 (par 4, 423 yards).

  After that, the birdies came in rapid succession. On No. 12 (par 5, 518 yards), he two-putted from 50 feet after reaching the par 5 in two shots; drained a 30-footer on No. 13 (par 3, 148 yards); cracked a 7-iron from 165 yards to two feet on No. 16 (par 4, 456 yards); on No. 17 (par 4, 292 yards) flipped a wedge to five feet from 79 yards and concluded a front-nine 30 on No. 18 (par 5, 522 yards) with an up-and-down from the left greenside bunker that he hit to eight feet.

  Steinmetz followed that up with a wedge from 120 yards to five feet on No. 1 (par 4, 431 yards). That’s seven birdies in 10 holes. 

  He bogeyed No. 4 (par 4, 403 yards) when he missed the green short and failed to get up-and-down in the middle of the short rain storm that blew in and caused a 45-minute delay, but responded with birdies on No. 6 (par 3, 169 yards) with a 6-iron to eight feet and No. 7 (par 4, 304 yards) with a wedge from 65 yards to about the same distance. He bogeyed No. 9 (par 5, 548 yards) after a poor chip, but in the end in didn’t matter.

  He opened the Championship with a 3-under-par 68 in the morning.

  The victory proved a bit of redemption for Steinmetz.

  He missed a playoff for the 2002 Open at Pine Valley GC by a shot after bogeying four of the final five holes and was in contention at Merion GC in 2005 before struggling on the final nine.

  “It’s a learning experience, [you] learn what fails in those situations and build on it from there,” said Steinmetz.

  For the win, Steinmetz earned the $8,000 winner’s share.

  Pieczynski, who moved to 10-under par two holes into the final round, eliminated himself from contention when he knocked two drives on his last nine holes, the front side, out of bounds. In all, he said, he took five penalty strokes.

  “It was a lot of fun. I made a few mistakes in the second round and you can’t do that with the strength of the field that is here,” said Pieczynski, 26, of Kingston, Pa.

  Von Borsig of Swarthmore, Pa., the reigning Amateur Champion, carded a pair of 69s en route to Low Amateur honors.

  “That was my goal once I realized I wasn’t going to win the tournament,” said Von Borsig, 22. “I heard after [hole] 16 that Rich [Steinmetz] was 10 under. I was only 5 under at that time. I was playing with Michael Brown. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you know you aren’t going to win but I tried to play a tournament within the tournament and beat all the amateurs. Going into the summer winning the Player of the Year was a goal.” Von Borsig currently leads in the standings. Brown is second.

  Overall, 18 of the 72 players, made up of 36 amateurs and 36 professionals, finished the two rounds under par. 

  In Round 1, the top of the leaderboard resembled a revolving door.

  When all was done, Pieczynski emerged with a one-shot lead after carding an 8-under-par 63. Condello carded a 64 and 17-year-old amateur Tucker Koch of RiverCrest GC & Preserve posted a 65. In all 24 of the 72 players carded red figure rounds in the morning round.

NameClubRd. 1Rd. 2Total
Rich SteinmetzSpring Ford Country Club6864132
Adam CondelloAronimink Golf Club6472136
Mark ShefticMerion Golf Club6670136
Gregory PieczynskiAcademy of Golf Center6375138
(a) Conrad Von BorsigConcord Country Club6969138
Terry HertzogBent Creek Country Club6771138
(a) Tucker KochRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve6574139
George ForsterRadnor Valley Country Club6970139
Michael MosesConcord Country Club6970139
(a) Michael BrownPhiladelphia Publinks GA6871139
Robert ShueyDauphin Highlands Golf Course6673139
William SautterPhiladelphia Cricket Club6871139
Stuart IngrahamMGOLF Driving Range and Learning Center6872140
David McNabbCavaliers Country Club7070140
(a) Glenn SmeraglioCommonwealth National Golf Club7169140
(a) Michael McDermottMerion Golf Club6971140
David QuinnLinks Golf Club7070140
(a) Douglas ZelnerSpring Ford Country Club7071141
(a) Greg JarmasPhiladelphia Publinks GA7072142
Mark ParsonHidden Creek Golf Club7270142
(a) Peter Barron, IIIStone Harbor Golf Club7171142
(a) John La DowBellewood Golf Club7370143
(a) Michael KaniaOverbrook Golf Club7271143
(a) Rodney JamesFive Ponds Golf Club7073143
Travis DeibertCommonwealth National Golf Club7074144
Chris KruegerKings Creek Country Club7471145
(a) Matthew MattareSaucon Valley Country Club7174145
Jamie KomancheckRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve6976145
Dick Smith, Jr.Woodcrest Country Club7273145
(a) Michael TashTavistock Country Club7471145
Kevin MelrathSunnybrook Golf Club7372145
(a) Mark MillerYardley Country Club7075145
Rick HughartTavistock Country Club7769146
(a) James Kania, Jr.Overbrook Golf Club7175146
Gregg MeyerWoodstone Country Club7175146
(a) Zachary HerrJericho National Golf Club7769146
Jim Smith, Jr.Philadelphia Cricket Club7671147
Eddie PerrinoMountain Laurel Golf Club7176147
John SpinaPhiladelphia Cricket Club7276148
Scott HunterOverbrook Golf Club7375148
(a) Chris EsbenshadeBent Creek Country Club7375148
(a) Christopher LangeOverbrook Golf Club7573148
Graham DendlerTrenton Country Club7375148
Jakob GerneyOlde York Country Club7474148
(a) Cory SiegfriedPhiladelphia Country Club7376149
(a) Tom BorselloFieldstone Golf Club7376149
(a) Daniel CharenYardley Country Club7475149
(a) Vinny AlessiPenn Oaks Golf Club7080150
Jason PanterSea Oaks Golf Club7179150
(a) Philip WinterPhiladelphia Publinks GA7872150
(a) Ryan BoylandPenn Oaks Golf Club7081151
(a) Eric ChipinPhilmont Country Club8170151
Brian KellyBucknell Golf Club7577152
(a) Geoffrey CooperLaurel Creek Country Club7280152
(a) Oscar MestreOverbrook Golf Club7875153
(a) David WestWhitford Country Club7875153
(a) John BrennanSpring Ford Country Club7975154
(a) Nelson HargroveMerion Golf Club7976155
(a) Tony PerlaRadnor Valley Country Club8176157
(a) Peter MoranEdgmont Country Club8176157
David FieldsBrookside Country Club8077157
Joey PohleChester Valley Golf Club7979158
Ryan GrayFrench Creek Golf Club7485159
(a) Shawn LavinPhiladelphia Publinks GA7881159
Wesley HollisFore Seasons Golf 8478162
(a) Michael O’KeefeLittle Mill Country Club8280162
(a) Kevin SeybertHuntingdon Valley Country Club8085165
Steve KiefnerNorthampton Country Club8386169
Alexander KnollBethlehem Golf Club78WDWD
(a) Colin SmithRadley Run Country Club82NSNS
Terry HatchHidden Valley Golf Course73WDWD
John Pillar, Sr. Country Club at Woodloch Springs78WDWD
NS-no show; WD-withdrawal 

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