Jul 17, 2017

SVCC’s Mattare sets PCC course record with 63, leads #GAPOpen

GLADWYNE, Pa.–Amateur Matt Mattare gave himself a stern talking to after a rough BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship showing last month. His game wasn’t the issue, but his mental state was.

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  “After the Philly Am., I took a week off and reset. My attitude was bad. I was putting too much pressure on myself,” said Mattare, 31, of Jersey City, N.J. “[Golf] is not a career. [I said to myself] come out here and relax. When you relax and swing smooth good things happen.”

  In the first round of the 113th Open Championship on Monday at Philadelphia Country Club (par 71, 6,902 yards), there were many good things, as in birdies. Mattare made nine total and just one bogey en route to setting a new Philly Country competitive course record of 63. Mattare’s scintillating performance gave the Saucon Valley Country Club swatter a four-shot lead heading into Tuesday’s second and final round.

  Tony Perla, an assistant professional at Philadelphia Cricket Club, is Mattare’s closest challenger after carding a 67. Amateurs Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club and David Hicks of Stone Harbor Golf Club are 2 under and tied for third.

  Eight of the 128 players to begin the tournament finished in red figures.

  The cutline fell at 4-over 75. A total of 65 players made the cut – 38 amateurs and 27 professionals.

  This is the first year of a revamped Open format, which included the expansion of the field to 130-plus players (up from 78) and administration of the tournament over two days instead of one.

  “The biggest thing is there was a month where I really didn’t play well culminating with the Philly Am. So there comes a time when you either adjust your attitude or stop putting all this time and effort into it,” said Mattare. “That adjustment has a made a huge difference, obviously.”

  The 63 was a personal competitive best as well, said Mattare.

  The prior Philadelphia Country competitive course record was 64. That was set by Charlie Beljan in the 2005 U.S. Amateur Championship when Country was the second qualifying site. Merion Golf Club (East) was the main venue that year.

  Mattare stated his intentions early and often under Monday’s sunny skies. He made six birdies on the first nine holes to turn in 6-under 30. Strong wedges and a red-hot putter set the Philadelphia Country grill room abuzz when word started getting out.

  Mattare’s birdie sequence went as follows:

  • No. 2 (par 4, 353 yards), lob wedge from 94 yards to 15 feet
  • No. 3 (par 5, 580 yards), lob wedge from 72 yards to six feet
  • No. 5 (par 3, 167 yards), 8-iron to eight feet
  • No. 6 (par 5, 499 yards), in front of green in two and chip to five feet
  • No. 7 (par 3, 211 yards), 4-iron to seven feet
  • No. 8 (par 4, 390 yards), lob wedge from 104 yards to eight feet

  “When I rolled in the birdie on 7 [is when I thought it could be a special day],” said Mattare. “I had a 10-footer that broke about a foot and a half. And I just buried it dead in the heart. Once you get to 5 under you start getting greedy.

  “The way I play is nice and relaxed and in control. I try not to press the issue. Especially since this is the first round of a 36-hole tournament.”

  Mattare had 11 putts on the front nine.

  On the back side, Mattare chipped it to a foot on No. 12 (par 5, 579 yards); knocked a lob wedge from 104 yards to 15 feet on No. 13 (par 4, 378 yards) and rolled in a 20-footer on No. 17 (par 4, 444 yards) after finding the green with a pitching wedge from 155 yards away. He also made three up-and-down par saves on Nos. 14 thru 16.

  Mattare’s lone blemish came on the final hole.

  He found the fairway on No. 18 (par 4, 392 yards) but spun a 52-degree wedge from 124 yards off the left side of the green, approximately 30 feet to the left of the hole. The ball stopped between the collar and rough. Mattare’s chip left him with 20 feet for par and he missed to the low side.

  He had 12 putts on the back side.

  “The big question when you come here is putting,” said Mattare, a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley. “These greens have a lot of grain in them and it’s not something you are used to dealing with. I had a great caddie in [Ted Decker]. I got a couple rolling early.”

  Mattare’s top prior Open finish was a tie for third in 2016 and 2011.

  Mattare’s been on a bit of a roll since that low point early in the season. He tied for second in the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Ike Championship (three-rounds of stroke play) soon thereafter and captured Saucon Valley’s stroke play championship event recently.

  Perla, 30, of East Norriton, Pa., put himself in contention for both the Open title and low pro honors with a stellar 30 on the back nine. He turned in 1-over par but birdied Nos. 12-16 to find a spot near the top of the leaderboard. Perla was in the first group to tee off in the morning.

  In a case of good symmetry, Mattare was in the first group of the afternoon wave.

  McDermott, a five-time William Hyndman, III Player of the Year and multiple Major Champion, is still in search of his first Open title.

  He’s six shots back.

  McDermott’s been close a number of times in the Open, including five Top 3 finishes in the last 13 years.

  Defending champion Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club is at 3 over.

  Total purse for the Open is $35,000. The low professional receives $7,000.

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 153 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of 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.

Name, club Rd. 1
(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club 63
Tony Perla, Philadelphia Cricket Club 67
(a) David Hicks, Stone Harbor Golf Club 69
(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club 69
Stuart Ingraham, MGolf Driving Range and Learning Center 70
(a) Jack Melville, Lu Lu Country Club 70
(a) Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 70
Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club 70
David Quinn, Philmont Country Club 71
Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Country Club 71
John Pillar, Sr., CC at Woodloch Springs 71
Alexander Knoll, Bethlehem Golf Club 71
(a) Scott McLaughlin, Lu Lu Country Club 71
(a) Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club 71
(a) Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 71
(a) Ross Pilliod, Gilbertsville Golf Club 71
Chris Krueger, Kings Creek 72
Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club 72
Trevor Bensel, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 72
Michael Little, Lookaway Golf Club 72
(a) Matt Bierer, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 72
Billy Stewart, The ACE Club 72
(a) Clark Holle, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 73
(a) Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club 73
(a) Michael Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club 73
(a) Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club 73
Andrew Turner, Sunnybrook Golf Club 73
(a) P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club 73
(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club 73
David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club 73
Eric Kennedy, Overbrook Golf Club 73
Ryan Lagergren, Stonewall 73
(a) Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club 73
(a) Yoseph Dance, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 73
George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club 73
David Pagett, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 74
(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 74
(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 74
Greg Matthias, Tavistock Country Club 74
(a) Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club 74
(a) Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 74
William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club 74
(a) Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club 75
Matthew Episcopo, Pine Valley Golf Club 75
(a) Alexander Kim, Blue Bell Country Club 75
(a) Dominic Digiacomo, Greate Bay Country Club 75
Corey McAlarney, Squires Golf Club 75
(a) Andrew Wallace, Green Valley Country Club 75
(a) Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club 75
Brendon Post, University of Delaware 75
(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club 75
(a) Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club 75
(a) Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club 75
(a) Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club 75
(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Lu Lu Country Club 75
(a) Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 75
(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club 75
(a) Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club 75
Bill Walker, Riverton Country Club 75
(a) Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 75
(a) Erik Reisner, The ACE Club 75
(a) Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club 75
Jordan Gibbs, Gulph Mills Golf Club 75
David Fields, Brookside CC of Allentown 75
Joey Pohle, Blue Bell Country Club 75
Failed to qualify
Jason Calhoun, Philadelphia Country Club 76
(a) Aaron Fricke, Lancaster Country Club 76
(a) Luca Jezzeny, The Bucks Club 76
(a) Bryan Keeling, Spring Mill Country Club 76
Joseph Kogelman, GOLFTEC-Moorestown 76
(a) Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club 76
Brett Melton, Radley Run Country Club 76
Tom Michaels, Berkshire Country Club 76
Anthony Napoletano, GOLFTEC-Malvern 76
John Bierkan, Aronimink Golf Club 76
Jakob Gerney, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia 76
Terry Hatch, Hickory Valley Golf Club 76
Zac Oakley, The Rookery 76
(a) Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club 76
(a) Ryan Rucinski, Fieldstone Golf Club 76
(a) Dylan Stein, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 76
(a) Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club 76
(a) Jarred Texter, Conestoga Country Club 76
(a) James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club 77
(a) Connor Sheehan, Conestoga Country Club 77
(a) Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club 77
(a) Robert Firth, Jr., Commonwealth National Golf Club 77
Robert Hennefer, Indian Spring Country Club 77
Terry Hertzog, Country Club of York 77
(a) Noah Schwartz, Woodcrest Country Club 77
(a) John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club 78
(a) Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club 78
(a) Tyler McGarry, Fox Hill Country Club 78
(a) Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club 78
(a) Jon Rudisill, Reading Country Club 78
(a) Kevin Sarlo, Burlington Country Club 78
(a) Chuck Briggs, Bala Golf Club 78
(a) Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 78
(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club 78
Steve Swartz, Regents  Glen Country Club 78
(a) Nicholas Biondi, Glenmaura National Golf Club 79
Nick Gorman, Burlington Country Club 79
(a) Keith Olinick, Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg State Park 79
(a) David West, Whitford Country Club 79
Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring Country Club 79
Rick LeBeau, Gulph Mills Golf Club 79
(a) Ben Litt, Riverton Country Club 79
(a) Frank Corrado, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club 80
(a) Wills Montgomery, Applecross Country Club 80
Eric Schultz, Sunnybrook Golf Club 80
(a) Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield 80
(a) Thomas Lewis, Commonwealth National Golf Club 80
(a) Jim Maru, Northampton Country Club 80
(a) Joel Hark, Woodcrest Country Club 81
(a) Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA 81
Scott Reilly, Philadelphia Country Club 81
Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club 81
Ryan Jones, Lehigh Country Club 81
(a) Liam McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 82
(a) Jon Nolan Perry, Waynesborough Country Club 82
(a) William Howard, V, Applebrook Golf Club 83
(a) Joseph Hughes, Little Mill Country Club 83
(a) Scott Kalan, Squires Golf Club 83
(a) Joseph Markmann, Talamore Country Club 83
John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club 83
(a) Reed Winkler, Hartefeld National 84
(a) Donald Burgess, Lancaster Country Club 87
(a) Daniel Wu, Blue Bell Country Club 89
(a) Ambrose Abbracciamento, Old York CC at Chesterfield WD
(a) Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club WD
Travis Deibert, The Ridge at Back Brook WD
(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club WD
(a) Joe Visalli, Hartefeld National WD

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