Talamore’s Fireman blazes Mid.-Am. Qualifier on home course - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Apr 26, 2018

Talamore’s Fireman blazes Mid.-Am. Qualifier on home course

AMBLER, Pa. — Medalist honors followed by a pleasant dinner among family. Michael Fireman certainly celebrated his 51st birthday in style Thursday.

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Playing on his home course of 20-plus years, Fireman carded a 2-under-par 69 to top a Golf Association of Philadelphia Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf at Talamore Country Club (par 71, 6,162 yards). He led a field of 99 players hoping to earn one of 21 qualifying spots and ties for the Championship proper, set for May 23-24 at Llanerch Country Club.

The cut line stopped at 78 by day’s end.

“When I woke up, my son Nathan asked me, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ I said, ‘Three birdies,’” Fireman, of Ambler, Pa., said. “That was my wish. Three birdies are good because I know there are a lot of double bogeys out here. I didn’t make any of those.”

No double bogeys, and not three but five birdies on the day for Fireman. His pitching wedge set-up conversions of six and 12 feet, respectively, on Nos. 2 (par 4, 344 yards) and 5 (par 5, 541 yards). Fireman fired back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 (par 4, 301 yards) and 10 (par 4, 382 yards). His “best shot of the day” — a gap wedge from 80 yards — led to a three-footer on the first. On No. 10, he hit an 8-iron 140 yards to the back edge of the green and drained a 15-footer. Following a solid drive on the par 4, 307-yard 17th hole, Fireman bunted a gap wedge 80 yards to seven feet for his fifth birthday birdie.

Only three bogeys diluted Fireman’s scorecard Thursday. Deem an awkward stance in the left fairway bunker on No. 1 (par 4, 403 yards) as the culprit there. Fireman spun a pitching wedge off the No. 6 (par 4, 366 yards) green and missed a four-footer for par. He flew the 14th green (par 3, 157 yards) with a 5-iron and failed to get up-and-down.

Familiarity with his surroundings allowed Fireman, a five-time (2002, 2012-14, 2017) men’s champion at Talamore, to avoid major catastrophe.

“Home course knowledge is a big advantage here. I know where to miss it, and I miss it a lot,” he said.

With it being his birthday, one may assume that good vibes flowed from the beginning. That wasn’t the case, but fortunately for Fireman, home course knowledge came to the rescue.

“I’ve hit it awful the last two days. I was chunking it on the driving range this morning,” Fireman said. “I woke up all wrong. But I know that a bad warm-up can sometimes be a really good round. I’ve had that experience here before, so I wasn’t worried about it. I was frustrated and I wasn’t feeling it, but I found a couple of things and hit it well.”

Fireman’s only played in less than a handful of Middle-Amateur Championships. A performance of note came in 1998, when he tied for third at Talamore.

It’s a clean slate come Llanerch.

“I’ve never played Llanerch. I have no expectations,” Fireman, who is self-employed in the paper recycling business, said.

The next Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf will take place Tuesday, May 1 at Moselem Springs Golf Club.

The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.

The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA’s guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field begins with 132 players.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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 Score
Michael Fireman, Talamore Country Club 69
Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club 71
Brian Davis, DuPont Country Club 73
Philip Mortell, III, Honeybrook Golf Club 73
Ashley Brasfield, Rolling Green Golf Club 75
Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club 75
Scott Ehrlich, White Manor Country Club 75
Ari Flaisher, McCall Golf & Country Club 75
Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club 75
Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club 76
Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 76
Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club 76
Chris Wagner, Bluestone Country Club 76
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 76
Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club 77
Daniel Charen, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 77
Jason Kowalski, Downingtown Country Club 77
John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club 77
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club 77
Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf Club 78
Alex Hargaden, Woodcrest Country Club 78
Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club 78
Daniel Rexon, Tavistock Country Club 78
Daniel Wu, Blue Bell Country Club 78
Failed to qualify
Gregory DaPron, Hartefeld National 79
Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club 79
Carlo Fitti, Llanerch Country Club 79
Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club 79
Nicholas Anderson, White Manor Country Club 80
Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club 80
Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club 81
Steve Lubin, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 81
Johan van Schalkwyk, Tavistock Country Club 81
C.J. Bell, McCall Golf & Country Club 82
Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club 82
Donald Burgess, Lancaster Country Club 82
Matthew Ciarmella, Hartefeld National 82
Nick Madden, Lu Lu Country Club 82
Billy Reube, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 82
Bradley Roberts, Little Mill Country Club 82
Peter Sharkey, Jr., Philadelphia Country Club 82
Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club 82
Chip Studer, North Hills Country Club 82
Alex Bilinski, Hershey’s Mill Golf Club 83
Richard Hendrickson, Aronimink Golf Club 83
Steve Mroozian, Philmont Country Club 83
John Mullins, Bellewood Country Club 83
Jeff Nocella, Bala Golf Club 83
Marc Pellicane, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 83
Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club 83
Matt Brainard, Loch Nairn Golf Club 84
Conner Charlebois, Bala Golf Club 84
Ed McCusker, Five Ponds Golf Club 84
Ryan Rigby, Doylestown Country Club 84
Mark Agnew, Hartefeld National 85
Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club 85
William Keane, Jr., Philadelphia Country Club 85
Kenneth Matt, Talamore Country Club 85
Angus Catterson, Llanerch Country Club 86
Michael Decker, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 86
Kevin Delaney, Stonewall 86
Mark Fuessinger, Llanerch Country Club 86
Bennett Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club 86
Eric Palumbo, Rolling Green Golf Club 86
Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club 86
Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club 86
Christopher Ahlgrim, White Manor Country Club 87
Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks GA 87
Tom Coyne, Waynesborough Country Club 87
Greg Dymek, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 87
Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club 88
Michael Johnson, Lu Lu Country Club 88
Nick Ostash, The Bucks Club 88
Jh Park, Blue Bell Country Club 88
Rob Cook, DuPont Country Club 89
Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club 89
Chuck Lynch, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 89
Jack Glacken, Bala Golf Club 90
Brett Wallace, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 90
Kevin Dougher, Philadelphia Cricket Club 91
Thomas Maguire, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 91
Andrew Wong, Talamore Country Club 91
Tom Corcimiglia, Applebrook Golf Club 92
Brendan McNamara, The ACE Club 93
Ed Moyer, Talamore Country Club 93
John O’Donnell, White Manor Country Club 93
Jeffrey Angelucci, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 95
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country Club 95
R. John Burnes, Philadelphia Cricket Club 97
Kyle Dolby, Waynesborough Country Club 98
Regan Papariello, St. Davids Golf Club 98
Patrick Phillips, Spring Ford Country Club 100
Michael Axelrod, Bluestone Country Club NS
Noam Roizman, Bluestone Country Club NS
Edward Benatti, Hartefeld National WD
Michael Maxwell, Sakima Country Club WD
Duane Pinnock, Philadelphia Publinks GA WD
Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club WD
NS — no show; WD — withdrawal

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