Tavistock Country Club looks for third title; Final Four set for Team Match Playoff - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 03, 2006

Tavistock Country Club looks for third title; Final Four set for Team Match Playoff

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Team Match Playoff

  Tavistock Country Club, fresh off back-to-back GAP Team Match championships, goes for the three-peat this Saturday when it faces Commonwealth National Golf Club, Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Yardley Country Club in the Division AA playoff.

  Not since Huntingdon Valley Country Club went back-to-back-to-back in 1983-85 has there been a team to take the four-way skirmish in three consecutive years.

  “To three-peat with the strength of the other clubs [in the Association] would be phenomenal,” said Mark Kemenosh, Tavistock’s team captain.

  Tavistock Country Club appears to be the favorite based on convincing victories in its two prior playoff appearances. In 2004, the team amassed 92 3/4 total points to defeat the other three teams in the field by 26 1/2 points. Last year’s victorious run saw Tavistock win by 37 1/4 points. Tavistock Country Club regularly fields top Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament players Bob Arthur, Doug Cusick, Ron Cusick, Sr., Tom Gramigna, Sean Leonard, Jamie Slonis and former Amateur champions Bill McGuinness and Mike Tash, amongst others, on its team.

  Kemenosh, 51, of Haddonfield, N.J., said he selects who plays where based on how the players have performed at other clubs, which golf course they like, how far they hit the ball and a few other subtleties. He playfully called them his “horses for courses.”

  “It is the same group of guys and we are not getting any younger,” Kemenosh said jokingly. “Our club is very supportive and totally involved. I have members that play [the game] and don’t play calling me asking, “How did the first team do?”

  Huntingdon Valley Country Club, on the other hand, is looking to add to its own legacy. Huntingdon Valley leads all clubs with a remarkable 31 GAP Team Match championships. It captured the second-ever GAP Team Matches title in 1898 and earned its last in 2001. Jeff Bettinger, David Brookreson, Kevin Bondi, Mike Dougherty, Eric Fonner, Robert Galbreath, Jr., Mike Gregor, Doug Gregor, Dan Pinciotti, Jr., John Quirk, James Sullivan, Jr. and Wally Swiger have been HVCC regulars this season.

  “We are very happy, coming out of our bracket was a bit of an upset,” said Sullivan, HVCC’s captain. “Spring Ford had beaten us the last two times and Cavaliers is extremely strong. Our team had several strong performances including Brookreson’s performance in Week Two, and Dan Pinciotti and Sean Ryan pairing together great in Weeks Two and Three for a total of 21.75 points.”

  Yardley Country Club has five titles in the last 18 years and will field a deep and talented squad consisting of veterans Ed Erickson, Jeff Muhlbauer, Al Padovano, Paul Rogowicz, Pat Sawyer, Terry Sawyer, Craig Scott, Glenn Smeraglio and Sean Ryan.

  Commonwealth National Golf Club will be making only its second appearance in the final. CNGC finished third in last year’s playoff with a respectable 58 1/2 points but has added a couple of new club members and appears ready to compete.

  Some familiar names from last year’s squad include Scott Carney, Brett Diakon, Jamie Harrell, Mike Moffat and John Robinson. Newcomers making an impact on the scene have been Ryan Gelrod, Ken Matt and Steve Owens.

  The GAP Team Matches Playoff format is individual match play with 12 total players competing from each club. Three-man teams from each club play at the four sites with each individual match worth three points. An additional quarter point is awarded for margin of victory. The four final teams were decided in the round-robin portion of the GAP Team Matches in the three prior weeks.

  The GAP Team Matches were the foundation for the Association’s creation in 1897. Formerly known as the Suburban League Matches, the home and away series have been played every year since 1897, with the exception of 1943-45 (World War II) and 1994 (severe weather).

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