May 31, 2016

Tavistock tops Team Championship Qualifier at The ACE Club

LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. — If the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Team Championship Qualifier Tuesday needs a movie title, “The Return” fits the bill. To a T you can say. | Team scorecards | Individual scorecards | Photo gallery | History |

  Tavistock Country Club, absent from the final since 2012, topped the event at The ACE Club (par 72, 7,125 yards) with a 292 total. Thomas Gramigna, five months removed from a third hip surgery, led his team with a 3-under-par 69. Philmont Country Club’s Michael R. Brown, Jr., fresh off a co-runner-up performance in the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf, earned individual medalist honors with a 5-under-par 67.

  Joining Tavistock, which holds six Team Championship titles (1963, 1965-67, 2003, 2008), in the qualifying corridors are Commonwealth National Golf Club, Little Mill Country Club and Lu Lu Country Club. The 97th Team Championship will take place June 29 at Hidden Creek Golf Club.

  “We’ve had a lot of down years at Tavistock. Players have gotten a little bit older and not quite as good,” Gramigna, 46, of Haddonfield, N.J., said. “It’s nice to get back [into the Team Championship]. I’m excited because I love Hidden Creek. It’s one of my favorite golf courses in the area.”

  Gramigna underwent a pair of surgeries on his right hip in 2014. He again went under the knife in January. Gramigna, who won the Middle-Amateur Championship and reached the BMW Philadelphia Amateur semifinals in 2010, works out with a physical therapist three days a week.

  “The recovery process has been hard. It’s been a long road,” he said. “I’m still not 100 percent but I can finally turn and start hitting normal shots. Last year I could only carry the ball 175 yards in the air.

  “I haven’t played very well in a while. I got a lot of good breaks today. That was as low as I could possibly shoot. I could barely walk last year. I’ve been out of competitive golf for two years. This is my first year back.”

  Gramigna, who started on No. 10 (par 4, 450 yards), declared his return emphatically by inking a 33 coming in. He knocked a gap wedge 105 yards to six feet for a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 365 yards). On the strenuous par 5, 571-yard No. 2, Gramigna executed a 10-footer for a 4 after splashing out of the left bunker. He nearly aced No. 6 (par 3, 152 yards), tattooing a 7-iron into tap-in territory. Gramigna also birdied the par 3, 210-yard 12th hole following a 5-iron to 12 feet. The conversion atoned for a three-putt bogey on No. 10.

  Lu Lu , fertilizing a revival of sorts, filed a 295 total to advance. The North Hills, Pa. venue lost its clubhouse to a fire in October 2015, but gained a plethora of fiery talent. A trio of former Commonwealth National members and Team Championship winners — Scott McLaughlin, Michael Moffat and Glenn Smeraglio — joined in the offseason. Brandon Matthews, one of the region’s top amateurs, also calls Lu Lu home.

  McLaughlin, on the heels of a Top 5 finish in the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf, led the Lu Lu contingent with a score of 70.

  “I haven’t been playing recreational golf really well; it’s the tournament golf I seem to gear up for,” McLaughlin, 36, of Hatboro, Pa., said. “My game is coming around. I’m hitting the ball better and making some putts. Lag putting was really difficult today. The greens are real tricky out here and tough to read. It was tough to gage the speed.”

  Only three of those greens (Nos. 1, 11 and 15) stumped McLaughlin — the trickiness synonymous with three-putt bogeys. He tamed the trying slopes by rattling off five birdies on the day. McLaughlin hit an 8-iron 165 yards to eight feet on No. 2 (par 4, 448 yards). A pair of par 3s also yielded impressive conversions. On the 204-yard 14th hole, McLaughlin whipped a 5-iron to 15 feet. He drilled a 7-iron to 35 feet below the No. 12 flagstick.

  “It was a little right-to-left. I thought it was going to be uphill into the green and it turned out it was pretty flat,” McLaughlin said of the birdie putt. “Thank God it hit the hole and went in.”

  Lu Lu’s lone Team Championship appearance came in 2000; it placed fourth at Laurel Creek Country Club.

  “To be honest, we have 10-20 guys who are really good players,” McLaughlin said. “That was the main reason why I made the transition over there from Commonwealth. I wanted it to be a little more competitive.

  “Hopefully we can bring Lu Lu back to where it was 10 to 15 years ago. I grew up playing there. I went to [Sandy Run Middle School] across the street. I use to walk over there after school and play. It’s come full circle.”

  Brown, 43, of Maple Shade, N.J., nearly brought his club into the Team Championship circle with his performance. Philmont, along with Bala Golf Club, finished a shot back.

  “I played a pretty clean round. I felt pretty in control for most of the day,” Brown said.

  Commonwealth National will make its fifth straight and sixth overall Team Championship appearance. It took titles in 2009 and 2014. Little Mill, the reigning BMW GAP Team Matches champion, advanced in 2005 and 2011.

  The Team Championship Qualifier determines which four member clubs will compete in the Team Championship. Participants must field at least six players to be eligible. The low four scores of each team make up the qualifying total. In the event of a tie, the fifth player’s score is used.

  The Championship proper features eight-man teams playing an alternate shot format in the morning, with singles matches in the afternoon.

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

Qualifiers
Team Total
Tavistock CC 292
Thomas Gramigna 69*
Matt Raudenbush 77*
Kyle Raudenbush 84
Michael Tash 74*
Bob Arthur 81
Jamie Slonis 72*
Lu Lu CC 295
Brandon Matthews 74*
Glenn Smeraglio 75*
Scott McLaughlin 70*
Jim Sullivan 79
Michael Moffat 78
Mark Farley 76*
Commonwealth National GC 300
Brett Diakon 73*
John Alterman 82
Sean Torpey 79
Matthew Teesdale 75*
Mike Valentine 77*
Brian Fischer 75*
Little Mill CC 300
Michael Hyland 70*
Vincent Kwon 78*
Blaine Lafferty 77*
James Gillespie 75*
Paul Bickford 83
Michael Dunn 83
Failed to qualify
Bala GC 301
Jonathan Kruse 77*
Alex Hargaden 78*
Scott McNeil 70*
Andy Beittel 81
Ben Wilkins 79
Jeff Nocella 76*
Philmont Country Club 301
Evan Galbreath 84
Matthew Crescenzo 81*
Joe Perese 77*
John Simone 76*
Michael R. Brown, Jr. 67*
Scott Landsberg 83
Old York Road CC 303
Ryan Beck 74*
Edward Enoch 78*
Edward Kelly, Jr. 81
Bryan Marvin 81
John Samaha 72*
Brian Skrip 79*
Overbrook GC 304
D.J. Colleran 87
Raymond Thompson 73*
Oscar Mestre 68*
Trey Croney 84
Matthew Walsh 82*
Michael Rogers 81*
Llanerch CC 305
Cory Reighard 75*
Tom Spano 78*
Stephen Seiden 73*
Joe Kerrigan, Jr. 81
Sean Coyle 79*
Brandon Murdock 79
Philadelphia Cricket Club 306
John Brennan 72*
Jack Wallace 77*
Ryan Gelrod 80*
Frank Petrash, IV 80
Michael Carr 77*
Daniel Feeney 81
Applebrook GC 306
Chris Lawler 76*
Gary E. Daniels 76*
William Naylor 76*
Dan Arison 78*
Michael Cook 79
Brendan Bacskai 79
Mercer Oaks GC 308
Louis Giovi 78*
Jim Schulz, Jr. 79*
Thomas Timby, Jr. 71*
Brian Dempster 81
Brian Sokolowski 95
Brandon Capone 80*
Talamore CC 309
Kyle Ginty 81*
Ron Robinson 76*
Scott Slobotkin 93
Norman Huertgen 83
Michael Fireman 81*
Jalen Griffin 71*
Moselem Springs GC 310
Jay Vasil 78*
Kevin Quimby 90
John Psillas 87
Jason Barkley 81*
Steve Oh 71*
Bryan Ott 80*
Five Ponds GC 311
Neil Gordon 85
Victor Gerstner 83*
Jeff Moffat 88
Drew Panebianco 77*
Brian Rothaus 76*
Matthew O’Brien 75*
Radley Run CC 311
Alex Kane 83
Nicholas Gianelos 73*
Parker Wine 80*
Tom Grady 76*
Joey Hoban 82*
Jim Krass 85
DuPont Country Club 312
Scott Cahayla 77*
Brian Davis 79*
Adam Mowery 82*
William Gamgort 74*
Nathaniel Barney 91
Alan Lazzarino 83
The Springhaven Club 313
Rich Thon 85
Roy Kiscaden 87
Nick Calabrese 73*
Michael Hodges 78*
Robert Dziak 79*
Michael Howanski 83*
Huntingdon Valley CC 313
Benjamin Cooley 76*
Sean Seese 79*
William Weihenmayer 80*
Daniel Pinciotti, Jr. 78*
Douglas Gregor 82
Gregg Englebreth 87
Wilmington CC 316
Donald MacKelcan 80*
Jared Green 85
Bret Morris 80*
Brett Koelle 81*
Bob Aerenson 87
Chris Anderson 75*
Whitford CC 319
Chris Yard 80*
Kevin Conners, Jr. 78*
Matt Dietrich 85*
Nicholas DiBona 88
Peter Blok 88
Peter Moran 76*
Running Deer GC 320
Chris Meares 83*
Thomas Alestock 81*
Frank Kohute 81*
John Burke 89
Matthew Gaffney 75*
Chris Bevelheimer 91
Spring Ford CC 325
Kevin Koch 83*
Pete Zollers 79*
Brian Winters 80*
Patrick Phillips 86
Jeff Hicks 87
Scott Lightbody 83*
Bellewood CC 325
Joseph Dulka 82*
Greg O’Connor 79*
Bobby Kershner 79*
John Pappas 85*
Hugh Gallagher 89
Adam Smith 91
Whitemarsh Valley CC 327
Miguel Biamon 83*
Matt Jasudowich 83*
John Frampton 91
Gary Guarnaccia 83
David Liotta 79*
Chuck Lynch, Jr. 82*
Plymouth CC 328
Gerard Rosato 80*
Michael Dafnis 80*
Matt Mingione 79*
Matthew Foster 89*
Karl Klotzbach 89
Matthew Kreuter WD
Brookside CC 333
Alexander Maguire, Jr. 78*
Alexander Maguire, Sr. 91*
Bo Maguire 82*
Matt Keim 82*
Tim Turner WD
Mark Szilagyi WD
McCall Golf & CC 338
Joe Delfranco 83*
Tom Coyne 84*
Dave Locher 86*
Jon Stein 85*
Matt Koehler 88
Ronald Bonenfant 90

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