Oct 07, 2010

Team Philadelphia seeks to stop two-year Mason-Dixon drought

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Mason-Dixon Matches

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia will head south this weekend, but it hopes to return home with hardware that’s been missing from its halls for two years.

  The 59th Mason-Dixon Matches will take place at Woodmont CC in Rockville, Md. this Saturday and Sunday. It pits the Association’s top players against those from the Middle Atlantic Golf Association. The matches have been played annually since 1952, with the Golf Association of Philadelphia holding a 32-22 lead. There have been five ties.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia seeks to erase a two-year absence from the winner’s circle. Last year, the Middle Atlantic team posted a 10.5-7.5 victory at The Ridge at Back Brook.

  Robin McCool of Saucon Valley CC will serve as captain of the GAP squad. This marks the Bethlehem, Pa. resident’s 11th Mason-Dixon appearance, but first since 2001.

  “Representing GAP in the Mason-Dixon Matches is a special honor,” McCool, the 2010 Brewer Cup Champion, said. “It means you have played well throughout the entire season against some very strong competition. I’m really excited to be part of these matches once again.”

  Two 12-man teams, including one junior and two seniors, from each association compete in a four-ball match (held on Saturday) and an individual match (held on Sunday). Each match is worth one point. A possible 18 points are available. In the case of a tie (9-9), the defending association retains the trophy. McCool and Michael Domenick of Phoenixville CC, the 2010 Chapman Memorial (Gross) runner-up, are the GAP’s senior players. Ted Brennan of Philadelphia CC, the 2010 JockMacKenzie Champion and Harry Hammond Award winner, is the junior representative.

  Rounding out the GAP team is Andy Achenbach of RiverCrest GC & Preserve; John Brennan of Spring Ford CC; 2010 Open Champion Michael Brown of Lookaway GC; Thomas Hyland of Little Mill CC; 2010 Middle-Amateur runner-up Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann GC; Scott Klee of Bellewood GC; Ryan McCarty of Little Mill CC; 2010 Patterson Cup Champion Jeff Osberg of Llanerch CC and Robert Savarese, Jr. of Philadelphia Cricket Club.

  Five members of the GAP roster are Mason-Dixon rookies. They should carry a relaxed approach into Woodmont, according to McCool.

  “Just play your own game and everything will work out,” he said.

  McCarty, of Voorhees, N.J. is one of the newcomers. Making the team feels rewarding to the 10-year GAP fixture.

  “It’s definitely a sense of accomplishment,” McCarty said. “It’s nice to know that my game is improving. I’m looking forward to it. I like match play. When you go out there, your competitive spirit takes over.”

  Spirit is one element that can create team chemistry, which McCool considers a key to success for the GAP team.

  “As in most competition, it’s important to get off to a good start,” McCool, who finished fifth in the Senior Player of the Year Standings, said. “In these matches, that means we need to partner well in Saturday’s four-ball matches.”

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