Eagle Rock’s Reilly reigns supreme at Huntsville
Shortly after joining Eagle Rock Resort in July, Peter Reilly made an impression. He entered the men’s championship, and won.
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“The pro, Eddie Perrino, was gracious enough to get me into the tournament on short notice. I got to play in the club championship after just becoming a member,” Reilly, 31, of Hazelton, Pa., said. “It was fun. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the people who have been here for a while.”
Now the rest of the GAP region is getting to know Reilly. He won the Amateur Division in the Tournament of Champions — North at Huntsville Golf Club (par 72, 6,745 yards) Wednesday. Reilly carded a 1-under-par 71 to prevail by seven strokes.
Given GAP’s geographical expansion in recent years, the organization regionalized its Tournament of Champions, an annual yearend event featuring club champions of GAP Member Clubs. Reilly earned an invitation by virtue of his Eagle Rock win.
Boy did he make the most of it.
Reilly opened with a two-putt birdie on No. 1 (par 5, 494 yards) after finding the putting surface with a 3-wood from 245 yards. However, he relinquished that stroke on the next hole (par 4, 361 yards).
“I hit my second shot right in front of the green. It was kind of a mental error,” Reilly said. “I was just off the green on the fringe, but I didn’t get up-and-down.”
A somewhat similar story on Nos. 7 (par 4, 409 yards) and 8 (par 4, 432 yards). Reilly made a 12-footer for birdie on the former following a crisp gap wedge approach. Tree trouble on the latter triggered a double bogey.
“After the tee shot, I took my medicine. I had to punch out [of the trees on the left] and ended up making a 6. Nothing crazy there,” Reilly said.
Reilly finally bucked the birdie-bogey trend on Huntsville’s back nine. After another two-putt birdie on a par 5 (No. 12, 488 yards), he faced more adversity on No. 13 (par 4, 423 yards). Reilly’s drive caught the left fairway bunker. His extrication attempt, out of an unfriendly lie no less, somehow arrived at the green. Two putts from 40 feet meant crisis averted. Reilly converted his final birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 369 yards), where he hit a sand wedge 100 yards to three feet.
A trophy is quite a fetch for his GAP, and Huntsville, debut.
“I played with Todd Vonderheid, who is a longtime member of 25 years. I was just hearing about some of the history and how it was designed by Rees Jones,” Reilly said. “Huntsville is a great club, a really cool facility. I was lucky to be out there.”
Reilly, a Merrimack, N.H. native, relocated to Hazelton, Pa. for work. He is an operations manager for Amazon. Reilly served active duty in the United States Navy from 2012-18. He earned an MBA from Tuck School of Business in June.
“I definitely hope to play in more of these events. I know the GAP conducts a lot of tournaments throughout the year,” Reilly said. “It’s a nice chance to meet people in the area and to keep the game sharp.”
Fox Hill Country Club’s Bob Gill carded a 1-under-par 71 to take the event’s Senior Division (par 72, 6,358 yards) title. Glen Oak Country Club’s Tony Costanzo claimed the Super-Senior Division (par 72, 5,998 yards) with a 5-over-par 77. In the Women’s Division (par 72, 5,241 yards), Wyoming Valley Country Club’s Kathy Goeringer carded a 20-over-par 92 to triumph.
Two more Tournament of Champions events remain: Oct. 25 at Medford Village Country Club (East) and Oct. 26 at White Manor Country Club (Philadelphia).
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Peter Reilly, Eagle Rock Resort||71|
|Luke Ciccarelli, Frosty Valley||78|
|Frank Osborne, Elkview Country Club||79|
|Zach Prowant, Williamsport Country Club||79|
|Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club||79|
|Joshua O’Brien, Belles Springs Golf Course||81|
|David Merrick, Valley Country Club||90|
|Rick Romanko, Scott Greens Golf Club||94|
|Bob Gill, Fox Hill Country Club||71|
|David Blichar, Olde Homestead Golf Club||76|
|Tony Costanzo, Glen Oak Country Club||77|
|Al Bellucci, Eagle Rock Resort||84|
|Kathy Goeringer, Wyoming Valley Country Club||92|