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Wyncote GC’s Walker birdies playoff hole to nab T.O.C. title

 COATESVILLE, Pa. – Michael Walker of Wyncote GC birdied the third and final playoff hole (No. 3, par 5, 539 yards) to take the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 50th edition of the Tournament of Champions Monday at Coatesville CC (par 71, 6,429 yards).

Walker, who was playing in his first GAP event since 1990, came off a 10-year golf hiatus to win Wyncote GC’s club championship and then Thursday’s Tournament of Champions in this his first year of returning to competitive golf.

  “I’m getting to the point where I feel like my game is good enough to start playing competitively again,” said the 39-year-old from Oxford, Pa. “For a while there my game was just not there and I didn’t want to come out and play if I didn’t feel like I could compete.”

 After each player made par on the first two playoff holes, Walker’s his tee shot on the third hole got caught up in the left rough. He was left with a difficult second shot in which he was able to work the ball around a tree leaving him 110 yards to the hole. From there, the former Elon University golfer knocked his ball to roughly seven feet left of the hole.

  “The playoff was tough,” Walker said. “These guys can certainly play.”

  Meanwhile, with Owsik out of the playoff and Walker on the green for birdie, Pruchnik, too, reached the green safely and Walsh stuck his approach shot just inside of Walker from about 90 yards out.

  But as sun continued to set, and Pruchnik’s and Walsh’s birdie putts missed, Walker was able to convert his strait putt for birdie and the win.

  “I’ve got to tell you, I was nervous,” Walker said. “I haven’t been in a playoff in probably 15 to 20 years, but once it got going I felt pretty confident in my game and luckily I made birdie on the third playoff hole to take it.”

  After the win, Walker vowed that he would once again play in GAP events in the future.

Senior Flight

McCool, who had been suffering all season from a pinched nerve in his lower back that was a result of a shift in one of the vertebra in his spine, rode a steady and accurate game to win his flight at the tight course.

  “It’s great,” McCool commented on his repeat performance. “I’m finally healthy and I think that also has an awful lot to do with how I played today.”

  He added, “I hit the ball very well and kept it in play which is obviously extremely important on this golf course.

  I’ve only played here a couple times but I did remember where I had to be coming into some greens and that helped out quite a bit,” he said.

  Despite wining this event last year after a two-hole playoff, McCool instead pointed to his experiences at the Lehigh Valley Amateur last week as a source of momentum headed into today’s event.

  “Anytime you play six matches in a tournament during a week, you’re either exhausted or you are right on top of your game,” said McCool of the Lehigh Valley Amateur where he made it to the finals. “Although I’m a little tired from that, I’d have to say it helped me out quite a bit today.”

  The Tournament of Champions is open to all current club champions and past event champions.

  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 135 Member Clubs and 60,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

Results
Amateur
Name Club Gross
*Michael Walker Wyncote Golf Club 72
*P. Chet Walsh Philadelphia Country Club 72
*Rich Pruchnik West Chester Golf & Country Club 72
*Mike Owsik Plymouth Country Club 72
Christian Davis Glenmaura National Golf Club 73
Gary Daniels Applebrook Golf Club 74
John Brennan Spring Ford Country Club 75
Matthew Finger Running Deer Golf Club 75
Dave Gardener Blue Bell Country Club 76
Stephen Arnold Yardley Country Club 76
Douglas Zelner Coatesville Country Club 77
Mike Vassil Country Club of Scranton 77
Douglas Schroer Aronimink Golf Club 78
Jeffrey Huntzinger North Hills Country Club 78
Alan Skoritowski Glen Oak Country Club 79
David Smith Doylestown Country Club 79
Robert Gill Fox Hill Country Club 79
Silvio Martel Brookside C.C. of Allentown 79
Brian Corbett Huntsville Golf Club 80
Ryan McCall Silver Creek Country Club 80
Brian Rothaus Philmont Country Club 81
Jason Loehrs Philadelphia Publinks GA 81
Bob Ruskey, Jr. Radley Run Country Club 82
Matt Hancock Chester Valley Golf Club 82
Matthew Bengtson LedgeRock Golf Club 82
Richard Bunn, Sr. McCall Golf & Country Club 82
David Mercer Woodstone Golf Club 84
Richard Blash, Jr. Riverton Country Club 85
Bruce Jackson Ravens Claw Golf Club 86
Daniel Kluger Cedarbrook Country Club 86
John Kernan Merchantville Country Club 86
Peter Moran Edgmont Country Club 86
Dennis Monti Medford Lakes Country Club 87
Jerry Clavin JC Melrose Country Club 87
Brian Kreamer Bala Golf Club 88
Kevin Coleman Talamore Country Club 89
David Liotta Whitemarsh Valley Country Club WD
Frank Rapone The Springhaven Club WD
Michael Moffat Commonwealth National Golf Club WD
Paul Bickford Wedgwood Country Club WD
Senior Amateur
Robin McCool Saucon Valley Country Club 71
Michael Quinn Edgmont Country Club 72
Roc Irey Cedarbrook Country Club 72
Charles Jones Philadelphia Publinks GA 74
James Sherratt Old York Road Country Club 76
Martin Klagholz Applebrook Golf Club 76
Edward Gregorczyk Glenmaura National Golf Club 78
Edward Pappas, Sr. Rolling Green Golf Club 78
Mark Shuman Philadelphia Country Club 78
Thomas Mallouk Stone Harbor Golf Club 78
William Lawler Fox Hill Country Club 78
Bill Smith Sandy Run Country Club 79
Jack Holland Whitford Country Club 79
James Prendergast Spring Ford Country Club 79
Stephen Daley Lu Lu Country Club 79
Steven Owens Ashbourne Golf Club 79
Wally Swiger Huntingdon Valley Country Club 79
William Casto Coatesville Country Club 79
Terry Fair RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 80
Chris Gallagher West Chester Golf & Country Club 81
Clifford Kenneck Radley Run Country Club 81
Neil McDermott Llanerch Country Club 81
Charles Carter Sunnybrook Golf Club 82
Frank Polizzi Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 82
Alan Brody Radnor Valley Country Club 83
Bob Abramski Talamore Country Club 83
Dennis Fellona Merchantville Country Club 83
Michael Sofranko Wyncote Golf Club 83
Richard Bourassa McCall Golf & Country Club 84
Jon Mabry Moorestown Field Club 85
Richard Smith Philadelphia Country Club 85
Anthony Costanzo Glen Oak Country Club 86
John Samerjan Hopewell Valley Golf Club 88
Bob Silsbe Downingtown Golf Club 89
George May Manufacturers Golf & Country Club 89
James Sakasits Woodstone Golf Club 89
William Jensen Medford Village Country Club 89
David Martin Five Ponds Golf Club 93
Jim Campbell Ravens Claw Golf Club 93
Mike Thomas Indian Valley Country Club 96
William Flick McCall Golf & Country Club 99
Bill Weinfeld JC Melrose Country Club DQ
Chuck Wilkins Little Mill Country Club WD
*-determined in a playoff; DQ-disqualified; WD-withdrawal