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Sensational surge propels Tavistock's Gramigna to Middle-Amateur title

  PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.–Tom Gramigna ended two decades of championship frustration in grand fashion on Thursday at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course (par 72, 7,102 yards). Gramigna, 40, of Tavistock CC, carded five back-nine birdies for a spectacular final-round 67 and a one-shot victory in the 27th Middle-Amateur Championship, the first GAP Major of the season. Gramigna finished at an improbable 7-under par for the two days.

President Rich Meehan (left) presents Bill Jeremiah
of Bidermann GC with the second-place crystal.
  Bill Jeremiah of Bidermann GC bogeyed No. 18 (par 4, 428 yards) to finish a stroke back. Cricket’s own Rob Savarese, Jr. and first-round leader Chip Lutz of LedgeRock GC tied for third with a 142 total. Defending champion Michael Brown tied for seventh at 143.

  “I wasn’t sure I was ever going to win one of these things,” said Gramigna, a Haddonfield, N.J. resident. “It feels real good to finally win one of these in Philadelphia. It’s been a long drought.” Gramigna, who has won four Major New Jersey State Golf Association titles, has been a fixture on the Golf Association of Philadelphia circuit since he was “16 or 17.”

  Playing in the next to last group of the day, Gramigna was still a title winning long shot despite posting a level-par 36 on the front side. That’s because Jeremiah, playing in the last group, carded four birdies on his opening nine holes and was well in command at 8-under par. Lutz stood in second at 6 under. Savarese was next at 3 under.

  Gramigna, however, gave himself a mini-pep talk on the No. 10 tee.

  “It was funny. I’ve probably said to myself 50 times in tournaments, ‘You are kind of out it, you are kind of far back, but if you shoot 31 or have this great back nine you can be back in it,’ ” said Gramigna. “Usually I shoot 40 and I’m way out of it. This is the first time it’s happened, so it’s a nice surprise.” He posted an astounding inward 31.

  On No. 10 (par 4, 428 yards), Gramigna started his improbable surge when he knocked a pitching wedge from 125 yards to 25 feet and made the birdie chance. Two holes later, on No. 12 (par 4, 395 yards), he stopped a sand wedge from 102 yards at 15 feet for birdie. Next, he laced a 6-iron from 187 yards on his second shot to 30 feet left of the hole on the shortish par 5, 14th (528 yards) and two-putted for another under-par score. A relentless Gramigna continued the birdie barrage on No. 16 (par 4, 393 yards) when he hammered a driver and then stopped his 60-yard lob wedge three feet from the hole. At the same time as Gramigna pushed, Jeremiah started to teeter just a bit. When he carded a fifth and final birdie on No. 17 (par 5, 559 yards) after getting up-and-down from the right greenside bunker, Gramigna officially seized the lead. At the same time, Jeremiah recorded a three putt on No. 16 from 25 feet for a bogey. Lutz and the others had fallen back. Gramigna would complete his fantastic finish with a par on the last (par 4, 428 yards) to post the day’s lone round in the 60s.

  “I [had] two feet [for par on the final hole] and I asked Brian [Gillespie] if I could putt out,” said Gramigna. “I told him I don’t think I could take it anymore.”

  Jeremiah, however, refused to quit and still had holes to play.

  The 41-year-old from Spring Grove, Pa. showed great resolve on No. 17 when he made an unlikely birdie from 25 feet after his approach stopped short of the hole. On No. 18, knowing he needed a par to force a playoff, Jeremiah pumped a drive down the middle but watched his 6-iron from 199 yards land just short of the green surface. Deciding to chip it from about five yards off the green instead of putting it – he did have two birdie chip ins yesterday – Jeremiah’s try took off after reaching the hole and stopped 18 feet past. His par chance never threatened.

  “I was pretty much relaxed the entire day, until the 15th tee, when I got a little nervous,” said Jeremiah. “After I bogeyed 16 I said to myself ‘Get back to what you were doing.’ I hit a lot of good shots this week. It was a lot of fun.”

Name

Club

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Total

Thomas Gramigna

Tavistock Country Club

70

67

137

William Jeremiah

Bidermann Golf Club

68

70

138

Chip Lutz

LedgeRock Golf Club

67

75

142

Robert Savarese, Jr.

Philadelphia Cricket Club

69

73

142

Thomas Hyland

Little Mill Country Club

72

71

143

Glenn Smeraglio

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

72

73

145

John Brennan

Spring Ford Country Club

75

71

146

Christopher Lange

Overbrook Golf Club

73

73

146

Michael Brown

Lookaway Golf Club

71

75

146

Robin McCool

Saucon Valley Country Club

71

76

147

Ed Chylinski

Chester Valley Golf Club

75

72

147

Thomas E. Timby, Jr.

The Bucks Club

73

74

147

Alexander Maguire, Jr.

Brookside Country Club

74

73

147

Tom Borsello

White Clay Creek Country Club

73

75

148

Matthew Finger

Wedgwood Country Club

75

73

148

Jeff Osberg

Llanerch Country Club

73

75

148

Kevin Kelly

Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

73

148

Scott McLaughlin

Commonwealth National Golf Club

75

73

148

Rich Pruchnik

West Chester Golf & Country Club

72

77

149

Douglas Zelner

Coatesville Country Club

72

78

150

Andy Achenbach

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

73

77

150

James Donnelly

Merion Golf Club

76

75

151

Brian Gillespie

St. Davids Golf Club

71

80

151

William McGuinness

Tavistock Country Club

73

78

151

John Aloisio

Greate Bay Country Club

75

76

151

Roc Irey

Lookaway Golf Club

75

76

151

Daniel Pinciotti, Jr.

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77

75

152

Matthew Gaffney

Little Mill Country Club

76

76

152

Chris Esbenshade

Bent Creek Country Club

77

75

152

Francis McFadden

Overbrook Golf Club

78

74

152

Bill Murray

Merchantville Country Club

77

76

153

Stephen Seiden

Concord Country Club

78

75

153

Marc Mandel

White Manor Country Club

73

80

153

G. Patrick Dougherty

Philadelphia Cricket Club

76

77

153

David Liotta

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

79

74

153

Sean Leonard

Tavistock Country Club

76

77

153

Brian Corbett

Huntsville Golf Club

78

76

154

George Connell, Jr.

Gulph Mills Golf Club

75

79

154

Scott Klee

Indian Valley Country Club

78

76

154

Douglas Gregor

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75

79

154

Michael Rogers

Overbrook Golf Club

74

80

154

Peter Barron, III

Stone Harbor Golf Club

73

81

154

Louis Giovi

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

78

76

154

David Livermore

Greate Bay Country Club

79

75

154

Mark Peterson

Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

80

155

Roger Stone

Downingtown Country Club

79

76

155

Buddy Reed

Back Creek Golf Club

75

80

155

David West

Whitford Country Club

78

77

155

Oscar Mestre

Overbrook Golf Club

79

76

155

Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.

Saucon Valley Country Club

79

76

155

Chris Kallmeyer

Philadelphia Cricket Club

79

76

155

Rand Mendez

Fieldstone Golf Club

76

80

156

Christopher Storck

Moselem Springs Golf Club

76

80

156

Tom Carter

Greate Bay Country Club

79

77

156

Rodney James

Five Ponds Golf Club

73

83

156

Michael LaGrasso

Little Mill Country Club

74

82

156

Ryan Gelrod

Commonwealth National Golf Club

76

81

157

David Shields

Philadelphia Publinks GA

78

79

157

Tom DiCinti

Links Golf Club

78

80

158

Joe Viechnicki

Saucon Valley Country Club

79

79

158

Gerry Baldachino

Old York CC at Chesterfield

76

82

158

Robert Harrington

Merion Golf Club

79

80

159

Robert Gill

Fox Hill Country Club

78

81

159

William Lawler

Fox Hill Country Club

79

81

160

Frank Polizzi

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

78

82

160

Gary Daniels

Saucon Valley Country Club

79

82

161

Joseph Russo

Running Deer Golf Club

78

83

161

Neil Gordon

Five Ponds Golf Club

79

83

162

P. Chet Walsh

Philadelphia Country Club

75

87

162

Ron Weaver

Meadia Heights Golf Club

79

83

162

Jim Gavaghan

Jericho National Golf Club

79

86

165

Tim Sindorf

Burlington Country Club

79

86

165

Gary Daniels

Aronimink Golf Club

77

WD

WD

Sean Coyle

Llanerch Country Club

78

WD

WD

John Simone

Philmont Country Club

78

WD

WD

 

WD-withdrawal

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