Golf Association of Philadelphia regains Compher Cup

  FLOURTOWN, Pa.– The Golf Association of Philadelphia defeated the New Jersey State Golf Association, 11-7, to regain the Compher Cup on Wednesday at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon Course). The Compher Cup is the annual early season match between the two neighboring state associations.

Doug Zelner of Coatesville
CC (right) sealed a GAP
victory in the Compher Cup.
Zelner and partner Mike
Tash of Tavistock CC (left)
accounted for the final
two points in an 11-7 win.
  Doug Zelner of Coatesville CC sealed the Golf Association of Philadelphia victory with a 3&1 win. Philadelphia team captain Michael McDermott of Merion GC and Rich Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC each carded impressive 5&4 victories to help the Golf Association of Philadelphia earn the Cup for the 29th time.

  “Cricket was in perfect shape, it was a great day [weather wise] and it is good to come out on top,” said McDermott, 31, of Havertown, Pa. “It’s a good way to start the season.”

  Zelner, in the final pairing, closed out Greg Stebbins of Ridgewood CC with a late surge. He made seven pars and a bogey in the final eight holes. Zelner, 44, of Coatesville, Pa., started the 11th hole (par 4, 424 yards) All Square before earning victories on No. 11 and No. 13 (par 4, 428 yards) to move 2-up, both on the strength of pars. He closed out the match on No. 17 (par 4, 411 yards) with a two-putt par from the left side of the green. Stebbins carded a bogey on the hole.

  “The Compher Cup is a lot of fun and the camaraderie is great,” said Zelner. “I enjoy the competition.”

  Added McDermott, “I had to go with Zelner and Mike [Tash] in the final group. It was an easy decision. They are both gritty competitors and they get it up and down well. I figured they would play well together.”

  Team New Jersey held the Cup on the strength of a 9½-8½ victory at Bent Creek CC in 2004. Last year’s Compher Cup Matches at Hollywood GC in Deal, N.J., were cancelled due to weather. The Golf Association of Philadelphia held the Cup for eight straight years prior to 2004.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia leads the overall series 29-11-4.

  The Compher Cup pits a 12-man team from each association simultaneously competing in a singles match and better-ball match. There are a total of 18 possible points. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for the team.

  Fred Compher, a former New Jersey State Golf Association president, conceived the neighborhood matches after leaving his post in 1959. Compher donated a silver trophy that year earmarked for such a rivalry.

  In 1961, association representatives Bob Jacobson of New Jersey and Richard Ollmah of GAP completed the details. In 1962, the first Compher Cup matches took place at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J. That year, the NJSGA side forged a 5–1 lead in the morning foursome competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches to cruise to an 11 1/2–6 1/2 victory.

  After the New Jersey victory, Compher himself, who was known at the time as the most successful NJSGA president in its history, presented the trophy “to promote golf between the groups.”

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