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Lance Oberparleiter of Little Mill CC lofts a chip onto the No. 12 (par 3, 213 yards) green.

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Two share medalist honors in Mid-Am. Qual. at Wedgwood

  WASHINGTON TWP., N.J. — Jack Anderson of Makefield Highlands Golf Club and Lance Oberparleiter of Little Mill Country Club carded respective even-par 72s to share medalist honors in Thursday’s Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier at Wedgwood Country Club (par 72, 6,769 yards). Playing in the same group, the two led a field of 81 players attempting to grab one of 26 qualifying spots and ties available for the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 29th Middle-Amateur Championship, set for May 23-24 at Chester Valley Golf Club.

  Eighteen holes, eighteen pars. That’s the formula Anderson followed to advance.

  “I didn’t know what to expect going into it, being this early in the season and not really getting in a groove yet,” the Yardley, Pa. resident said. “I slowed my swing down a lot. On the first hole, I hit it into the middle of the green and said ‘let’s just two-putt and go to the next hole.’ I started getting into a groove. I played real conservative and didn’t make mistakes. All of my misses were no more than five feet off the green.”

  Anderson converted pars like clockwork. On the aforementioned first hole (par 4, 424 yards), he knocked an 8-iron 148 yards to 18 feet and two-putted.

  The sole "scramble," if you will, occurred on No. 16 (par 3, 180 yards). Anderson, 42, hit a 6-iron heavy and short of the putting surface, but nearly executed the ensuing flop shot. He attempted to reach the par 4, 493-yard 17th green in two strokes, but saw his 240-yard 3-wood shot settle just outside the right greenside bunker. Anderson nestled a chip to seven feet and missed the birdie putt.

  Anderson, who owns an automotive tire and repair center, hopes to temper his emotions in the Championship Proper.

  “If I can keep myself calm, I think I can do well,” Anderson said. “Taking it one hole at time was my goal today. It’s something I’ve always struggled to do. I usually start getting ahead of myself. When you press, you don’t concentrate as well and the wheels start coming off.”

  Oberparleiter’s day wasn’t that tedious. He opened with three consecutive bogeys thanks to poor tee shots.

  “Being the first qualifier of the year, I think I was nervous coming out of the gate,” Oberparleiter, 45, of Blackwood, N.J., said. “I just settled down. Being familiar with the place, I knew there were some birdie holes out there.”

  A former Wedgwood member of 18 years, Oberparleiter used course knowledge to curb the rough start. He benched the driver and relied on his 4-wood for the most part. It paid dividends on No. 6 (par 4, 378 yards). Oberparleiter drilled a pitching wedge 133 yards to 10 feet and cleaned up the birdie putt. He capped his outward venture with a birdie on No. 9 (par 4, 396 yards). He hit a pitching wedge 130 yards to 13 feet.

  Oberparleiter adopted Anderson’s approach on the back nine. He carded eight pars and a birdie. On No. 17, Oberparleiter fell short of the green with a utility wood from 240 yards. He guided a chip to tap-in territory.

  Oberparleiter, who owns Skeeters Pub in Blenheim, N.J., wants his performance Thursday to set a positive tone for the season.

  “This is the best round I’ve had in awhile,” he said. “It’s the best score I’ve had all year. I’ve been waiting for the tournaments to start. I’ve been working hard on my game, and I’m glad to see my work show up when it meant something.”

  At the end of the day, the cut line fell to 79.   Thursday’s qualifier was the first of two used to determine who will play in the Championship Proper next month. The second qualifier will take place May 2 at Bellewood Golf Club.

  The GAP Middle-Amateur started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Am as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Mid-Am was for players 30 years of age and older.

  The Association’s Executive Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA's guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field begins with 132 players. Players must have a GAP/USGA Handicap Index of 7.0 or lower.

  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 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers

Name

Club

Scores

Lance Oberparleiter

Little Mill Country Club

72

Jack Anderson

Makefield Highlands Golf Club

72

Benjamin Smith

Little Mill Country Club

73

Jack Wallace

Philadelphia Cricket Club

74

James Gillespie

Wedgwood Country Club

74

Tim Freeh

Back Creek Golf Club

74

Jeffrey Huntzinger

Philadelphia Publinks GA

74

Daniel Pinciotti, Jr.

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74

Mark Peterson

Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

Sean Ryan

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75

Ronald Jamarowicz

Hartefeld National

76

Bryan Ott

Silver Creek Country Club

76

Adam Mastone

Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

76

Ryan Jordan

Tavistock Country Club

76

Drew Panebianco

Five Ponds Golf Club

77

John Aloisio

Running Deer Golf Club

77

Alexander Maguire, Jr.

Brookside Country Club

77

Frank Corrado, Jr.

Jericho National Golf Club

77

Mark Walker

Laurel Creek Country Club

77

Michael Walker

Loch Nairn Golf Club

78

Matthew Finger

Wedgwood Country Club

78

Michael Santerian

Wedgwood Country Club

78

Mark Kosko

Sea Oaks Golf Club

78

Blake Cleary

Wilmington Country Club

78

Tom Grady

West Chester Golf & Country Club

78

Paul Bickford

Little Mill Country Club

79

Tom Spano

Llanerch Country Club

79

Steven Budenz

Makefield Highlands Golf Club

79

Bill Boyle

Metedeconk National Golf Club

79

Rich Pruchnik

Back Creek Golf Club

79

Joseph Roeder

Links Golf Club

79

Robert Cunningham

Overbrook Golf Club

79

Failed to qualify

Bill Murray

Wedgwood Country Club

80

Patrick O'Brien

North Hills Country Club

80

Keith Smedley

Northampton Valley Country Club

80

Brad McFadden

Overbrook Golf Club

80

Brian Kenny

Greate Bay Country Club

81

Scott Vasbinder

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

81

Edward Kelly, Jr.

Talamore Country Club

81

Drew O'Neill

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

81

Dan Clark

Five Ponds Golf Club

81

Vincent Varvolis

Commonwealth National Golf Club

81

Frank Savarese

Philadelphia Publinks GA

82

Tom DiCinti

Links Golf Club

82

Anthony List, Jr.

Llanerch Country Club

82

Dino Stathis

Metedeconk National Golf Club

82

Bryan McClaskey

Merchantville Country Club

82

Phil Cillo

Little Mill Country Club

83

Rand Mendez

Fieldstone Golf Club

83

Johan van Schalkwyk

Burlington Country Club

84

Daniel Mahoney

Yardley Country Club

84

Scott Carney

Commonwealth National Golf Club

84

Gary Smith

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

84

Roc Irey

Lookaway Golf Club

84

Steven Walczak

Wilmington Country Club

85

Brian Powell

Burlington Country Club

85

Eric Palumbo

Rolling Green Golf Club

85

John Manfredi

Sand Barrens Golf Club

85

Richard Sinopoli, Jr.

Sea Oaks Golf Club

86

Fred Giblin

Links Golf Club

86

Brian Degnan

Philadelphia Publinks GA

86

Fran Begley

Wedgwood Country Club

86

Rick Hendrickson

Hidden Creek Golf Club

86

Christopher Parmer

Metedeconk National Golf Club

87

Bradley Roberts

Wedgwood Country Club

88

Nick Verrecchio

Rolling Green Golf Club

88

George Foley

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

88

Ed Kahn

Little Mill Country Club

88

Nicholas Angiulo

Deerwood Country Club

89

Jay Desjardins

Waynesborough Country Club

90

Rick Wright

Philadelphia Publinks GA

91

David Barnett

Inniscrone Golf Club

94

Schuyler Wickes

Phoenixville Country Club

96

Stanley Bergman, Jr.

Hidden Creek Golf Club

99

Paul Bizzaro

Deerwood Country Club

WD

Mark Dennish

The Ridge at Back Brook

WD

Francis Hamm

Country Club of Scranton

WD

Sean Leonard

Tavistock Country Club

WD

Bobby Kershner

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

NS

Len Fox, Jr.

Tavistock Country Club

WD

Ron Fitser

Huntsville Golf Club

WD

WD - withdrawal; NS - no show

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