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May 31, 2016

Tavistock’s Jamie Slonis carded an even-par 72 to help his team advance Tuesday.

Tavistock tops Team Championship Qualifier at The ACE Club

  LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa. — If the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Team Championship Qualifier Tuesday needs a movie title, “The Return” fits the bill. To a T you can say.

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  Tavistock Country Club, absent from the final since 2012, topped the event at The ACE Club (par 72, 7,125 yards) with a 292 total. Thomas Gramigna, five months removed from a third hip surgery, led his team with a 3-under-par 69. Philmont Country Club’s Michael R. Brown, Jr., fresh off a co-runner-up performance in the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf, earned individual medalist honors with a 5-under-par 67.

  Joining Tavistock, which holds six Team Championship titles (1963, 1965-67, 2003, 2008), in the qualifying corridors are Commonwealth National Golf Club, Little Mill Country Club and Lu Lu Country Club. The 97th Team Championship will take place June 29 at Hidden Creek Golf Club.

  “We’ve had a lot of down years at Tavistock. Players have gotten a little bit older and not quite as good,” Gramigna, 46, of Haddonfield, N.J., said. “It’s nice to get back [into the Team Championship]. I’m excited because I love Hidden Creek. It’s one of my favorite golf courses in the area.”

  Gramigna underwent a pair of surgeries on his right hip in 2014. He again went under the knife in January. Gramigna, who won the Middle-Amateur Championship and reached the BMW Philadelphia Amateur semifinals in 2010, works out with a physical therapist three days a week.

  “The recovery process has been hard. It’s been a long road,” he said. “I’m still not 100 percent but I can finally turn and start hitting normal shots. Last year I could only carry the ball 175 yards in the air.

  “I haven’t played very well in a while. I got a lot of good breaks today. That was as low as I could possibly shoot. I could barely walk last year. I’ve been out of competitive golf for two years. This is my first year back.”

  Gramigna, who started on No. 10 (par 4, 450 yards), declared his return emphatically by inking a 33 coming in. He knocked a gap wedge 105 yards to six feet for a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 365 yards). On the strenuous par 5, 571-yard No. 2, Gramigna executed a 10-footer for a 4 after splashing out of the left bunker. He nearly aced No. 6 (par 3, 152 yards), tattooing a 7-iron into tap-in territory. Gramigna also birdied the par 3, 210-yard 12th hole following a 5-iron to 12 feet. The conversion atoned for a three-putt bogey on No. 10.

  Lu Lu , fertilizing a revival of sorts, filed a 295 total to advance. The North Hills, Pa. venue lost its clubhouse to a fire in October 2015, but gained a plethora of fiery talent. A trio of former Commonwealth National members and Team Championship winners — Scott McLaughlin, Michael Moffat and Glenn Smeraglio — joined in the offseason. Brandon Matthews, one of the region’s top amateurs, also calls Lu Lu home.

  McLaughlin, on the heels of a Top 5 finish in the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf, led the Lu Lu contingent with a score of 70.

  “I haven’t been playing recreational golf really well; it’s the tournament golf I seem to gear up for,” McLaughlin, 36, of Hatboro, Pa., said. “My game is coming around. I’m hitting the ball better and making some putts. Lag putting was really difficult today. The greens are real tricky out here and tough to read. It was tough to gage the speed.”

  Only three of those greens (Nos. 1, 11 and 15) stumped McLaughlin — the trickiness synonymous with three-putt bogeys. He tamed the trying slopes by rattling off five birdies on the day. McLaughlin hit an 8-iron 165 yards to eight feet on No. 2 (par 4, 448 yards). A pair of par 3s also yielded impressive conversions. On the 204-yard 14th hole, McLaughlin whipped a 5-iron to 15 feet. He drilled a 7-iron to 35 feet below the No. 12 flagstick.

  “It was a little right-to-left. I thought it was going to be uphill into the green and it turned out it was pretty flat,” McLaughlin said of the birdie putt. “Thank God it hit the hole and went in.”

  Lu Lu’s lone Team Championship appearance came in 2000; it placed fourth at Laurel Creek Country Club.

  “To be honest, we have 10-20 guys who are really good players,” McLaughlin said. “That was the main reason why I made the transition over there from Commonwealth. I wanted it to be a little more competitive.

  “Hopefully we can bring Lu Lu back to where it was 10 to 15 years ago. I grew up playing there. I went to [Sandy Run Middle School] across the street. I use to walk over there after school and play. It’s come full circle.”

  Brown, 43, of Maple Shade, N.J., nearly brought his club into the Team Championship circle with his performance. Philmont, along with Bala Golf Club, finished a shot back.

  “I played a pretty clean round. I felt pretty in control for most of the day,” Brown said.

  Commonwealth National will make its fifth straight and sixth overall Team Championship appearance. It took titles in 2009 and 2014. Little Mill, the reigning BMW GAP Team Matches champion, advanced in 2005 and 2011.

  The Team Championship Qualifier determines which four member clubs will compete in the Team Championship. Participants must field at least six players to be eligible. The low four scores of each team make up the qualifying total. In the event of a tie, the fifth player’s score is used.

  The Championship proper features eight-man teams playing an alternate shot format in the morning, with singles matches in the afternoon.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 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

Team

Total

Tavistock CC

292

Thomas Gramigna

69*

Matt Raudenbush

77*

Kyle Raudenbush

84

Michael Tash

74*

Bob Arthur

81

Jamie Slonis

72*

Lu Lu CC

295

Brandon Matthews

74*

Glenn Smeraglio

75*

Scott McLaughlin

70*

Jim Sullivan

79

Michael Moffat

78

Mark Farley

76*

Commonwealth National GC

300

Brett Diakon

73*

John Alterman

82

Sean Torpey

79

Matthew Teesdale

75*

Mike Valentine

77*

Brian Fischer

75*

Little Mill CC

300

Michael Hyland

70*

Vincent Kwon

78*

Blaine Lafferty

77*

James Gillespie

75*

Paul Bickford

83

Michael Dunn

83

Failed to qualify

Bala GC

301

Jonathan Kruse

77*

Alex Hargaden

78*

Scott McNeil

70*

Andy Beittel

81

Ben Wilkins

79

Jeff Nocella

76*

Philmont Country Club

301

Evan Galbreath

84

Matthew Crescenzo

81*

Joe Perese

77*

John Simone

76*

Michael R. Brown, Jr.

67*

Scott Landsberg

83

Old York Road CC

303

Ryan Beck

74*

Edward Enoch

78*

Edward Kelly, Jr.

81

Bryan Marvin

81

John Samaha

72*

Brian Skrip

79*

Overbrook GC

304

D.J. Colleran

87

Raymond Thompson

73*

Oscar Mestre

68*

Trey Croney

84

Matthew Walsh

82*

Michael Rogers

81*

Llanerch CC

305

Cory Reighard

75*

Tom Spano

78*

Stephen Seiden

73*

Joe Kerrigan, Jr.

81

Sean Coyle

79*

Brandon Murdock

79

Philadelphia Cricket Club

306

John Brennan

72*

Jack Wallace

77*

Ryan Gelrod

80*

Frank Petrash, IV

80

Michael Carr

77*

Daniel Feeney

81

Applebrook GC

306

Chris Lawler

76*

Gary E. Daniels

76*

William Naylor

76*

Dan Arison

78*

Michael Cook

79

Brendan Bacskai

79

Mercer Oaks GC

308

Louis Giovi

78*

Jim Schulz, Jr.

79*

Thomas Timby, Jr.

71*

Brian Dempster

81

Brian Sokolowski

95

Brandon Capone

80*

Talamore CC

309

Kyle Ginty

81*

Ron Robinson

76*

Scott Slobotkin

93

Norman Huertgen

83

Michael Fireman

81*

Jalen Griffin

71*

Moselem Springs GC

310

Jay Vasil

78*

Kevin Quimby

90

John Psillas

87

Jason Barkley

81*

Steve Oh

71*

Bryan Ott

80*

Five Ponds GC

311

Neil Gordon

85

Victor Gerstner

83*

Jeff Moffat

88

Drew Panebianco

77*

Brian Rothaus

76*

Matthew O'Brien

75*

Radley Run CC

311

Alex Kane

83

Nicholas Gianelos

73*

Parker Wine

80*

Tom Grady

76*

Joey Hoban

82*

Jim Krass

85

DuPont Country Club

312

Scott Cahayla

77*

Brian Davis

79*

Adam Mowery

82*

William Gamgort

74*

Nathaniel Barney

91

Alan Lazzarino

83

The Springhaven Club

313

Rich Thon

85

Roy Kiscaden

87

Nick Calabrese

73*

Michael Hodges

78*

Robert Dziak

79*

Michael Howanski

83*

Huntingdon Valley CC

313

Benjamin Cooley

76*

Sean Seese

79*

William Weihenmayer

80*

Daniel Pinciotti, Jr.

78*

Douglas Gregor

82

Gregg Englebreth

87

Wilmington CC

316

Donald MacKelcan

80*

Jared Green

85

Bret Morris

80*

Brett Koelle

81*

Bob Aerenson

87

Chris Anderson

75*

Whitford CC

319

Chris Yard

80*

Kevin Conners, Jr.

78*

Matt Dietrich

85*

Nicholas DiBona

88

Peter Blok

88

Peter Moran

76*

Running Deer GC

320

Chris Meares

83*

Thomas Alestock

81*

Frank Kohute

81*

John Burke

89

Matthew Gaffney

75*

Chris Bevelheimer

91

Spring Ford CC

325

Kevin Koch

83*

Pete Zollers

79*

Brian Winters

80*

Patrick Phillips

86

Jeff Hicks

87

Scott Lightbody

83*

Bellewood CC

325

Joseph Dulka

82*

Greg O'Connor

79*

Bobby Kershner

79*

John Pappas

85*

Hugh Gallagher

89

Adam Smith

91

Whitemarsh Valley CC

327

Miguel Biamon

83*

Matt Jasudowich

83*

John Frampton

91

Gary Guarnaccia

83

David Liotta

79*

Chuck Lynch, Jr.

82*

Plymouth CC

328

Gerard Rosato

80*

Michael Dafnis

80*

Matt Mingione

79*

Matthew Foster

89*

Karl Klotzbach

89

Matthew Kreuter

WD

Brookside CC

333

Alexander Maguire, Jr.

78*

Alexander Maguire, Sr.

91*

Bo Maguire

82*

Matt Keim

82*

Tim Turner

WD

Mark Szilagyi

WD

McCall Golf & CC

338

Joe Delfranco

83*

Tom Coyne

84*

Dave Locher

86*

Jon Stein

85*

Matt Koehler

88

Ronald Bonenfant

90

* - counted toward team total; WD - withdrawal

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