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Spring Ford CC’s Steinmetz sets record, wins Open Championship

  LITITZ, Pa.–On a day when birdies and eagles came in bunches for many, Rich Steinmetz registered more than any other.

CONRAD VON BORSIG
  The Spring Ford CC head professional finished the 36 holes of the 105th Open Championship in a record 10-under par on Wednesday at Bent Creek CC (par 71, 6,681 yards), finishing with an impressive second-round 64, to win the title. Both Steinmetz’s final score and aggregate total established new marks.

  “Awesome. I’ve come close a couple of times. It’s one of the top wins in my career,” said Steinmetz, the 2006 Philadelphia Section of the PGA Player of the Year and 2007 Sectional Championship winner.

  Adam Condello, an assistant professional at Aronimink GC, and Mark Sheftic, the teaching professional at Merion GC, tied for second at 6 under. Conrad Von Borsig of Concord CC earned Low Amateur honors with a 4-under-par 138.

  Defending champion Greg Pieczynski, a teaching professional at the Academy of Golf Center and the first-round leader, finished at 4 under as well.

  Steinmetz’s total, in relation to par, eclipsed Joseph Lewis of Tredyffrin CC’s previous mark of 8-under-par 136 set at Llanerch CC in 1942. Gene Feiger of Overbrook GC held the lowest aggregate Open total when he shot a 135 at Laurel Creek CC in 1995. Steinmetz's aggregate score was 132.

  “I hit the ball about the same in both rounds but I was hitting more shots really close in [the second round],” said Steinmetz, 37, of Gilbertsville, Pa. “I had a couple of good five to 10 footers as well. My wedge game was really on. I put myself in good position to have wedges in and I hit a lot of shots tight.”

  Steinmetz’s title run started on the first hole of his second 18. Playing the back nine first, Steinmetz knocked a wedge from 127 yards to a foot on No. 10 (par 4, 423 yards).

  After that, the birdies came in rapid succession. On No. 12 (par 5, 518 yards), he two-putted from 50 feet after reaching the par 5 in two shots; drained a 30-footer on No. 13 (par 3, 148 yards); cracked a 7-iron from 165 yards to two feet on No. 16 (par 4, 456 yards); on No. 17 (par 4, 292 yards) flipped a wedge to five feet from 79 yards and concluded a front-nine 30 on No. 18 (par 5, 522 yards) with an up-and-down from the left greenside bunker that he hit to eight feet.

  Steinmetz followed that up with a wedge from 120 yards to five feet on No. 1 (par 4, 431 yards). That’s seven birdies in 10 holes.

  He bogeyed No. 4 (par 4, 403 yards) when he missed the green short and failed to get up-and-down in the middle of the short rain storm that blew in and caused a 45-minute delay, but responded with birdies on No. 6 (par 3, 169 yards) with a 6-iron to eight feet and No. 7 (par 4, 304 yards) with a wedge from 65 yards to about the same distance. He bogeyed No. 9 (par 5, 548 yards) after a poor chip, but in the end in didn’t matter.

  He opened the Championship with a 3-under-par 68 in the morning.

  The victory proved a bit of redemption for Steinmetz.

  He missed a playoff for the 2002 Open at Pine Valley GC by a shot after bogeying four of the final five holes and was in contention at Merion GC in 2005 before struggling on the final nine.

  “It’s a learning experience, [you] learn what fails in those situations and build on it from there,” said Steinmetz.

  For the win, Steinmetz earned the $8,000 winner’s share.

  Pieczynski, who moved to 10-under par two holes into the final round, eliminated himself from contention when he knocked two drives on his last nine holes, the front side, out of bounds. In all, he said, he took five penalty strokes.

  “It was a lot of fun. I made a few mistakes in the second round and you can’t do that with the strength of the field that is here,” said Pieczynski, 26, of Kingston, Pa.

  Von Borsig of Swarthmore, Pa., the reigning Amateur Champion, carded a pair of 69s en route to Low Amateur honors.

  “That was my goal once I realized I wasn’t going to win the tournament,” said Von Borsig, 22. “I heard after [hole] 16 that Rich [Steinmetz] was 10 under. I was only 5 under at that time. I was playing with Michael Brown. Sometimes it’s frustrating when you know you aren’t going to win but I tried to play a tournament within the tournament and beat all the amateurs. Going into the summer winning the Player of the Year was a goal.” Von Borsig currently leads in the standings. Brown is second.

  Overall, 18 of the 72 players, made up of 36 amateurs and 36 professionals, finished the two rounds under par.

  In Round 1, the top of the leaderboard resembled a revolving door.

  When all was done, Pieczynski emerged with a one-shot lead after carding an 8-under-par 63. Condello carded a 64 and 17-year-old amateur Tucker Koch of RiverCrest GC & Preserve posted a 65. In all 24 of the 72 players carded red figure rounds in the morning round.

Name

Club

Rd. 1

Rd. 2

Total

Rich Steinmetz

Spring Ford Country Club

68

64

132

Adam Condello

Aronimink Golf Club

64

72

136

Mark Sheftic

Merion Golf Club

66

70

136

Gregory Pieczynski

Academy of Golf Center

63

75

138

(a) Conrad Von Borsig

Concord Country Club

69

69

138

Terry Hertzog

Bent Creek Country Club

67

71

138

(a) Tucker Koch

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

65

74

139

George Forster

Radnor Valley Country Club

69

70

139

Michael Moses

Concord Country Club

69

70

139

(a) Michael Brown

Philadelphia Publinks GA

68

71

139

Robert Shuey

Dauphin Highlands Golf Course

66

73

139

William Sautter

Philadelphia Cricket Club

68

71

139

Stuart Ingraham

MGOLF Driving Range and Learning Center

68

72

140

David McNabb

Cavaliers Country Club

70

70

140

(a) Glenn Smeraglio

Commonwealth National Golf Club

71

69

140

(a) Michael McDermott

Merion Golf Club

69

71

140

David Quinn

Links Golf Club

70

70

140

(a) Douglas Zelner

Spring Ford Country Club

70

71

141

(a) Greg Jarmas

Philadelphia Publinks GA

70

72

142

Mark Parson

Hidden Creek Golf Club

72

70

142

(a) Peter Barron, III

Stone Harbor Golf Club

71

71

142

(a) John La Dow

Bellewood Golf Club

73

70

143

(a) Michael Kania

Overbrook Golf Club

72

71

143

(a) Rodney James

Five Ponds Golf Club

70

73

143

Travis Deibert

Commonwealth National Golf Club

70

74

144

Chris Krueger

Kings Creek Country Club

74

71

145

(a) Matthew Mattare

Saucon Valley Country Club

71

74

145

Jamie Komancheck

RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

69

76

145

Dick Smith, Jr.

Woodcrest Country Club

72

73

145

(a) Michael Tash

Tavistock Country Club

74

71

145

Kevin Melrath

Sunnybrook Golf Club

73

72

145

(a) Mark Miller

Yardley Country Club

70

75

145

Rick Hughart

Tavistock Country Club

77

69

146

(a) James Kania, Jr.

Overbrook Golf Club

71

75

146

Gregg Meyer

Woodstone Country Club

71

75

146

(a) Zachary Herr

Jericho National Golf Club

77

69

146

Jim Smith, Jr.

Philadelphia Cricket Club

76

71

147

Eddie Perrino

Mountain Laurel Golf Club

71

76

147

John Spina

Philadelphia Cricket Club

72

76

148

Scott Hunter

Overbrook Golf Club

73

75

148

(a) Chris Esbenshade

Bent Creek Country Club

73

75

148

(a) Christopher Lange

Overbrook Golf Club

75

73

148

Graham Dendler

Trenton Country Club

73

75

148

Jakob Gerney

Olde York Country Club

74

74

148

(a) Cory Siegfried

Philadelphia Country Club

73

76

149

(a) Tom Borsello

Fieldstone Golf Club

73

76

149

(a) Daniel Charen

Yardley Country Club

74

75

149

(a) Vinny Alessi

Penn Oaks Golf Club

70

80

150

Jason Panter

Sea Oaks Golf Club

71

79

150

(a) Philip Winter

Philadelphia Publinks GA

78

72

150

(a) Ryan Boyland

Penn Oaks Golf Club

70

81

151

(a) Eric Chipin

Philmont Country Club

81

70

151

Brian Kelly

Bucknell Golf Club

75

77

152

(a) Geoffrey Cooper

Laurel Creek Country Club

72

80

152

(a) Oscar Mestre

Overbrook Golf Club

78

75

153

(a) David West

Whitford Country Club

78

75

153

(a) John Brennan

Spring Ford Country Club

79

75

154

(a) Nelson Hargrove

Merion Golf Club

79

76

155

(a) Tony Perla

Radnor Valley Country Club

81

76

157

(a) Peter Moran

Edgmont Country Club

81

76

157

David Fields

Brookside Country Club

80

77

157

Joey Pohle

Chester Valley Golf Club

79

79

158

Ryan Gray

French Creek Golf Club

74

85

159

(a) Shawn Lavin

Philadelphia Publinks GA

78

81

159

Wesley Hollis

Fore Seasons Golf

84

78

162

(a) Michael O'Keefe

Little Mill Country Club

82

80

162

(a) Kevin Seybert

Huntingdon Valley Country Club

80

85

165

Steve Kiefner

Northampton Country Club

83

86

169

Alexander Knoll

Bethlehem Golf Club

78

WD

WD

(a) Colin Smith

Radley Run Country Club

82

NS

NS

Terry Hatch

Hidden Valley Golf Course

73

WD

WD

John Pillar, Sr.

Country Club at Woodloch Springs

78

WD

WD

(a)-amateur

NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

 

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