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HVCC’s Mason chisels perfect performance in taking home Open title

  HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.–Andrew Mason crafted a timeless masterpiece on Wednesday in the 107th Open Championship at Huntingdon Valley CC (par 70, 6,902 yards). The 22-year-old amateur navigated 36 holes of his home course with Michangelo-like precision, finishing at 5-under-par 135 amidst grueling, intense heat to win the Association’s third oldest tournament by a whopping seven strokes. He was the only player under par. Teaching professional Stu Ingraham of M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center placed second to cash the $7,000 top professional prize. Matt Mattare, an amateur from Saucon Valley CC, and teaching pro Mark Sheftic of Merion GC tied for third at 143.

ANDREW MASON
  Mason’s victory earned him a spot amongst an elite group on a variety of levels. He is only the eighth individual amateur to win the Open. Michael Brown of Lookaway GC won last year. Mason’s win was also only the 14th time an amateur has finished on top of the leaderboard. Jay Sigel finished first six times, William Hyndman, III twice and the other handful once each.

  “I can’t even describe how it feels,” said the understated Mason of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “The names on the list of champions are amateur golf in Philadelphia.”

  Mason is also only the fourth player from the venerable and player-rich club of Huntingdon Valley to win an Open. Pro Jack Campbell won the first two Opens ever competed in 1903-04; Hyndman, III took the 1968-69 renewals and recently retired longtime professional Jack Connelly earned the 1979 title.

  And if that wasn’t enough, Mason, perhaps most impressively, blazed one of the area’s most treacherous tracks for a competitive course record of 65 in Round 1.

Low professional Stu Ingraham (right)
with Rich Meehan, GAP President.
  “I knew what the record was,” said Mason of his first-round gem, “even though I’m sure the players back in the day probably blew that out of the water.” Doug Gregor of Huntingdon Valley CC carded a 66 in the 1991 Lynnewood Hall to hold the previous mark.

  Mason, who has eyed a strong Open performance since qualifying at Riverton CC a few weeks ago, stated his Championship intentions early and often.

  He birdied three of his five holes and started his round with five straight threes.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 382 yards), Mason lofted a wedge from 50 yards to 20 feet and rolled in the birdie; on No. 2 (par 4, 448 yards) he choked down a pitching wedge from 115 yards and hit it to 10 feet for 3; and then on No. 4 (par 4, 304 yards) knocked his 2-iron five yards short of the green before chipping up to four feet. In between, he registered a pair of par 3s. Mason moved to 4 under on No. 9 (par 4, 455 yards), statistically the third toughest hole on the course, when he dropped a pitching wedge from 135 yards to 20 feet and made the downhill try.

  A bogey on No. 11 (par 4, 377 yards) temporarily halted Mason’s momentum, but the Temple senior knocked a pitching wedge from 125 yards to four feet on the next hole, No. 12 (par 4, 420 yards), for an easy birdie. He added a sixth and final red circle to the scorecard on No. 15 (par 5, 574 yards) when he launched a 2-iron from 265 yards onto the green 35 feet away from the hole. He would two putt.

  “I thought the home course advantage would be big but you have to play well to take advantage of that,” said Mason.

  As heat wilted away the competition in Round 2, Mason kept his championship mettle.

  Starting on No. 10, he birdied the 12th with a 25-foot putt. He bogeyed No. 13 (par 3, 172 yards) after his tee shot landed 40 feet away from the hole but responded, once again, on No. 15 with a short chip to gimme range. A bogey on No. 18 (par 4, 440 yards) after a poor drive saw Mason make the turn at even in Round 2 but still at 5-under overall.

  At the time, Graham Dendler of Trenton CC was his closest pursuer at 1 under.

  “I thought coming into the tournament 1 or 2 under would win it,” said Mason. “Once I got it to 6 under, I tried to stay with that pace.”

  Mason birdied No. 1, his 10th hole, and No. 7 (par 5, 566 yards), but sandwiched a pair of bogeys on the frontside par 3s to finish at even par and 5-under overall.

  Ingraham, playing in the last group, edged Sheftic for low pro honors.

  It was Ingraham’s second straight low pro finish. He won the Philadelphia Section of the PGA’s Hyndman Memorial Classic on Monday and took home the first prize of $1,100.

  “Before the day started I thought 142 would win it,” said Ingraham, 51, of Newtown Square, Pa. “I think this is the hardest course in Philadelphia. This is such a great challenge.”

NOTES–Mason’s victory margin pales in comparison to the 1975 efforts of Sigel. He won the Open that year by an astounding 12 shots at Bidermann GC … the 72-player field consisted of 41 amateurs and 31 professionals … Defending Michael Brown of Lookaway GC tied for 20th with a 150 total … last year’s low professional Greg Farrow of Deerwood CC placed fifth with a 144 score.

Name, club

R1-R2–Total

(a) Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

65-70–135

Stuart Ingraham, M Golf Driving Range and Learning Center

72-70–142

Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club

72-71–143

(a) Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club

72-71–143

Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club

73-71–144

Graham Dendler, Trenton Country Club

68-77–145

John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs

73-73–146

George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club

71-75–146

(a) James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

77-70–147

David Quinn, Links Golf Club

76-71–147

(a) Mike Meisenzahl, Little Mill Country Club

74-73–147

(a) Sean Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club

70-77–147

(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club

72-75–147

(a) Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club

74-74–148

(a) Connor McNicholas, Commonwealth National Golf Club

77-72–149

(a) Vince Boyle, Torresdale-Frankford Country Club

76-73–149

Travis Deibert, Commonwealth National Golf Club

76-73–149

(a) Nelson Hargrove, Merion Golf Club

74-75–149

(a) Greg Matthias, Hartefeld National

74-75–149

(a) James Sullivan, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course

78-72–150

William Sautter, Philadelphia Cricket Club

74-76–150

David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club

76-74–150

John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

75-75–150

Joey Pohle, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78-72–150

(a) Michael Brown, Lookaway Golf Club

74-76–150

Scott Hunter, Overbrook Golf Club

76-74–150

Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

78-72–150

Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club

75-75–150

(a) Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

79-72–151

(a) Jeff Osberg, Llanerch Country Club

78-73–151

Jeffrey Bonicky, Sea Oaks Golf Club

77-74–151

(a) Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club

78-74–152

(a) Michael Tash, Tavistock Country Club

72-80–152

Tony Perla, Radnor Valley Country Club

77-75–152

(a) Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville Country Club

77-76–153

Hugh Reilly, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77-76–153

(a) Joseph Gunerman, Jericho National Golf Club

70-83–153

Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club

82-72–154

(a) Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club

77-77–154

Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club

80-74–154

(a) Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

82-73–155

(a) Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club

81-74–155

(a) Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club

78-77–155

John Allen, Linfield National Golf Club

78-77–155

(a) Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club

75-80–155

David Clark, Pine Valley Golf Club

80-76–156

(a) Benjamin Smith, Little Mill Country Club

81-75–156

(a) Thomas Bartolacci, Jr., Saucon Valley Country Club

82-75–157

(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club

81-76–157

Rick Hughart, Tavistock Country Club

78-79–157

(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club

79-79–158

(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

80-78–158

Bill Walker, Bala Golf Club

78-80–158

(a) Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club

80-78–158

(a) Ryan Gelrod, Commonwealth National Golf Club

78-81–159

(a) Blayze DiPasquale, Commonwealth National Golf Club

81-79–160

Chandler Withington, Merion Golf Club

83-77–160

Neil Maurer, Bayside Resort

76-84–160

(a) Chris Esbenshade, Bent Creek Country Club

77-83–160

(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

86-75–161

(a) Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club

82-79–161

(a) Scott Storck, Philadelphia Cricket Club

81-81–162

Frank Bianco, Frankie B Golf Schools at Groffs Farm Golf Links

82-84–166

Ian Dalzell, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

87-80–167

(a) Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club

82-85–167

(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside C.C. of Allentown

85-82–167

Chris Orlando, Downingtown Country Club

81-86–167

John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club

86-82–168

(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

86-83–169

(a) Alex Blickle, LedgeRock Golf Club

87-89–176

Robby Walizer, Gulph Mills Golf Club

83-WD–WD

Michael Moses, Concord Country Club

79-WD–WD

 

(a)-amateur

WD-withdrawal

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