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July 22, 2015

Brandon Matthews of Blue Bell Country Club won his second Open Championship title in three years.

Temple University’s Matthews wins second Open Championship

  FLOURTOWN, Pa.–For the second time in three years, Temple University’s Brandon Matthews soared above Philadelphia’s most challenging field in championship form. A rising senior, Matthews overcame 77 other top professionals and amateurs, the mettle testing Wissahickon Course (par 70, 6,975 yards) of Philadelphia Cricket Club and menacing winds to finish at 3-under-par 137 (66-71) for the 36 holes. Josh Rackley, a Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant professional, placed second at 1 under. He secured low professional honors and the $7,000 top prize that goes with it.

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  Matthews, again, added to Temple’s recent remarkable string of Open successes. The last five Champions all called North Broad Street home. Andrew Mason won in 2011-12, Matthews in 2013 and Matt Teesdale in 2014.

  “I’m happy to get the win. [Philadelphia Cricket Club] is unbelievable,” said the 20-year-old Blue Bell Country Club member. “Coach [Brian Quinn] does such a great job with us. I’m just glad I can be part of all this, to be along for the ride. To have him on my side is something special.”

  Rackley and Matthews set the pace from the get go on Wednesday. Rackley opened with a new competitive course-record 65, 5 under, in his first round. A 20-foot chip-in birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 487 yards) from the right greenside side rough provided a spectacular finish.

  Matthews only trailed by a shot heading into Round 2 despite Rackley’s heroics. Matthews posted an equally impressive 66, 4 under, with three birdies in his last six holes. Strong play considering it was Matthews’ first trip of the Flourtown layout.

  Rackley and Matthews started mid-wave in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and 1:40 p.m., respectively.

  Almost immediately into the second round, the Championship became a Matthews’ coronation.

  Leaky ball-striking by Rackley led to a bogey and double bogey in his first four holes. By the time both players made the turn, Matthews, of Dupont, Pa., held a three-shot lead.

  Billy Stewart, an assistant professional at The ACE Club, registered a mid-round charge with six birdies in nine holes to squeak into second place, temporarily. Stewart, however, had two late bogeys and Rackley recovered with a birdie on No. 6 (par 4, 476 yards) to forge back ahead for low pro honors. He knocked a downwind 9-iron from 155 yards to eight feet.

  Matthews, in the meantime, carded six straight pars on his back nine to erase any doubts about the ultimate outcome. He bogeyed No. 7 (par 5, 554 yards) with a nuclear wedge from 85 yards but finished with three more pars (players started on No. 11 for logistical purposes) to close out his second Open win.

  In 2013, Matthews defeated Stewart in a four-hole playoff. This year, no extra time was needed.

  “I didn’t falter at the end,” said Matthews of the biggest difference between this victory and the one prior. “I know I made a bogey coming in but that was because the wind shut off. It wasn’t because of a bad swing. I hit some great shots coming in. The last two holes I hit the shots exactly where I was looking. I hit the putts exactly where I was looking. The way I performed down the stretch is really nice to see.”

  Rackley, 25, of King of Prussia, Pa., is in his third year at Gulph Mills. In late May, he won the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic and the $100,000 first-place prize. He also competed in the recent PGA Professional National Championship at Cricket Wissahickon where he tied for 31st, good for $3,700.

  Defending champion Matt Teesdale of Commonwealth National Golf Club tied for 13th at 8-over par.

  This is Cricket’s eighth time as an Open site, the first since 1962. The first ever Open was staged in 1903 on Cricket’s St. Martins Course.

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 151 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.

Name, club

R1-R2-Total

(a) Brandon Matthews, Blue Bell Country Club

66-71–137

Joshua Rackley, Gulph Mills Golf Club

65-74–139

Billy Stewart, The ACE Club

73-67–140

George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club

71-70–141

(a) Benjamin Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74-68–142

Mark Sheftic, Merion Golf Club

69-73–142

(a) Cory Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club

72-73–145

(a) Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

74-71–145

(a) Jalen Griffin, Talamore Country Club

74-71–145

John Pillar, Sr., Country Club at Woodloch Springs

73-72–145

(a) Alexander Hicks, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

74-73–147

Hugo Mazzalupi, Philadelphia Cricket Club

71-76–147

(a) Christopher Ault, Burlington Country Club

73-75–148

(a) Matthew Teesdale, Commonwealth National Golf Club

76-72–148

(a) Gregor A. Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club

70-78–148

Stuart Ingraham, MGOLF Driving Range & Learning Facility

72-76–148

(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75-74–149

(a) Michael R. Brown, Jr., Links Golf Club

72-77–149

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

71-78–149

(a) Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club

73-76–149

(a) Patrick Ross, Huntsville Golf Club

75-74–149

Stephen Frederick, Lehigh Country Club

74-75–149

Rich Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club

73-76–149

David Quinn, Links Golf Club

76-73–149

Russell Harbold, Lancaster Country Club

72-77–149

(a) Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club

77-73–150

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

76-74–150

(a) Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77-73–150

(a) Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

76-74–150

(a) Blaine Lafferty, Burlington Country Club

76-74–150

John Allen, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77-73–150

Michael Heidler, Bella Vista Golf Club

77-73–150

(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79-72–151

(a) Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club

76-76–152

(a) Roland Massimino, Jericho National Golf Club

76-76–152

Jason Panter, Sand Barrens Golf Club

75-77–152

Mark Miller, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

74-78–152

John Appleget, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

74-78–152

Jordan Gibbs, Gulph Mills Golf Club

76-76–152

Steve Swartz, Conestoga Country Club

79-73–152

(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club

74-79–153

(a) Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club

76-77–153

Bertus Wessels, Green Valley Country Club

78-75–153

(a) Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

76-78–154

(a) Evan Thornton, LedgeRock Golf Club

74-80–154

Colin Corrigan, Saucon Valley Country Club

80-74–154

Jakob Gerney, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

74-80–154

(a) Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club

76-79–155

(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club

75-80–155

Curtis Kirkpatrick, Indian Spring Country Club

79-76–155

John Lynch, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

76-79–155

(a) Robert Savarese, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

79-77–156

(a) Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club

80-76–156

John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79-77–156

Gregory Farrow, Deerwood Country Club

79-77–156

David McNabb, Applebrook Golf Club

73-83–156

Brian Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club

78-78–156

John Bierkan, Aronimink Golf Club

78-79–157

Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club

76-81–157

Mike Meisenzahl, Shore Gate Golf Club

76-81–157

(a) David West, Whitford Country Club

78-80–158

(a) P.J. Acierno, Sandy Run Country Club

71-87–158

Trevor Bensel, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

78-80–158

(a) Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club

83-76–159

Mike Furey, Mahoning Valley Country Club

81-79–160

Tom Michaels, Waynesborough Country Club

81-79–160

(a) Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club

77-84–161

(a) Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club

81-80–161

Robert Shuey, The Clubs at Colonial Ridge

83-78–161

Mark Parson, Stone Harbor Golf Club

80-82–162

(a) Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club

83-80–163

(a) Bobby Kershner, Spring Ford Country Club

78-85–163

(a) Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club

90-75–165

Robert Hennefer, Indian Spring Country Club

85-80–165

Jim Smith, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club

82-83–165

(a) Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club

81-86–167

(a) Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield

86-81–167

Stephen Sieracki, Indian Spring Country Club

85-85–170

 

(a)-denotes amateur

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