GAP announces 2005 Compher Cup team

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia announced its 2005 Compher Cup Matches team today.

  The 44th annual matches, pitting Philadelphia against the New Jersey State Golf Association, are set for April 27 at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal, N.J. To date, the Golf Association of Philadelphia leads the series 28–11–4.

  Oscar Mestre, Jr., of Overbrook Golf Club will captain the Philadelphia team. This will be Mestre’s seventh Compher Cup appearance, but first as team captain.

   "It’s an honor to be selected for teams like the Compher Cup and Mason-Dixon Matches (Philadelphia versus the Middle Atlantic Golf Association) because they are our Walker Cups," said Mestre, 45, of Berwyn, Pa. "The [Matches] are something you always strive for because you know good play all year earns you that opportunity."

  Each association fields a 12-man team with players simultaneously competing in a singles match and four-ball match. There are a total of 18 possible points. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for the team.

   In addition to Mestre, returning to the Compher Cup Matches for Philadelphia are (appearances in parentheses): Brian Gillespie of St. Davids GC (fifth), Roc Irey of Cedarbrook CC (third), Chris Lange of Overbrook GC (22nd), Frank McFadden of Overbrook GC (third), William McGuinness of Tavistock CC (ninth), Rich Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC (second), Glenn Smeraglio of Yardley CC (sixth), Michael Tash of Tavistock CC (eighth), P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia CC (12th) and Doug Zelner of Coatesville CC (third).

  The lone newcomer to the Compher Cup Matches is Brian Corbett of Huntsville GC.

  "It’s an honor to be selected because it reflects on your play from the prior year," said Smeraglio, 45, of Newtown, Pa. "It’s one of those things we all try to be invited to."

  Although the Matches maintain an air of congeniality, both Mestre and Smeraglio feel a certain pressure representing their association.

  "Having said what I said, that it’s a culmination of a year of good play, it’s something that once you make it you take a lot of pride in," said Mestre. "You don’t want to come out and play poorly. The stressful part is trying to ramp up your game in a short period of time."

  Added the always determined Smeraglio, "The first goal is to be selected, the next goal is to win. I look forward to the challenge."

  Last year, the NJSGA defeated the GAP, 9½-8½, at Bent Creek Country Club in Lititz, Pa. Before that encounter, Philadelphia had retained the Cup with a win or draw in the eight prior meetings.

  For Hollywood GC, this is its second time hosting the Compher Cup. Hollywood held the inaugural Compher Cup in 1962.

  Fred Compher, a former New Jersey State Golf Association president, conceived the neighborhood matches after leaving his post in 1959. Compher donated a silver trophy that year earmarked for such a rivalry.

  In 1961, association representatives Bob Jacobson of New Jersey and Richard Ollmah of GAP completed the details. In 1962, the first Compher Cup matches took place. That year, the NJSGA side forged a 5–1 lead in the morning foursomes competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches for an 11½–6½ victory.

  After the New Jersey victory, Compher himself, who was known at the time as the most successful NJSGA president in its history, presented the trophy "to promote golf between the groups."

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