Team Philadelphia looks to reclaim Mason-Dixon Matches trophy
The Mason-Dixon Matches pit the Associationâ€™s finest against those from the Middle Atlantic Golf Association. The matches have been played annually since 1952, with the Golf Association of Philadelphia holding a 32-20 lead. There have been five ties.
Two 12-man teams, including one junior and two seniors, from each association compete in a four-ball match (held on Saturday) and an individual match (held on Sunday). Each match is worth one point. A possible 18 points are available. In the case of a tie (9-9), the defending association retains the trophy. Last year, the Middle Atlantic team defeated the Association, 14-4, at Columbia CC in Bethesda, Md.
Roc Irey of Lookaway GC anchors the GAP squad. This season, he finished second in the Brewer Cup, tied for third in the Senior Amateur Championship, and tied for fourth in the Warner Cup (Gross) and Frank H. Chapman Memorial (Gross), respectively.
â€śItâ€™s quite an honor to represent the Golf Association of Philadelphia in this position,â€ť Irey said. â€śItâ€™s going to be a fun match, and like all of them, itâ€™ll come down to the last ones. Weâ€™re hoping to redeem ourselves.â€ť
Irey and Gary Daniels of Saucon Valley CC, the 2009 Senior Player of the Year, represent the GAPâ€™s senior players. Edward McCrossen, Jr. of Whitemarsh Valley CC, the 2009 Junior Player of the Year and Harry Hammond Award winner, is the junior representative. Rounding out the squad is 2009 Middle-Amateur Champion Michael Brown of Philadelphia Publinks GA; John Brennan of Spring Ford CC; 2009 Patterson Cup runner-up Brian Gillespie of St. Davids GC; Matthew Mattare of Saucon Valley CC; Anthony Martire of Seaview Marriot Resort & Spa; 2009 Middle-Amateur runner-up Sean Leonard of Tavistock CC; Chris Lange of Overbrook GC; 2009 Marston Cup Champion Glenn Smeraglio of Commonwealth National GC and Douglas Zelner of Spring Ford CC.
Irey believes itâ€™s the Associationâ€™s younger players, such as Martire, Mattare and McCrossen, that could lead the team to victory in this yearâ€™s Mason-Dixon Matches.
â€śWhatâ€™s really nice is to see the young kids be able to participate and understand the honor it is to represent you association against another association,â€ť he said. â€śHopefully, theyâ€™ll be able to carry our banners for years to come.â€ť
For Martire, itâ€™s simply an honor to bear the Associationâ€™s flag this year.
â€śIt really means a lot,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™d just like to play some solid golf and to just have fun out there.â€ť
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 134 Member Clubs and 56,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.