|*950 ESPN Golf Report|
*2009 Compher Cup Player Bios
Philadelphia announces Compher Cup teamThe Golf Association of Philadelphia announced its 2009 Compher Cup Matches team today.
Glenn Smeraglio of Commonwealth National Golf Club will captain the Philadelphia squad. This marks Smeraglioâ€™s eighth Compher Cup appearance, but first as team captain.
It always feels good,â€ť he said. â€śWe work all year to try to get on there. This is a nice perk.â€ť
Smeraglio, 49, of Newtown, Pa., expects to lead the squad to victory this year.
"You donâ€™t want to be a losing captain,â€ť he said in jest.
In the Compher Cup, 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 Smeraglio, returning to the Compher Cup Matches for Philadelphia are (appearances in parentheses): Mike Danner of Lu Lu Country Club (second), Stephen Seiden of Concord Country Club (second), Sean Leonard of Tavistock Country Club (second), Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley Country Club (second) and Michael Brown of Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association of Philadelphia Association (fourth).
The newcomers to the Compher Cup Matches are David West of Whitford Country Club, John Brennan of Spring Ford Country Club, James Donnelly of Merion Golf Club, Jeffrey Griest of Waynesborough Country Club, Rand Mendez of Fieldstone Golf Club and Chris Esbenshade of Five Ponds Golf Club.
West, 49, of Downingtown, Pa., looks forward to competing in his first Compher Cup Matches.
"I feel honored,â€ť he said. â€śIt has a lot of good players.â€ť
West believes a strong 2008 season helped his Compher Cup candidacy.
"I had more time to work on my game, and it paid off. I finished as high as I ever did in the points,â€ť he said.
Like West, Brennan, 30, of Norristown, is happy to be a member of the Philadelphia team this year.
"Itâ€™s pretty exciting,â€ť he said. â€śWhen you look at the guys who have played the Compher Cup Matches in the past, itâ€™s an honor to have your name on that list.â€ť
Participating in last yearâ€™s Mason-Dixon Matches has prepared Brennan for the upcoming Compher Cup Matches.
"Iâ€™m sure it will be the same thing,â€ť Brennan said.
In 2008, Team Philadelphia defeated New Jersey at Pine Valley Golf Club. The squad has won the last three meetings with its Jersey counterparts, and 11 of the past 12.
For the Hollywood GC, this is the fourth time hosting the Compher Cup Matches. It hosted the inaugural Compher Cup in 1962.
Smeraglio played Hollywood in 2005â€™s Compher Cup, which was eventually cancelled due to severe weather.
"I got to play 14 holes,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s a solid golf course. The greens are very fast.â€ť
Brennan has never played at Hollywood GC, but his friend, Doug Zelner of Spring Ford Country Club, has informed him of its features.
He says itâ€™s an awesome golf course,â€ť Brennan said. â€śItâ€™s a great 18 holes.â€ť
As a newcomer, West hopes to prevail in the Compher Cup Matches.
"I would expect to beat whoever I play,â€ť he said.
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 5â€“1 lead in the morning foursomesâ€™ competitions and held serve in the afternoon singles matches for an 11Â˝â€“6Â˝ 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 â€śto promote golf between the groups.â€ť
For a year-by-year history and individual player records, go to www.gapgolf.org.