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Association sets sights on second straight Challenge Matches title

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia will compete in the 24th Philadelphia Challenge Matches Oct. 8 at Applebrook Golf Club.

  The event pits the Association against professional counterparts from the Philadelphia Section of the PGA. Both organizations field teams of 12. Two of the 12 players, on each squad, must be of senior age, 55 years of age or older. The format consists of a four-ball stroke play match running concurrently with an individual match.

  GAP erased a 20-year drought with a 10-8 victory at Applebrook a year ago. The Philadelphia Section of the PGA leads the overall series, 17-2-4.

  The following players will represent the Golf Association of Philadelphia in this year’s affair.

Amateurs

Michael Carr, Plymouth Country Club
Second appearance (2013)

2014 accomplishments: Quarterfinalist in the 114th Amateur Championship at White Manor Country Club; fell to eventual champion Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 6&4 … posted a Top 10 finish in the 31st Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf at Gulph Mills Golf Club; carded rounds of 72 and 70 … ranked 17th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club
First appearance

2014 accomplishments: Advanced to semifinals of Amateur Championship for second time in three years (2012); fell to Nelson Hargrove of Merion Golf Club, 5&4 … tied for 12th in the 112th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at Tavistock Country Club … tied for 10th in Silver Cross Award standings, awarded to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup … advanced to quarterfinals in Pennsylvania Golf Association’s 11th R. Jay Sigel Match Play Championship … tied for 13th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club
Second appearance (2013)

2014 accomplishments: finished fifth in the 31st Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf; carded a 5-under-par 66, the low round on Day Two, for a 141 total … quarterfinalist in the 114th Amateur Championship; lost to Ben Feld of Green Valley Country Club, 5&4 … posted a Top 10 finish in the Delaware State Golf Association Amateur Championship at Cavaliers Country Club … ranked 13th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Aaron Fricke, Honeybrook Golf Club
First appearance

2014 accomplishments: Advanced to Round of 16 in Amateur Championship before falling to Ray Thompson of Overbrook Golf Club in 19 holes … tied with three others for second in Amateur stroke-play qualifier at 3 under … tied for 10th at even par in Patterson Cup … tied for second, two strokes behind winner Matthew Teesdale in Silver Cross Award standings … placed 12th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Andy Latowski, Philadelphia Cricket Club
First appearance

2014 accomplishments: Made sterling run into Round of 16 at U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Saucon Valley Country Club; defeated Trevor Sauntry of Houston, Texas in Round of 32 match with a birdie from near the pool stairs at the base of the green complex to halve hole and win match, 1-up … tied for 11th in stroke-play qualifying at 3 over … qualified locally for U.S. Mid-Amateur at Huntingdon Valley with a tie for second … tied for third in Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship at 3 under par … closed with a 3-under-par 68 on Day 2 … tied for 15th in Joseph H. Patterson Cup at 2 over … placed sixth in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club
Third appearance (2011-12)

2014 accomplishments: Advanced to Round of 32 in U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship before falling to eventual champion Scott Harvey, 1-up. It was Harvey’s most contentious match en route to the title. McNeil tied for 29th in stroke-play qualifying at 6-over 148 … locally qualified for U.S. Mid-Amateur at Bidermann with a second-place showing … finished in a five-way tie for fifth at 1 under for the 36 holes of the Joseph H. Patterson Cup … qualified as 13th seed in Amateur Championship before falling in Round of 32 match to Alex Blickle of LedgeRock Golf Club, 2&1 … placed fifth in the Silver Cross Award standings … ranked fourth in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club
First appearance

2014 accomplishments: Advanced to the Round of 16 in the 114th Amateur Championship; fell to Matthew Finger of DuPont Country Club, 1-up … posted a Top 15 finish in the 110th Open Championship at Applebrook Golf Club; carded rounds of 75 and 69 … ranked 24th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


John Sawin, Merion Golf Club
First appearance

2014 accomplishments: A resident of San Francisco, Calif., Sawin returned to the area to compete on a regular basis for the first time in a handful of years … qualified for U.S. Amateur Championship and U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, locally, the latter in a playoff at Huntingdon Valley … captured the 101st Pennsylvania Amateur Championship at prestigious Oakmont Country Club by three strokes. Was lone player to break par on Day 3 with a 1-under 70. Finished at 1 over for the 54 holes … tied for ninth in Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship … placed ninth in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club
Second appearance (2012)

2014 accomplishments: Placed 19th in the Silver Cross Award standings … runner-up in the 114th Joseph H. Patterson Cup; carded rounds of 75 and 66, the latter tying a competitive course record at Tavistock Country Club … won the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Allegheny Health Network; defeated David DeNunzio at Greensburg Country Club in a sudden-death playoff after carding rounds of 69 and 71 in regulation … qualified for the 2015 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball with teammate Joshua Krumholz of Golden Oaks Golf Club … ranked 11th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club
Third appearance (2012-13)

2014 accomplishments: Gained match play in the 114th Amateur Championship; fell to Matt Cocco of Commonwealth National Golf Club, 2&1 … finished fifth in the 112th Joseph H. Patterson Cup; carded rounds of 71 and 72 … placed fourth in the Silver Cross Award standings with a 285 total … ranked 15th in the William Hyndman, III Player of the Year standings.


Seniors

Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club
Third appearance (2001, 2004)

2014 accomplishments: Co-runner-up in the 44th Senior Amateur Championship with rounds of 75 and 72 … qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur … placed third in the Senior Silver Cross Award standings … posted a Top 15 finish in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) … semifinalist in the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Match Play Championship; lost to Chip Lutz via forfeit … finished tied for third in the PAGA Senior Amateur Championship with scores of 75 and 70 … currently ranks third in the Senior Player of the Year Award standings.


Ray Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club
Third appearance (2007, 2013)

2014 accomplishments: Semifinalist in the 114th Amateur Championship at White Manor Country Club; fell to eventual champion Jeff Osberg of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 5&4 … advanced to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club; lost to Jack Hall of Savannah, Ga., 5&4 … placed second in the Silver Cross Award standings … posted Top 10 finishes in the 44th Senior Amateur Championship and 80th Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) … registered a Top 15 finish in the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) … currently ranks second in the Senior Player of the Year standings.

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 150 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.

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