#BrewerCup: 21-hole thrillers set Senior semifinal matchups
WAYNE, Pa. â Friendly foes and 21 holes turned out to be the running theme on Day 2 of the Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf at St. Davids Golf Club (par 70, 6,235 yards).
| Day 1 recap |
First it was Philadelphia Cricket Clubâs Greg Guyer, a Golf Association of Philadelphia Executive Committee member, eliminating top-seeded David West of Whitford Country Club in 21 holes to earn a berth in tomorrowâ semifinal round. Then, once again on the gettable par-4, 284-yard 3rd, Tavistock Country Clubâs Bill McGuinness defeated clubmate Michael Tash in the second 21-hole thriller of the quarterfinals.
Both Guyer and McGuinness stormed back down St. Davidsâ final stretch to win their respective matches, each utilizing highlight birdies to take down their accomplished opponents.
Making the turn in a 2-down hole, Guyer knew it was time to make a move. That he did.
âI knew that I had to cut the deficit to one, because I knew wasnât to give it away. Being just one back is so much different than two,â he said.
He did so with a promising birdie on the par-5, 520-yard 11th. After a monster drive, he hit âmaybe the best 5-iron of his lifeâ that left him with just eight feet for eagle. With West in for par, he knew a lag putt was the play. Guyer executed his game plan.
On No. 13 (par 4, 402 yards), West clipped the left trees off the tee, leading to double bogey and a gift to Guyer. The match was leveled. Guyer gave one back himself on the par-3, 145-yard 14th after failing to get up-and-down from the greenside rough after West made 3. The pendulum kept swinging after a three-putt bogey cost West again on No. 15 (par 4, 444 yards) bettered by Guyerâs par. A birdie gave medal-winner West an edge once again thanks to a two putt after finding the 16th (par 5, 470 yards) green in two.
âI had to be aggressive [on No. 18 (par 4, 394 yards)] being 1-down. My birdie didnât go down but he missed a short one to win it,â said Guyer, 55, of Flourtown, Pa. âThen it went to extras.â
Standard pars arrived on Nos. 19 and 20. Both players pulled boomsticks on No. 21. West went right and found tree trouble. Guyer rocketed one up to a great lie in a front bunker. The Cricketeerâs play out of the sand to three feet sealed the deal after Westâs second shot came up short in the sand.
Game, set, match, Guyer.
âWe both played extremely good golf today. On the way in, David was saying to me,âWe played really well. Sometimes you play really well and there's not much else you can do in match play,'" he said.
Guyer is more than Brewer-battled tested at this point in the week. In the Round of 16, played in the morning, he faced off with Oscar Mestre, a fellow EC Member. Guyer prevailed, 1-up.
âThis morning, I had just a great match with Oscar. We both shot around even par for the day and it was phenomenal golf,â he said. âI love being a part of the Committee, just being able to work with people like Oscar, so it was really fun to compete against him today.â
Another friendly yet highly-intense match saw two of Tavistockâs best go toe-to-toe until the very end. McGuinness, a three-time club champion, and Tash, 2015 club champ and winner of the 2003 #BMWPhillyAm, put on a show of their own in extra holes.
After âstealingâ the final two holes in regulation in result of Tash bogeys, McGuinness held much, if not all, of the momentum heading back to the first tee. Just like in the Guyer-West match, standard pars matched the first playoff hole. Tash failed to convert an eight-footer for birdie for the win on the 20th, leaving the door wide open for McGuinness. The stage was set â once again â for the 21st hole to shine.
âThat was such a great, short hole today. It really made it exciting. If you get it in the left bunker, you canât make birdie, and if you go right, you have the tree to deal with,â said McGuinness, 57, of Haddonfield, N.J.
Drivers off the tee left both players with 40 yards in. Tash played his shot strong over the hole location, while McGuinness gently lifted his chip to the front of the green, ultimately nestling up to a comfy five feet. Tashâs wedge look from the back rough lipped out, leaving him with a short putt that he would go on to miss. Heâd concede McGuinness his birdie, one that would have left the semifinalist with âa really, really hard putt.â
Game, set, match, McGuinness.
Todayâs Tavistock showdown isnât the first time the matchup has been played. It showed in not only the play, but the playerâs strategy down the stretch, and ultimately their demeanor when all was said and done.
âHe is such a talented player and his short game is much better than mine,â said McGuinness. âWe have so many good players at Tavistock. Unfortunately, weâre all getting a little older. My game is feeling good this week and Iâm excited to keep it going tomorrow.â
âBilly and I have been close friends for 30 years,â said Tash, 55, of Thorofare, N.J. âWeâve played so many rounds together. We play a lot of tournament golf together. When you play with someone you know a lot whoâs a really good player, you know theyâre not going to give you anything. We battled back and forth but I think my putter kind of let me down a little bit.â
Guyer will take on Lu Lu Country Clubâs Glenn Smeraglio, the 2016 Francis B. Warner Cup Champion and Senior Silver Cross winner, in tomorrowâ first semifinal match at 8 a.m. Following in their footsteps at 8:07 a.m. will be McGuinness versus LedgeRock Golf Clubâs Scott Mayne, the reigning Pennsylvania Golf Association Senior Amateur Champion.
Smeraglio defeated Metedeconk National Golf Club's Bill Boyle in the quarters, 5&4, to earn his berth. Playing in his first GAP event, Mayne ousted a pair of past champions in Huntingdon Valley Country Clubâs Thomas Bartolacci, Jr. (2012), 2 up, in the Round of 16 and The Ridge at Back Brookâs Bert Kosup (2015), 4&2, en route to the semifinals.
The Brewer Cup, launched in 2008, is named in honor of O. Gordon Brewer Jr., a veteran of 42 USGA Championships and two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion (1994, 1996). He also won Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur titles in 1967 and 1976 as well as the 1997 Senior Amateur Championship, which earned Brewer Player of the Year honors that year. He was inducted into the Golf Association of Philadelphiaâs Hall of Fame in 2011.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Round of 16