GAP defeats NJSGA, 10.5 - 7.5, to retain Compher Cup
A hole-in-one on his final hole by Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Marty McGuckin of Philadelphia Cricket Club clinched both an individual and Four-Ball match and highlighted the GAP’s 10.5 to 7.5 victory over the New Jersey State Golf Association in the 58th Compher Cup matches on Tuesday, April 16, at the Ridge at Back Brook in Ringoes, N.J.
McGuckin’s heroics on the par-3 160-yard No. 2 hole gave him a 2-up victory over Dan Macdonald of Arcola, propelling him and teammate Eddie Johnson to a 2-up Four-Ball team victory over Macdonald and Mike O’Connell of Arcola.
“That hole-in-one kind of defines our day. We played a lot of good matches, but in the end, I have to credit the players from GAP for finding a way to win,” said NJSGA team captain Gregg Angelillo of Baltsurol Golf Club.
“We had just gone 1-up in our Four-Ball match on the previous hole. We played first and I wanted to put some pressure on them,” said McGuckin, 21, a Temple University junior who notched the fourth ace of his career. “I hit a 7-iron to six inches and it rolled in.”
GAP now leads the series that began in 1962, 39-13, with five ties. The last time the NJSGA won was in 2013, 10.5 to 7.5, at Galloway National Golf Club for its first victory since 2009.
In singles victories for the NJSGA, Chester Patterson of NJSGA E-Club defeated Alex Mulroney of DuPont C.C., 1 up; Steve Zychowski of Mendham Golf and Tennis Club defeated Stephen Dressel of St. Davids G.C., 6 & 4; Eric LeFante of Somerset Hills Country Club defeated Ben Feld of Green Valley C.C., 4 and 3, and Troy Vannucci of Little Mill Country Club defeated Peter Barron of Galloway National, 4 and 3.
Anthony Fioretti of Ballyowen Golf Club finished all square with John Samaha of Old York Road C.C., to earn a half-point for NJSGA.
In Four-Ball triumphs for the NJSGA, Vannucci and Thomas LaMorte of Haworth Country Club defeated Barron and Michael Brown of Lu Lu C.C., 2 up; Zychowski and Tom Collins of Essex Country Country Club defeated Dressel and Matt Mattare of Saucon Valley C.C., 1 up; and Fioretti and LeFante defeated Samaha and Ben Feld of Green Valley C.C., 4 and 3.
“This event is always special because it marks the beginning of the season for most of us,” said Angelillo. “We were treated to an unbelievable venue here at The Ridge at Back Brook. The conditions were excellent and the greens were perfect. And there were a lot of good matches.
“We tried some new ideas for our team this year. We met for lunch two weeks ago and talked about the history and tradition of the Compher Cup,” he added. “We also talked about the best pairings for our team.”
The GAP continued their winning streak and followed their 2018 victory when it defeated the NJSGA team, 14-4 at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
The squads compete as 12-man teams. All 12 players from each side square off in simultaneous individual and Four-Ball matches – with one-point awarded in each match. Matches that end in a tie result in a half point for each team.
Designed by Tom Fazio, The Ridge at Back Brook opened to great acclaim in 2002.
Currently, the club is ranked by Golf Digest among America’s Second 100 Greatest Golf Courses (for 2019); The Ridge will also host the NJSGA Open Championship in 2022.