By Fred Behringer

COLTS NECK, N.J. Leading amateurs from the New Jersey State Golf Association and the Golf Association of Philadelphia participated in an historic event at Trump National Golf Club–Colts Neck today. NJSGA President John Murray called the occasion, the 50th playing of the Compher Cup matches, “a great tradition that fosters the best in championship competition and camaraderie.”

Frederic Compher of Suburban Golf Club conceived the inter-district matches and donated the silver championship bowl that bears his name. While serving as President of the NJSGA, Compher began to explore the possibility of a relationship between the New Jersey and Philadelphia associations similar to the Stoddard Bowl matches in which New Jersey had competed against the Westchester Golf Association and the Long Island Golf Association since 1922. In 1961, Bob Jacobson of New Jersey and Richard Ollmah of Philadelphia completed arrangements for the Compher Cup matches, and they began in 1962 at Hollywood Golf Club. New Jersey prevailed in the inaugural competition, 11.5 to 6.5, while Philadelphia triumphed this year, 13 to 5.

The Compher Cup bears this inscription: “To promote keen rivalry and thorough sportsmanship between the players of these districts who represent and support the best traditions of golf.” Team rosters through the years have included truly outstanding amateur golfers, represented today at the 50th anniversary by these honorary co-captains:

  • Larry Carpenter, Baltusrol Golf Club, who played for New Jersey in seven Compher Cups, including the first one, and was paired against the legendary Jay Sigel in one of his matches.
  • Lloyd Monroe, Bel-Aire Golf Course, two-time NJSGA Amateur champion, who also played in the first Compher Cup and one other before turning professional.
  • Robert Housen, Manasquan River Golf Club, six-time NJSGA Amateur champion, who played in a record 24 Compher Cups. He says the Compher relationships are “priceless” and the matches unforgettable.
  • Gordon Brewer, Pine Valley Golf Club, two-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion who played for Philadelphia in 18 Compher Cups. He recalls “fond memories of playing in the Compher Cup matches over a span of 30-plus years.”
  • John Guenther, Heidelberg Country Club, a Philadelphia Amateur champion who played for Philadelphia in six Compher Cups, including the first one.

When he competed today, Allan Small of Fairmount Country Club tied Housen for most appearances at 24. Jay Blumenfeld of Mountain Ridge Country Club increased his Compher Cups to 14, and Michael Deo of Black Oak Golf Club played in his tenth match today.

Eighteen points are at stake in the Compher Cup as 12 amateurs from each association square off in individual and four-ball matches. Today, the NJSGA faced a formidable GAP squad as well as a formidable wind that gusted across the 6,788-yard Trump–Colts Neck course. The GAP squad managed the conditions more effectively, though, winning four of six four-ball matches and nine of 12 individual contests. Individual victors for New Jersey were Small, Domenic Gatto of Eagle Oaks Golf Club and Anthony Scelba of High Bridge Hills Golf Club. New Jersey four-ball winners were Gatto and Mike Paduano of Colts Neck Golf Club, Scelba and Gregg Angelillo of Baltusrol Golf Club.

Tom Gramigna of Tavistock Country Club, an NJSGA Amateur champion and three-time NJSGA Mid-Amateur champion, competed today for Philadelphia, posting individual and team victories.

For the full Compher Cup match play bracket, please click here.

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