The 58th Compher Cup matches, pitting teams from the New Jersey State Golf Association and the Golf Association of Philadelphia, are set for Tuesday, April 16, at the renowned Ridge at Back Brook in Ringoes, N.J.
Last September 26, GAP defeated the NJSGA team, 14-4 at Sunnybrook Golf Club in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. The 2018 edition had been rescheduled from late April, due to inclement weather. GAP leads the series, 38-13, with five ties.
The annual Compher Cup matches feature the NJSGA’s top amateur players against the GAP’s best. Prior to Sunnybrook in 2018, recent matches have been conducted at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield in 2017, Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson in 2016, and Bayonne Golf Club in 2015.
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. Golf Digest named “The Ridge” the best new course east of the Mississippi River in 2003 and the sixth best new course in the country. In 2006, the New Jersey Course Owners Association named the club the state’s course of the year; readers of GolfStyles New Jersey voted it the second best course in the state after Pine Valley; and in 2010, GolfWorld named it the eighth best private club in the U.S.
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.
The Ridge at Back Brook is known for its immaculate conditions, natural beauty and terrain that includes elevations and undulations. Fazio made every hole at The Ridge unique. The Back Brook and its tributaries come into play on the front nine.
The bunkers are large, deep, and cleverly positioned while the wide fairways offer a variety of lies. Rock outcroppings are prominent, including a rock formation that poses a cross-hazard on the par-5 seventh. There are more rocks structures behind the ninth and 18th greens and a cliff that provides a stunning backdrop to the par-3, eighth hole.
A LONGSTANDING TRADITION
The Compher Cup Matches began in 1962 and are named for former NJSGA president Fred Compher, who conceived the idea along with then-NJSGA president and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, Bobby Jacobson. The NJSGA won the inaugural match at Hollywood Golf Club in Deal. Since then only one event, in 2005, has been canceled due to weather.
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.
Here’s a brief look at the NJSGA team, along with 2018 accomplishments:
* Gregg Angelillo, Baltusrol Golf Club (captain): Champion, NJSGA Pre-Senior; Qualified for U.S. Mid-Amateur; Qualified for NJSGA Amateur and Open.
* Jason Bataille, Copper Hill Country Club: Qualified for NJSGA Open, Amateur and Mid-Amateur; T3 at Trump Invitational.
* Thomas Collins, Essex County Country Club: Qualified for NJSGA Amateur; Quarterfinalist at NJSGA Mid-Amateur; third at Suburban Cup
* Anthony Fioretti, Ballyowen Golf Club: Champion, NJSGA Senior Amateur, ninth in NJSGA Public Links.
* Thomas Guy, Eligo Club: Qualified for NJSGA Open and Amateur; advanced to match play at NJSGA Mid-Amateur; co-medalist at the MGA Ike qualifier.
* Thomas La Morte, Haworth Country Club: 2018 NJSGA Men’s Player of the Year; T3 and tied for low amateur at the NJSGA Open; T4 at NJSGA Amateur; second at Hochster Memorial; T3 at Trump Invitational. Was also 2016 NJSGA Amateur Champion.
* Eric LeFante, Somerset Hills Country Club: Qualified for NJSGA Mid-Amateur, Qualified for Met Open.
* Daniel Macdonald, Arcola Country Club: Champion Hochster Invitational; Runner-up Trump Invitational; Third Arcola Cup; Semifinalist NJSGA Mid-Amateur.
* Mike O’Connell, Arcola Country Club: Qualified for NJSGA Amateur, Open and Mid-Amateur; Quarterfinalist Nassau Invitational; T5 Suburban Cup.
* Chester Patterson, NJSGA E-Club: Semifinalist at NJSGA Mid-Amateur; T4 at Met Mid-Amateur; fourth at Suburban Cup.
* Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club: T3 and tied for low amateur at NJSGA Open; champion at Suburban Cup; Qualified for 2019 U.S. Four-Ball championship with Vince Kwon of Little Mill.
* Steve Zychowski, Mendham Golf & Tennis Club: Qualified for U.S. Mid-Amateur; Qualified for NJSGA Amateur and Open.