HORSHAM, Pa. — Two years ago, Philadelphia Cricket Club ended excruciating droughts by claiming its first BMW GAP Team Matches and Team Championship titles. Fitting that its second-ever victories in both occurred in the same year, too.
Philadelphia Cricket posted 21 points to defeat Commonwealth National Golf Club (18.5), Huntingdon Valley Country Club (18.5) and Mercer Oaks Golf Course (14) in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Team Championship under crystal clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Commonwealth hosted the event’s 96th edition.
“This is special,” John Brennan, Cricket’s team captain, said. “It shows we have a deep club. We had Frank Petrash, who played [in the BMW GAP Team Matches] for our third team. Dan (Feeney) is a second teamer. So was [G. Patrick] Dougherty all year long. It’s really exciting. Those guys took the time to play in the [Team Championship] qualifier, so I wanted to reward them with getting to play here today. I’m glad they could join in some of the Team Match championship thrill that we got to feel.”
The Team Championship includes four GAP Member Clubs represented by eight players each. Participants compete in foursomes match play in the morning and singles match play in the afternoon.
Commonwealth held eight points to Cricket’s 7.5 after the morning session. Brennan pointed to the work of Mark Peterson, the Association’s Executive Director, and Jack Wallace, as a key accelerant to the team’s eventual triumph.
“I thought Jack and Mark getting three points in the alternate shot was huge for us,” Brennan, 36, of Audubon, Pa., said. “We did a good job hanging around in the alternate shot. You don’t want to bury yourself too far there.”
Led by Feeney and Sean Semenetz, Cricket earned 13.5 points in the singles portion to overtake Commonwealth and a charging Huntingdon Valley. Semenetz reeled off five birdies, including a pair of 15-footers on Nos. 11 and 12, en route to three points.
“I played in a Team Match here earlier in the spring, so that was a good way to see the course really. I knew what we were getting,” Semenetz, 28, of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “I played with Frank Petrash this morning, and he’s played and caddied here a bunch, so he kind of took me around. By the afternoon, I felt like I knew the course like the back of my hand.”
Philadelphia Cricket is one of 13 clubs to win the BMW GAP Team Matches and Team Championship in the same year. Only four — Cricket, Aronimink Golf Club, Old York Road Country Club and Overbrook Golf Club — have done so more than once.
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 151 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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