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Philly Mid-Am: Lutz wins with birdie on 18

ELVERSON, Penn. (May 24, 2007)-- The 24th Mid-Amateur Championship, in essence, sifted down to a 36-hole tussle between Chris Gallagher of Penn Oaks GC and Chip Lutz of LedgeRock GC. The pair played each of the two days together at Stonewall (par 70, 6,675 yards, North Course), and like all memorable duels, the outcome remained in doubt to the very end.

The final chapter, written on the closing 18th hole (par 5, 522 yards), witnessed Lutz getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker for birdie to seal his second Mid-Amateur Championship title. Lutz also took the 1998 Mid-Am. when the tournament was still a one-day, 18-hole event. Today, it’s a two-day, 36-hole competition.

When the dust settled, Lutz, 52, of Reading, Pa., earned the crystal trophy with a second straight 70 to finish at even par. Gallagher, the first-round leader after a 1-under 69 yesterday, posted a 2-over-par 72 to finish a shot back.

Michael McDermott of Merion GC, Brian Rothaus of Philmont CC and James Sullivan, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley CC tied for third place at 4-over par.

Conditions again were magnificent, sunny with a touch of a breeze on the links style layout.

"This gave me a chance to avenge the loss from last year," said Lutz, who fell to Chris Lange by a stroke in the 2006 Mid-Am. "Last year I missed a putt on No. 18 to lose. This time I executed a sand shot. I was thrilled with the ability to close it out."

Lutz made the winning sand save after he knocked his 18-degree rescue wood from 256 yards into the right bunker in two. Gallagher, who saw his attempt to reach the 18th green for an eagle try fall short into the front bunker, played first and made a smooth play to about eight feet. Lutz followed by knocking his wedge to four feet. Gallagher missed. Lutz did not.

"I hit a really good shot, it’s tough to get it back to the hole," said Gallagher, 25, of West Chester. "It was a tough right-to-left putt and I didn’t hit it hard enough. I knew I had to make it because he wasn’t going to miss."

The two exchanged blows for most of the afternoon, although it didn’t look like that from the start.

Gallagher opened up a four-shot advantage with birdies on Nos. 2 (par 3, 210 yards) and 3 (par 5, 498 yards). In that same span, Lutz carded an almost fatal double-bogey on the second hole when his drive landed near the right cart path and a three-putt ensued.

However, Lutz regained his composure with birdies on No. 5 (par 4, 414 yards) and No. 8 (par 5, 550 yards). On the eighth, he knocked a wedge from 60 yards to five feet. He made the turn at 1-under par (he also birdied the first hole). In that time frame, Gallagher struggled with his tee ball and with a Lob Wedge in hand from 80 yards on No. 8 overshot the green.

Gallagher made an unconscious up-and-down from the left greenside bunker on No. 10 (par 4, 353 yards) to stay one stroke ahead, but blew his drive right on No. 11 (par 4, 414 yards) and was forced to pitch out from behind some imposing fescue. Lutz parred the 11th to tie for the lead.

Lutz finally moved in front on the treacherous par 3, 13th (222 yards) with a par and a Gallagher bogey but Gallagher came right back on No. 15 (par 4, 382 yards) with a nice 15-foot birdie to force a tie.

The two were up and down again with Gallagher bogeying No. 16 (par 4, 478 yards) after going long and Lutz three-putting No. 17 (par 3, 211 yards).

They started the 18th hole at 1-over par on the scoreboard, three shots clear of anyone else.

"I knew he wasn’t going to hand me anything," said Gallagher. "I knew I had to earn it. I thought I had to shoot 68 to be comfortable."

Lange of Overbrook GC, the two-time defending champion coming into the event, finished in a tie for 23rd place at 11-over par.

The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Mid-Am was for players 30 years of age and older. That Committee reviewed and revised that age requirement in 2001 to match the USGA's guidelines of 25 years of age or older for eligible players. Also at that point, the Committee changed the format of the event to a two-day stroke play tournament (instead of a one-day medal play event) with a cut to the low 70 players and ties after the first round. The field begins with 132 players. Players must have a GAP/USGA Handicap Index of 7.0 or lower.

Full results follow:

 

Name Rd. 1 Rd. 2 Total
Chip Lutz 70 70 140
Chris Gallagher 69 72 141
Michael McDermott 71 73 144
Brian Rothaus 71 73 144
James Sullivan, Jr. 73 71 144
Brian Gillespie 76 70 146
Dan Pinciotti Jr. 75 71 146
Jamie Slonis 71 75 146
John Brennan 73 74 147
James Donnelly 76 72 148
Daniel Delaney 75 73 148
Michael Moffat 72 76 148
William Lawler 71 78 149
Thomas Gramigna 72 77 149
Robert Bechtold 75 74 149
Drew Panebianco 71 78 149
Thomas Bartolacci, Jr. 73 76 149
Paul Rogowicz 77 72 149
Matthew Finger 75 75 150
G. Patrick Dougherty 72 78 150
P. Chet Walsh 77 73 150
Alexander Maguire, Jr. 71 79 150
Mark Peterson 76 75 151
Thomas Hyland 76 75 151
Oscar L. Mestre, Jr. 76 75 151
Christopher Lange 73 78 151
Gregg Angelillo 73 78 151
Geoffrey M. Cooper 75 76 151
Jeffrey Huntzinger 73 78 151
Ryan Gelrod 73 78 151
Thomas Finn 74 77 151
Bill Murray 77 75 152
Douglas D Schroer 78 74 152
Tom Borsello 73 79 152
Warren Smith 76 76 152
James Macallister 78 74 152
Robin McCool 75 78 153
Kenneth R. Matt 78 75 153
Mike Owsik 77 76 153
Robert de Rojas 73 80 153
Rich Thon 78 76 154
David West 77 77 154
Sean Leonard 77 77 154
Eric Buck 76 78 154
Rich Pruchnik 75 79 154
Kevin McDermott 76 79 155
David Liotta 76 79 155
Scott Klee 73 82 155
Bill Boyle 78 77 155
Glenn Smeraglio 78 78 156
Rand Mendez 75 81 156
Robert G Dziak 76 80 156
Eric Fonner 78 78 156
Chris Esbenshade 78 78 156
Richard Umani 76 81 157
David Smith 75 82 157
Andy Achenbach 77 81 158
Pat Curiale 78 80 158
Jeff DellaFranco 76 82 158
John E. Simone 77 82 159
Matt Jasudowich 76 83 159
Jim Kelleher 75 84 159
Bobby Kershner 75 84 159
Douglas Zelner 77 83 160
Michael LaGrasso 78 82 160
David Shields 77 83 160
Scott Harrington 77 84 161
Robert Billings 78 84 162
Chris Anderson 78 85 163
Michael Domenick 74 90 164
Scott Chesna 77 87 164
Matt Mangold 78 90 168
Rick Custer WD WD WD
John Mullins WD NC NC
Larry Silk 78 NS NS

 

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