April 26, 2018

Talamore Country Club ‘s Michael Fireman tees off No. 12 (par 3, 197 yards).

Talamore’s Fireman blazes Mid.-Am. Qualifier on home course

  AMBLER, Pa. — Medalist honors followed by a pleasant dinner among family. Michael Fireman certainly celebrated his 51st birthday in style Thursday.

| Scorecards | Photo gallery |

  Playing on his home course of 20-plus years, Fireman carded a 2-under-par 69 to top a Golf Association of Philadelphia Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf at Talamore Country Club (par 71, 6,162 yards). He led a field of 99 players hoping to earn one of 21 qualifying spots and ties for the Championship proper, set for May 23-24 at Llanerch Country Club.

  The cut line stopped at 78 by day’s end.

  “When I woke up, my son Nathan asked me, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ I said, ‘Three birdies,’” Fireman, of Ambler, Pa., said. “That was my wish. Three birdies are good because I know there are a lot of double bogeys out here. I didn’t make any of those.”

  No double bogeys, and not three but five birdies on the day for Fireman. His pitching wedge set-up conversions of six and 12 feet, respectively, on Nos. 2 (par 4, 344 yards) and 5 (par 5, 541 yards). Fireman fired back-to-back birdies on Nos. 9 (par 4, 301 yards) and 10 (par 4, 382 yards). His “best shot of the day” — a gap wedge from 80 yards — led to a three-footer on the first. On No. 10, he hit an 8-iron 140 yards to the back edge of the green and drained a 15-footer. Following a solid drive on the par 4, 307-yard 17th hole, Fireman bunted a gap wedge 80 yards to seven feet for his fifth birthday birdie.

  Only three bogeys diluted Fireman’s scorecard Thursday. Deem an awkward stance in the left fairway bunker on No. 1 (par 4, 403 yards) as the culprit there. Fireman spun a pitching wedge off the No. 6 (par 4, 366 yards) green and missed a four-footer for par. He flew the 14th green (par 3, 157 yards) with a 5-iron and failed to get up-and-down.

  Familiarity with his surroundings allowed Fireman, a five-time (2002, 2012-14, 2017) men’s champion at Talamore, to avoid major catastrophe.

  “Home course knowledge is a big advantage here. I know where to miss it, and I miss it a lot,” he said.

  With it being his birthday, one may assume that good vibes flowed from the beginning. That wasn’t the case, but fortunately for Fireman, home course knowledge came to the rescue.

  “I’ve hit it awful the last two days. I was chunking it on the driving range this morning,” Fireman said. “I woke up all wrong. But I know that a bad warm-up can sometimes be a really good round. I’ve had that experience here before, so I wasn’t worried about it. I was frustrated and I wasn’t feeling it, but I found a couple of things and hit it well.”

  Fireman’s only played in less than a handful of Middle-Amateur Championships. A performance of note came in 1998, when he tied for third at Talamore.

  It’s a clean slate come Llanerch.

  “I’ve never played Llanerch. I have no expectations,” Fireman, who is self-employed in the paper recycling business, said.

  The next Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf will take place Tuesday, May 1 at Moselem Springs Golf Club.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Middle-Amateur Championship started in 1984, three years after the USGA created the U.S. Mid-Amateur as a formal championship for post-college amateurs. The Association followed suit with the USGA in creating a Mid-Am, but initially differed in its administration of the tournament in a couple of respects.

  The most obvious difference was the age requirement. Prior to 2001, the GAP Middle-Amateur was for players 30 years of age and older.

  The Association’s Executive 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.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world's largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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.

Qualifiers

Name, club

Score

Michael Fireman, Talamore Country Club

69

Mike Korcuba, Medford Village Country Club

71

Brian Davis, DuPont Country Club

73

Philip Mortell, III, Honeybrook Golf Club

73

Ashley Brasfield, Rolling Green Golf Club

75

Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club

75

Scott Ehrlich, White Manor Country Club

75

Ari Flaisher, McCall Golf & Country Club

75

Keith Matt, Talamore Country Club

75

Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club

76

Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

76

Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club

76

Chris Wagner, Bluestone Country Club

76

P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club

76

Gregory Buliga, Yardley Country Club

77

Daniel Charen, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

77

Jason Kowalski, Downingtown Country Club

77

John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club

77

John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club

77

Luis Diaz, Rancocas Golf Club

78

Alex Hargaden, Woodcrest Country Club

78

Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club

78

Daniel Rexon, Tavistock Country Club

78

Daniel Wu, Blue Bell Country Club

78

Failed to qualify

Gregory DaPron, Hartefeld National

79

Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club

79

Carlo Fitti, Llanerch Country Club

79

Kevin Koch, Spring Ford Country Club

79

Nicholas Anderson, White Manor Country Club

80

Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club

80

Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club

81

Steve Lubin, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

81

Johan van Schalkwyk, Tavistock Country Club

81

C.J. Bell, McCall Golf & Country Club

82

Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club

82

Donald Burgess, Lancaster Country Club

82

Matthew Ciarmella, Hartefeld National

82

Nick Madden, Lu Lu Country Club

82

Billy Reube, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

82

Bradley Roberts, Little Mill Country Club

82

Peter Sharkey, Jr., Philadelphia Country Club

82

Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club

82

Chip Studer, North Hills Country Club

82

Alex Bilinski, Hershey's Mill Golf Club

83

Richard Hendrickson, Aronimink Golf Club

83

Steve Mroozian, Philmont Country Club

83

John Mullins, Bellewood Country Club

83

Jeff Nocella, Bala Golf Club

83

Marc Pellicane, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

83

Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club

83

Matt Brainard, Loch Nairn Golf Club

84

Conner Charlebois, Bala Golf Club

84

Ed McCusker, Five Ponds Golf Club

84

Ryan Rigby, Doylestown Country Club

84

Mark Agnew, Hartefeld National

85

Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club

85

William Keane, Jr., Philadelphia Country Club

85

Kenneth Matt, Talamore Country Club

85

Angus Catterson, Llanerch Country Club

86

Michael Decker, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

86

Kevin Delaney, Stonewall

86

Mark Fuessinger, Llanerch Country Club

86

Bennett Meyer, Rolling Green Golf Club

86

Eric Palumbo, Rolling Green Golf Club

86

Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club

86

Sean Torpey, Commonwealth National Golf Club

86

Christopher Ahlgrim, White Manor Country Club

87

Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks GA

87

Tom Coyne, Waynesborough Country Club

87

Greg Dymek, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

87

Matthew Hilbush, Commonwealth National Golf Club

88

Michael Johnson, Lu Lu Country Club

88

Nick Ostash, The Bucks Club

88

Jh Park, Blue Bell Country Club

88

Rob Cook, DuPont Country Club

89

Mike Kidd, Wedgwood Country Club

89

Chuck Lynch, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

89

Jack Glacken, Bala Golf Club

90

Brett Wallace, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

90

Kevin Dougher, Philadelphia Cricket Club

91

Thomas Maguire, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

91

Andrew Wong, Talamore Country Club

91

Tom Corcimiglia, Applebrook Golf Club

92

Brendan McNamara, The ACE Club

93

Ed Moyer, Talamore Country Club

93

John O'Donnell, White Manor Country Club

93

Jeffrey Angelucci, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

95

John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country Club

95

R. John Burnes, Philadelphia Cricket Club

97

Kyle Dolby, Waynesborough Country Club

98

Regan Papariello, St. Davids Golf Club

98

Patrick Phillips, Spring Ford Country Club

100

Michael Axelrod, Bluestone Country Club

NS

Noam Roizman, Bluestone Country Club

NS

Edward Benatti, Hartefeld National

WD

Michael Maxwell, Sakima Country Club

WD

Duane Pinnock, Philadelphia Publinks GA

WD

Alan Wagenschnur, Loch Nairn Golf Club

WD

NS — no show; WD — withdrawal

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