|The par 3 16th hole on Saucon Valley’s Weyhill Course.|
GAP to host 52nd Williamson Cup at stupendous Saucon Valley
The Golf Association of Philadelphia will act as the host organization for the 52nd Williamson Cup Aug. 11-12 at Saucon Valley Country Club (Weyhill).
| Year-by-year |
“We’re thrilled, and for Saucon Valley to step forward as host makes the event that much more special in our eyes,” GAP Tournament Director Chris Roselle said. “The Weyhill Course, which recently played host to one of the stroke play qualifying rounds of the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, will provide a stern but fair test of golf to some of the best Junior golfers in the region.”
The Williamson Cup is regarded as one of the nation’s most prestigious Junior golf events. It is a 36-hole stroke play competition among teams from 10 state and regional golf associations. The low three scores of each four-man team in each round will count toward the team total. If there is a playoff, all four players’ scores will count. A medalist plaque will be awarded to the player with the lowest overall score.
Participating teams in this year’s Williamson Cup will register at Saucon Valley’s main clubhouse on the Old Course from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 11. A lunch buffet precedes a practice round on the club’s Weyhill Course. An opening ceremony is slated for the evening. Daniel Briere, a former Philadelphia Flyer, will serve as the dinner’s featured guest. Briere played for the Flyers from 2007-12 and led the team in points during its run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010.
The 36-hole competition will be held Aug. 12, followed by a reception and barbeque.
Representing the GAP in this year’s affair are Hartefeld National’s Evan Brown, Lu Lu Country Club’s Jack Melville, Aronimink Golf Club’s Max Siegfried and Kyle Vance of the GAP Junior Players Club. Siegfried also competed last year at Club Laval-sur-le-Lac in Québec. Team GAP finished seventh; Golf Québec won with a score of 450.
As a returning Williamson contender, Siegfried is regarded as the squad’s veteran.
“Have fun and stay with it. Work hard,” Siegfried, 17, of Villanova, Pa., said. “Remember it’s a team event, so don’t give up if you’re playing bad. You can still help out the team.”
“Kyle, Jack and I are kind of the young guys, so I think Max will have more of the leader role and serve as a role model for us younger guys,” Brown, 16, of Chadds Ford, Pa., said. “I think my role is going to be a little more laid back.”
Since Saucon Valley is the host site, the GAP team will be somewhat aided by familiar confines. The club’s Weyhill track, designed by David and William Gordon, opened in 1965. It measures 7,097 yards from the back tees and plays to a par 72.
“The course is in beautiful condition. We’re very much looking forward to this,” Gene Mattare, Saucon Valley’s General Manager and Director of Golf, said. “Last year, when we were asked, Andy Warner, who was the president at the time, was very excited about hosting the event. We know the history of the event. It’s a great way to give back to Junior golf. The membership has gotten behind it.”
The Williamson Cup delineates from usual Junior competitions because of its family fabric. Players are houseguests of host club members. Accordingly, those hosts chaperone social activities away from the golf club. Family activities are designed to be the core of the Williamson Cup experience for all contestants.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia last hosted the Williamson Cup in 2005 at Bent Creek Country Club in Lititz, Pa. Phillip Anzaldo, Jason Bernstein, Eric Schmehl and Cole Willcox represented the organization’s team, which finished tied for fourth that year. Sean O’Hair, a PGA Tour rookie at the time, served as the featured dinner guest at Bent Creek.
“I have fond memories,” Anzaldo, 27, of Raleigh, N.C., said. “Everything the GAP put in place was great. It was a great learning experience. It was really cool interacting with people you wouldn’t normally see.”
The Association holds seven titles overall. Its last victory came in 2000 at Bridgewater Country Club in Fort Erie, Ontario. Reid Benditt, Chris Binder, Tug Maude and John Sawin represented the GAP team. Furthermore, the organization’s fielded four individual medalists: Greg Feiger (1987), Eric Dollenberg (1988) Aaron Friedman (1993) and Christopher Cope (1997).
Fred E. Williamson, the event’s namesake, was one of the founders of the famed Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. He was junior golf advocate and firm promoter of the game's rules, disciplines and traditions.
In 1964, teams from the four original cities — New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Buffalo — met at Winged Foot to institute the Williamson Cup. Washington, D.C., won the competition — founded by Williamson’s son A. Fred Williamson.
The Williamson Cup is open to the public.
Aside from offering live scoring on its Web site, the Golf Association of Philadelphia will provide updates via its social media outlets. Follow @GAofPhilly on Twitter or Instagram and join the conversation by using the #2015Williamson hashtag.
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.