At Sigel event, they'll play like the pros

Jay Sigel
Jay Sigel
Posted: July 23, 2010

For his 18th annual fund-raising tournament, Jay Sigel has asked the grounds staff at Aronimink Golf Club to set all the holes at their locations during the final round of the AT&T National earlier this month.

"I've got the pin sheet," Sigel said Thursday, "so I'll be checking."

A field approaching 180 players, which the host called "our largest crowd ever," will play Monday at Aronimink in the Jay Sigel Invitational benefiting the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sigel, who enjoyed a fine amateur career before experiencing success on the Senior PGA (now Champions) Tour, said the huge turnout was partly because of the involvement of Accenture, the presenting sponsor of the event, and partly because of the interest in the course generated by the AT&T National.

He believes that the players, who will be divided into morning and afternoon shotgun starts, will like participating with the hole locations played by the best on the PGA Tour.

"I think our players will be amazed at how close to the edges of the greens they were," Sigel said. "I think the pin at the 17th [a par 3 where water came into play] was the greatest pin placement all week - with the tees moved up to 144 yards and the pin on the lefthand side."

Sigel said the course was coming back nicely after welcoming more than 190,000 people during tournament week.

"It's amazing; it looks great," he said. "Where the spectators walked, the grass is starting to grow. It's looking good."

Sigel's event raised more than $2 million in the previous 17 years. This is the 11th year of its association with the Abramson Institute.

"That's the important part of it," Sigel said.

KYW Newsradio morning anchor Ed Abrams, a prostate cancer survivor, is the event's special guest.

Who's the oldest? The excellent play of 59-year-old Greg Farrow in Wednesday's Philadelphia Open sent officials scurrying to the history books to identify the oldest winner of the 105 previous tournaments.

To the best of anyone's knowledge, at least since World War II, the oldest player to win the Philadelphia Open was William Hyndman III of Huntingdon Valley, who captured the championship for the second and final time in 1969 at the age of 53.

Farrow, head pro at Deerwood Country Club, had a chance to eclipse that mark, but he lost to Michael Brown after 41 holes - 36 in competition, four in an aggregate-score playoff, and one in sudden death.

A busy July. In case you missed it, here's how some Philadelphia-area amateurs have fared in tournaments during the last month:

Justin Martinson of Avondale, the Philadelphia Amateur champion, tied for 14th in the Eastern Amateur in Portsmouth, Va. Matt Raudenbush of Pine Valley finished in a 29th-place tie in the same event.

Amory Davis of Chadds Ford held a share of the 36-hole lead in the Trans-Mississippi Championship in Denver but had to settle for a fifth-place finish. Veteran Reading-area player Chip Lutz won the senior division of the event.

Erica Herr of New Hope qualified for match play this week in the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at Pinehurst, N.C. She defeated Lindsay McGetrick of Highlands Ranch, Colo., 1 up, in the first round but lost on the 19th hole in Thursday's second round to Nicole Morales of South Salem, N.Y.

Travis Gahman of Souderton survived a 13-man playoff for the final six spots and grabbed a match-play berth in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship but lost in the first round.

Pennsylvania Amateur. The Pennsylvania Amateur moves across the state to the southwest, at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County, for the 97th edition beginning Monday.

The tournament consists of 18 holes of stroke play Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

About four-dozen Southeastern Pennsylvania players, including Philadelphia Open champion Michael Brown of Lookaway and Philadelphia Amateur runner-up Michael Kania of Overbrook, will attempt to give the area its first state amateur championship since Michael McDermott won in 2000.

Nathan Smith, who won the title last year at Waynesborough Country Club in Paoli and later competed on the U.S. Walker Cup team at Merion, is not defending his crown.

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or

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