Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hammond earns Bill Strausbaugh Award

   Maybe the PGA of America thought it would wait until he slowed down a little before it decided to give its Bill Strausbaugh Award to PGA Master Professional Harry Hammond.
   Apparently, the guys at Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., threw up their hands and realized slowing down is not on the agenda for a guy who has been serving the game of golf in Chester County and influencing it throughout the Philadelphia area for 49 years.
   It was recently announced that Hammond, 73 years young, was named the recipient of the 2012 Bill Strausbaugh Award, established in 1979 in tribute to the late Middle Atlantic PGA Master Professional who excelled in both leadership and service to a PGA Section and to the PGA of America. Strausbaugh died in 1999.
   “To be recognized for your work is wonderful, but that is not why you do the work,” Hammond said on the PGA of America website. “The purpose of your efforts is to grow the game and that has been my effort since I started in golf. I met Bill Strausbaugh and, like so many others that knew him, found him an exceptional person.”
   Exceptional is a pretty fair description of Hammond. He “retired” after being director of golf at Whitford C.C. for 38 years. 
   Of course, if the current Whitford director of golf needs some advice, he can always call his father-in-law, Harry Hammond, as Michael Ladden is married to Hammond’s daughter Laura, a PIAA champion at Unionville and one of the top amateur players in the Philadelphia area.
   Hammond is the director of golf at Penn Oaks Golf Club, of which he is also part-owner.
   In his spare time, Hammond is in his fourth season as the head coach at West Chester University. Last spring, his Rams qualified as a team for the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament for the first time since 2004.
West Chester grabbed the team title at last weekend’s Hal Hansen Invitational, hosted by Clarion University at Clarion Oaks G.C.
   Hammond has begun junior golf programs at numerous clubs and courses around Chester County. In 1999, he was named PGA of America Junior Golf Leader and is president of the Greater Philadelphia PGA Junior Golf Foundation.
   Hammond is just the third Philadelphia Section pro to win the Strausbaugh Award, following John Poole of West Chester in 1993 and Doug Ritter of Lancaster. Hammond will be honored during the PGA of America Awards ceremony Jan. 24 during the 60th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
Haverford School tops tourney field

   The Inter-Ac League apparently is sticking to its mini-tournament format for the regular season, at least partially.
Chestnut Hill hosted a tournament Wednesday at Sunnybrook G.C. and two-time defending champion Haverford School dominated the proceedings.
   All-Delco Cole Berman and teammate Otis Baker shared medalist honors, each carding a 36. Two-time Haverford School All-Delco Scott Jaster was among four players who tied for third at 37. That group included a pair of Episcopal Academy players, senior Sean Fahey and freshman Austin Helms.
   In addition to the showings by their top three, the Fords’ depth was on display. Max Siegfried, Ryan Tetrault and Jay Losty had 40s and Timmy Brooks and Jake Van Arkel had 41s.
   The 41s weren’t even needed in the Fords’ winning team total of 229, but obviously there wasn’t much of a dropoff in the Haverford School lineup.
   Episcopal finished second in the team standings at 242. In addition to Fahey and Helms, the Churchmen got a 40 from Alex Dupre, a 41 from Matt Robinson and a 42 from Joe Chambers.
   Paris Sterrett, who helps with the Episcopal program, reports that Fahey and Dupre led a contingent of Churchmen who teed it up at Kiawah Island in South Carolina in August, which means they were there either right before or right after the PGA Championship was played there.
   Playing the same Ocean Course that Rory McIlroy won his second major championship on, Fahey had a 77 on a course measuring nearly 8,000 yards from the tips. Fahey, whom Sterrett reports is headed for Dartmouth next year, was even-par through nine. Dupre, Fahey’s fellow senior co-captain, had an 85. Fahey is a member at Overbrook G.C. and Dupre plays out of Rolling Green G.C.
More scholastic updates

   We received some results from two teams that I was unable to dig up anything on for the season preview that ran on the blog last week.
   Chichester fell to Glen Mills, 267-282, Wednesday at Rock Manor G.C.
   Cassan Fields and Joe Cantu were the low men for the Eagles with 50s. Other scores that counted for Chichester were recorded by Steven Perez (53), Quran McLendon (56) and Chad Lee (58).
   The Sacred Heart girls teed it up against Catholic Academies foe Villa Maria Tuesday at Paxon Hollow C.C. and dropped a 232-268 decision to the Hurricanes.
   The Lions were led by Shannon Mann and Katie Honebrink, both of who had 52s. Mimi Warniki added a 53, McKenna Schneider had a 54 and Colleene Gentile had a 57.

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