Nobody questions the depth of talent that Philadelphia Cricket Club brings to the table when the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s BMW Team Matches are being contested.
But it’s golf and it’s match play. Things can happen. So the Cricket Club had a whole year to stew about falling four points short of Little Mill Country Club in last year’s four-team Playoff among the section winners in the top tier of the Team Matches, Division AA.
The Cricket Club was back at it this year, again earning a spot in the four-team Playoff. Little Mill was back as well along with a strong Huntingdon Valley Country Club team and a Glenmaura National Golf Club team that was a bit of a surprise.
The matches were originally scheduled to be contested May 13, but Glenmaura National was the only course that was playable on that cold and rainy Saturday.
Still, the Cricket Club got what it needed that day when Joe April came away with 8.5 points against a group that included Huntingdon Valley’s top gun, Jeff Osberg, the two-time reigning William Hyndman III GAP Player of the Year winner.
That helped offset a nine-point sweep for Huntingdon Valley’s Kyle Sterbinksy, a former Peddie School standout and a sophomore at Wake Forest who, inexplicably, was not on the postseason roster for the Demon Deacons.
The Playoff finally concluded Sunday and the Cricket Club, getting a spectacular showing from the trio it sent to Huntingdon Valley, got back on top in the Team Matches, capturing the title for third time in the last five years. The Cricket Club finished with 78.5 points with Huntingdon Valley the runnerup at 61.5 points. Little Mill was third with 49 and Glenmaura National finished fourth at 27.
Ryan Gelrod led the way for the Cricket Club trio that traveled to Huntingdon Valley, getting nine points as the Cricket Club came away with a whopping 20 points from the difficult William Flynn gem.
“Everybody was really committed and amped up to play,” Gelrod told the GAP website. “Everybody remembered the frustration from last year. We wanted to make sure we got it done this year. (Team captain) Kevin Kelly kind of reminded us each week, ‘Remember what happened last year. Let’s not let that happen again.’ Last year is last year now.”
Gelrod was joined on the trip to Huntingdon Valley by Cole Berman, the 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion coming off a solid junior season at Georgetown, and John Brennan, a match-play qualifier at last summer’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Stonewall.
Clearly, Kelly made sure he sent some of his best to a course as challenging as Huntingdon Valley is.
Michael Carr maxed out by taking nine points as the Cricket Club piled up 21 more points at Little Mill and Brendan Borst earned 8.5 points to help the trio that stayed at home on the Wissahickon Course, an A.W. Tillinghast classic, also earn 21 points for the Cricket Club.