Getting a couple of tips from his boss in the Tavistock Country Club pro shop, assistant pro Greg Matthias fired a 6-under-par 64 Monday to claim his first Philadelphia Section PGA points event, cruising to a four-shot victory in the Conestoga Classic at Conestoga Country Club in Lancaster.
The bar was set early as Brian Bergstol of the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort posted a solid 2-under 68 over the 6,450-yard, par-70 Conestoga layout.
But Matthias, playing in the next-to-last group of the day, got it going right from the start. When he birdied the par-5 10th hole, it was his fifth birdie of the round and he stood at 5-under. He had a momentary lapse with a bogey at 13, but he made two more birdies, one at 14 and one at 16, on his way to the clubhouse to finish off a stellar round.
“I felt really good coming into today’s tournament,” Matthias told the Philadelphia Section PGA website. “I need to thank my head professional, Pat Butkus, for helping me out with my posture and putting leading into the round. I had a couple of early birdies and that gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the day.
“This is my first Section win and it feels great to join the long list of tournament winners in the Philadelphia Section.”
Bergstol, the reigning National Car Rental Philadelphia Assistant PGA Professional Championship winner, was the only other player to better par and his 2-under 68 held up for second.
Bethlehem Golf Club pro Alex Knoll, one of five Philadelphia Section PGA pros who played all four rounds in last week’s PGA Professional Championship, presented by Club Car and OMEGA, at the Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Resort on the Monterey Peninsula in northern California, matched par with a 70 to finish tied for third.
Spring-Ford Country Club head pro Rich Steinmetz, also a member of the Philadelphia Section’s contingent at Bayonet and Black Horse, matched par to join Knoll and Glen Brook Golf Club pro Dustin McCormick in the group tied for third. Steinmetz failed to make the 36-hole cut in the National Club Pro.
Butkus made it a pretty good day all around for the Tavistock pro shop as the head man carded a 1-over 71 to join a group of six players tied for sixth.
Joining Butkus at that figure were Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s John Allen, Corey McAlarney of Squires Golf Club, Joe Kogelman of GolfTEC Moorestown, Terry Hertzog, the head pro at the Country Club of York and the reigning Philadelphia PGA Professional Championship winner, and Rob Shuey of Colonial Golf Club.
Five more players led by Billy Stewart, The ACE Club assistant pro who also played four rounds at Bayonet and Black Horse in his PGA Professional Championship debut, shared 12th place at 2-over 72.
Stewart was joined at that figure by Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster, Matthew Hiller of Pine Valley Golf Club, Michael Little of Lookaway Golf Club, and Mike Paukovits of St. Davids Golf Club.
Matthias and Bergstol also finished 1-2 among the assistants as the Conestoga Classic was also a Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization (PAO) event.
Three players shared top honors in the senior division as Allen, Hertzog and Shuey all came in at 1-over 71.
Not sure exactly how this worked but Don DeAngelis of Center Square Golf Club topped the super-senior division with a 1-under 69, although, for whatever reason, his round was not included in the overall list. Forster’s 72 left him alone in second place among the super-senior set with the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Bill Sautter finishing third, a shot behind Forster at 3-over 73.