Fox Hill primed for annual John A. Allan tournament

June 27th, 2015 1:41 am

First Posted: 6/18/2013

For nearly a century, Fox Hill Country Club has been host to one of the most premier golf events in Northeastern Pennsylvania. And although the tournament has had a few different names, it’s still a coveted title.

In its 67th straight year, the John A. Allan Invitational pits the best golfers in the area against the best golfers in the area. Formerly known as the Fox Hill Invitational, this year’s contest will feature a group of 208 golfers - 104 teams - beginning Friday morning in a three-day event.

The two-member teams will vye for one of the spots in the 16-team championship flight held Saturday and Sunday.

While the country was recovering from the worst economic period in its history, club president John Allan shouldered the major financial burden of supporting his country club in the aftermath of the Great Depression.

Allan held his position from 1935-37 and Fox Hill continues to honor him with its most praised event.

“It brings together a lot of nostalgia at Fox Hill,” said Fox Hill general manager Shane Bradley. “At this point in time, there are children and second and third generations. It’s a great event and great interaction for our members.”

Fox Hill might not play as difficult as Merion did during last week’s playing of the 113th U.S. Open, but Bradley said the course will still be a little punchy.

“Everything becomes more difficult during the Allan,” he said. “The greens will be much faster and the rough will be much higher. It becomes more of a test.”

Not only will the course be tough for the 67th playing of the event, but with the superb weather in the area, the course is in tremendous shape, Bradley said. The general manager credited Ron Garrison, the course and grounds manager, with the excellent shape Fox Hill is taking.

“We’re just about where we want to be for the Allan,” Bradley said. “This place is in tremendous shape.”

Fox Hill’s entrants will play the opening qualifying round from the green tees, which plays at 6,175 yards. Once the championship flight is determined, those teams will battle from the back tees. The blues play from 6,555 yards.

The John A. Allan Invitational has been around since 1929, and was called the Fox Hill Invitational, just eight years after the first tee shot was hit at Fox Hill. The tournament was not played in 1943-45 because of World War II. But since then, it’s been 67 straight years of invitational play. The tournament has been a 2-person format since 1956.

There’s certainly been a lot of history in the John A. Allan Invitational. Just looking through the list of past champions, there are many pros, not to mention 1959 Masters champion Art Wall. And now, more than 50 years later, this year’s U.S. Open alternate Brandon Matthews will return to defend his title with partner Richard Laneski.

The finalized list of players in this year’s Allan tournament will be available later this week. Here is a list of past winners of the John A. Allan Invitational:

1929 - B. Edwards

1930 - Carl Cramer

1931 - Wm. Nacious

1932 - F. Hemelright

1933 - Wm. Nacious

1934 - F. J. Allan

1935 - Wm. Nacious

1936 - W. Crossley

1937 - C. Whitehead

1938 - R.L. Weichel

1939 - R. Allman

1940 - T. Lyons

1941 - F.J. Allan

1942 - Phil D’Orio

1943 - Not played WWII

1944 - Not played WWII

1945 - Not played WWII

1946 - F.J. Allan

1947 - T. Klett

1948 - F.J. Allan

1949 - Art Wall

1950 - Wm. Skomsky

1951 - Frank Souchak/J. Earl Keating

1952 - Dom Chiampi/Ed Talbot

1953 - Ed Gonsky/J. Demkovitch

1954 - Charles Barnes

1955 - Charles Barnes

1956 - Art Barni/Ed Gonsky

1957 - Wally Kohut/Frank Wesco

1958 - Dom Chiampi/Stan Starkey

1959 - Frank Allan/Dr. Ben Marshall

1960 - Harold Storm/Chet Ogrodoski

1961 - Robert Hutnik/Harold Bilhimer

1962 - Dom Chiampi/Pete Uram

1963 - Joe Butera/Mike Devan

1964 - Robert Bonser/Art Brunn

1965 - Dom Chiampi/Adam Rensa

1966 - Art Brunn/John O’Brien

1967 - Joe Stencik/Richard Stencik

1968 - John Melnick/Frank Rinker

1969 - Dave Monka/Tom Sobolewski

1970 - Don Koval/Joe Stencik

1971 - Don Koval/Joe Stencik

1972 - Leo Feldman/Paul McGowan

1973 - Ron Pieczynski/Frank Bryzcki

1974 - Carlyle Robinson/James Cicon

1975 - Carlyle Robinson/James Cicon

1976 - Edward Hennigan/Dave Monka

1977 - Edward Hennigan/Dave Monka

1978 - Edward Hennigan/Dave Monka

1979 - Billy Musto/Mark Jarloen

1980 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1981 - Rollie Schmidt/Tom Gauntlett

1982 - Bill Lawler/Len Coleman

1983 - George Guzek/Tim Burns

1984 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1985 - John Watson/Paul Fruehan

1986 - Santo Lafoca/Ted Tryba

1987 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1988 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1989 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1990 - Carlyle Robinson/James Cicon

1991 - Carlyle Robinson/James Cicon

1992 - John Watson/Len Coleman

1993 - Walter Kuharchik/Art Brunn

1994 - Bob Gill/Brian Corbett

1995 - John Watson/Len Coleman

1996 - John Watson/Len Coleman

1997 - Carlyle Robinson/James Cicon

1998 - Dr. Santo LaFoca/Harry Heck

1999 - Bob Gill/Brian Corbett

2000 - Steven Greenwald/Art Brunn Jr.

2001 - Edward Hennigan/Anthony Kondracki

2002 - Don Crossin/Bill Briggs

2003 - Dr. Santo LaFoca/Jim Gardas

2004 - Don Crossin/Bill Briggs

2005 - Dr. Santo LaFoca/Jim Gardas

2006 - John Callahan/Joe Weiscarger

2007 - Don Crossin/Bill Briggs

2008 - Don Crossin/Bill Briggs

2009 - David Kluger/Eric Williams

2010 - Robert Gill/Brian Corbett

2011 - Don Crossin/Bill Briggs

2012 - Rick Laneski/Brandon Matthews