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83rd George Dressler Memorial


By Jim Hollister

Kutztown, Pa.- The late George Dressler might be smiling right now. He liked fierce competition and 72 holes to determine a champion. When the Pennsylvania Golf Association’s season-opening 83rd George Dressler Memorial Championship is contested April 29-30 at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pa. an outstanding field of 111 golfers from throughout the Commonwealth will compete for titles in the championship, senior and super senior divisions.

The two-day, 36-hole tournament will be contested over the challenging, Rees Jones layout. Not 72 holes, but that’s a story for another day. The tournament is sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods.   

Defending champion Tim Novic of Southpointe Golf Club heads an outstanding group competing for the overall crown including the second through fifth place finishers from a year ago. Saucon Valley’s Anthony Cordaro along with Honeybrook’s Matt Dolinsky finished tied for second place a stroke behind Novic followed by senior competitors Rick Stimmel and Sean Knapp of Connoquenessing Country Club and Hannastown Golf Club respectively.  The latter duo currently rank among the top senior amateur golfers in the latest United States Golf Association ratings at 1st and 15th.

The championship division has several other decorated players in the field including LedgeRock’s Zach Dilcher, the 2023 Pa. Mid-Amateur champion, Michael Brown, Jr. of LuLu Country Club, the 2020 Pa. Amateur titlist, and three other past Mid-Am champions Grant Skyllas of LedgeRock, (2014), Dan Brown from Manada Golf Club (2016) and Jason Wilson from Olde Homestead (2017).  

Stimmel won last year’s Pa. Golf Senior Player of the Year unseating Knapp after a six-year run winning the award. Chip Lutz, also from the host club, who sits at 16th in those same national senior rankings is also entered in the event.

The 2023 Super Senior Player of the Year and Dressler defending champion Brian Rothaus of Five Ponds Golf Club returns to defend his crown in a very talented division. Last year’s runner-up Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club along with Greg Osborne of Overlook Golf Course and Country Club of Scranton’s Mike Vassil were all within four shots of the championship after the two day event a year ago.  And, last year’s Player of the Year runner-up Mike Capotis of the Kahkwa Club is also entered in the competition.  

One of the longest-running events on Pa. Golf’s schedule, the Dressler originated as the Pennsylvania Public Links (re: Publinx) Championship in 1935. It was under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Public Golfers Association and was one of the few 72-hole championships in the country serving as a qualifier for the United States Open Championship.

Dressler, a USGA official from Hershey, served as the tournament director for decades and the event title eventually added his name as a tribute to his service to the game. The tournament was not contested on six occasions during his tenure, including from 1943-46 due to World War II and again in 2000 and 2020, the latter due to COVID.

Frank Strafaci, grandfather of current PGA Tour professional Tyler Strafaci, was the winner of the event in its inaugural year in 1935. Frank Strafaci would also win the USGA Public Links the same year.  Former PGA Tour professionals Emlyn Aubrey and Jim Booros are listed among past winners along with four-time champion and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame member, Robert Hirneisen. Dressler’s legacy of high-powered, competitive events continues with the 83rd edition to see who joins an elite list of past winners.         

The Pennsylvania Golf Association (PAGA) is the authoritative body of amateur golf in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In that role, PAGA promotes growth, preserves traditions and protects the integrity of the game, in accordance with the rules adopted by the United States Golf Association.