The APGA Tour and the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) introduced two of the Philadelphia Region’s top amateur golfers as part of the field for APGA Tour Valley Forge, the growing pro tour’s first visit to the Northeastern United States.
Matthew Vital, 15, and Zach Jurhasz, 24, both of Bethlehem have accepted invitations and will be exempted into the tournament, which will be contested on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 21 and 22, with $25,000 in prize money at stake.
A third Philadelphia-area golfer, Metedeconk National Golf Club (Jackson Township, NJ) Assistant Pro Louis Kelly, has also been exempted into the field and will be introduced to the media at a later date.
Valley Forge Tourism brings a diversity-focused circuit to Bluestone CC in Blue Bell September 20-22 for Pro-Am plus 36-hole, $25,000 competition.
The tournament will be the 12th of the year for the APGA Tour, which has become a force in driving diversity in the sport of golf.
The APGA Tour grew to seven events with $200,000 in prize money in 2020 and will conduct 14 events with some $400,000 in prize money in 2021.
The circuit launched with three events in 2010 and has expanded dramatically in the past two years on strength of partnerships with the PGA Tour, sponsors and organizations like VFTCB, which arranged for the tour stop in Montgomery County earlier this year.
“It’s exciting for the APGA Tour to welcome both Matthew and Zach to the field for our first stop in the Northeast,” stated Cole Smith, APGA Tour Executive Director. “We have a great tradition of including amateurs in our program and it’s pretty clear that these guys can play, so we’ll see you next month.”
Zach Juhasz, one of the region’s top amateur players, advanced this year through local competition to make the U.S. Open Regional Qualifying Tournament. In qualifying competition for the U.S. Amateur, the 24-year-old finished as the second alternate, shooting seven-under over 36 holes.
He competes in Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) events and is a former scholastic standout at Bethlehem Freedom High School.
Matthew Vital, a 15-year-old rising junior at Bethlehem Liberty High School, fired an 8 under-par 62 in a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour event, to best Sam Snead’s longtime course record at Reading Country Club.
Matthew is no stranger to the spotlight, having won the 12-13-year-old division of the 2019 Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club the Sunday before The Masters.
He has won on multiple junior golf tours, including the Hurricane Junior Tour, USKids Golf, and PGA of Philadelphia Junior Tour, He set a record of nine wins in one season with the Lehigh Valley Junior Golf Tour.
Louis Kelly, 28, is the Assistant Professional at Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson Township, NJ. A Willingboro native now residing in Deptford, Kelly is the lead coach for First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and a former standout golfer at Adelphi University and Louisiana-Lafayette University. At Adelphi, he qualified as an individual for the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament after finishing second in the NCAA Regionals in 2013.
The Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) was established in 2010 with the mission to bring greater diversity to the game of golf.
The APGA Tour Board of Directors works to accomplish this by hosting and operating professional golf tournaments, player development programs, mentoring programs, and introducing the game to inner-city young people.
In addition to conducting up to 14 events awarding over $350,000 in prize money annually, the APGA conducts the Player Development Program to aid young minority golfers on their path through professional golf.
Read more about the APGA Tour Valley Forge at the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.