CHERRY HILL — A country club that fell on hard times has been tentatively sold at auction for $10.1 million.

The Marlton-based First Montgomery Group made the winning bid Monday for the Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, beating out three other bidders. The club takes up 155 acres in the middle of one of Philadelphia's biggest and most affluent suburbs.

The sale now awaits a confirmation hearing scheduled for Friday in federal bankruptcy court in Camden. If the sale's approved, the deal could close by May 31.

The real estate firm's bid narrowly edged out a $10 million bid by a partnership headed by George Norcross, which wanted to keep Woodcrest as a golf course. The Democratic political powerbroker is an insurance executive and one of the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.