Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Smart move at U.S. Amateur qualifier



   If you read my account of Brandon Matthews’ victory in Wednesday’s Philadelphia Open in Thursday’s Daily Times, you got a little of the regret the Temple senior felt over failing to qualify for the U.S. Amateur two days earlier.
   The qualifier was held at Old York Road Country Club and Cedarbrook Country Club in Monday’s searing heat. It is nalways a tough test with just five tickets available for a trip to the U.S. Amateur, which will be held Aug. 17 to 23 at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill.
   And Matthews, with rounds of 1-over 73 at the 7,045-yard, par-72 Cedarbrook layout and 1-under 70 at the 6,547-yard, par-71 Old York Road layout, finished two shots short of qualifying.
   The qualifying medal went to Henry Smart of Charleston, S.C. who had 68s at both courses for a 7-under 136 total. Smart is a former Virginia teammate of 2010 Pennsylvania Amateur champion Cory Siegfried and Cole Willcox, who qualified for the 2005 U.S. Amateur at Merion Golf Club as a senior at Malvern Prep.
   “A GAP event is fantastic,” Smart said of the event run by the Golf Association of Philadelphia. “Pace of play is quick. The hole locations are fair. You couldn’t ask for a better setup for a U.S. Amateur qualifier. Cory and Cole speak so highly of the GAP. That was one of the reasons why I came up and did it.”
   Another southern invader, East Carolina senior Jacob Hicks of Greenville, N.C., added a 71 at Cedarbrook to the blistering 5-under 66 he fired at Old York Road to share second place with Vinay Ramesh, the PIAA Class AAA champion as a senior at Pennsbury last fall. Ramesh, who will join Philadelphia amateur runnerup Michael Davis at Princeton this fall, had a 69 at Cedarbrook and a 68 at Old York Road.
   Grabbing the final two spots were Jack Wallace, a 31-year-old Beverly, N.J. resident who had 69s at both courses, and Michael Brown Jr., a 42-year-old  Maple Shade, N.J. resident, who had a 70 at Old York Road and a 71 at Cedarbrook for a 2-under 141 total.
   Methacton junior Kyle Vance, who had a 72 at Cedarbrook and a 70 at Old York Road, and Roland Massimino, the PIAA Class AA runnerup at New Hope last fall (and yes, grandson of Rollie) who had a 74 at Old York Road before rallying with a 68 at Cedarbrook, are the alternates at 1-under 142.
   Some other notable finishers (Cedarbrook score first) included: Georgetown sophomore and reigning Philadelphia Amateur champion Cole Berman (72-74—146); Aronimink Golf Club’s Siegfried (75-73—148); former St. Joseph’s Prep standout  Mac Ryan (74-74—148); Overbrook Golf Club’s Chris Lange Jr. (73-76—149); former Episcopal Academy standout Bobby Svigals (77-73—150); Radnor All-Delco Carey Bina (75-77—152); recent Episcopal graduate Trey Croney (78-74—152); Llanerch Country Club’s Steve Seiden (75-78—153), who has qualified for the U.S. Amateur twice out of this event; Rolling Green Golf Club’s Matthew Bastian (78-79—157); Rolling Green’s Shawn Lavin (79-78—157); and Merion Golf Club’s J.D. Bradbeer (80-78—158).

Sautter captures Hyndman Memorial

   It was only fitting with the Philadelphia Section PGA marking the occasion of the late William Hyndman III’s 100th birthday with Monday’s playing of the William Hyndman III Memorial Classic at Huntingdon Valley Country Club that 59-year-old Philadelphia Cricket Club pro Bill Sautter would capture the title.
   With the heat index hovering around 100, Sautter fired a 4-under 66 on the challenging William Flynn design to finish a shot ahead of the hottest player all year on the Philadephia PGA circuit, Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant pro Josh Rackley. On the occasion of the legendary Hyndman’s 100th birthday, the top prize was increased to $10,000, so Sautter’s timing was impeccable.
   Spring-Ford Country Club head pro Rich Steinmetz finished third with a 68 and Billy Stewart, The ACE Club assistant pro who grew up playing at Llanerch Country Club, and John Pillar of the Country Club at Woodloch Springs finished in a tie for fourth at 1-under 69.
   Sautter also bested the senior division and Rackley edged Stewart as the event was a designated Philadelphia Assistants’ Organization tourney.
   Concord Country Club head pro Mike Moses and M Golf Range instructor Stu Ingraham were among five players tied for sixth with 70s. Merion Golf Club head of instruction Mark Sheftic finished in a tie for 11th with a 71.
   Other top finishers included: Overbrook Golf Club’s Eric Kennedy (72, tied for 22nd); Radnor Valley Country Club assistant pro Tony Perla (72, tied for 22nd); Aronimink Golf Club assistant pro Bryan Kienke (72, tied for 22nd); Merion assistant pro Robby Bruns (74, tied for 41st); Aronimink head of instruction John Bierkan (74, tied for 41st); The Springhaven Club’s Gregg Gipp (74, tied for 41st); and Radnor Valley head pro George Forster (75, tied for 50th).
   Rackley, Stewart, Forster, Sheftic and Ingraham all had strong showings two days later in the Philadelphia Open held at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course.

Look for a roundup of some Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour action, including two wins each for Chichester junior Caprian Kan and Agnes Irwin sophomore Kaitlyn Lees, and a few thoughts on the strong showing, at age 59, by Radnor Valley’s George Forster at the Philadelphia Open in Tom McNichol’s Golf Notebook in the Saturday Daily Times.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Kan, Zeng claim Junior Tour victories



   It was a big week for junior golf all over the area last week and the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour was no exception with two events going on Tuesday, one in South Jersey and one in the far reaches of Montgomery County at Indian Valley Country Club.
   Chichester junior Caprian Kan was in the field at Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel, N.J. and used the occasion to post a career-low tournament round on her way to victory in the 13-to-15 division. Kan went even-par on the back nine at the 5,456-yard, par-71 Laurel Creek layout on her way to a 3-over 74.
   That left her 15 shots clear of runnerup Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken, who had an 89.
Cooper Kronenbeger of West Chester was the medalist in the boys 16-to-18 division with a 5-over 76 at Laurel Creek, which measured 6,518 yards for the guys. Jimmy  Murray of Springfield finished in a tie for seventh with an 84.
   J.T. Spina of Schwenksville had the day’s best score with a 1-under 70 in winning top honors in the 13-to-15 division. Andrew Curran of Media finished in a tie for sixth with an 80, Davis Flannery of Radnor finished in a tie for 12th with an 87 and Corey Kan of Boothwyn finished 16th with a 111.
   Meanwhile at Indian Valley, the boys 13-to-15 division was hotly contested with many of Delco’s talented youngsters in action.
   Michael Zeng of Downingtown was the medalist with a 3-over 75 over the 6,355-yard, par-72 Indian Valley layout. He was two shots clear of Aronimink Golf Club’s Matthew Davis, a Malvern Prep sophomore who had a 77.
   A couple of Episcopal Academy eighth-graders were in the mix as Case Hummer of Glen Mills finished sixth with an 80 and Jacob Zeng of Downingtown, coming off a victory in the Junior-Junior division of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Jock MacKenzie Memorial a day earlier, finished in a tie for seventh with an 81. I’m just guessing here, but I’m thinking Michael and Jacob Zeng are brothers. I’ll keep you posted.
   Also in the 13-to-15 division:  Samuel Walker and Blake Stephano, both of Radnor, finished in a tie for 15th with 86s; Haverford School freshman Peter Garno finished 18th with an 88; Jack Hamilton of Wayne finished in a tie for 19th with an 89; Dolan Cox of Newtown Square finished 21st with a 90; and Aj Aivazoglou of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 25th with a 94.
   Dawson Anders of Telford used a little home-course advantage to shoot the day’s best score, a 2-under 70 and earn medalist honors in the 16-to-18 division. Luke Shevlin of Thornton was the runnerup with a 4-over 76. Other finishers in the division included: Davis Rosato of Villanova (82, eighth place); Joseph Dougherty of Drexel Hill (88, tied for 18th); Edmund Garno of Haverford (96, 28th place); and Matthew Hoppe of Garnet Valley (100, 29th place).
   Among the nine-holers, John Wang of Wilmington, Del., was the medalist with a 41. Chase Stephano of Radnor and Kristof Kopecky of Garnet Valley shared fifth place with 52s, Luke Kelly of Wayne finished in a tie for eighth with a 54 and Stefanie Bonini of Bryn Mawr finished 11th with a 60.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Spotleson captures Philadelphia Women's Amateur title



   Suzy Spotleson of RiverCrest Golf Club and Preserve claimed the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 118th Amateur Championship with a 5 and 4 victory over Trenton Country Club’s Katie Edelblut in the scheduled 36-hole final Friday at Aronimink Golf Club.
   Spotleson cruised through the match-play bracket, opening with a 5 and 4 victory over Merion Golf Club veteran Liz Haines, a two-time winner of this event, downing Merion’s Catherine Elliott, the former Notre Dame and University of Pennsylvania standout, 3 and 2, and then cruising to a 7 and 5 decision over Allison Long of Honeybrook Golf Club in the semifinals.
   It was very nearly an all-Edelblut semifinal on the other side of the bracket, but Burlington Country Club’s Kelsey Sloan prevented that with a nail-biting victory over Katie’s sister Kellie Edelblut in 22 holes in the quarterfinals. Katie Edelblut then defeated Sloan, 3 and 2, to advance to the meeting with Spotleson in the final.
   Elliott pulled off an upset in the first round of championship-flight play when she knocked off Whitford Country Club’s Cara Basso, the qualifying medalist, 2-up. Basso, a recent graduate of Villa Maria Academy and the PIAA Class AA champion as a sophomore in 2012, is headed for Penn State.
A.K. Frazier of Gulph Mills Golf Club took first-flight honors with a 6 and 5 victory over fellow Gulph Mills member Ellen Miller in Friday’s scheduled 18-hole final.
   Frazier reached the semifinals with a 6 and 5 victory over Overbrook Golf Club’s Karen McFadden.
   Nicoll Keeney of DuPont Country Club was the second-flight winner after claiming a 1-up decision over Mary McGuiness of Tavistock Country Club in a thriller that went to the 18th hole.
   Merion’s Katrina Ogilby won two matches to reach the second-flight semis before falling, 3 and 2, to McGuiness.

   My Golf Notebook in the Daily Times Saturday print edition features Aronimink Golf Club's Max Siegfried, who has been a fixture on Golf Association of Philadelphia junior leaderboards all summer,, and a report on reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, Radnor senior Brynn Walker, earning a trip to the PGA Junior Championship in Miramont, Texas in a qualifier this week at Applecross Country Club. The Golf Notebook is also posted on delcotimes.com.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Kosup knocks off Lutz in Brewer Cup final



   The only player standing between The Ridge at Back Brook’s Bert Kosup and a victory in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Brewer Cup Wednesday was none other than Chip Lutz, the reigning five-time GAP Senior Player of the Year.
   In addition to dominating a very talented GAP senior division, Lutz of LedgeRock Golf Club, owns two British Senior Amateur titles and had won the Brewer Cup twice, including last year. But the 60-year-old Kosup of Flemington, N.J. pulled out a 2 and 1 decision over Lutz at a soggy Saucon Valley Country Club Weyhill Course to capture the title.
   “To win this event, with Mr. Brewer’s resume behind it and his great tradition of playing, means a lot,” Kosup told the GAP website. “It’s an honor to beat Chip. He was a gentleman all day. I kept waiting for a charge. I hung in there and didn’t think about matching shot for shot. It worked out well.”
   Lutz, a 60-year-old Reading resident, jumped in front by winning two of the first three holes. Kosup battled back with a birdie at the sixth and a par at the 10th only to see Lutz drop in a 22-foot birdie putt at the 11th to regain a 1-up advantage. But Kosup got even with a birdie at the par-5 12th and then took a lead he wouldn’t relinquish by holing a 25-foot birdie putt at the 13th.
   Lutz overcooked a 3-wood off the 17th tee and Kosup was able to win the hole and finish off the match.
   Kosup survived a 20-hole battle to edge Ed Chylinksi of Chester Valley Golf Club in his semifinal match. Lutz edged Robin McCool, 2 and 1, in a rematch of the 2014 final, which Lutz also won, in the other semifinal.
Kosup’s opening-round victim was Michael Quinn of Edgmont Country Club, who fell 3 and 2. Lutz defeated Merion Golf Club’s J. Kirk Luntley, 5 and 4, in the opening round. Another opening-round casualty was Concord Country Club’s Doug Fedoryshyn, who fell, 4 and 3, to James Muller of Manufacturers Golf & Country Club.
Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club continued his dominance of the Super-Senior division with a 7 and 5 victory over Joe Marucci of host club Saucon Valley in the final. They’ve conducted the Brewer Cup three times and Donatoni has won the Super-Senior division all three times.
Donatoni edged Merion Golf Club’s Carl Everett, 2 and 1, in the semifinals. You won’t see this often, but Everett reached the semifinals by beating the guy the tournament is named after, Pine Valley Golf Club’s O. Gordon Brewer, 3 and 1. Brewer, a recipient of the USGA’s Bob Jones Award, is a two-time U.S. Senior Amateur champion and has played in 42 USGA championships.
   “I told Gordon I didn’t really enjoy being the guy that knocked him out of his own tournament,” said Everett, a 68-year-old Harleysville resident. “I told him this was only the second time I remember beating him. He said that wasn’t true, but I’m pretty sure it is. I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”

    Aronimink Golf Club's Max Siegfried has been a fixture on Golf Association of Philadelphia junior leaderboards all summer. Look for a roundup of his recent successes and near misses as well as a report on reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, Radnor senior Brynn Walker, earning a trip to the PGA Junior Championship in Miramont, Texas in a qualifier this week at Applecross Country Club in Tom McNichol’s Golf Notebook in the Daily Times Saturday print edition.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Rackley strikes again, taking TaylorMade Top 100



   Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant pro Josh Rackley has been one of the hottest players on the Philadelphia Section PGA circuit and he kept it up Monday by firing a 5-under 66 at Laurel Creek Country Club to win the TaylorMade Top 100.
   The event brought together the top 100 players in the section and Rackley certainly qualifies, having won the $100,000 jackpot by taking the Haverford Trust Classic and sharing low Philly PGA honors with Merion Golf Club assistant pro Robby Bruns at the PGA Professional National Championship at Philadelphia Cricket Club.
   Rackley edge Dave Quinn of Links Golf Club by a shot. Quinn has a solid track record at Laurel Creek and it showed with his 4-under 67.
   Among four players tied for third at 3-under 68 were Merion Golf Club head of instruction Mark Sheftic and Billy Stewart, an assistant pro at the ACE Club who developed his game growing up at Llanerch Country Club.
   Among some of the other top finishers were: Aronimink Golf Club assistant pro Carson Solien (70, tied for 10th); M Golf Range instructor Stu Ingraham (71, tied for 21st); Aronimink head of instruction John Bierkan (72, tied for 32nd); Aronimink assistant pro Sam Ambrose (72, tied for 32nd); Concord Country Club head pro Mike Moses (73, tied for 39th); Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster (74, tied for 43rd); Overbrook assistant pro Matthew Romond (74, tied for 43rd); and The Springhaven Club pro Gregg Gipp (75, tied for 51st).

   Aronimink’s Max Siegfried has been a fixture on Golf Association of Philadelphia junior leaderboards all summer. Look for a roundup of his recent successes and near misses as well as a report on reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, Radnor senior Brynn Walker, earning a trip to the PGA Junior Championship in Miramont, Texas in a qualifier this week at Applecross Country Club in Tom McNichol’s Golf Notebook in the Daily Times Saturday print edition.