Drue Nicholas of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. really got it going on his way to a 1-under-par 69 as he topped the 16-to-18 division in a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour stop on a summer-like Sunday at Linwood Country Club at the Jersey Shore.
Nicholas made an eagle on the par-5 ninth at the 6,237-yard, par-70 Linwood layout and then ripped off four birdies on the back nine. Jonathan Prussel, another Egg Harbor Township resident, didn’t back down, though, as he was the runnerup with a solid 1-over 71.
Strath Haven sophomore Kevin Smith, gearing up for the Pennsylvania scholastic postseason, finished alone in third with a 3-over 73. Nicholas Campanelli of Manahawkin, N.J. and Dylan Gooneratne of Plymouth Meeting finished tied for fourth at 5-over 75.
Justin Maul, another member of the Egg Harbor Township contingent, finished alone in sixth with a 76. Ryan Kennedy of Wayne and Michael Mitnick of Linwood, N.J. shared seventh place at 78, Christopher D’Alessandro of Waretown, N.J. was ninth with a 79 and Michael Festa of Ambler rounded out the top 10 with an 80.
James Dalzell of Linwood, N.J. made five birdies on his way to a 2-over 72 that gave him a victory in the 13-to-15 division. Ryan McCabe of Media was the runnerup with a 76.
Travis Dix of Howell, N.J. and David Fitzgerald Jr. of Bryn Mawr finished tied for third, each carding a 77. Winston Kelenc-Blank of Rumson, N.J. took fifth with a 79 and Stephane de Brechard of Brooklyn, N.Y. was sixth with a 90.
Among the nine-holers, it looks like the Gooneratne girls of Plymouth Meeting have been practicing. Fiona birdied the par-4 seventh hole to top the field with a 4-over 38. Sister Rhianna finished third with a 42. Their improvement over the summer has been noticeable.
J.P. Hoban of Hammonton, N.J. was the runnerup to Fiona Gooneratne with a 41.
Hank Kancher of Philadelphia finished fourth with a 46, Luca Gherardi of Hammonton, N.J. was fifth with a 47 and Paul Reilly of West Creek, N.J. and Tommy Marshall of Marlton, N.J. shared sixth place at 48. Amit Limaye of Short Hills, N.J. finished eighth with a 53 and Harrison Card of Moorestown, N.J. was ninth with a 62.