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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Another Isztwan claims a Bert Linton Inter-Ac League crown

   LOWER MORELAND – It’s been three years since a Penn Charter freshman, a coaches’ pick, won the Bert Linton Inter-Ac League Championship.
   His name was Brian Isztwan and he outlasted a typically strong field of Inter-Ac standouts in terrible weather at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course.
   Thursday a Penn Charter freshman, a coaches’ pick, carded a 5-over-par 75 on a Huntingdon Valley Country Club layout that was just really difficult, fast and firm with some gusty winds early in the day that made club selection a guessing game and some pin placements that made it tough to get the ball close to the hole
   His name is Patrick Isztwan. Huntingdon Valley is Patrick Isztwan’s home course, but that doesn’t change the fact that he had the patience to grind out a birdie-less 5-over-par round on a golf course that had most of the field, including Patrick’s big brother Brian, a senior, shaking their heads. And like his big brother three years ago, Patrick Isztwan is the Bert Linton Inter-Ac League champion.
   Patrick Isztwan had a really nice Inter-Ac League regular season going through the first four of the six mini-tournaments that make up the schedule. He was fourth on the points list that determines the league’s top regular-season player. But a 46 at Bluestone Country Club and a 45 at Merion Golf Club’s West Course Monday dropped him back to 19th in the final standings.
   But his play throughout the season made him an easy choice as a coaches’ pick.
“I feel like I redeemed myself a little after the last two invitationals,” Patrick Isztwan said after edging The Haverford School’s Charlie Baker by a shot.
   The field started on the back nine of the challenging 6,786-yard, par-70 William Flynn design and Patrick Isztwan made bogeys on 12, 17 and 18 to make the turn at 3-over 38. He added bogeys at two and six on the front nine.
   “lt was pretty hard out there,” Patrick Isztwan said. “The greens were really slick and the wind, especially early, made it tough. I think it’s the hardest it’s played all year.”
   Isztwan was in the second group off of the eight threesomes that made up the elite field. There were  reports around the golf course about where everybody stood. Isztwan had figured out that  nobody was going to go real low on this golf course on this day.
   He fell back to 5-over with the bogey at six, but he still had tough finishing stretch with seven, eight and nine to contend with.
   “I didn’t want to know where I stood,” Patrick Isztwan said. “It’s not like I started the day thinking I could win. It was a very good field.”
   But he parred out on the last three and then waited to see if it would hold up.
   Several players still out on the course seemed to have a chance to catch him, including Malvern Prep juniors Andrew Curran and John Updike, the 2016 Pennsylvania Junior Boys’ champion. But late bogeys kept stopping the momentum of any of Isztwan’s challengers.
   Only Baker could get as close as one shot to Patrick Isztwan. Battling back after opening up with a 5-over 40 on the back nine at Huntingdon Valley, Baker toured the front in 1-over 36, but couldn’t quite catch Isztwan.
   Baker had carded a 1-under 34 on the front nine at Merion West Monday to lead the Fords to a team win in the final invitational of the season that returned the Inter-Ac team trophy to Lancaster Avenue for the first time in three years.
   Malvern Prep’s senior captain, Matt Davis, matched par on the front nine with a 35, but it was too little, too late after a 42 on the back. Davis’ 7-over 77 was matched by his teammate Updike, but Davis received the third-place plaque in a match of cards. The front-nine 35 gave him the tiebreaker edge.
   Malvern Prep’s Matt Civitella posted a 78 to finish alone in fifth, a shot behind his teammates Davis and Updike.
   Malvern Prep’s Curran, Episcopal Academy’s Cole Kemmerer and Justin Hershey, and Haverford School’s A.J. Aivazoglou were another shot behind Civitella in a tie for sixth at 79.
   No one else broke 80. Haverford School’s David Hurly, Springside Chestnut Hill  Academy’s Justin Dougherty and Episcopal’s Jon Nolan Perry finished tied for  10th at 81. Haverford School’s Peter Garno was alone in 15th with an 84.
   Haverford School’s Mac Costin and Tyler Roland and Episcopal’s Robbie Copit finished tied for 16th at 85, Penn Charter’s Noah Schwartz finished 19th with an 86 and Germantown Academy’s Nick Schnur was 20th with an 87.
   It wasn’t quite the finishing act Brian Isztwan envisioned as he finished tied for 21st with Haverford School’s Cal Buonocore, each posting an 88.
   But he did pick up some hardware after winning the individual points race during the regular season for the second year in a row, the first player since the points format was adopted with the Inter-Ac’s switch to the fall in 2011 to win the title twice, let alone repeat.
   Brian Isztwan was the runnerup to Temple freshman Dawson Anders in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Boys’ Championship with Patrick on the bag, finished tied for fifth in GAP’s Christman Cup at Stonewall’s North Course despite having an old guy on the bag, and was the runnerup in the AJGA’s Philadelphia Junior at Huntingdon Valley.
   Last week he was one of just 25 junior standouts named to the AJGA Transamerica Scholastic Junior All-America team, which earns him a spot in the AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions at the PGA National Resort & Spa’s Champion and Fazio Courses in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. next month. I tacked some of the qualifications for that award on to the post earlier this week about Haverford School’s clinching win at Merion West.
   It was one bad day in a very good year.
   And Patrick’s victory made it a clean sweep of the Inter-Ac’s individual titles for Team Isztwan.
   By the way, I was only second-best former sportswriter on the grounds at Huntingdon Valley Thursday. The great Ted Silary, who covered high school sports for the Philadelphia Daily News better than anyone ever has anywhere, was picking up some material for his high school sports website, TedSilary.com, that most writers who cover high school sports in the Philadelphia area consult regularly to check on historical facts for the Inter-Ac and the Philadelphia Catholic League over the last 40 years or so.

Berman helps Georgetown rally to take Georgetown Intercollegiate

   Georgetown stood eight shots out of the lead in sixth place after a long double-round in cold, wet and windy conditions after Day 1 of the Georgetown Intercollegiate Monday at the Members Club at Four Streams Club in Beallsville, Md.
   Do you really think former Haverford School standout and 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion Cole Berman was going out like that in the senior’s final Georgetown Intercollegiate? No way.
   Berman fired a 1-over-par 72 over the 6,908-yard, par-71 Members Club layout and the Hoyas got a huge boost from Berman’s senior classmate Jack Musgrave of Chesteron, Ind., who had had a final round of 2-under 69, as Georgetown stormed back Tuesday with a final round of 3-over 287 to win the Georgetown Intercollegiate by three shots over Rutgers.
   Berman ended up in a six-way tie for first at 6-over 219 and ultimately lost out for the individual title to Navy’s Charlie Musto, a freshman from Sterling, Va., on the third hole of a playoff. But Berman got what he came for as the 287 final round was the low team round of the tournament and gave the Hoyas a 42-over 894 total. They had opened with rounds of 302 and 305 Monday.
   Rutgers finished up with a solid 10-over 294 to claim runnerup honors at 897. Seton Hall, which had the lead at the finish of play Monday with rounds of 306 and 293, was another shot behind Rutgers in third at 898.
   Saint Joseph’s, led by Michael O’Brien, a sophomore from West Chester, Ohio who was also part of the six-man playoff for the individual title, had a final round of 298 to finish fourth at 901. William & Mary was another shot behind the Hawks in fifth at 902 after a final-round 299. Navy, led by individual champion Musto, finished sixth at 904 after a final-round 301. And Temple, with a final round of 295, its best of the tournament, finished seventh in the 11-team field at 906.
   Berman battled Monday’s tough conditions for rounds of 1-over 72 and 4-over 75 before finishing up with his 1-over 72 in the final round.
   Sam Madsen, a sophomore from Madison, Wis., backed up Berman for the Hoyas as he finished tied for 16th at 226 after matching Berman’s final-round 72. He had struggled to a pair of 77s in Monday’s double-round.
   Eduardo Blechtein, a sophomore from Delray Beach, Fla., finished tied for  19th at 227, also saving his best round for last,  a 3-over 74 in Tuesday’s final round. Musgrave struggled mightily in Monday’s double-round with a 78 and an 81, but his 2-under 69 in the final round left him tied for 21st at 228 and was a difference-maker for Georgetown.
   Patrick DiPasquale, a sophomore from Rochester, N.Y., finished tied for 26th at 229 after a final-round 76. DiPasquale’s rounds of 75 and 78 were both counters Monday.
   Navy’s Musto also had a 2-under 69 to join the logjam at 3-over 219 atop the individual standings.
Rutgers had two players in the playoff. Matt Holuta, a senior from Indiana, Pa. who contended in the Pennsylvania Amateur at White Manor Country Club last summer before finishing fifth, had a final-round 72. Christopher Gotterup, a freshman from Little Silver, N.J., somehow broke par in Monday’s first round with a 1-under 70 and finished up with a 74.
   Saint Joe’s O’Brien joined the playoff at 219 with a 1-over 72 in the final round as did William & Mary’s Sam Aronoff,  a senior from Santa Monica, Calif.
   O’Brien and Aronoff were the first two out of the playoff as they made bogey on the 149-yard, par-3 10th at the Members Club.
   The playoff was contested entirely on the 10th and all four survivors made par to send it to a third extra hole. Musto drilled his tee shot to six feet and made the birdie putt to take the title.
   Saint Joe’s junior Ross Pilliod, a Berks Catholic product (and an occasional Stonewall looper), finished just one shot out of the playoff at 220, which left him alone in seventh place. He matched par in the second round with a 71 and finished up with a 3-over 74.
   Freshman Wills Montgomery, a former Downingtown East standout, finished tied for 30th for the Hawks at 230 after a final round of 2-over 73. Sophomore Tommy Lewis, a Central Bucks East product, finished 49th at 237 after a final-round 79 and sophomore Richard Riva, a Lancaster Catholic product, finished tied for 50 at 228 after struggling to a final-round 84.
   Temple was led by John Barone, a redshirt junior from Dunmore who had a final round of 2-over 73 to finish tied for 16th at 226.
   Junior Sam Soeth, a former Marple Newtown standout, bounced back from an opening-round 82 with a pair of 73s to finish tied for 21st at 228 for the Owls. He was joined at that figure by Trey Wren, a junior from Suffolk, Va. who finished up with a 76.
   Freshman Liam McGrath, out of the Academy of the New Church, had a solid showing, finishing a shot behind Soeth and Wren in a tie for 26th at 229 after a final-round 78. Freshman Dawson Anders, the Souderton product who claimed the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Boys’ crown last summer, finished tied for 50th at 238 after recovering from a shaky Monday with a final-round 73.
   Competing as an individual, junior Gary McCabe, a former La Salle High standout from Collegeville, finished tied for 42nd at 234 after a final-round 78.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kness, Sager power Seton Hall to dominating victory in Brown Bear Invitational

   Three players on the Seton Hall roster teed it up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club in August.
   And that same trio was at the top of the leaderboard Monday when the Pirates completed a dominating team victory in the Brown Bear Invitational, hosted by Brown at Legdemont Country Club in Seekonk, Mass.
   Freshman Mia Kness, the PIAA Class AAA champion as a senior at Peters Township last fall, and sophomore Maddie Sager, the former Owen J. Roberts standout who was the runnerup in the 2015 PIAA Class AAA Championship, finished tied for the individual title at 1-under 141.
   The teammates, celebrating a 34-shot team victory for the Pirates, went out for a playoff and Kness finally captured the title on the fourth extra hole.
   Kness and Sager each carded a 1-under 70 over the 6,099-yard, par-71 Ledgemont layout in Sunday’s opening round and came back with an even-par 71 in Monday’s second round.
   Lizzie Win, a sophomore from Sylvania, Ohio and the third member of Seton Hall’s U.S. Women’s Amateur trio, finished third in the Brown Bear, two shots behind Kness and Sager at 1-over 143. Win had the low round Monday for the Hall with a 1-under 70 after opening with a 2-over 73.
   The trio led Seton Hall to an opening round of even-par 284, six shots better than any Seton Hall team has ever recorded on a par-71 course. The Pirates were just one shot higher Monday, with a 1-over 285 that gave them a 1-over 569 total for the 36-hole event.
   Seton Hall’s Big East rival St. John’s was a distant runnerup with rounds of 295 and 308 for a 35-over 603 total. Quinnipiac was another shot behind St. John’s in third at 604 with rounds of 294 and 310. Lehigh (305-301) and Farleigh Dickinson (298-308) shared fourth place at 606 and host Brown had a pair of 304s to finish alone in sixth at 608.
   Seton Hall also got a strong showing from Cassie Pantelas, a senior from Canton, Ohio who had rounds of 72 and 73 to finish tied for sixth at 3-over 145. Sophomore Sammie Staudt, a former Coatesville standout, rounded out the starting five for the Hall with solid rounds of 72 and 76 as she finished tied for 12th at 6-over 148.
   Seton Hall also sent out three players competing as individuals. Gianna Tomeo (82-79), a junior from Bradenton, Fla., finished tied for 46th at 161, senior Macky Fouse (83-82), the 2013 PIAA Class AA champion at Central Valley, finished 51st at 165 and Jamie Greene (91-85), a junior from Troy, Mich., finished tied for 66th at 176.
   Lehigh’s Aileen Jeong, a junior from Dublin, Calif., and St. John’s Alejandra Sanchez, a junior from Mexico, finished tied for fourth at 2-over 144. Jeong opened with an even-par 71 and added a 1-over 73 Monday. Sanchez matched the 2-under 70s posted by Kness and Sager in the opening round and added a 3-over 74 in the second round.
   Joining Seton Hall’s Pantelas in the tie for sixth at 145 was St. John’s Kaitleen Shee, a sophomore from Irvine, Calif. who matched par in the opening round with a 72 and a 1-over 74 in Monday’s second round.