Sunday, August 23, 2015

Davis, Lees help Philly juniors win Pritsch Cup for the first time

   Two of the Inter-Ac League’s top players, Malvern Prep sophomore Matthew Davis and Agnes Irwin sophomore Kaitlyn Lees, helped the Philadelphia Section PGA outlast the New Jersey Section PGA to capture the Jon M. Pritsch Cup for the first time Friday at Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
   The Ryder Cup-style event had foursomes playing simultaneous singles and four-ball matches. As the reigning champion, New Jersey needed only nine points and a tie to retain the Pritsch Cup. But the Philly juniors piled up 11 points to finally halt New Jersey’s eight-year stranglehold on the Pritsch Cup.
Davis, a member at Aronimink Golf Club, teamed with Ron Robinson Jr. of Hatfield for a 4 and 3 four-ball win over Dean Cerimido and Johnny Bush with Davis also earning a point with a 1-up victory over Bush in their singles match.
   Erik Reisner, the two-time Central League champion at Harriton, teamed with William Mitchell of Moorestown, N.J. to get a half against Alex Aulerich and Ryan Fitzsimmons with Reisner claiming a 2 and 1 singles win over Fitzsimmons.
   Philly also got a four-ball wins from the pairs of Joshua Madarang of Chester Springs and David Herbst of Mechanicsburg and J.T. Spina of Schwenksville and Andrew Gallagher of Mount Laurel, N.J.
   Lees, a member at Philadelphia Country Club, teamed with Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken and they fell, 4 and 3, to the New Jersey pair of Sayaka Carpenter and Ami Gianchandani. Lees managed to halve her singles match with Carpenter.
   In addition to Davis and Reisner, the other singles winners for the Philly juniors were Robinson, Spina, Madarang and Gallagher. Herbst and Mitchell battled to the 18th hole and earned halves.
   The event is played in memory of Jon M. Pritsch, a talented 17-year-old golfer who died of heart disease in 1991. He dreamed of playing professional golf. His parents started this event with the intention of creating a scholarship fund that would benefit junior golfers who are considering pursuing a career in  professional golf. The fund has given out more than $140,000 in scholarships and scholarship applications are sent out to each of the Jon M. Pritsch Cup participants.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Jenkins edges Wood by a point in Tee It Forward -- Fall Net Championship

   Spring-Ford Country Club’s Robert Jenkins managed his game perfectly to emerge with the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Tee It Forward – Fall Net Championship last Tuesday at Woodstone Country Club.
   The event utilizes the Stableford scoring system and Jenkins, a 68-year-old Devon resident, didn’t have a regulation birdie, but put together eight net birdies, seven net pars and had over-par scores on just three holes to pile up 40 points.
   That gave him a one-point edge on former Widener football coach Dave Wood, playing out of White Manor Country Club. Wood, a 46-year-old Glen Mills resident, had won the Spring Net Championship at Jenkins’ home track at Spring-Ford earlier this year.
   “We had fun out there today,” Wood told the GAP website. “The biggest thing from now and two months ago for me is I’m just not consistent off the tee. Everything sets up off my tee shot. When I get off the tee, I can play really well. When I don’t, it’s a tough game.”
   Some of the other finishers at Woodstone included: Edgmont Country Club’s Robert Huntzinger who got a share of fourth with 37 points; Edgmont’s Timothy Joyce (35); Rolling Green Golf Club’s John Brown (33); McCall Golf & Country Club’s Vincent Tomo (31); McCall’s John O’Rourke (27); and Edgmont’s Ed Depalma (24).

Jones, Nilon team up to take 27-Hole Challenge

   A day earlier, Collegeville’s Buck Jones and Gladwyne’s Michael Nilon teamed up to capture top honors in GAP’s unique Senior 27-Hole Challenge at Silver Creek Country Club.
   Teams play three different formats in the 27-hole event, select drive, alternate shot for the first nine, team aggregate for the second nine and better-ball of partners for the final nine. And last Monday’s event was played in the middle of the heat wave that hit the region early last week.
   But Jones, 64, and Nilon, 66, seemed to have the format mastered. They won the title two years ago at Bala Golf Club and last week became the first multiple winners of the Challenge with a 2-over 145 total.
   “We played hard all day, it was hot,” said Nilon, a Philadelphia Country Club member.
   Heading into the final nine holes, Jones and Nilon stood a shot back of Mark Quigley of Manufacturers Golf & Country Club and Alan Van Horn of Commonwealth National Golf Club.
But Nilon got the team home when, playing from behind a tree on the last hole, he drilled a low screamer with a 4-iron that finished 15 feet from the hole and got the two-putt par that finished the job.
   Mr. GAP Super-Senior, White Manor Country Club’s Don Donatoni, teamed up with Aqua America Inc. colleague Steve Tagert to win the Super-Senior division.
   Donatoni, a 67-year-old Malvern resident, and Tagert, a 65-year-old Collegeville resident, teamed up for a blistering 6-under 137 total to win the division by 11 shots.
   Donatoni won the Super-Senior division a year ago with Merion Golf Club’s Carl Everett. That same pair won the Senior division title in the event’s inaugural year of 2008.
   “We’ll have to come back and defend, for sure,” said Donatoni, GAP’s reigning two-time Super-Senior Player of the Year. “I just have to get Steve out of the office. His game is ready to play in these events.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Smith second in match of cards in Junior Tour stop at Linwood

   The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour was over in South Jersey early this week and Strath Haven Middle School eighth-grader Kevin Smith had a strong showing Tuesday at Linwood Country Club.
   Smith, a Wallingford resident and a member at The Springhaven Club, fired a 6-over 76 over the 6,237-yard, par-70 Linwood layout, but lost out in a match of cards for the 13-to-15 division title to Joel Hark of Voorhees, N.J. Hark’s back-nine 39 gave him the edge on Smith.
   Andrew Curran, a Media resident and Overbrook Golf Club member, finished sixth with an 85. Curran is a Malvern Prep freshman. Also in the division, Jeffery Bozzi of Newtown Square finished 10th with a 91, Johnny Hally of Havertown was 11th with a 97 and Joe Hayden of Havertown was 12th with a 102.
   Michael Lange III of Brigantine, N.J. took top honors in the 16-to-18 division with a sparkling 4-over 74.
   Jack McKnight of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for sixth with an 83 and Upper Darby senior Michael Wolf finished in a tie for 10th with an 89.
   Among the nine-holers, Luke Watson of Royersford bested the field with a 38, two shots better than Media’s Ryan McCabe, who finished second with a 40. Andrew Damico of Havertown finished in a tie for third with a 46 and John Paul Hayden of Havertown finished eighth with a 54.
   Haley Quickel of Middletown, Del. won the girls 13-to-15 division with an 85 and Marybelle Daclan of Galloway, N.J. topped the 16-to-18 division with an 80.
   Monday’s Junior Tour stop was at Trenton Country Club and Davis Flannery of Radnor carded a 79 to finish fourth in the 13-to-15 division. Justin Dougherty of Wyndmoor won the division with a 3-over 74 over the 5,825-yard, par-71 layout.
   Also in the division, Dolan Cox of Newtown Square finished 13th with an 89 and Matthew Barkann of Newtown Square was 14th with a 92.
   Connor Seifried of Moorestown, N.J. fired a 1-under 70 to best the field in the 16-to-18 division.
Kathleen Mark of Media and Rolling Green Golf Club finished second in the girls 13-to-15 division with a 117. Andrea Cho of Mt. Laurel, N.J. won the division with a 110. Another Jersey girl, Gabrielle Bettino of Pennington, won the 16-to-18 division with a 76.
   Joshua Ryan of Norristown went low, as in 1-under 34, to take top honors among the nine-holers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gillespie ends long GAP drought with Marston Cup win

   It had been a long time between Golf Association of Philadelphia victories for Brian Gillespie, a Newtown Square resident and one-time scholastic standout at Conestoga.
   Gilliespie, who has been a member at St. Davids Golf Club for 16 years, won a biggie when he captured the 2001 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship. Since then, nothing. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was runnerup to Overbrook Golf Club’s James Kania Jr. at the 2009 Patterson Cup at Llanerch Country Club and tied for fourth at the Mid-Amateur Championship in 2013, among other close calls.
   So it was pretty satisfying for Gillespie when he matched par at the 6,667-yard, par-72 LedgeRock Golf Club outside of Reading last Thursday to claim the Marston Cup title and end his drought.
   “Champ, I like the sound of that,” Gillespie told the GAP website. “It feels great to walk away with a win and to see my name on another GAP trophy. I must have played over a hundred GAP events since my last win. You beat your brains in because it’s just hard to win and to be first in a field of so many great players.”
   The Marston Cup, named for legendary Philadelphia amateur Max Marston, who won the 1923 U.S. Amateur with wins over Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet on his way to the final, is limited to players ages 40 to 54, and there is no shortage of quality players in that age group in this area.
   Gillespie went 1-under on his final nine holes, including a birdie on the par-5 13th and a crucial par on the dangerous 408-yard, par-4 17th, to preserve his one-shot margin of victory over Brian Dorey of Metedeconk National Golf Club in New Jersey and Ryan Gelrod of Philadelphia Cricket Club.
   Paul Liebezeit of Aronimink Golf Club was one of three players tied for fourth at 2-over 74. Among some of the other finishers were Edgmont Country Club’s Peter Moran (79), Aronimink’s Jeff Fialko (82), Aronimink’s Bill Holstein (84), Concord Country Club’s Joe Granahan (84) and Llanerch Country Club’s Patrick Conroy (86).
   Philadelphia Country Club’s P. Chet Walsh, who won the Marston Cup for the second time a year ago at Trenton Country Club, carded an 84.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Siegfried helps Team GAP get share of third at Williamson Cup

   The Golf Association of Philadelphia played host to the Fred E. Williamson Cup last week at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Weyhill Course and a strong GAP foursome finished in a tie for third in an event that draws top junior golfers from all over the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic and Canada.
   All-Delco Max Siegfried, a senior who led Haverford School to the Inter-Ac League title last fall, teamed with PIAA standouts Jack Melville of Upper Dublin, Kyle Vance of Methacton and Evan Brown of Kennett to form a formidable group for Team GAP. Following an opening ceremony and a banquet Tuesday night, it was 36 holes of golf Wednesday.
   Vance, who won the District One Class AAA title as a freshman two years ago, led the way for Team GAP as he had rounds of 72 and 74 to finish in a tie for fourth overall in the individual standings at 2-over 146.
   But it was the team chase that was foremost in the minds of Team GAP. Siegfried, playing out of Aronimink Golf Club, has been consistently strong all summer. He had rounds of 75 and 79 for a 154 total. Melville, the runnerup in Class AAA at the district tournament at Turtle Creek last fall, had rounds of 81 and 77 for a 158 total and Brown had rounds of 79 and 81 for a 160 total.
   It added up to rounds of 226 and 230 for a 456 total that landed Team GAP in a tie for third with the Pennsylvania Golf Association. The Pennsylvania GA was led by Gus Minken, who had rounds of 75 and 71 to match Vance’s 146 total. Pennsylvania GA went 234 and 222 to match Team GAP’s 456 total.
   The Metropolitan GA captured the team title for the 11th time with remarkably consistent rounds of 219 and 218 for a 437 total. Metropolitan GA was led by Ryan Davis, who had rounds of 73 and 71 for a 144 total that was third in the individual standings.
   Washington Metropolitan GA had built a five-shot lead after a strong opening-round 214, but fell back a little in the afternoon with a 225 that left it two shots back of Metropolitan GA with a 439 total. Washington Metropolitan GA was led by Chris Navarro, who opened with a brilliant 5-under 67 before falling back with a 76 that left him second overall at 1-under 143.
   Individual honors wen t to Charles-Eric Belanger of the Quebec Golf Association, who fired rounds of 71 and 69 for a stellar 4-under 140 total that was three shots clear of Navarro.
   Belanger helped Quebec GA earn a share of fifth place with the Golf Association of Ontario at 457, just a shot back of Team GAP and Pennsylvania GA. Rounding out the team finishers were Delaware State Golf Association (465), Western Pennsylvania Golf Association (470), Rochester District Golf Association (473) and Syracuse District Golf Association (474).
   “It was so much fun,” Vance told the GAP website in summing up the event. “With the teammates I had, I’m all friends with them, so it was really a blast.”