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Friday, August 18, 2017

Pavey matches par at Heritage Shores to claim Junior Tour victory

   In a busy week for the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour, it wasn’t a large group that turned out for Tuesday’s stop at the Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville, Del., but that does nothing to diminish the round played by Akira Pavey of Dover, Del.
   Pavey matched par on the 6,359-yard, par-72 Heritage Shores layout with a 72 that earned him the victory in the 16-to-18 division. Pavey had four birdies, two on each side.
   Jackson Paradee, also of Dover, was the runnerup with a solid 78 that also included four birdies, two on each side. James Donnelly V of Sewell, N.J. finished third with an 85.
   The 13-to-15 division was dominated by the Homer brothers of Wilmington, Del. Jeffrey and Matthew Homer each carded an 80 with the victory being awarded to Jeffrey on the strength of his back-nine 38.
   Christopher Vanhof of Georgetown, Del. finished third with an 82 and Jackson Fields of Glen Mills was fourth with an 87.
   Olivia Perry of Millsboro, Del. was the only girl in the 16-to-18 division and fired a solid 83 in claiming the victory. Perry’s round included a birdie on the 17th.
   Sawyer Brockstedt of Rehoboth Beach, Del. bested the field of nine-holers with a 6-over 42. She finished strong with a tough par save on the ninth hole.
   The youngest of the Homer boys, Jackson (Jack) Homer was the runnerup with a 47. Tyler and J.J. Rardin of Easton, Md. finished third and fourth with respective scores of 63 and 67.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Miller beats Staudt in final to take Pennsylvania Women's Amateur title

   For the second time in three years, Katie Miller of Ligonier Country Club claimed the Pennsylvania State Women’s Golf Association Amateur Championship after earning a 4 and 3 victory over former Coatesville standout Sammie Staudt in the final Thursday at West Shore Country Club.
   Some of the top college players in Pennsylvania decided to pass on the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur this year. They will all play a lot of college golf in September and October.
   But any chance you get to put your name on the trophy along with the 22 or so Carol Semple Thompson entries, you should do it and that’s exactly what Miller did.
   The Seton Hall golf team was  well-represented, though, led by Staudt, who completed her freshman season with the Pirates last spring.
   Miller, the PIAA champion in 1999, 2000 and 2002 at Hempfield Area before a standout college career at North Carolina, and Staudt were the two best players at West Shore right from the start as they were co-medalists in Monday’s qualifying, each carding a 1-over 73.
   Miller opened with match play with a 3 and 1 victory over Molly Holbert of host West Shore, then cruised to a 9 and 7 victory over Agnes Irwin senior Meghan Fahey of Merion Golf Club and Overbrook  Golf Club in the quarterfinals.
   Fahey took a year off from scholastic golf after transferring from Notre Dame to Agnes Irwin and hasn’t been playing as much competitive golf as she has in past summers. She also ran into a buzz-saw against Miller, who eagled the fourth and birdied the fifth and was 3-under for the 11 holes the match lasted.
   Miller reached the final with a 4 and 3 victory over Katrin Wolfe of Windber Country Club. Wolfe finished third in the PIAA Championship in 2001 as a senior at Westmont-Hilltop behind Miller, who was the runnerup the only time she didn’t win the title. Wolfe went on to play collegiately at Penn State.
   Staudt, meanwhile, had to get past her Seton Hall teammate Maddie Sager, the PIAA Class AAA runnerup in 2015 as a senior at Owen J. Roberts, in the semifinals. Staudt defeated her fellow Pirate, 4 and 3.
   Sager was just back from the U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista,  Calif., where she failed to make match play.
   In the title match, Miller jumped out to a 2-up lead with birdies on two and four and never trailed, although Staudt never really went away.
   Staudt won the fifth with a par, Miller won the sixth with a bogey, Staudt won the seventh with a par and Miller won the eighth with a par to take a 2-up lead to the back nine. Miller won the 10th with a par to increase her lead to 3-up, but again Staudt fought back by winning the 11th with a birdie.
   But Miller then increased her lead to 4-up by winning the 12th with a birdie and the 14th with a par before closing out Staudt at 15 when they halved the hole with bogeys.
   Miller was the defending champion when she lost in the quarterfinals a year ago at Saucon Valley Country Club’s Grace Course, 3 and 2, to eventual champion Alessandra Liu, the former Lower Merion and William & Mary standout who was planning to turn pro.
   Miller teamed with Aurora Kan, the former Chichester and Purdue standout, to reach match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the spring.
   Staudt and Sager were joined in the field by their incoming Seton Hall teammate Mia Kness, who captured the PIAA Class AAA title as a senior at Peters Township last fall. Like Sager, Kness was on her way back from the U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she made a nice run at earning a match-play berth before coming up short.
   Kness was knocked out at West Shore by Samantha Formeck, a former Youngstown State standout who plays out of  Ebensburg Country Club, 3 and 2, in the opening round of match play. Formeck fell to Wolfe, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals.
   Tori Ross of Briarwood Golf Club won the first-flight title with a 5 and 3 victory over Mia Barchetti of Hannastown Golf Club in the final. Barchetti reached the final with a 5 and 4 win over former Springfield High standout Samantha Miller, a first-team All-PSAC performer at East Stroudsburg as a junior last year. Miller is playing out of The Springhaven Club.
   The senior title went to Beth Ward of the  Clubs at Colonial Ridge, who defeated perennial senior contender Noreen Mohler of Northampton Country Club, 2 and 1, in the final.
   Ward got past Merion’s Liz Haines, 4 and 3, in the semifinals. Haines will represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Waverly Country Club in Portland,  Ore. next month.
   Wanda McGarry of Allegheny Country Club claimed the senior first-flight title with a 4 and 3 win over Susan Konstalid of Range End Golf Club in the final.
   The super-senior title went to Linda Brodbeck of Glen Oak Country Club, who defeated Ruth Dettore of Elmhurst Country Club,  4 and 3, in the final.

Wagner's consistency earns him the title in Junior Tour's Pocono Series

   The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour’s Pocono Series started Monday while many of the top players were playing in the Junior Tour Championship at Commonwealth National Golf Club.
   Still, for the players who stuck it out for three rounds on some typically scenic and challenging courses that dot the Poconos, it was a great experience to play three days in a row with all the momentum changes that came with it.
   The boys 16-to-18 division was a particularly interesting battle with Brett Wagner of Cresco, while not winning any of the individual days, capturing the series title by a shot over Connor Babyak of Tafton and by three shots over Alex Pillar of Hawley, who I’m guessing is the son of John Pillar, the director of golf at The Country Club at Woodloch Springs.
   Pillar had a fantastic finishing round as the series wrapped up Wednesday at Elmhurst Country Club in Moscow. He birdied the first two holes and the ninth for a dazzling front nine of 33 on his way to a 2-over 74 over the 6,467-yard, par-72 Elmhurst layout to take top honors in the 16-to-18 division for the day.
   A scorecard playoff decided second and third as Wagner, Jack Habeeb of Scranton and Nate Trout of Greentown each carded a 3-over 75. Habeeb’s even-par back nine gave him runnerup honors and Trout had a 1-over 37 on the back and was awarded third.
   But Wagner’s consistency over three days was rewarded with the series victory. He shared second with Pillar behind Babyak with a 74 in Monday’s opening round at the Country Club of Scranton in Clarks Summit. He finished fourth Tuesday with a 78 at Valley Country Club in Sugarloaf. His 75 Wednesday at Elmhurst gave him a 227 total.
   Babyak played some great golf, but his final-round 81 at Elmhurst left him a shot behind Wagner at 228. And Pillar, who struggled a little at Valley with an 82, finished third in the series at 230.
Following the trio at 75 at Elmhurst, Deion Shepherd of Dayton, N.J. finished fifth with a 76, Alex VanScoy of Newark, Del. was sixth with a 79, Babyak took seventh with his 81 and Frencesco Pazzaglia of Archbald was eighth with an 86.
   Bobby Lugiano of Shavertown finished ninth with an 89 and Lucas Flederbach of Honesdale rounded out the top 10 with a 90.
   In the 13-to-15 division, Martin Cryan of Forty Foot, fueled by an opening-day win at The Country Club of Scranton, took series honors. Cryan birdied the par-4 seventh on his way to a 4-over 76 that gave him the victory over a Country Club of Scranton layout that measured 6,494 yards and played to a par of 72.
   He finished third with an 87 at Valley in the middle round and he took fourth at Elmhurst with an 81. That gave him a 244 total that was 17 shots better than Benjamin Galko of Roaring Brook.
Galko finished third behind Cryan at The Country Club of Scranton with an 85 and won the day at Valley with an 84. He finished fifth at Elmhurst with a 92 to give him a 261 total.
   William Pabst of Roaring Brook Township entered the scene for the third day at Elmhurst and had the day’s best score, a sparkling 1-under 71 to take top honors for the day in the 13-to-15 division. His round included four birdies and a bogeyless back nine.
   Logan Paczewski of Dallas, who was fourth in the 13-to-15 division and tied for ninth in the overall scoring in the Junior Tour Championship, was the runnerup to Pabst with a 74. Stephen Cain of Yardley finished third with a  78.
   Cryan was fourth with his 81, Galko took fifth with his 92, Jimmy Hook of Stewartstown was sixth with a 95 and William Durkin of Archbald was seventh with a 102.
   Isabella McCloskey of Princeton Junction, N.J. was the only girl in the 16-to-18 division to tee it up all three days and claimed the series victory.
   McCloskey struggled at a tough Country Club of Scranton layout while finishing second with a 103, but won the day at Valley with a solid 88 that included a birdie on her first hole. She finished up by taking fifth at Elmhurst with a 98 for a 289 total.
   Grace Hickey of Downingtown, coming off a tie for second in the 16-to-18 division and a tie for sixth in overall scoring in the Junior Tour Championship, won the day at Elmhurst in a scorecard playoff after finishing tied with Morgan Sohosky of Bloomsburg. Hickey’s 27 shots on the final six holes was one better than Sohosky’s 28 to give her the edge on the second tiebreaker.
   Emma Nemitz of Madison Township finished fourth with a 97 followed by McCloskey in fifth with a 98.
   Amanda Schuebel, the oldest of the Schuebel crew of King of Prussia, was the only 13-to-15 girl to tee it up all three days of the series. She shot 110 at The Country Club of Scranton, 116 at Valley and 117 at Elmhurst for a 343 total. The scores might not be great, but give her credit for playing all three days. You can practice all you want, but you have to get out there and play if you want to get better.
   There was never a doubt as to the identity of the top player in the series among the nine-holers as Michael Maslanka of Taylor won at all three stops to take the overall title. Gwendolyn Powell of Madison Township was the runnerup.
   Maslanka birdied the par-4 second hole at The Country Club of Scranton to take top honors there with a 3-over 38 for his first career Junior Tour victory. He birdied two of the three par-3s he played to win the day at Valley with a 4-over 39.
   He wrapped up the series by besting the field at Elmhurst with a 42 that gave him a 119 total for the three days.
   Powell was the runnerup to Maslanka at The Country Club of Scranton with a 46, finished fourth at Valley with a 50 and took third at Elmhurst with a 47 for a 143 total.
   Benjamin Sohosky of the Bloomsburg Sohoskys was the runnerup behind Maslanka at Elmhurst with a 45 followed by Powell in third at 47.
   Lorenzo Domiano of Clarks Summit finished fourth with a 60. A couple of the Schuebel girls, Audrey and Alyssa, finished fifth and seventh with respective scores of 64 and 75 around Anastasia Galko, likely Benjamin’s little sister, in sixth with a 75.
   In the 16-to-18 division at The Country Club of Scranton, VanScoy finished fourth behind Babyak, Pillar and Wagner with a 78. Collin Ennis of Pleasant Mount was fifth with a 79, M.J. Stivals of Dunmore was sixth with a 81 and Flederbach was seventh with an 82.
   Dylan Williams of Drexel Hill finished eighth with an 83, Trout was ninth with an 84 and Jordan Pick of Sugarloaf rounded out the top 10 with an 86.
   Pabst was the runnerup to Cryan in the 13-to-15 division at The Country Club of Scranton with a 78. Galko finished third with his 85.
   Jake Millan of Springbrook finished fourth with an 87 and William Durkin of Archbald was fifth with a 122.
   Nemitz took top honors in the girls 16-to-18 division at The Country of Scranton with a 100, three shots clear of McCloskey in second with a 103.
   Audrey Schuebel and Domiano finished tied for third among the nine-holers at The Country Club of Scranton behind Maslanka and Powell as each posted a 50.
   Anastasia Galko finished fifth with a 55 and Alyssa Schuebel was sixth with a 66.
   Shane Angle of Mountain Top claimed top honors in the 16-to-18 division with a 2-over 72 over the 6,218-yard, par-71 Valley layout. Angle had three birdies and was 1-under on the back nine in recording his first career Junior Tour victory.
   Babyak was the runnerup with a 76, Grant Gronka of Bloomsburg was third with a 77 and Wagner was fourth with a 78.
   Shepherd of Dayton, N.J. and Mason Gattuso of Shavertown shared fifth place, each carding an 81 with Pillar taking seventh with his 82.
   Luke Fayocavitz of Clarks Summit finished eighth with an 83, Nathan Potts of Wilmington, Del. was ninth with an 84, VanScoy was 10th with an 85 and Pick was 11th with an 88.
   The runnerup to Galko’s 84 in the 13-to-15 division was James Ulsh of Carlisle with an 85. Following Cryan in third was Yardley’s Cain with a 90 and Max Ferracci of Gladwyne in fifth with a 124.
   The girls 16-to-18 division at Valley was closely contested as McCloskey’s 88 gave her a one-shot victory over Morgan Sohosky and Elise Glauser of Newark, Del., who shared second, each carding an 89.
   Benjamin Sohosky shared second with John Keba of Emmaus behind Maslanka among the nine-holers at Valley, each carding a 41.
   Powell was fourth with a 50, Domiano was fifth with a 51, Audrey Schuebel was sixth with a 63, Anastasia Galko was seventh with a 73 and Alyssa Schuebel was eighth with an 87.