Friday, June 26, 2015

Smith finishes 10th at Future Masters



   Lots of leftovers from a busy week of junior golf that I couldn’t jam into the Golf Notebook that appeared in the Daily Times print edition of Saturday, June 27. And OK, I did go a little overboard on the National Club Pro preview, but it’s a neat event and if you want to see a couple of cool golf courses, try to sneak over to the Cricket Club Sunday or Monday. And by all means, if you’ve taken a lesson from guys like Stu Ingraham or Mike Moses or George Forster or Mark Sheftic, get out there and lend them some support.

   Kevin Smith, Wallingford’s rising junior standout, took a trip to Dothan, Ala., this week to tee it up in the Future Masters, an event he won at nine holes when he was 10-years old. Smith had rounds of 77, 72 and 68 to finish alone in 10th place.
   Haverford School All-Delco Max Siegfried’s run to the Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Championship final was fairly well covered in the Golf Notebook, but there were a lot of locals who teed it up in qualifying that deserve mention. I’ll also take a closer look at Thursday’s qualifier for the U.S. Junior Amateur at Concord Country Club.
   While Siegfried was the only Delco player to make match play in the championship flight at Indian Valley Country Club, several made the first flight.
   Overbrook Golf Club’s Trey Croney, a recent Episcopal Academy graduate, just missed the championship flight with a 76. Radnor Valley Country Club’s Billy Civitella had a 77, Erik Reisner, the two-time Central League champion from Harriton, had a 77, and Rolling Green Golf Club’s Jake Calamaro also had a 77.
    I mentioned in the Notebook that Calamaro was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Daniel Rieger of Sunnybrook Golf Club and Rieger then ousted Civitella in the semifinals. Civitella reached the semifinals with a 3 and 2 win over Jack Quirk of Huntingdon Valley Country Club in the first round and a 6 and 4 victory over Adam Lowe of host Indian Valley in the quarterfinals.
   Some other notables who teed it up in qualifying included: Waynesborough Country Club’s Jon Nolan Perry (78), a sophomore at Episcopal Academy; Inter-Ac League champion Brian Isztwan (79), a member at Huntingdon Valley and a sophomore at Penn Charter; Aronimink Golf Club’s John Updike (79); two-time Bonner-Prendie All-Delco Quinn Dolan (79) of Rolling Green; Overbrook’s Michael Burns Jr. (82); Gulph Mills Golf Club’s Otis Baker (82), a Haverford School All-Delco; Overbrook’s D.J. Colleran (83); Merion Golf Club’s Mac Costin (84), who, I’m guessing, is the son of Haverford School golf coach Gui Costin; Rolling Green’s Ryan Brennan (87); Llanerch Country Club’s Francis McEveigh III (88) of Haverford High; and Overbrook’s Gavin Sims (92).
   A GAP Junior team champion was also crowned at the qualifier with Spring-Ford Country Club claiming a three-shot victory over Jericho National Golf Club and Whitford Country Club.
   Spring-Ford’s counters included John Foley (75), JT Spina (75) and Connor Boham (77) for a 227 total. Jericho National was led by Roland Massimino, yes, the grandson of Rollie who led New Hope-Solebury to the PIAA Class AA team title last fall, with a 72, Lukas Clark (78) and Drew Petri (80) and Whitford was paced by Bishop Shanahan standout Kevin Conners Jr. (74), Nicky Marrollo (77), and Wills Montgomer (79) as both finished with 230 totals.
  Delco’s top finisher was Aronimink in sixth place with Siegfried leading the way with a 75, Matthew Davis adding a 78 and Updike chipping in with his 79 for a 232 total. Unlike some of the entrants that had four players with an option to throw a score out, Aronimink had just three players and all three responded with solid under-80 scores.
   At the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier at Concord, John Pak invaded from Scotch Plains, N.J. to take medalist honors with a pair of 1-under 70s over the 6,777-yard, par-71 layout for a 2-under 140 total.
Evan Brown, a junior at Kennett, finished second with rounds of 73 and 69 for an even-par 142 total.
Upper Dublin senior Jack Melville, coming off a run to the semifinals at the GAP Junior before falling to Siegfried, earned the final ticket to the Colleton River Plantation Club in Bluffton, S.C. for the U.S. Junior Amateur after emerging from a three way playoff.
   Melville had rounds of 71 and 74 and was joined at 3-over 145 by Radnor Valley’s Billy Civitella (72-73) and Spencer Shih (74-71) of Saddle River, N.J.
   As I mentioned in the Notebook, Siegfried got off to a tough start with a 77 and bounced back with a 71, but it wasn’t enough to earn one of the three Bluffton berths.
   Among some of the others taking a shot at the U.S. Junior Amateur included: Episcopal’s Nolan Perry (78-72—150); Aronimink’s Davis (77-78—155); Cardinal O’Hara senior Alec Kerr (79-77—156); Penncrest All-Delco Griffin Colvin (78-80—158); Penn Charter’s Isztwan (82-85—167); Marple Newtown senior Joey DelFranco (84-87—171); Upper Darby’s Michael Wolf (87-95—182); and Media’s Ryan Brennan (93-93—186).

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lees, Kerr go low at Hickory Valley



   Agnes Irwin sophomore Kaitlyn Lees and Cardinal O’Hara senior Alec Kerr had strong showings in a two-day Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour event at the challenging Hickory Valley Golf Club near Gilbertsville.
   It was a winning effort for Lees, who displayed her typical consistency in Friday’s final round by parring the last six holes for a 7-over 79 over the 5,839 Hickory Valley layout. Lees had grabbed the lead with an opening-round 76 and never let go. Her 155 total was seven shots clear of Minuette Laessig of Barto, who had rounds of 83 and 79 for a 162 total.
   The usual Junior Tour age breakdown was not in effect for this event, so Lees beat a field of 13-to-18-year olds for her fourth win of the still young 2015 season.
   Notre Dame senior Maggie Cass had rounds of 94 and 91 to finish ninth at 185.
   Kerr had grabbed the lead after the first round with an even-par 72 on a Hickory Valley course measuring 6,236 yards for the boys. He fell back a little with a 78 in the second round and shared second place with William Mitchell of Moorestown, N.J. at 7-over 150. Wills Montgomery of Exton surged past Kerr with a final-round 73 to edge him and Mitchell by a shot at 6-over 149.
   Frank Rauscher of Wayne had rounds of 80 and 98 for a 178 total that left him in 45th place. Mathew Barkann of Newtown Square was another five shots back in 48th place with rounds of 93 and 90 for a 183 total.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rackley calms nerves to win Philly PGA's biggest payday



   It’s not unusual to see a PGA Tour pro cost himself tens of thousands of dollars with a missed putt on the final day of a tournament.
   But you’re not usually talking about that kind of dough at a Philadelphia Section PGA event, with the exception of last week’s Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic at Sunnybrook Golf Club.
   The people at the Haverford Trust Co. are big sponsors of the Philly PGA circuit. But they specifically have put their name on this event and have traditionally made the winner’s share the largest single prize available in any PGA Section event in the country. And this year, the stakes went up. It was a cool $100 grand to the winner with second place being considerably less at $5,000. Haverford Trust Co. just wants a club professional to get a shot at an epic payday. Not sure how many lessons it would take for a club pro to make $100,000 in a year, but I’m guessing a lot.
   Billy Stewart, the former Malvern Prep standout who honed his game growing up at Llanerch Country Club, won the event a couple of years ago when the top prize was only $50 grand, but it was a huge boost for a guy who was coming back home to teach golf after banging around on the Florida mini-tours for the better part of a decade after a nice collegiate career at Saint Joseph’s.
   So there was Gulph Mills Golf Club assistant pro Josh Rackley standing over an eight-foot par putt on the second hole of a playoff with Jamie Komancheck, a pro at the RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve and once an assistant at Aronimink Golf Club, last Tuesday at Sunnybrook. Just your basic $95,000 putt.
   And Rackley drained it.
   “I was extremely nervous,” Rackley told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But somehow it went in.”
   Rackley and Komancheck both toured the tough Sunnybrook layout in 2-under 70 to set up the playoff.
   Merion Golf Club assistant pro Robby Bruns was one of four players who finished in a tie for third at 1-under 71.

Friday, May 29, 2015

McCabe nets another Warner Cup title at Radley Run



   Bill McCabe, a Springfield resident who plays out of McCall Golf & Country Club, was at his best Tuesday in winning the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Warner Cup (net) title Tuesday at Radley Run Country Club outside of West Chester.
   McCabe won the fall Warner Cup (net) title in 2006 with a net 62 at Bucks Country Club and Tuesday at Radley Run, he matched effort to breeze to an eight-shot victory.
   Carrying a 14 handicap, the 68-year-old had two gross birdies, 11 pars, four bogeys and a double bogey for a 4-over 76 over the 6,115-yard, par-72 Radley Run layout for his net 62.
   “My game’s really starting to come around,” McCabe told the GAP website. “(Monday), I played well at our place and it gave  me real confidence to play well today.”
   McCabe’s natural birdies came at the 385-yard, par-4 fifth where he drilled a 5-hybrid to 18 feet and drained the putt and the 149-yard, par-3 13th where he hit a 6-iron to 10 feet and made that putt, getting some helpful reads from his playing partners.
   It was a long way back to runnerup Scott Dichter of Meadia Heights Golf Club, who carded a net 70.
   Among some of the other top finishers were Vito Caracappa (72, tied for sixth) of The Golf Course at Glen Mills, Charles Kane (74, tied for ninth) of Rolling Green Golf Club, Joseph Dayton (76, tied for 15th) of Glen Mills, Terrence Kyle (76, tied for 15th) of Concord Country Club, Victor Donnay (76, tied for 15th) of Edgmont Country Club, Joe DiPanni (77, tied for 20th) of The Springhaven Club, Rich Hartman (78, tied for 25th) of Springhaven, Timothy Joyce (78, tied for 25th) of Edgmont, John O’Rourke (79, tied for 31st) of McCall and William Brady (79, tied for 31st) of Springhaven.

Team Semenetz takes Father & Son (Middle)

   Gregg Sementz drove three-and-half hours from his New York home to tee it up with his son Sean in GAP’s Father & Son (Middle) championship Thursday at Talamore Country Club and the drive was worth it.
   Sean Semenetz, one of the many talented players that helped Philadelphia Cricket Club capture the GAP Team Matches this spring, and his dad carded a 1-under 70 on the 6,109-yard, par-71 Talamore layout in the select-drive, alternate-shot event for a one-shot victory over the Huntingdon Valley Country Club pair of Jack and John Quirk, who teamed up to claim a share of the Father-Son (Younger) title a year ago.
   The Semenetzes had three birdies against two bogeys.
   “It was fun,” 28-year-old Sean Semenetz said of playing a round with his 58-year-old dad. “He taught me the game. I don’t get many lessons, so it’s all come from him.”
   Heading the Delco contingent were the Aronimink Golf Club teams of Jeff Klagholz and Martin Klagholz and Charles Bernard and Dan Bernard, the former Malvern Prep and Bucknell standout. They were among seven pairs that finished tied for fourth at 3-over 74.
    Matt Dupre, who has been a major force in bringing the U.S. Women’s Amateur to Rolling Green next year, teamed up with son Alex, a former Episcopal Academy standout, to finish in a tie for 11th with a 75.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Schiavone receives Kim Moore Spirit Award from college coaches



   In my last post, I mentioned that Chichester’s Aurora Kan won the 2010 PIAA Championship in a playoff with West Chester East’s Gabriella DiMarco.
   There was actually a third player involved in the playoff that day at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort, although she was knocked out on the first hole of that playoff. I heard her name as I watched some of the coverage of the first round of matches at the NCAA Tournament Tuesday morning on The Golf Channel. Well, Lisa Cornwell butchered her name, but I knew who she meant went she said Stani Schiavone had won the Women’s Golf Coaches Association’s Kim Moore Spirit Award.
   The purpose of the award, named for former University of Indianapolis standout Kim Moore, is to recognize a student-athlete or coach who exemplifies a great spirit toward the game of golf, a positive attitude on and off the golf course, is a role model for her team and shows mental toughness in facing challenges.
   Schiavone is a Bangor native and was among Pennsylvania’s top high school players when Kan was clicking off top-five finishes for four straight years at Heritage Hills. DiMarco even said that day that it was fitting that the playoff for the state title came down to the three best players in the state.
   Schiavone had a strong freshman season at Baylor, but was staggered by the deaths of some of the most important people in her life. She transferred to the University of Mississippi and then started having back problems. She was diagnosed with a ruptured disc and had to undergo back surgery. She missed the fall part of one season, but was back on the course the following spring.
   Schiavone’s road back culminated when she flashed the kind of ability she has always possessed by firing a 65 in the final round of the Samford Invitational this spring.
   “It is such an honor to get this award,” Schiavone said on the Ole Miss website. “I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish  any of my golf or academic goals without my teammates, coaches and family. They have been my constant support system and have allowed me to flourish on the course and in the classroom and I appreciate their support throughout my collegiate career.”
   Schiavone, who majors in mathematics education, is a two-time WGCA All-American Scholar Athlete. She earned the University of Mississippi’s Taylor Medal this spring, the highest academic honor a student can receive at Ole Miss, awarded to less than one percent of students.
   I’m guessing Schiavone was rooting for those Baylor Bears as Lauren Whyte, a freshman from St. Andrew’s, Scotland outlasted Duke’s Lisa Maguire, a freshman from Ireland, in a wildly entertaining 24-hole marathon Tuesday that put Baylor in Wednesday’s championship match against Stanford.