Monday, April 20, 2015

Lees completes weekend sweep at the shore

   Agnes Irwin freshman Kaitlyn Lees completed a weekend sweep of a Junior Golf Scoreboard series at the Jersey Shore with another solid round of golf at the Sea Oaks Golf Club in Little Egg Harbor that gave her a first-place finish in the 16-to-18 division.
   In my last blog post, I reported on Lees’ winning effort with a 77 in the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour stop at Hidden Creek Golf Club Saturday. The weather wasn’t  nearly as benign Sunday at Sea Oaks, but it didn’t seem to bother Lees, the Inter-Ac League champion as a seventh-grader two springs ago. Lees posted a 6-over 78 over the 5,505-yard, par-71 Sea Oaks layout to again win her division and wrap up the top spot for the weekend.
   Lees had birdies at 10 and 14 in her round at Sea Oaks.
   Runnerup honors went to Radnor sophomore Gabby Kim, who carded an 85 at Sea Oaks. Kim’s younger sister June  had a 97 to finish sixth. As a Class of 2020 competitor, June Kim was the youngest player in the field.
   The Kim sisters were the only other players besides Lees to compete in both ends of the weekend series with Gabby and June finishing second and third, respectively, behind Lees.
   Lees, by the way, teed it up Monday for Agnes Irwin against perennial Inter-Ac League powerhouse Notre Dame at Overbrook Golf Club and was the medalist for the day with a 1-over 36. That match is covered in the high school roundup in Tuesday’s print edition of the Daily Times and on GameTime.
   Most of the rest of the Delco contingent that teed it up Saturday at Hidden Creek did not return to Sea Oaks. One exception was Andrew Curran of Media, who finished 13th in the boys 13-to-15 division with a 100. He had a 92 at Hidden  Creek and struggled a little at Sea Oaks when that notorious ocean breeze kicked up.
   Caleb Ryan of Norristown won the 13-to-15 division at Sea Oaks with a sparkling 1-over 73. That also gave Ryan series honors for the weekend with a 157 total, five shots clear of J.T. Spina of Schwenksville.
   Tommy Lewis of Doylestown won the 16-to-18 division at Sea Oaks with a 76. William Mitchell of Moorestown,  N.J., runnnerup to Lewis at Sea Oaks with an 80, was the series winner by two shots over Lewis.
   Theresa Luu of Mullica Hill, N.J. won the girls 13-to-15 division at Sea Oaks with a 98. Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken was the only 13-to-15 girl to play both days at the shore and won the series title.
   Among the nine-holers, John Wang of Wilmington, Del. posted a 41 at Sea Oaks to finish first there. Combined with his 43 at Hidden Creek, it gave Wang the series win with an 84, one shot better than Joshua Ryan of Norristown.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lees, Kan are Junior Tour winners at Hidden Creek

   Agnes Irwin freshman Kaitlyn Lees continues to play some solid golf on the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour.
   With the weather suddenly breaking into a gloriously warm April day Saturday, Lees fired a 6-over 77 over the 5,426-yard, par-71 Hidden  Creek Golf Club layout in Egg Harbor Township,  N.J. to win top honors in the 16-to-18 division.
   Lees is still eligible to play in the 13-to-15 age group, but her game is clearly ready for the jump up in class. It was her second Junior Tour victory in as many tries this season. Lees also fired an impressive 3-over 38 at her home course at Philadelphia Country Club in the Owls’ loss to perennial Inter-Ac League power Notre Dame in a scholastic match Wednesday.
   Lees did a better job on the golf course than we at the Daily Times did in spelling her first name in the roundup in Thursday’s Daily Times. We’ll work on that.
Lees beat a pretty good player in Radnor sophomore Gabby Kim in taking division honors at Hidden Creek. Kim carded a solid 85 in claiming runnerup honors. Kim’s younger sister June, a seventh-grader, finished fifth in the division with a 98. Gabby Kim made it to Day 2 of the District One Class AAA Tournament last fall, but fell short of advancing to the East Regioinal.
   Another good young player on the Delco girls scene, Chichester sophomore Caprian Kan, earned her second Junior Tour win of the young season with an 84 that gave her a one-shot margin over Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken in the 13-to-15 age group.
   Upper Darby junior Mike Wolf topped the Delco contingent in the boys 16-to-18 division with an 82 that left him in a tie for eighth. Radnor sophomore Jacob Liberman was another two shots back of Wolf in 10th place with an 84 and Radnor senior Jack Owens finished in a tie for 14th with an 85.
   Division honors went to William Mitchell of Moorestown, N.J., who carded a 4-over 75 with the boys playing Hidden Creek at 6,268 yards.
   Another Jersey guy, Andrew Gallagher of Mount Laurel, topped the 13-to-15 field with a 5-over 76. Jeffery Bozzi of Newtown Square finished in a tie for fifth with an 82. Andrew Curran of Media got a share of 18th with a 92, Jackson Fields of Glen Mills was 20th with a 95, Joe Hayden of Havertown was 22nd with a 97, Hayden Smith of Havertown was 23rd with a 98, Owen Harvey of Havertown  was 24th with a 103 and Corey Kan of Boothwyn was 25th with a 110. All of those young players starting with Fields down to Kan are Class of 2020, which means they are seventh-graders or thereabouts.
   Among the nine-holers, Joshua Ryan of Norristown won a match of scorecards to claim first place after finishing tied with Win Thomas of Coatesville at 40. Ryan Harvey of Havertown finished fourth with a 55 and John Paul Hayden of Havertown finished in a tie for sixth with a 60.
   I mentioned Agnes Irwin’s loss to Notre Dame in an Inter-Ac League match last week. The Irish, who have won six straight Inter-Ac titles and carried a 40-match league unbeaten streak into this season, established a program record with their 205 total in the match against Agnes Irwin.
   The scary part is that Mary Jane Wetzel’s squad was led by a pair of sophomores, Meghan Fahey and Bridget Pyott, with 40s. And no matter what nine they’re using at Philly Country Club, it’s not an easy layout. Which means somebody in the Inter-Ac is going to have to play awfully well to stop the Irish’s impressive league winning streak.

Monday, April 13, 2015

How the Princeton Invitational ended up at Aronimink, Merion

   Some bad weather in New Jersey this winter turned into a great opportunity for the teams who had signed up for last weekend’s Princeton Invitational.
   The usual venue for the event, Springdale Country Club, suffered ice damage during another harsh winter in our part of the world and is closed until further notice. Fortunately for the players involved, the alternative turned out to be a pretty good deal. How about a round Saturday at Aronimink Golf Club, the Donald Ross gem that hosted the 1962 PGA Championship and the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National and will be the site of the 2018 BMW Championship, and then a round Sunday at Merion Golf Club’s historic East Course, which hosted the most recent of the five U.S. Opens it’s staged in 2013?
   Kudos certainly go out to the memberships of those two clubs. They gave up their golf courses for the better part of a day each over a weekend in what turned out to be the best weather weekend of 2015 to this point.
   And there was no shortage of outstanding golf talent in the field, including some notable local names.
   Foremost among them was the individual champion, Temple junior Brandon Matthews, who fired a brilliant 2-under 68 at Aronimink Saturday and came back with a 1-over 71 at Merion for a 36-hole total of 1-under 139. That gave him a two-shot margin of victory over St. John’s Obe Ayton (71-70) and Yale’s Thomas Greenalgh (70-71), who tied for second at 1-over 141.
   Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior Pittston, looked like he was going to make the field for the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, but ended up being the last alternate to not get in. He made the most of the opportunity to hang out the practice range at the West Course and was a favorite of the local TV stations looking for a local angle at the Open.
   It was Matthews’ third straight tournament title and the eighth of his career, matching the Temple record held by Geoffrey Sisk.
   In Matthews and senior Matt Teesdale, a Hatboro-Horsham product, the Owls have the last two Golf Association of Philadelphia William Hyndman III Players of the Year, Matthews earning the honor in 2013 before embarking on a national amateur schedule last summer, and Teesdale capturing the award in 2014.
   Teesdale didn’t fare badly at Delco’s two most famous tracks either, posting a 73 Saturday at Aronimink and matching Matthews’ 71 at Merion East Sunday. He finished in a tie for ninth at 4-over 144.
   The dynamic duo led Temple to a tie for second in the team standings with rounds of 295 and 291 for a 486 total. Yale ran away with the team honors with rounds of 291 and a fairly ridiculous 280 at Merion East for a 571 total that was 15 shots clear of the Owls and Seton Hall (297-289).
   Wonder if Bill Kittleman, the former longtime head pro at Merion with a degree in architecture from Yale, put out some good vibes for his Yalies?
   Some Inter-Ac League rivals of recent vintage got to renew acquaintances at the Princeton Invitational.
   Princeton freshman Michael Davis, the Inter-Ac champion as a freshman at Malvern Prep in the spring of 2011, got to play his home course at Aronimink on Day 1. Davis had a 78 at Aronimink and was one better at Merion with a 77. His 155 total left him in a tie for 41st and helped the host Tigers (304-298) finish fifth in the team chase at 590.
   Georgetown freshman Cole Berman, the Inter-Ac League champion at Haverford School in 2011 and 2012 and the two-time Daily Times Player of the Year, fired a 72 at Aronimink and came back with a 76 at one of his very favorite  golf courses, Merion East. His 148 total earned him a 23rd-place finish and he helped the Hoyas (298-306) finish ninth at 604.
   Dartmouth sophomore Sean Fahey, a former Episcopal Academy standout and a 2013 U.S. Amateur qualifier, was among the leaders after firing a 2-over 72 at Aronimink before having the kind of round that can befall even the best of golfers at Merion East, a 90, to end up in in a tie for 64th at 162. Dartmouth (299-306) finished in a tie for 10th at 605.
   More importantly, Sean Fahey’s travails at Merion cost him low-Fahey honors. Older brother Liam, a senior at Temple who was in the field as an individual, had an 83 at Aronimink and then a solid 76 at Merion to finish in a tie for 53rd at 159.
   Robert Fahey, the patriarch of the Fahey clan, gave me the heads-up on the event turning into a home game for all the Inter-Ac guys.
   Don’t want to overlook a very nice showing for Saint Joseph’s. The Hawks had round of 305 and 295 to finish in a tie for seventh at 600. They were led by senior Tim Godshalk, a native of Bluffton, S.C., who went 75 at Aronimink and 71 at Merion East to finish in a tie for 17th at 146.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kan claims win at Galen Hall Junior Tour stop

   With some spring weather finally making an appearance, the Philadelphia Section PGA’s Junior Tour was able to get in the swing with a pair of weekend events.
   And while Aurora Kan was leading Purdue to a second-place finish in a college tournament in Dallas Saturday, her little sister Caprian, a sophomore at Chichester, was taking top honors in the 13-to-15 division in a Junior Tour stop at Galen Hall Golf Club in Berks County.
   Battling some stiff winds, Kan was consistent throughout over the 5,464-yard, par-72 Galen Hall layout with nines of 40 and 42. Kan finished six shots ahead of runnerup Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken, who posted an 88.
   Caleb Ryan of Norristown took top honors in the boys 13-to-15 division with a 2-over 74. William Mirams of Stroudsburg matched Ryan’s 74, but Ryan took the title on the strength of his blistering back nine of 3-under 32.
   Jackson Fields of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 10th with a 98, Andrew Curran of Media placed 13th with a 101 and Caprian Kan’s younger brother Corey Kan finished 15th with a 110.
Evan Dissinger of Lebanon took top honors in the 16-to-18 division in a match of cards with Robert Falconer of Mechanicsburg after the two shot  matching 79s.
   Olivia Raihl of Wernersville likely had a little home-course advantage in winning the girls 16-to-18 division with a 93. And Adam Chen of King of Prussia topped the nine-holers with a 48.
   Sunday, the Junior Tour stopped at the Five Ponds Golf Club in Bucks County and David Kim of Dresher took top honors in the 16-to-18 division with a 4-over 75 over the 6,495-yard, par-71 layout.
Jake Stein of Villanova finished in a tie for 24th with a 91.
   Andrew Gallagher of Mount Laurel, N.J. claimed the top spot in the 13-to-15 division in a match of cards with Nicholas McLean of Yardley after both posted 78s.
   Oliver Forssell of Villanova finished 20th with a 93, Joseph Morganti of Havertown was in a tie for 22nd with a 95, Matthew Stein of Villanova placed 24th with a 96 and William Condran of Radnor was one of two players tied for 25th with a 98.
   Among the girls, Sofia Amoroso of West Chester won the 13-to-15 division with a 91 and Karly Brown of Buckingham set the pace in the 16-to-18 division with an 82.
   Alex Mulrooney of Wilmington, Del. bested the nine-hole group with a 39.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Kim, Kan lead Purdue to second in Dallas

   Aurora Kan, the 2010 PIAA champion as a senior at Chichester, and the Purdue Boilermakers put together an outstanding two days at the Dallas Athletic Club/Southern Methodist University Invitational that concluded Saturday.
   Kan, a senior, had probably the best day of her career at Purdue Friday as she surged to the top of the leaderboard with nine birdies while shooting rounds of 1-under 71 and 2-under 70 for a 3-under 141 total over the par-72 Dallas Athletic Club layout.
   Perhaps inspired by Kan’s first-day heroics, August Kim, a sophomore from Florida, who only trailed her teammate by three shots after two rounds, fired a final-round 71 Saturday for a 1-under 215 total and then won the individual title by defeating Kansas’ Yupaporn Kawinpakorn on the second hole of a playoff.
   Kan fell back a little in the final round with a 4-over 76, but still finished fourth overall in an outstanding field with a 1-over 217 total.
   More importantly, the Boilermakers, who entered the event ranked 42nd by Golfweek and 36th by Golfstat, finished second in the team chase behind frontrunning Oklahoma St. Purdue had rounds of 290 and 291 sandwiched around a second-round 302 for an 883 total. Oklahoma State had rounds of 293, 286 and 296 for an 875 total.
   The rest of Purdue’s first five wasn’t bad either. Marta Martin Garcia, a freshman from Spain, sandwiched a pair of 73s around a second-round 80 for a 226 total that left her in a tie for 23rd. Rounding out the lineup were two of the Boilermakers’ three Swedes with junior Anna Appert Lund (75-80-73) finishing in a tie for 33rd at 228 and senior Johanna Tillstrom (79-79-74) finishing in a tie for 42nd at 232.
   Purdue appears to be right on schedule for a strong postseason as the Boilermakers head for the Big Ten Tournament April 24 in Indianapolis.
   One of Kan’s scholastic rivals – indeed one of the two players she beat in a playoff for that 2010 PIAA title – former West Chester East standout Gabby DiMarco teed it up for Kansas. DiMarco, like Kan a senior, had rounds of 75, 81 and 88 to finish 72nd at 245. The Jayhawks (304-298-311), led by individual runnerup Kawinpakorn, finished eighth at 913.