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
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
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
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
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