Friday, August 26, 2016

Sanderson opens a new Junior Tour season with a victory

   Calen Sanderson of Skillman, N.J. had the day’s best score, a 2-over-par 72 at Indian Spring Country Club in Evesham Township, N.J. as the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour opened its 2016-17 season Friday.
   Sanderson’s 2-over round over the 6,328-yard, par-70 Indian Spring layout gave him a four-shot edge over runnerup Stephen Lorenzo of Lower Gwynedd in the 13-to-15 division. Lorenzo was 3-over on both nines in posting a 6-over 76.
   Andrew Miller of Bryn Mawr and Ryan D’Ariano of West Chester finished in a tie for third, each player carding a 78. David Stephens III of Ellicott City, Md. and Jack Cooley of Chadds Ford shared fifth place another shot back at 79.
   Matthew Hanzel of Sewell, N.J. finished alone in seventh place with an 80. Charlie Baker of Wayne and Christian Savian of Malvern finished in a tie for eighth at 81 and rounding out the top 10 was Alec Stern of Bryn Mawr, who finished alone in 10th with an 83.
   Akhil Giri of Moorestown, N.J. took top honors in the 16-to-18 division with a 3-over 73 that included a birdie on the par-5 second hole. Drew Skultety of Tabernacle, N.J. was the runnerup with a 75.
   Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. finished third with a 77. Alec Ryden of Moorestown, N.J., Samuel Walker of Radnor and Rahil Patel of Voorhees, N.J. finished in a tie for fourth, each player carding a 78.
   Rounding out the top 10 were four players tied for seventh at 79, including Edward Gallagher II of Franklinville, N.J., Mac Costin of Bryn Mawr, Jack LaRose of Bristol and Tyler Roland of Newtown Square.
   Taylor Oberparleiter of Laurel Springs, N.J. needed a scorecard playoff to claim the girls 13-to-15 division after she and Lily Yang of West Chester both came in with an 81. Oberparleiter finished her round in style, holing a shot out of a bunker for a par. Her 38 on the back nine proved to be the difference in the match of cards.
   Kayla Gutierrez of Little Egg Harbor, N.J. finished third with an 87, Olivia Strigh of Hammonton, N.J. took fourth with a 92, Gillyoung Koh of Broomall was fifth with a 96 and Caitlyn Hagerty of Glen Mills was sixth with a 100.
   Andrea Cho of Mount Laurel, N.J. took the top spot in the 16-to-18 division with a 97. Grace Lombardi of Bear, Del. was the runnerup with a 106 and Mackenzie Cassidy of Hatboro was third at 117.
   Kristof Kopecky of Garnet Valley won a scorecard playoff with Aaron Skii of West Chester for the win among the nine-holers after each player posted a 43. Kopecky’s round was highlighted by a birdie at the par-5 fifth.
   Chase Marinacci of Elverson took third with a 45, Ryan Garvey of Media placed fourth with a 47, Brooke Oberparleiter of Laurel Springs, N.J. was fifth with a 48 and Sydney Yermish of Wynnewood was sixth with a 49.
   Charlie Hurchalla of Wallingford finished seventh with a 50, Angelina Tolentina of Mount Laurel, N.J. and Luca Gherardi of Hammonton, N.J. shared eighth place at 51 and Henry Stone of Kennett Square rounded out the top 10 by finishing 10th with a 54.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Liotta captures Marston Cup with 69 at Springhaven

   Whitemarsh Valley Country Club’s David Liotta coaxed home a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole at The Springhaven Club Wednesday and that proved to be the difference as he earned a one-shot victory in the Marston Cup for his first career Golf Association of Philadelphia win.
   The 46-year-old Liotta finished with a 1-under 69 over the 6,437-yard, par-70 William Flynn design in Wallingford in the event for players ages 40 to 54. The victory also earns Liotta exemptions into three of GAP’s major events in 2017, the Middle Amateur Championship, presented by Callaway Golf, the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and the Joseph H. Patterson Cup.
   Liotta picked up birdies on Springhaven’s two front-nine par-5s. He reached the par-5 second hole in two and two-putted for birdie and launched a 60-degree wedge over a tree at the eighth to three feet and made the putt.
   After a bogey at the 11th, he blasted out of a bunker on the par-5 at the 12th close enough for a tap-in birdie. A bogey at the 15th dropped him back to even-par, but his long birdie putt at the 17th got him back into red figures for the round.
   Three members of the deep stable of talent at the Philadelphia Cricket Club – Kevin Kelly, Ryan Gilrod and Scott Storck -- loomed a shot back in a tie for second at even-par 70. Gilrod was paired with Liotta.
   Todd Vanderheid of Huntsville Golf Club finished alone in fifth place at 1-over 71. James Gillespie of Little Mill Country Club and Michael R. Brown Jr. of the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association shared sixth place at 2-over 72.
   Rounding out the top 10 were three players – Peter Barron III of Stone Harbor Golf Club, Peter Moran of Whitford Country Club and Robert Bechtold of Fieldstone Golf Club -- tied for eighth at 3-over 73.
   The Marston Cup is named for Max Marston, a Philadelphia amateur who went on an epic tear in 1923 capped by a U.S. Amateur title at Floosmoor Country Club outside Chicago that included match-play victories over Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet.

Beck, Kosup a winning team in Senior 27-Hole Challenge

   The winners of the last two Brewer Cups, Bob Beck of Lehigh Country Club and Bert Kosup of The Ridge at Back Brook proved to be a formidable team in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Senior 27-Hole Challenge Tuesday at French Creek Golf Club in East Nantmeal, Chester County.
Beck won this year’s Brewer Cup, presented by Callaway Golf, at Overbrook Golf Club while Kosup captured the Cup last summer.
   The 27-Hole Challenge presented a unique challenge at the 6,294-yard, par-71 French Creek layout, designed by Gil Hanse, who received quite a bit of acclaim for the job he did building the Olympic Golf Course for the return of golf to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. The first nine holes are better-ball of partners, the second nine are select drive/alternate shot and the final nine are aggregate total.
   The 56-year-old Beck and Kosup, 61, went 34, 34 and 71 for a 2-under 139 total, which gave them a four-shot edge over the Lancaster Country Club pair of Kenneth Phillips and Daniel Burton, who trailed by just a shot after going 33-36 heading into the final nine before posting an aggregate 74 for a 2-over 143 total.
   Beck and Kosup might have wrapped up the title at the par-5 fourth hole on their final nine as both made birdie, Beck reaching the green in two with a 3-hybrid and two-putting from 15 feet and Kosup dropping a 12-foot birdie try.
   “I think his strength is that he doesn’t have a weakness,” Kosup told the GAP website concerning Beck’s game. “He hit the ball very well today. He hits the ball very far off the tee – 30 yards past me. He’s very consistent and makes being his partner pretty easy.”
   Robert Wagner of Merion Golf Club and John Leboeuf of Philadelphia Country Club finished alone in third place with nines of 34, 37 and 74 for a 145 total.
   Six teams finished tied for fourth at 146.
   The pair of Bob Majczan of Lookaway Golf Club and James Prendergast of Bellewood Country Club and the Cedarbrook Country Club duo of Jack O’Hara and Vince Yost both finished strong with identical aggregate totals of 70 on their final nine.
   Majczan and Prendergast had a 35 in the better-ball opening nine, but struggled to a 41 in the alternate-shot second nine. O’Hara and Yost went 37-39 in their first 18 holes.
   Also in the group at 146 were: Wild Quail Golf & Country Club’s Alan Wagenschnur and Buddy Reed (35-37-74); Jim Yenser of Raven’s Claw Golf Club and David West of Whitford Country Club (34-37-75); Alan Van Horn of Commonwealth National Golf Club and Duke Delcher of Sandy Run Country Club (35-39-72); and the Commonwealth National pair of John Alterman and John Nottage (36-36-74).
   Charles Dowds III of Applebrook Golf Club and Mark Szilagyi of Brookside Country Club got off to a fast start with a 32 on their opening better-ball nine, but cooled off with nines of 41 and 74 to finish in a tie for 10th at 147.
   They were joined at that figure by Ray Pyontek of Mercer Oaks Golf Club and Gregory Buliga of Yardley Country Club (33-38-76) and Gary E. Daniels of Applebrook and Michael Rose of Talamore Country Club (34-38-75).
   The winning team in the Super-Senior division took shape at this year’s Brewer Cup. Saucon Valley Country Club’s Robin McCool defeated Frank Polizzi of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club at Overbrook in the Brewer Cup Super-Senior final and afterward McCool asked Polizzi if he’d like to team up for the 27-Hole Challenge.
   McCool and Polizzi fired a 32 on the better-ball opening nine at French Creek and never looked back, adding an alternate-shot 38 and an aggregate total of 71 to finish at 141, finishing five shots clear of the field.
   On the opening nine, Polizzi hit a pitching wedge to four feet at the short par-3 third and made birdie, McCool dropped in a six-foot birdie putt for birdie at the par-5 fourth and then nearly holed his approach to the par-5 sixth for a tap-in birdie and Polizzi finished off the blazing start by knocking a gap wedge four feet away and making the birdie putt at the ninth.
   Craig Scott of Great Bear Golf Club and GAP legend David Brookerson of Huntingdon Valley Country Club (34-39-73) and the Rolling Green Golf Club duo of Edward Pappas and Robert Billings (35-40-71) shared second place at 146.
   Reigning three-time GAP Super-Senior Player of the Year Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club and Steve Tagert of Spring-Ford Country Club had nines of 34, 38 and 75 to finish alone in fourth place at 147. The Lookaway pair of Thomas Mallouk and Michael Anton went 34, 39 and 75 to finish fifth at 148.