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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Basso outlasts Elliott to capture Phlladelphia Women's Amateur title

   While several of her Penn State teammates headed for the prestigious North & South Women’s Amateur Championship at the Pinehurst Resort last week, Cara Basso stayed home and snagged a pretty prestigious championship of her own.
   Anytime you can add your name to a trophy that has names like Dottie Porter, Helen Sigel Wilson, Ann Laughlin, Meghan Stasi (Meghan Bolger for the first seven of her eight titles) and Laura Hammond on it, that’s the kind of club, as a golfer, you want to join. They’re just some of the notables whose names are etched on the Glenna Collett Vare Cup that goes to the winner of the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Match-Play Championship, the Philadelphia Women’s Amateur, for short.
   And Basso, a junior on Denise St. Pierre’s Nittany Lions, did just that with a hard-fought 4 and 3 victory over Merion Golf Club’s Catherine Elliott in a scheduled 36-hole final at Spring-Ford Country Club last Friday that was probably played in some occasional rain showers.
   Basso won the PIAA Class AA title as a sophomore at Villa Maria Academy in 2012 and was part of a push by St. Pierre to lure as many of Pennsylvania’s top scholastic players to State College as she could. And Basso has proven to be a solid addition for a program that is working its way up a tough Big 10 ladder.
   Before she reached the final matchup against Elliott, Basso, playing out of Whitford Country Club, had to survive a tough semifinal with Katie Edelblut of Trenton Country Club that took 23 holes to decide. Elliott knocked off Suzi Spotleson of RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve, 5 and 4, in the other semifinal. Spotleson was the qualifying medalist with a 1-over 74.
   Elliott was a formidable opponent for Basso. The Academy of Notre Dame product played in the 2010 NCAA West Regional as a senior after helping Penn capture the Ivy League title.
   Elliott has become a key member of Merion’s top entry in the WGAP Inter-Club Team Matches. Merion just keeps on keeping on in that department, claiming the Philadelphia Cup for a record 69th time in the long history of the series of matches this spring.
   Basso and Elliott traded blows in a tight first 18 holes of the final.
   Elliot grabbed a 2-up lead by winning the second with a par and the third with a birdie. But Basso answered with birdies on three of the next four holes to take a 1-up advantage. Both players birdied the par-5 18th to allow Basso to go into the afternoon half of the match maintaining that slim 1-up advantage.
   Basso won the 19th hole with a birdie and the 20th with a par to go 3-up. Elliott got one back by winning the 21st hole with a par, but Basso quickly restored her 3-up advantage by winning the 22nd hole with a par. Elliott never got closer than 3-down the rest of the way.
   The first-flight title went to Overbrook Golf Club’s Karen McFadden, who edged Karen Hendricks of Indian Valley Country Club on the 19th hole.
   None of Basso’s three Penn State teammates who ventured to Pinehurst made it to the match-play bracket of the North & South, although sophomore Madelein Herr, a former Council Rock North standout, came close.
   Herr, coming off a solid freshman season with the Nittany Lions, fired an opening-round 73 and appeared to be in good shape to make match play, but struggled home in the second round with an 82 and missed the match-play cut by a single shot with her 155 total.
   Jackie Rogowicz, a former Pennsbury standout who is a junior at Penn State, had rounds of 82 and 79 for a 161 total and classmate Lauren Waller, the 2014 PIAA Class AAA runnerup as a senior at Canon-McMillan, had rounds of 78 and 87 for a 165 total.
   The North & South crown went to 16-year-old Isabella Fierro of Mexico, who outlasted Virginia junior Anna Redding, 2 and 1, in the final. Redding, a native of Concord, N.C., has been a perennial contender in the North & South.
   Fierro has been mentored by no less than Lorena Ochoa-Reyes and is just the latest in a generation of Mexican players who have been inspired by the exploits of Ochoa-Reyes on the golf course.
   Redding had to make her way through the top of the Alabama lineup to get to the final. She knocked off defending North & South champion and qualifying medalist Kristen Gillman, a sophomore with the Crimson Tide from Austin, Texas, 1-up in the quarterfinals. Then Redding claimed a 2 and 1 victory over Alabama’s Lakareber Abe, a senior from Angleton, Texas.
   Fierro reached the final with a 2-up semifinal triumph over recent Duke graduate Sandy Choi.

Mirams earns Junior Tour victory at Mahoning Valley

   William Mirams of Stroudsburg won a scorecard playoff after finishing tied for the top spot in the 16-to-18 age group with Jack Habeeb of Scranton in a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour stop at Mahoning Valley Country Club in Lehighton Thursday.
   Mirams and Habeeb both toured the 6,562-yard, par-73 Mahoning Valley layout in 5-over 78. Mirams’ back-nine 39 proved to be decisive in the match of cards.
   Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. and Ben Wiseman, a junior on New Hope’s District One Class AA championship last fall, shared third place at 80. Grant Gronka of Bloomsburg and Troy Kelleher of Clarks Summit finished tied for fifth at 81.
   Connor Kelleher – probably Troy’s brother since both are from Clarks Summit and possibly twins since both are Class of 2019 – and Michael Festa of Ambler finished tied for seventh, each posting an 82. Brandon Gregg of North Wales finished ninth with an 83 and Simon Asadoorian of Richboro rounded out the top 10 with an 86.
   Win Thomas of Unionville rattled off nine straight pars from holes six through 14 on his way to a 7-over 80 that gave him a victory in the 13-to-15 division. It was the second win of the week for Thomas, who prevailed in a scorecard playoff Tuesday at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club.
   Brett Ostroski of Shavertown was the runnerup with an 81, a steady round that included 13 pars. James Ulsh of Carlisle finished third with an 83, William Pabst of Roaring Brook Township was fourth with an 86 and Bobby Lugiano of Shavertown was fifth with an 88.
   Sean Kelly of Lewisburg and John Peters of Carlisle shared sixth place, each posting a 94, and James DiDomenico of Downingtown was eighth with a 109.
   Olivia Patrow of East Stroudsburg captured the girls 16-to-18 division title with an 89 that included a pair of birdies on the front nine. Jessica McClellan of Freeland was the runnerup with a 100.
Isabella McCloskey was the only competitor in the 13-to-15 division and carded a solid 84 that featured a birdie on the par-3 13th hole.
   Hunter Probst of Bear Creek bested the field of nine-holers with an 8-over 43. Probst’s round was highlighted by a birdie on the par-4 fifth. John Keba was the runnerup with a 47 and Griffin Walizer of McElhattan took third with a 48.
   The Graham Company is the title sponsor for the Junior Tour.

Moffatt comes on strong for Precision Pro Golf Open win at Makefield Highlands

   Hayden Moffatt of Hatboro fired a 4-under-par 68 Wednesday on Day 2 of another Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour Precision Pro Golf Open event at Makefield Highlands Golf Club to capture the overall boys title with a 5-under 139 total.
   Moffatt had two birdies on the front side of the 6,313-yard, par-72 Makefield Highlands layout and three more on the back. He had opened with a solid 1-under 71 Tuesday.
   Moffatt held off Joshua Ryan of Norristown by two shots in the overall boys scoring and Joshua’s older brother Caleb in the 16-to-18 division.
   It was another strong outing for the Ryan brothers, as Caleb, a PIAA Class AAA qualifier as a sophomore at Norristown High last fall, won the 16-to-18 title and Joshua, who will be a freshman at Norristown this fall, won the 13-to-15 division in a Junior Tour stop at Bluestone Country Club Monday.
   Joshua Ryan added a 1-under 71 to his opening-round 70 to again top the 13-to-15 field and finish as the runnerup to Moffatt in the overall 13-to-18 scoring at 3-under 141. That also gave him low-Ryan honors over big brother Caleb by a shot. Caleb Ryan had a pair of 71s for a solid 2-under 142 total that left him as the runnerup to Moffatt in the 16-to-18 division and third in the overall scoring.
   Also in the 16-to-18 division, Nicholas Scott of Harleysville finished third at 1-under 143 after adding a 1-under 71 to his opening-round 72. Liam Hunt of Holland was fourth at even-par 144 after rounds of 71 and 73.
   A couple of Inter-Ac League standouts, Episcopal Academy sophomore Jacob Zeng and Haverford School junior David Hurly, were among four players tied for fifth at 1-over 145. Zeng opened with a 2-under 70 before falling back with a 75 Wednesday. Hurly had rounds of 71 and 74.
Also at 145 were Maxwell Rubin (73-72) and Rory Feng (72-73) of China.
   Rounding out the top 10 were two players – Thomas Butler of Telford and Central Bucks East junior Patrick Sheehan – tied for ninth at 147. Butler had rounds of 73 and 74 while Sheehan, who has had a really strong summer, added a 76 to an opening round of 1-under 71.
   Stephen Lorenzo of Lower Gwynedd was the runnerup to Joshua Ryan in the 13-to-15 division with a pair of 73s and a 1-over 146 total.
   Matthew Hanzel of Sewell, N.J. and Patrick Laushell of Morrisville finished tie for third at 155. Hanzel improved from an opening-round 80 with a 75 while Laushell had rounds of 77 and 78.
Stephen Eigenrauch of Moorestown, N.J. had rounds of 80 and 77 to finish fifth at 157, Alec Stern of Bryn Mawr had rounds of 83 and 76 to finish sixth at 158 and Matthew Lafond of Blue Bell had rounds of 85 and 76 to take seventh at 161.
   Peter Banfe of Moorestown, N.J. finished eighth with rounds of 80 and 82 for a 162 total, Nicholas Hano of Warrington took ninth with rounds of 82 and 83 for a 165 total and Hayden Greer of Moorestown,  N.J. rounded out the top 10 at 166 after rounds of 88 and 78.
   Maya Torpey of Malvern made two birdies on the back nine as she added an 80 to her opening-round 81 to take the overall title among the girls at 161. It was Torpey’s first Junior Tour win of the season. Grace Hickey of Downingtown was the runnerup to Torpey in the 16-to-18 division with rounds of 85 and 86 for a 171 total.
   Natasha Kiel of New Hope had the best round of the day Wednesday, a solid 79, that gave her the top spot in the 13-to-15 division. Kiel, who was the runnerup to Torpey in the overall girls scoring, had opened with an 87 and finished with a 166 total.
   Madilyn Siuta of Quakertown was the runnerup in the 13-to-15 division at 189 with rounds of 92 and 97. Sarah Scarpill of Warrington took third with rounds of 94 and 97 for a 191 total.
   Kevin Lofland of Blue Bell had a pair of 43s to finish atop the group of nine-holers at 86. Daniel Shin of Horsham had the day’s best round Wednesday, a 42, to finish second at 89.  He had opened with a 47.
   Sammi Yeselavage of Doylestown finished third at 120 after rounds of 67 and 53. Yeselavage walked away with an NX7 Rangefinder, courtesy of Precision Pro Golf, by finishing closest to the pin for the day at the par-3 third. Yeselavage had the right yardage on the third as her tee shot finished seven feet from the hole.
   As usual, the Precision Pro Golf Open events included collegiate divisions and Andrew Simpson of Perkasie won the men’s 17-to-24 division with rounds of 72 and 83 for a 155 total. Benjamin Sheard of Elizabethtown was the runnerup as he added a solid 79 to his opening-round 82 for a 161 total.
   Annalia Kostow of Lebanon was the only competitor in the women’s 17-to-24 division and had two birdies in a round of 87 Wednesday, which was a five-shot improvement on her opening-round 92 for a 179 total.