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Friday, November 25, 2011

Royal Melbourne and other stars of the Presidents Cup

  Even the most ardent golf fans might have had a hard time figuring exactly what day it was if they were trying to follow the Presidents Cup from Down Under last weekend.
   It was a little easier for us second-shifters. I caught the U.S. squad clinching the Cup when Tiger Woods defeated Aaron Baddeley in their singles match around 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
    A couple of interesting angles emerged from the convincing 19-15 victory for the U.S. over a talented International team that featured five homestanding Aussies playing under the most famous Australian of all, captain Greg Norman.
    The Royal Melbourne course itself was really a neat track, even just watching it on TV. I’m not up on the whole back story of how Alister MacKenzie, the architect of Augusta National, came to design a course on a subcontinent several thousand miles away from Augusta, Georgia, but the guy somehow managed to design two courses that totally work on television.  And that’s pretty odd since television was still an idea in somebody’s head when McKenzie, who died in January 1934, was doing his design work.
   Another interesting angle from the Presidents Cup was the U.S. domination of the foursome sessions, which feature an alternate-shot format.
   The prevailing theory was that the U.S. has really learned how to play that format since, between the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup, U.S. players are faced with it more often than their opponents.
   Give some credit too, to Freddie Couples, the U.S. captain. He kept saying he wasn’t feeling as laid-back as he looked, but while he was being typically cool Freddie, he also put together some really nice teams, most notably the Bubba Watson-Webb Simpson and Jim Furyk-Phil Mickelson duos.
   Of course, everybody was interested in how Tiger looked. Couples had made Woods a captain’s pick long before he officially had to and got a lot of criticism for doing so since Tiger wasn’t playing particularly well when Couples made the pick. Still, Freddie’s logic — "He’s been the best player in the world since forever." — was difficult to argue with.
   Well, after getting waxed while teaming with Steve Stricker in his opening match, there were flashes of the old Tiger, especially the six birdies in he made against Baddeley. It’s not Couples’ style to pat himself on the back, but he could’ve thrown around a few I-told-you-sos when Tiger got the Cup-clinching point.
   And anybody who was tromping around Aronimink Golf Club for the final round of the AT&T National on the eve of the Fourth of July last summer might have had a flashback if he or she saw Nick Watney squaring off with K.J. Choi in Presidents Cup singles play.
   And guess what, just as he did on a Fourth of July weekend in Delaware County, Watney gutted out a hard-fought victory over the steady South Korean.
Stu comes up short
   Stu Ingraham, the pro at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, took another stab at the Champions Tour Qualifying School and again came up a little short.
   It’s a measure of how competitive the over-50 circuit is when Ingraham cards rounds of 71, 70, 69 and 73 at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz. and still lands five shots out the top-30 finish needed just to be among the group that can play in qualifying rounds for Champions Tour events.
   Only six players earned full exemptions to the Champions Tour, but the rest of the top 30 and ties earned at least a shot to get into some events.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
   The Philadelphia Junior Tour made one last stop in 2011 with an event Nov. 12 at Paxon Hollow Country Club in Marple Township and several of the top Central League players in the recently completed scholastic season had strong showings.
Marple Newtown sophomore Sam Soeth led the Delco contingent with a 6-over 77 over the 5,417-yard, par-72 Paxon Hollow layout that left him in third place in the 16-to-18 age group.
   Soeth, an All-Delco as a freshman, is putting a disappointing scholastic postseason behind him. Soeth hit the ground running early in the scholastic season as his strong summer carried over, but he struggled in the District One Tournament at Turtle Creek Golf Club and failed to earn a trip to the East Region Tournament.
   Strath Haven junior Jared Brown finished fourth in the age group with an 80 that left him three shots back of Soeth. Springfield junior Kyle Hakun was another shot back in fifth with an 81 and Penncrest senior Ryan Smith ended up in a tie for 13th with an 84.
   Garnet Valley’s Caelean Butler finished 12th with an 87 and Ryan Claypole, a Glen Mills resident, finished 18th with a 94.
   In the 16-to-18 division, Robert Oleski III of Wayne finished in a tie for fifth with a 94, Alec Kerr of Broomall finished eighth with a 92, Stephen McAlee of Media finished 11th with a 102, Cody Terrion of Newtown Square finished 12th with a 103 and Bobby Thompson of Broomall finished 13th with a 109.
   Among the nine-holers, John Updike of Wayne finished third with a 45, Kevin Smith of Wallingford finished in a tie for fifth with a 49, Caprian Kan of Boothwyn finished in a tie for seventh with a 50 and Bennett Steinbach of Media finished 12th with a 69.
Wrapping up the college scene
   The Villanova golf team completed a solid fall campaign last month when the Wildcats finished in a tie for 12th at the Bank of Tennessee Invitational.
   Villanova was led by senior Brian Colbert, who had rounds of 78, 73 and 72 over the 7,147-yard, par-72 Blackthorn Golf Club layout in Jonesborough, Tenn., for a 223 total that left him in a tie for 25th.
   Michael Kania, the two-time Haverford School All-Delco and two-time Inter-Ac League champion, was another two shots back of Colbert in a tie for 33rd with rounds of 72, 75 and 78 and a 225 total.
   The Wildcats hope to build on the momentum they gained this fall when play resumes next year. Villanova had a big spring in 2010, capped by a third-place finish at the Big East Tournament.
   On the women’s side, The Citadel sophomore Erica Pellegrini, a two-time Garnet Valley All-Delco, finished off a strong fall campaign by finishing in a tie for 32nd at the Palmetto Invitational at Oak Point Golf Course in Kiawah Island, S.C.
Pellegrini had rounds of 74, 75 and 78 for a 227 total as she led The Citadel to a 17th-place finish in the 18-team field with a 956 total.
   Another Delco player, Bucknell sophomore Lauren Bernard, the former Notre Dame standout who captured the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur championship last summer, also teed it up at Oak Point and finished in a tie for 62nd with rounds of 79, 82, and 76 for a 237 total. The Bison finished six shots ahead of Pellegrini’s Citadel squad in 16th place at 950.
   Pellegrini and The Citadel will make their way back to Kiawah Island when their season resumes in February at a tournament hosted by the College of Charleston.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kan, Calamaro have strong fall finishes

 To the surprise of absolutely no one who followed their scholastic golf careers, Aurora Kan, the 2010 PIAA champion at Chichester, and Jackie Calamaro, the 2009 PIAA champion at Radnor, finished their fall campaigns in the Big 10 on a strong note in the last couple of days.
   Kan, a freshman at Purdue, helped the Boilermakers claim their first title of the fall in their final event of the first half of the season at the Landfall Tradition, which was completed Sunday at the Country Club of Landfall’s Jack Nicklaus Course in Wilmington, N.C.
   Purdue was led by junior Paula Reto, a native of South Africa, who claimed the first individual title of her career with a 2-over 218 total. Reto had rounds of 71, 77 and 70, which enabled the Boilermakers to post a 904 total and cruise to a 14-shot victory over Auburn.
   Purdue’s international cast included junior Laura Gonzalez-Escallon from Belgium, who finished in a tie for seventh with rounds of 76, 73 and 76 and junior Jam Vilairatana of Thailand, who carded a career-low 73 in the final round to finish in a tie for 24th at 232.
   Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion, was next for the Boilermakers with steady rounds of 79, 78 and 78 for a 235 total that left her in a tie for 34th. Rounding out the scoring for Purdue was junior Kishi Sina, who had a 237 total and finished in a tie for 45th.
  Purdue returns to action at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 12 to 14 in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
   Calamaro, who is a redshirt freshman at Illinois after undergoing hip surgery, earned a spot in the lineup for the Fighting Illini after a strong showing in the recent Hoosier Fall Invitational (check last week’s blog post for the full story on that).
   Illinois earned its second straight runnerup finish at the Fighting Camel Fall Classic, which was completed Tuesday in Blues Creek, N.C. Weather delays forced a 27-hole windup Tuesday.
   Senior Samantha Sloan led the way with rounds of 78, 74 and 77 for a 13-over 229 total that gave her a fifth-place finish. That enabled the Fighting Illini to post a 923 total that left them second to tournament host Campbell by 21 shots.
   Calamaro, a two-time Pennsylvania Junior Girls champion, was Illinois’ second-lowest scorer with rounds of 80, 74 and 77 that left her in a tie for sixth.
   Rounding out the scoring for Illinois were senior Hailey Koschmann and sophomore Ember Schuldt, who finished tied for 14th at 235, and senior Katelin Dilger (238, 24th) as all five players earned top-25 finishes.
   It was also the final event of the fall season for the Fighting Illini. They will get back in action Feb. 4 in Boca Raton, Fla. in the Illinois Challenge, a dual-match competition with in-state rival Illinois State, albeit in warmer climes that they would find in Illinois in February.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Farewell to Heritage Hills?

   A few leftovers from the scholastic postseason golf trail ...
   There was talk at the state tournament this week that the PIAA will re-bid the event in the upcoming months.
   I don’t have any great objection to the Heritage Hills Golf Resort, which, in a lot of ways, is the perfect venue from a couple of standpoints having nothing do to with the actual golf course.
   For one thing, it has housing right there, which is a huge plus. While it is probably a bit of a hike for players from the western and northwestern parts of the state, if you’re going to hold a golf tournament in October in Pennsylvania, it’s probably not a bad idea to have it as far south in the state as you can.
   A lot of people loved having the tournament at Penn State, but frost delays were often the rule rather than the exception in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains at that time of year.
   Heritage Hills certainly holds fond memories for Delco. The first year the tournament was held there in 2002, Radnor’s Adam Cohan became the county’s first state golf champion.
   A year later, Cohan and Strath Haven junior Conrad Von Borsig hooked up in a riveting head-to-head duel before ultimately finishing in a tie for second.
   In 2004, Von Borsig capped an outstanding scholastic career with a fifth-place finish.
   In 2006, the first year of statewide team competition, the Radnor boys claimed the state team championship in bone-chilling wind and cold.
   The next year began a parade of Delco excellence in the girls field when Chichester freshman Aurora Kan finished fifth. A year later, Kan was second to Kennett’s Christine Shimel while Radnor’s Jackie Calamaro and Garnet Valley’s Erica Pellegrini finished in a tie for seventh.
   A year later Calamaro earned another state title for Radnor with Kan settling for second place. Finally in 2010, Kan capped her brilliant scholastic career with a PIAA championship.
   If this week’s PIAA Tournament was the last at Heritage Hills, the second-place finish in the team race by the Radnor girls was a fitting conclusion to a decade of Delco success in York County.
   The golf course itself is quirky and has never seemed to be one that a player — even a very good one — does well on in his or her first time around.
   Sun Valley’s Braden Shattuck seemed to suffer from a classic case of first-timeitis at Heritage Hills this week.
   This year’s boys champion, Garrett Browning of West Allegheny, posted a 77 in his opening round a year ago, but followed it up with a 2-under 69 to get himself a medal. It looked like he had figured out Heritage Hills in the process and he came back and built on that knowledge this year.
   Radnor junior Carey Bina might be somebody who wouldn’t mind a return trip to Heritage Hills. The last nine holes he played were the front nine at the Hills Tuesday and the light bulb went on when he dropped a 20-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 second hole. He ended up firing a 2-under 34 on the outgoing nine for a second-round 74 that was a big improvement on an opening-round 81.
   It was not quite good enough, though, for the coveted low Delco honors. That belonged to Shattuck, who had rounds of 78 and 76 for a 154 total that was one shot better than Carey Bina.
The Herrs can
   It was another outstanding postseason for the Council Rock North brother-sister tandem of Zach and Erica Herr.
They repeated their brother-sister championship act of a year ago at the District One Tournament.
  Then little sis Erica, a sophomore, capped her season by winning the state championship. It was the fourth straight year in which a District One player claimed the state crown, following in the footsteps of Kennett’s Shimel, Radnor’s Calamaro and Chichester’s Kan.
   Zach, a junior, was paired with Shattuck in the second round after opening with a 79. He grinded it out with a 2-over 73, the day’s second-best round, to earn a medal. And that was with missing a couple of short putts on his last two holes.
   The low finisher from District One was no surprise as Holy Ghost Prep’s Chris Crawford, who earned a trip to the U.S. Amateur last summer in qualifying at Llanerch C.C. and Rolling Green G.C., finished at 151, a shot ahead of Herr and Central Bucks West’s T.J. Summers. Also in that group at 8-over 152 was defending champion Brandon Matthews of Pittston.
Berman a straight shooter
   As you would expect, the greenskeeping at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course, site of Monday’s Bert Linton Inter-Ac League Championship, was immaculate.
   Because of the way the mowers are set to the cut the grass on the fairways, there was a visible line right down the middle.
The tee shots of Haverford School sophomore Cole Berman invariably landed maybe five yards either side of that line. Just in case you’re wondering why he won the tournament with a 3-over-par 75.
   The kid was getting outdriven by 50 yards all day and didn’t make a birdie. And won by three shots.
Jackie’s back
   Speaking of Jackie Calamaro …
   The 2009 PIAA champion and Daily Times Player of the Year had to put the clubs away earlier this year when it was discovered that her painful hip was going to require surgery, a procedure similar to the one Phillies second Chase Utley underwent a couple of offseasons ago.
   Calamaro took a medical redshirt at the University of Illinois last year and spent a long summer rehabbing.
But if you know Jackie Calamaro, you know she wasn’t going to stay down for long.
   Illinois teed it up in the Hoosier Fall Invitational last week at Crooked Stick Golf Club, site of John Daly’s raucous coming-out party at the 1991 PGA Championship.
   Calamaro only competed as an individual with Fighting Illini head coach Renee Stone probably trying to figure out exactly where Calamaro stood in her return from a very serious injury.
   Well, Stone got her answer as Calamaro had rounds of 79, 75 and 75 for a 13-over 229 total that enabled her to finish in a tie for 15th overall. She had the third-best total among the Illinois contingent. Illinois finished third in the team standings and probably would have won had Calamaro’s score been counted.
   Not sure if her strong showing had anything to do with it, but Calamaro also got her first shot at writing an entry on the Chip Shots blog on the Illinois women’s golf website. She sounded pretty excited to be back playing like the two-time Pennsylvania Junior and PIAA champion that she is.
   And even though she was halfway across the country, Calamaro deserves some props for the showing of the Radnor girls in this postseason.
   Calamaro was a junior when Radnor finally had enough players to compete as a girls team. She was a very good player, but some of her younger teammates still had a lot to learn about the game. They learned from one of the best and the payoff came in these last few weeks as Radnor won the District One and PIAA East Region team titles before finishing second this week at Heritage Hills.
   Calamaro was calling and supporting the Radnor girls all the way along their journey and they made it clear that she was providing plenty of motivation in the process.
Achenbach one of the best
   Radnor’s Andy Achenbach cemented his reputation as one of the top scholastic golf coaches in Pennsylvania this season.
Since taking over from John Schulte in 2005, Achenbach has produced a District One and PIAA boys team champion in 2006, a PIAA girls individual champion in Calamaro in 2009 and a state runnerup for the girls in the team chase this season.
  Just getting the girls program off the ground, with help from assistant Steve Burns, is an accomplishment in itself.
   Achenbach also got great leadership from the Bina brothers, senior Kavian and junior Carey, as Radnor won the Central League title and both Binas earned a trip to Heritage Hills.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour rolls on
  The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour took advantage of some nice October weather to get in a couple more events in recent weeks.
  Garnet Valley sophomore Jack Highfill just missed earning a trip to the District One Tournament when he lost out in a playoff for the final berth at the Central League Tournament.
   But he got right back on the course at a Junior Tour stop Oct. 8 at Sussex Pines G.C. in Georgetown, Del. and finished second in the boys 13-to-15 age group with a 79.
   Jackie Calamaro’s youngest brother, Jacob, carded a 49 to top the field of nine-holers at Sussex Pines.
   Highfill competed in the 16-to-18 division Oct. 22 in a Junior Tour stop at The Links G.C. in Marlton, N.J. and finished fifth with an 84.
   Radnor sophomore Austin Dunlap, a district qualifier this season, won the boys 13-to-15 division at The Links with an 81.
   The nine-hole field included a couple of familiar names as Calamaro carded a 52 to finish third, one shot ahead of the little sister of his sister’s scholastic rival Aurora Kan, Caprian Kan, who posted a 53.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Aronimink's Kiddie named PGA's top merchandiser

    Jeffrey Kiddie, the head pro at Aronimink Golf Club, has been named the 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities.
   The 40-year-old Kiddie is the third Philadelphia Section PGA pro to win the award since it was established in 1978. The award recognizes PGA professionals who excel as businerperson/merchandisers in the promotion of golf.
   Kiddie will be recognized at The PGA of America Awards Jan. 26 during the the 59th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Converntion Center's Chapin Theater in Orlando, Fla.
   "I am really proud, happy and honored as this award is a great acknowledgement for both myself and my team," Kiddie said in a PGA of America press release announcing the honor. "We take a lot of time and pride to amke sure our golf shop operation is successful and the whole group at Aronimink deserves a lot of credit for this honor."
   Aronimink was very much in teh spotlight the last two summers as it hosted the AT&T National event, which was on hiatus from Congressional Country Club as that Bethesda, Md. prepared for the 2011 U.S. Open, which turned into the coming-out party for Rory McIlroy.
   The Donald Ross design drew nothing but praise from the touring pros who were seeing it for the first time. Aronimink has also hosted the 1962 PGA Championship, the 1977 U.S. Amateur, the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2003 Senior PGA Championship.
   "My peers and I like to share ideas to be as creative and efficient as we can," Kiddie said. "We try hard to do what we do well and I feeel like we treat people great, not just on the retail side, but for regular member and guest play. We work hard at Aronimink to create the right atmosphere -- one that is welcoming and professional."
Strong showing for Kania
   Villanova junior Michael Kania, the two-time Haverford School All-Delco, had a solid showing in the Philadelphia Big 5 Invitational, which concluded Sunday at Plymouth Country Club.
   Kania had a pair of 72s over the 6,600-yard, par-70 Plymouth layout to finish in a tie for sixth at 4-over 144. It was the first top-10 finish this season for the Overbrook G.C. member. It was Kania's second top-20 finish and fourth straight top-30 finish.
   Kania led Villanova to an 11th-place finish out of the 22-team field with a 599 total. The Wildcats finished third among the Big 5 entrants as Penn earned Big 5 bragging rights by finishing in a tie for fourth at 587 and Temple finished in a tie for eighth overall and three shots ahead of Villanova at 596.
   The Wildcats got a boost from senior Bret McGaughey of Laguna Beach, Calif. who finished in a tie for 21st with a 147 total in his first tournament action of the fall.
   Villanova's other scorers were senior Brian Colbert of Cary, Ill. who was 61st at 154, junior Steve Skurla of Wheaton , Ill., who was in 66th with a 155 total and junior Derek Jones of Lower Burrell, Pa. who was in 91st with a 159 total.
   Monsignor Bonner All-Delco Mike Hartsough teed it up for the Saint Joseph's Hawks and struggled a little with rounds of 85 and 86 for a 171 total, but it was to see him get a shot since Hartsough went to Hawk Hill hoping to make the team as a walk-on. The Hawks finished 21st with a 642 total.
Haverford School still going strong
   Haverford School has continued to dominate the new format in the Inter-Ac League, which switched from the spring to the fall this season.
   The format has each school hosting the other schools in mini-tournaments and Germantown Academy was the host Monday at Plymouth Country Club.
   Led by a 34 posted by All-Delco Scott Jaster, the Fords finished with a 239 total, which was matched by Episcopal Academy. Cole Berman added a 37 for the Fords.
   Episcopal was led by Alex Dupre’s 37 and a 38 by Sean Fahey. Malvern Prep sophomore and Newtown Square resident Michael Davis also had a strong individual effort with a 35.
Through four mini-tournaments, Haverford School is in first place with an 18-0-4 mark. Episcopal is second with a 14-3-3 mark and Malvern Prep is third at 13-6-1.
   The top three individuals are Berman (132-6-7), Davis (163-18-6) and Jaster (153-28-7).
   A week earlier, Malvern Prep hosted the third mini-tournament at Applebrook Golf Club.
Led by Berman (37), Timmy Brooks (36) and Jaster (38), Haverford School finished with a 241 total, a number that was again matched by Episcopal.
   The Churchmen were led by Fahey, who was the overall medalist for the day with a 36. Dupre and Jack Dordelman added 38s for Episcopal.
   The final two mini-tournaments are next week, both at Gulph Mills with Penn Charter playing the host Oct. 17 and Haverford School as the host Oct. 20.
   The Inter-Ac Tournament is scheduled for Oct. 24 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill course.
Thompson's unlikely title
   Ray Thompson, the Overbrook G.C. member and Drexel Hill resident, wasn't even going to tee it up in the Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior Amateur Championship because it was so close to the U.S. Senior Amateur, which he had qualified to play in. 
   But the epic rains of September, including Hurricane Irene, conspired to allow Thompson to not only play in, but win the GAP Senior Amateur crown.
   The original site for the GAP Senior, Whitemarsh Valley C.C., was ravaged by Irene, so the event was pushed back and moved to Whitford C.C.
   With the date change, Thompson teed it up and carded a 3-under 69 at Whitford to take the lead after the opening round of the scheduled 36-hole event.
   More rain left Whitford unplayable and Thompson was declared the winner after 18 holes.
   "It's a little bittersweet," the 59-year-old Thompson told the GAP website. "It's better when you win it over the course of two rounds, but don't get me wrong, I'm glad to win."
   Thompson's performance at Whitford also enabled him to overtake Michael Quinn of Edgmont C.C. by four strokes for the Senior Silver Cross Award.
   "I’m certainly happy that I was able to win the Senior Amateur and the Silver Cross to boot," said Thompson, who captured every Senior title in 200-7 en route to Player fo the Year honors that year. "That’s a nice accomplishment for me.
   "After 2007, I guess my expectations got up and I put a lot of pressure on myself to try and do better. Winning tournaments isn’t easy. You have to get a little luck as well. I went into this season saying that I have to have fun and not put pressure on myself to win every time I tee it up."
   LedgeRock G.C.’s Chip Lutz, winner of the Senior British Amateur last summer, finished second, three shots behind Thompson.
   Frank McFadden, a fellow Overbrook member of Thompson’s, shared third place at 1-over 73. Edgmont’s Quinn shared fifth place with Gary Daniels of Aronimink G.C. at 2-over 74.
   Overbrook’s Chris Lange finished in a tie for seventh at 3-over 75.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kan makes debut with Purdue

   Aurora Kan, the three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester and 2010 PIAA champion, was in deep waters as she made her debut with the Purdue women's golf team at last weekend's Mason Rudolph Fall Preview.
   The 18-team field featured the top 13 teams in the country, including the Boilermakers, who were ranked sixth going into the event. The Mason Rudolph was played on the Vanderbilt Legends Club North Course in Franklin, Tenn. where the 2012 NCAA Tournament will be contested.
   Kan opened her Purdue career with a 5-over 77, which actually tied her with junior Paula Reto for the low score among the Boilermakers. She struggled a little after that, posting an 80 Saturday and an 84 Sunday for a 241 total that left her in 84th place.
   Reto, a native of Capetown, South Africa, bounced back with a 3-under 69 Saturday and a 76 Sunday and finished in a tie for 22nd at 222. Junior Laura Gonzalez-Escallon had Purdue's low round Sunday with her second straight 73 and finished in a tie for 39th with a 226 total.
   Kan's 241 total was third among the Boilermakers, a shot better than redishrt junior Kishi Sinha, who was 85th at 242 and five shots better than Jam Viairatana, who was 89th at 246.
   Purdue's 930 total (313-302-315) left it in last place among as strong a women's collegiate field as will be assembled this fall. Top-ranked UCLA won the team title for the third time in five years with rounds of  296, 283 and 294 for an 873 total. No. 3 Alabama was six shots back in second at 879 (296-289-294).
Disappointment for U.S. at Solheim Cup
   The most compelling TV for this golf nut last weekend was the Solheim Cup, particularly the final matches as the homestanding Europeans pulled out a 17-15 victory to lay claim to the Cup for the first time since 2003.
   Taking nothing away from the European victory, but it might have been a different story had Cristie Kerr not been forced to forfeit her singles match after tendinitis in her arm worsened over the weekend.
   A tearful Kerr recounted how the injury suddenly went from bad to worse overnight from Saturday and Sunday to the point that she could not even grip the club.
   For most of their competitive lives, golfers play an individual sport. If a golfer is hurt, the only person affected is that golfer. Kerr was clearly devastated that this injury would come when it would affect the U.S. team, not just her.
   "The team," an emotional Kerr said, "to let down the team when they're counting on me really hurts."
   Obviously the U.S. players played their hearts out to try to take the onus off  Kerr, but couldn't quite pull it off.
   The Michelle Wie-Suzann Pettersen match featured high drama with Pettersen making birdies at the last three holes to edge Wie for a crucial point.
    With Pettersen four feet from the hole for birdie on the 17th hole, Wie drained a 20-foot birdie putt to put the pressure back on Pettersen. The Norwegian's sometimes balky putter was up to the task, though. And she made one more birdie at the 18th to finish off Wie.
   If Wie was somehow able to capture the kind of intensity she showed down the stretch of her match with Pettersen during regular stroke-play events, she might be able to live up to the unlimited promise her game sometimes shows.
   There will no doubt be something of an uproar over the U.S. women losing this competition. Their male counterparts are taking a fairly regular beating for the U.S. becoming a second-rate golf power, although the Red, White and Blue can still trot out a pretty competitive side when the Ryder or Presidents Cups are up for grabs.
   But it should be pointed out that three of the top young European players -- three players who were involved in three crucial matches down the stretch in the Solheim Cup -- owe some of the development of their games to college golf in the good old U.S. of A.
   Spain's Azahara Munoz, who downed Angela Stanford, 1-up, was the 2008 NCAA indivdual champion as a junior at Arizona State. Sweden's Caroline Hedwell, who pulled out a crucial half with Ryann O'Toole, was the 2010 NCAA individual champion at Oklahoma State. And The Netherlands' Christel Boeijon, who claimed a 2-up win over Brittany Lincicome, was the NCAA runnerup in 2007 at Purdue.
   So while the European victory was a testament to the team's talent and guts, give NCAA Division I women's college golf a little bit of an assist as well.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ingrahm runnerup to Steinmetz at Philadelphia PGA Championship

   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, fired a 71 at White Manor Country Club Thursday, but had to settle for second place at the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship.
   Rich Steinmetz, the head pro at Spring-Ford C.C., fired a final-round 69 at White Manor to finish a 3-under 209 for the 54-hole event that included two rounds at White Manor and one at St. Davids G.C.
    It was the third Philadelphia Section title for Steinmentz (who this golf blogger covered when he was a high school standout at Perkiomen Valley a few years ago) and he earned the top prize of $7,000.
   "It definitely gets more exciting each time," Steinmetz told the Philadelphia Section PGA website. "The golf course played tough today, but I got into a really nice rhythm and was able to capitalize on my opportunities."
   Ingraham, playing as well as ever despite being eligible for senior events, was just a shot back at 2-under 210. He earned $5,800.
    The runnerup finish also earned Ingraham a trip to the 2012 PGA Professional National Championship, which will be played in Northern California for the first time at the Bayonet and Black Horse Courses in Seaside, Calif. The top 20 finishers at that event earn at trip to 2012's final pro major, the PGA Championship. Ingraham has taken that route to the PGA Championship six times in his career, most recently earning a trip to Whistling Straits in 2010.
   Ingraham will be joined in California by fellow Philadelphia Section senior standout George Forster, the head pro at Radnor Valley C.C. Forster struggled to a final-round 76 at White Manor, but his 6-over 218 total was good enough to earn him a tie for 10th and one of the last of 11 berths to the National Club Pro that were up for grabs..
   Mark Sheftic, the head of instruction at Merion G.C., just missed qualifying for the National Club Pro as his final-round 73 left him at 7-over 219. Sheftic earned trips to the PGA in 2009 and 2010 with high finishes at the National Club Pro, including a runnerup finish in 2009.
   Overbrook G.C. head pro Scott Hunter had a final-round 72 to finish in a tie for 16th at 8-over 220. Overbrook's Eric Kennedy and Aronimink G.C.'s Patrick Clark each carded final-round 75s to finish in a tie for 23rd at 10-over 222. Concord C.C. head pro Mike Moses had a final-round 73 and finished 27th at 11-over 223.
   Other finishers included Aronimink's Rob Agresti (tied for 44th, 18-over 230) and Merion's George Forster Jr. (59th, 23-over 235), who is the son of the Radnor Valley head pro.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ingraham three back at Philadelphia Section championship

   Technically, Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, is a senior player now that he's in his 50s.
    But Ingraham can still keep up with the young guys in the Philadelphia Section PGA, which he proved again Wednesday with five birdies on the back nine at White Manor Country Club on his way to a 4-under 67 that gave him sole possession of second place heading into the final round of the section championship.
   Combined with the 72 he shot at St. Davids Tuesday, Ingraham's 2-under 139 total leaves him three shots behind Chris Krueger of Kings Creek C.C. Krueger fired a 66 at St. Davids Wednesday to go with his opening-round 70 at White Manor for a 5-under 136 total.
   The field was cut to the low 60 and ties and 61 players will tee it up at White Manor today for the final round. The top 11 finishers earn a spot in next year's PGA Professional National Championhship. The top finishers at the National Club Pro then earn spots in pro golf's final major, the PGA Championship. Ingraham has traveled that route six times to get to the PGA Championship in his career.
   Rich Steinmetz, the head pro at Spring-Ford C.C. and a two-time winner of this championship, heads a group of three players at 1-under 140.
   Radnor Valley C.C. head pro George Forster, who like Ingraham is a senior player, is alone in seventh place at 1-over 142.
   Others making the cut were Merion G.C. director of instruction Mark Sheftic (71-75) at 5-over 146, Aronimink G.C.'s Patrick Clark (75-72) at 6-over 147, Aronimink's Rob Agresti (72-76) and Overbrook G.C.'s Scott Hunter (75-73) at 7-over 148, and Concord C.C.'s Mike Moses (74-76) and Merion's George Forster Jr. (74-76), the son of the Radnor Valley head pro, at 9-over 150.
Haverford School off to fast start
   The Inter-Ac League may have moved from the spring to the fall and changed its format, but The Haverford School, which won the league title the last time it was contested in the spring a few months ago, is dominating in the early going of the inaugural fall season.
   The Inter-Ac season began with each team sending eight players to Sunnybrook G.C. Sept. 12. for a mini-tournament hosted by Chestnut Hill Academy.
   The Haverford School was led by sophomore Cole Berman and junior Scott Jaster, an All-Delco last season, each of whom carded 38s. Jake Van Arkel added a 40, Jimmy Ryan had a 41 and Timmy Brooks  and Ryan Tetrault each had 42s as the Fords posted a 241 total.
   The way the league is scoring the mini-tournaments, that gave the Fords a 5-0 mark for the day. Malvern Prep finished second to stand at 4-1.
   Mike Davis, the Newtown Square resident and Malvern Prep sophomore who won the Inter-Ac individual crown as a freshman last spring, matched the 38s shot by Berman and Jaster at Sunnybrook. Episcopal Academy was led by Sean Fahey and Kevin Flannery, both of whom posted 41s.
   Monday, the second mini-tournament was hosted by Episcopal Academy at Merion G.C.'s West Course and it was a testament to The Haverford School's depth that Jaster struggled to a 45, but his teammates picked him up and the Fords again won the day with a 240 total that was 18 shots better than the 258s posted by the host Churchmen and Malvern Prep.
   This time the Fords were led by senior Mac Selverian, an All-Delco as a sophomore, who carded a 38. Selverian had struggled at Sunnybrook, but bounced back in a big way at Merion West, a course Haverford School is also familiar with.
   Also scoring for the Fords at Merion West were Matt Grubb with a 39, Berman and Brooks with 40s, Ryan with a 41 and Tetrault with a 42.
    Leading the way for Episcopal were Alex Dupre and Drew DeBacco, each of whom carded 40s.
   Malvern will host the next mini-tournament Oct. 3 at Applebrook G.C., Germantown Academy is next Oct. 10 at Plymouth C.C., Penn Charter is the host Oct. 17 at Gulph Mills G.C. and The Haverford School hosts a mini-tournament Oct. 20, again at Gulph Mills.
   Penn Charter will host the Inter-Ac Tournament, which will crown the league's individual champion, Oct. 24 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club's Militia Hill Course.
Smith finally falls at U.S. Mid-Am
   Pittsburgh resident and two-time U.S. Walker Cup team member Nathan Smith finally saw his bid to claim a third straigtht U.S. Mid-Amateur championship halted in the semifinals Thursday.
   Randal Lewis of Alma Mich. knocked out Smith on the 19th hole of their semifinal match at Shadow Hawk in Richmond, Texas.
   At age 54, Lewis will attempt to become the oldest U.S. Mid-Am champion when he faces Kenny Cook, a 6 and 5 winner over John Engler in Wednesday's other semifinal, in today's 36-hole final.
  Earlier Wednesday, Smith rallied to edge Mike Stamberger of Plainfield, N.J., 2 and 1, in a quarterfinal match. The victory extended Smith's record for  consecutive match wins in the U.S. Mid-Am to 16 straight, a streak that was finally halted in the semifinals by Lewis.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fields grabs lead at Section championship

   The area's top club professionals teed off at St. Davids Golf Club and White Manor Country Club Tuesday in the opening round of the Philadelphia Section PGA Championship and Dave Fields of Brookside C.C. fired a 3-under 68 at St. Davids to take a one-shot lead in the 54-hole event.
   George Forster, the veteran head pro at Radnor Valley C.C., was one of three players a shot back at 69 and he too teed it up at St. Davids Tuesday. Rich Steinmetz, the head pro at Spring-Ford C.C., matched Forster's 69 at St. Davids and Bill Sautter of Philadelphia Cricket Club rounded out the trio at 69. Sautter fashioned his round at White Manor and that was the best round of the day there by two shots.
   The field will switch courses for today's second round. After a 36-hole cut, the tournament will conclude at White Manor Thursday.
   Mark Sheftic, the director of instruction at Merion G.C., had one of the better rounds of the day at White Manor and his 71 left him three shots out of the lead. Sheftic is fresh off of helping the U.S. team win the PGA Cup in California over the weekend. The post previous to this one details Sheftic's showing in the PGA Cup.
   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, carded a 72 at White Manor. Concord C.C. head pro Mike Moses is in the hunt after a 73 at St. Davids.
   Forster's son, George Forster Jr. is working in the pro shop at Merion and he posted a 74 at White Manor. Another shot back after a 75 at White Manor is Overbrook G.C. head pro Scott Hunter and Patrick Clark out of the Aronimink G.C. pro shop who carded his 75 at St. Davids.
   The top finishers from the Section Championship earn berths in the PGA National Professional Championship and a high finish there can send you to the PGA Championship. Ingraham has taken that route to six PGA Championship appearances. Sheftic earned trips to pro golf's final major of the year in 2009 and 2010 and Steinmetz has twice advanced to the PGA Championship field.
Osberg bows out
   When we last left Llanerch C.C.'s Jeff Osberg he was 2-down with seven holes to play in his first-round match with Matthew Smith of Lubbock, Texas at the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship at Shadow Hawk G.C. in Richmond, Texas.
   Osberg was unable to mount a charge and Smith claimed a 3 and 2 victory early Tuesday.
    It was another Smith, though, Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh who continues to make the big news at the U.S. Mid-Am.
   Smith won two more matches Tuesday to reach the quarterfinals as he tries to win this championship for a third straight time and an unprecedented fourth time overall. With three Mid-Am titles, Smith is in the company of another Pennsylvania great, Aronimink G.C.'s Jay Sigel, who won U.S. Mid-Am titles in 1983, '85 and '87 before turning pro and becoming a winner on the Champions Tour.
   Smith birdied six of the last seven holes he played in finishing off Billy Jackson of The Woodlands, Texas, 5 and 4  in a second-round match Tuesday morning. Then he claimed a 2 and 1 victotry over Nicholas Biesecker of Staunton, Va. in the afternoon. That win extended Smith's U.S. Mid-Am record of match victories to 15.
Time for LPGA to welcome Thompson
   When 16-year-old Lexi Thompson won the Navistar Classic Sunday by five shots, it was difficult to explain to casual golf followers why she is not yet a member of the LPGA.
   Thompson unfortunately is a victim of some of the previous teen queens who looked like the next big thing only to flame out -- sometimes badly.
  The LPGA put some age limits on its organization and Thompson had to petition to join the tour after turning pro at age 15 in 2010. Her petition was denied. so Thompson put her nose to the grindstone, kept her mouth shut and entered the tournaments she could, whether by sponsor's exemptions or in the case of tournametns like the U.S. Open -- which is run by the USGA, not the LPGA -- open qualifying.
    She won a first-stage LPGA Q-School event by 10 shots this summer and is headed for stage two next week unless her latest petition, expected to be filed in the wake of her victory over the weekend, is accepted this time.
    Thompson is different than some of the youngsters who weren't ready to play professional golf. For one thing, her parents are very involved in her life without being overbearing. That was a proud dad on the bag as her caddie Sunday in Alabama.
    A little common sense ought to be applied here. And if you want some common sense, just consult one of your greatest players, seven-time major champion and, from all reports, darn fine mom, Juli Inkster.
   "I think they should give her her full (membership)," Inkster told The Associated Press. "It's kind of silly, isn't it? I think it makes us (the LPGA) look bad, too. Now, you have to go to qualifying school? To me, that's silly."
   The good news here: Thompson has won nearly a half-million dollars in her limited opportunities in the last year-plus and golf fans will get to enjoy her powerful game for years to come.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Osberg reaches match play, trails in first match at U.S. Mid-Am

   Llanerch Country Club's Jeff Osberg had hoped to improve on his performance at the recent U.S. Amateur when he teed it up this week at the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in Texas.
   And Osberg certainly achieved that goal. Osberg easily reached match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur with rounds of 72 at The Houstonian G.&C.C. and 73 at Shadow Hawk G.C. for a 1-over 145 total that left him in a tie for 20th in qualifying that wasn't completed until Monday after rain delays over the weekend.
   Osberg had failed to make match play at the U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
    Osberg trails Matthew Smith of Lubbock, Texas, 2-down, through 11 holes of their first-round match, which was suspended by darkness Monday.
    Nathan Smith, the Pittsburgh resident who has become the nation's premier mid-amateur player, claimed a 3 and 2 triumph over Scott Weeks of Savannah, Ga. in his first-round match. It was the 13th straight match win at the U.S. Mid-Am for Smith, who is bidding for a third straight title and his fourth overall. A third straight Mid-Am title would make Smith the first player to win a male USGA event three straight times since Tiger Woods won three straight U.S. Amateur crowns.
    Smith's first Mid-Am title came in 2003, but his career really seemed to take off when Buddy Marucci named him to the 2009 U.S. team that retained the Walker Cup at Merion G.C.'s East Course. Smith then went on to win the 2009 U.S. Mid-Am and repeated the feat a year ago. He was again named to the U.S. side for this year's Walker Cup Match, although Great Britain-Ireland claimed the Cup this time.
Sheftic helps U.S. take PGA Cup
   Mark Sheftic, the head of instruction at Merion G.C., helped a U.S. team of PGA club professionals retain the Llandudno International Trophy that goes to the winner of the PGA Cup.
   Sheftic edged John Wells of Yorkshire, England, 1-up, in his singles match Sunday at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. as the U.S. finished off a 171/2-81/2 triumph over a team from Great Britain and Ireland to improve its advantage to 17-5-3 in the showcase international event for PGA club pros.
   Sheftic helped the U.S. get off to a strong start in Friday's two team sessions. Sheftic teamed with David Hutshell of Baltimore for a 3 and 2 victory over Simon Edwards and David Shacklady in a morning four-ball match and a 6 and 5 victory over John Kennedy and David Mortimer in an afternoon foursome match.
   The 6-2 advantage the U.S. claimed after Day One was the kind of start it needed.
   Shacklady and Edwards avenged their Day One loss to Sheftic and Hutshell with a 2 and 1 victory in a four-ball match Saturday morning. John Wells and Gary Brown then handed Sheftic and Hutshell a 2-up setback in a foursome match Saturday aftrernoon.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thompson comes up short in second round

   Richad Marlowe of Canfield, Ohio was a one-man wrecking crew when it came to the Delco duo that advanced to match play at this week's U.S. Senior Amateur at the Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.
   Carlowe edged George "Buddy" Marucci, the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and winning Walker Cup captain in 2007 and 2009, on the first extra hole in an opening-round match Monday.
   A day later in the second round, Marlowe needed 18 holes to edge Drexel Hill resident and Overbrook G.C. member Ray Thompson, 2-up.
   Thompson had rolled to a 4 and 3 victory over Rich Tolly of Laguna Hills, Calif. in Monday's opening round.
   If Marucci had been able to pull out a victory over Marlowe in the first round, he would have faced Thompson in a second-round match. It would have been Haverford High (Marucci) vs. Marple Newtown (Thompson) and Merion G.C. vs. Overbrook G.C. Any way you look at it, it would have been a matchup of Delco senior heavyweights who still have a lot of game.
   Chip Lutz, a Golf Association of Philadelphia senior standout from Reading and the reigning British Senior Amateur championship, saw his bid for a British Senior Amateur-U.S. Senior Amateur double finally halted Wednesday with a 1-up loss to Phillip Pleat of Nashua, N.H. in the semifinals.
   Pleat will take on Louis Lee of Heber Springs, Ark., a 5 and 4 winner over William Thomas Doughtie of Amarrillo, Texas, in the other semifinal, for the championship.
   Earlier Wednesday, Lee edge older brother Stanford, the 2007 U.S. Senior Amateur champion, on the 19th hole of a quarterfinal match. According to the USGA website, it was believed to be the first meeting of brothers in a match-play situation in USGA history.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thompson, Marucci earn spots in match play

   Overbrook Golf Club's Ray Thompson and Merion G.C.'s George "Buddy" Marucci continued their solid play in the second round of qualifying Sunday at Kinloch G.C. in Manakin-Sabot, Va. to earn berths in match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur.
   Thompson, a Drexel Hill resident, added an even-par 72 to his opening-round 70 for a 2-under 142 total that left him in a tie for fourth overall. Thompson shared fourth place with another Golf Association of Philadelphia senior stalwart, Reading's Chip Lutz, the reigning British Senioir Amateur champion.
   Marucci, the winning Walker Cup captain in 2007 and again in 2009 at Merion's East Course, added a second-round 75 to his opening-round 73 for a 4-over 148 total. Marucci, runnerup to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur, won the U.S. Senior Amateur crown in 2008 in the midst of his two terms as Walker Cup captain.
   Rounding out the Delco contingent at the U.S. Senior Amateur was Mike Owsik, the proprietor of the M Golf Range in Newtown Square. Owsik took five shots off his opening-round 83 with a 78 Sunday, but failed to advance to match play.
U.S. falls in Walker Cup
    The 14-12 victory for the Great Britain-Ireland side over the U.S. in the Walker Cup Match that concluded Sunday at Royal Aberdeen's Balgownie Course in Aberdeen Scotland serves to emphasize what an accomplishment it was for Marucci to win the Cup, not just at his home course at Merion in 2009, but on the road in Northern Ireland in 2007.
   It's not a criticism of Jim Holtgrieve, whose squad made a furious final push in the singles matches Sunday, but came up short. There was no shortage of talent on this team, with many observers comparing it to Marucci's 2007 side that has produced a bunch of PGA Tour regulars.
   It's just not easy to win this thing. It's an exercise in team-building and Marucci was able to create the kind of team chemistry you need to beat a determined and talented GBI squad.
   All of Marucci's players in 2009 talked abou the emphasis he placed on putting together teams for the foursome matches. And it paid off.
   This year's U.S. team dug a 3-1 hole in the first round of foursome matches Saturday it could never dig out of.. GBI picked up three-and-a-half more points in the foursomes matches Sunday, which enabled the home side to withstand the U.S. onslaught in singles.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thompson in hunt for U.S. Senior Amateur medalist honors

   You always hear that expression about golf being a "sport for life."
   Well, a couple of Delco guys, Ray Thompson and George "Buddy" Marcucci are living, breathing witnesses to that expression.
   It was 42 years ago, when PIAA golf was still a spring sport, that Marple Newtown's Thompson finished in a tie for second at the state tournament and Haverford High's Marucci finished in a tie for fourth.
   Today at the Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va. Thompson and Marucci will be trying to make it to match play in qualifying for the U.S. Senior Amateur.
   Thompson is very much in the hunt for medalist honors in qualifying aftrer the Drexel Hill resident and Overbrook Golf Club member fired a 2-under 70. Thompson is in a tie for second wtih three other players, two shots back of Mark Bemowski of Mukwonago, Wis. One of the players in that tie for second is Golf Association of Philadelphia stalwart and reigning British Senior Amateur champion Chip Lutz from Reading.
   Marucci, runnerup to Tiger Woods in the 1995 U.S. Amateur, made the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur title his elusive first USGA crown, but was unable to defend because he was busy captaining the U.S. team to a victory over Great Britain/Ireland at the Walker Cup Match on his home course at Merion G.C.
   Saturday, he wasn't far behind his old Central League rival Thompson with a 1-over 73.
   The third member of the Delco contingent at Kinloch, a fellow member of your favorite golf blogger in the Class of 1973 at Archbishop Carroll, M Golf Driving Range owner Mike Owsik did not fare as well. Owsik's 83 left him with a lot of work to do in Sunday's second round of qualifying.
U.S. falls behind in Scotland
   You can bet Marucci will be keeping an eye on developments across the pond Sunday while he's playing his second round of U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying.
   The U.S., under captain Jim Holtgrieve, trails Great Britain/Ireland, 7-5, after Day One of the 2011 Walker Cup Match at Ryal Abeerdeen's Balgowne Course in Abeerdeen, Scotland.
   The U.S. won the Walker Cup in 2007 with Marucci as the captain on the road at Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland. He wrapped up his four-year commitment as captain with a special victory two years ago at the famed East Course at Merion, a club that numbers him among its members.
   This U.S. team was touted by many golf experts as one of the strongest we've ever sent into the biennial amateur matches. In addition to 2009 holdovers Peter Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, and Nathan Smith, the veteran from western Pennsylvania, the squad includes UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay and Kelly Kraft, the SMU product who downed Cantlay in a tense U.S. Amateur final a couple of weeks ago, as well as junior phenom Jordan Spieth, among others.
   Cantalay and Chris Williams claimed the only points for the U.S. in morning foursome matches Saturday with a 5 and 3 decision over Steven Brown and Stiggy Hodgson, a gritty competitor who endeared himself to the Philly area golf fans who trudged around Merion East at the Walker Cup Match in 2009. Cantlay, who fired a 60 at the PGA Tour event in Hartford this summer, then stopped the bleeding in the afternoon singles matches with a 2 and 1 victory over Michael Stewart. Uihlein, Spieth and Harris English also win singles matches before Patrick Rodgers, Russell Henley, Smith and Kraft all dropped close decisions as the home team surged in front.
   It will be interesting to see if this very strong U.S. side can rally on Day Two Sunday.
   Anyone who witnessed the matches at Merion two years ago can tell you what a special event this is. And yes, a lot of golf fans gave up watching the Eagles season opener live two years ago without regret.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Osberg grabs another qualifying medal

  Llanerch Country Club's Rick Osberg, just a few days removed from a trip to the U.S. Amateur, fired a 3-under 68 at soggy Philadelphia C.C. Monday to take medalist honors in local qualifying for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.
   Osberg had claimed medalist honors in local qualifying for the U.S. Amateur in early August at Llanerch and Rolling Green G.C. Osberg failed to qualify for match play at last week's U.S. Amateur at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis. and was happy to rebound quickly and earn a trip to another USGA event. The Mid-Am will be played Sept. 17 to 22 at Shadow Hawk G.C. in Richmond, Texas.
   "Coming back from the (U.S.) Amateur where I didn't have a good showing, it's nice to qualify for this,"  Osberg told the Golf Association of Philadelphia website. "(The Mid-Amateur) is a lot more of the working-class people as opposed to the college students who are about to turn professional. I just hope to make match play and see how it goes from there."
   The greenskeeping crew at Philly Country had to work overtime to get its course in shape less than 48 hours after Hurricane Irene roared through the region.
   "The course was fantastic," said Osberg, who spent his Sunday helping remove a tree that fell into his girlfriend's house during the hurricane. "I maybe had one ball that had mud on it. What they did here to get the course ready is unbelievable. It doesn't even look like it rained here."
   Osberg got his round going with a couple of two-putt birdies after reaching both par-5s on the front side at Philly in two. He sandwiched birdies at 11 and 13 around a bogey at the par-4 12th on the backside.
   "I just hit it well," Osberg said. "The goal in most of these qualifiers is to just try for even-par. A course like this sets up well for me. I took advantage of some of the shorter holes and just played smart on some of the more difficult ones."
   Michael McDermott, the five-time Hyndman Player of the Year who plays out of Merion G.C., was one of nine players who returned to Philly Tuesday morning in search of the final two qualifying berths and two alternate spots. The players finished in a tie for seventh at 3-over 74 in the battle for the eight tickets to Shadow Hawk.
   But McDermott was unable to survive the playoff. McDermott, the former Haverford High and Saint Joseph's University standout, spent 2010 away from competitive golf. His 2011 season has been marked by solid play, but a notch below the level he displayed as the top mid-amateur player in the region for most of the first decade of the 2000s.
   A couple of Overbrook G.C. veterans, Oscar Mestre and Frank McFadden, had nice showings at Philly C.C., with a 75 and 76 respectively. Pete Moran of Edgmont C.C. was also at 76 and Michael McDermott's younger brother Kevin, a Llanerch member, was at 77.
Philadelphia Section PGAOverbrook G.C. pro Scott Hunter posted an 8-under 134 total to capture the Pro-Am for Wishes event at Penn Oaks C.C., which concluded Aug. 22.
Hunter completed a 2-under round on the first day Aug. 21, although half the field couldn't beat the rain and had to complete the first round the next day.
Hunter ripped off four birdies in a row on the front nine of his second round on his way to a 6-under 65 for a three-shot victory, his first win on the Philadelphia Section circuit.
"It feels great to finally get that first win," Hunter said. "I have been close a few times, especially this year and each time I've learned something new. Becoming more familiar with the players and courses makes all the difference."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seiden makes trip to U.S. Amateur worthwhile

   Steve Seiden, the Strath Haven All-Delco and former Duquesne standout, was an alternate to make the field at the U.S. Amateur, which got under way Monday in Erin, Wis.
   Seiden had finished fifth in local qualifying at his new home course, Llanerch Country Club, and Rolling Green G.C. earlier this month. But he made it clear after finishing fourth at last week's Golf Association of Philadelphia Patterson Cup that if he had a chance to tee it up in a USGA event, he was going to make the trip to Wisconsin.
   Plus, some USGA folks had let it be known that it didn't appear that the 10 spots in qualifying being held open for members of the Great Britain/Ireland team in next month's Walker Cup Match were likely to be claimed, so Seiden had some hope that his No. 11 spot on the alternate list might make the field.
   If not, he said, he would root on fellow Llanerch member Jeff Osberg, who had won the qualifying medal at Llanerch and Rolling Green with two spectacular rounds, including a 2-under 69 at a Llanerch layout that was playing very tough.
   Well, Seiden did get his ticket punched Monday and outperformed Osberg by seven shots in carding a 1-over 71 at the easier of the two qualifying sites, the 6,622-yard, par-70 Blue Mound G.&C.C. Once match play begins, it will be held at the monstrous 7,760-yard, par-72 Erin Hills layout and Seiden will get his crack at that course in round 2 today.
   Seiden even finished a shot better than Andrew Mason, the Temple product who swept to the Philadelphia Open, Pennsylvania Amateur and Patterson Cup crowns in a month of brilliant golf on the local amateur scene.
   Mason had a 2-over 72 at Blue Mound and will also get his crack at Erin Hills today. Mason was the captain at Temple this spring in his final year of eligibility. He has another semester of school to complete at Temple, but the Huntingdon Valley C.C. member made it pretty clear after his Patterson Cup victory last week that he intends to remain an amateur golfer.
   Osberg struggled to a 77 at Blue Mound and he will tackle Erin Hills today.
   Holy Ghost Prep senior Chris Crawford fired a 6-over 78 at Erin Hills Monday. Crawford might not find the pressure of the scholastic postseason as daunting this fall after seeing the bright lights of the U.S. Amateur to kick off his senior season.
   The top 64 finishers after today's second round of qualifying advance to match play. Seiden is in a tie for 95th and this U.S. Amateur field is being touted as one of the most talented in recent memory.
   So while it might be a long shot for the 29-year-old to make it to match play, at least he's there to experience it and very much be a part of it. And he's sitting on a pretty good lead over Osberg when Llanerch bragging rights are discussed in the grille room over the next few months.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thompson, Owsik headed for U.S. Senior Amateur Championship

   A couple of local seniors battled the elements on a rainy Tuesday at Commonwealth National Golf Club to earn a trip to the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
   Ray Thompson, the ageless Drexel Hill resident and Overbrook G.C. member, claimed medalist honors with a 3-under 68 over the 6,629-yard, par-71 Commonwealth National layout.
   He finished two shots ahead of Mike Owsik, owner of M Golf Range in Newtown Square who posted a 1-under 70. Both Thompson and Owsik have been standout players for decades, dating back to their scholastic days at Marple Newtown and Archbishop Carroll, respectively.
  Both are headed for Kinloch G.C. in Manakin-Sabot, Va., where the U.S. Senior Amateur will be held Sept. 10 to 15.
Thompson pulled away from the field with three birdies on the back nine, including the par-3 12th hole, where he nearly holed his choked-down 5-iron shot, and the par-4 15th, where he rolled in a 35-foot putt.
  "I was really patient," the 59-year-old Thompson told the Golf Association of Philadelphia website. "I hit the ball really well on the back nine. That’s probably as good as I’ve hit it all year."
   It’s the second straight trip to the U.S. Senior Amateur for Thompson, GAP’s 2007 Senior Player of the Year. He qualified for match play a year ago. He also qualified for the U.S. Open in 1977 and ’78.
   The 56-year-old Owsik returned from each of three weather delays by making birdie. The first one was at the par-5 first, where he wedged his approach to 10 feet, then at the par-4 fourth, where he ripped a 5-iron to 12 feet and then at the par-5 11th where his wedge finished 16 feet from the hole.
   "My putting was tremendous," Owsik, a four-time winner of the Philadelphia Open Amateur at Cobbs Creek over the years, told the GAP website. "I made every putt that I looked at. When I putt well, I score well."
   It will be Owsik’s sixth USGA event, his previous five times being berths in the U.S. Men’s Amateur Public Links Championship.
   One of Thompson’s fellow Overbrook senior standouts, Frank McFadden, lost out in a playoff for the final two qualifying berths after carding an even-par 71 to finish in a tie with Duke Delcher of Bluffton, S.C. and Joe Viechnicki of Bethlehem. 
PGA Junior Tour
   Sam Soeth continued a strong summer leading into his sophomore season at Marple Newtown by firing a 1-over 72 in a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour stop at Waynesborough C.C. Aug. 11.
   That left Soeth, an All-Delco as a freshman last season, in second place in the 13-to-15 division behind Vinay Ramesh of Newtown. Ramesh had the day’s best round in any age group with a 3-under 68.
  Also in the 13-to-15 division, Robert Olseski III of Wayne finished in a tie for seventh with an 81, Penncrest sophomore Ethan Heller finished in a tie for 10th with an 82, Christopher Chizauskie of Thornton finished 13th with an 85, Alec Kerr of Broomall finished 17th with a 91, Griffin Colvin of Media finished 18th withi a 94 and Ryan Garrity of Upper Chichester finished in a tie for 21st with a 98.
   In the 16-to-18 division, Mac Ryan, the St. Joseph’s Prep junior and Broomall resident, carded a 78 to finish in a tie for sixth.
   Sitting atop the girls 13-to-15 division was Garnet Valley’s Annika Vandayar, who tuned up for her trip to the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur with a solid 77 at Waynesborough.
  Garnet Valley senior Erica Cornacchia finished in a tie for second in the 16-to-18 division with an 86. Delco Christian junior Emma Schaafsma finished sixth with a 12 and Abby Sydnes of Radnor finished seventh with a 119.
Among the nine-holers, Michael Sydnes of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for second with a 45.
  Springfield All-Delco Michael Kelley, who will be starting at La Salle soon, settled for second place in a match-of-scorecards playoff in a Junior Tour stop Thursday at Willow Brook C.C. in Moorestown, N.J.
   Kelley carded an 81 at Willow Brook, but Artemis Christou of Mount Laurel, N.J. won the 16-to-18 division in the match of cards after he also posted an 81.
Bernard falls in second round
  Lauren Bernard, the Aronimink G.C. member and Notre Dame product who won the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship earlier this summer, teed it up at the Pennsylvania State Women’s Golf Association’s Amateur Championshp this week at the Country Club of York.
  Bernard earned a spot in match play by finishing ninth in qualifying with a 79 and cruised to a 4 and 3 victory over Ann Colligan of Kittanning C.C. in the opening round of matches.
   It looked like Bernard might have caught a break in the quarterfinals when she faced Shannon Gramley, a high school junior from Avalon G.&C.C. who had knocked off University of Maryland junior and 2008 PIAA champion Christine Shimel, 3 and 1, in the opening round. Shimel was the medalist in qualifying with a 73.
   But Gramley, who had grabbed the final berth in match play, stopped Bernard, 2 and 1, to reach the semifinals.
   Aurora Kan, the three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester, won the 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur championship. But Kan had to report to Purdue University for her freshman season with the NCAA runnerup Boilermakers and was unable to defend her crown.
  Catherine Elliott, also a Notre Dame product and a Merion Golf Club member, fell in the final to Kan a year. But Elliott struggled in qualifying and her 85 landed her in the first-flight bracket.
   Elliott defeated Danielle Dalessandro of Glenmaura National G.C., 3 and 2, in the opening round of the first flight before falling, 1-up, to Brynn Walker of St. Davids G.C. in the quarterfinals.
  Vandayar, the Garnet Valley resident and Applecross C.C. member, continued her strong play this summer with an 87 in qualifying that earned her a berth in the second-flight bracket.
  Vandayar, who has been playing solid golf on the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour, got a bye into the quarterfinals and then knocked off Amanda Ploener of Kennett Square G.&C.C., 4 and 3, to reach the semifinals, where she fell, 3 and 2, to Ann Vanzant of Valley Brook C.C.
  Kelli Pry of Coatesville C.C. captured the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur crown Friday by holing a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 1-up victory over Kate Scarpetta of Glenmaura National G.C.
   Pry is a senior at the University of South Florida and Scarpetta is a recent Princeton graduate.
  In the state Senior Amateur Championship final, Connie Shorb used her home-course advantage as a C.C. of York member to defeat Carol Semple Thompson, the legendary 22-time state amateur champion, 3 and 2. 
Ingraham takes senior crown
   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at M Golf Range in Newtown Square, posted a 36-hole total of 8-under 136 Wednesday and Thursday at The ACE club to capture the Philadelphia Senior PGA championship.
   Ingraham will head a nine-man contingent who will represent the Philadelphia Section PGA at the 23rd Southworth Senior PGA Professional National Championship Oct. 6 to 9 at Creighton Farms and River Creek Club in Virginia.
  "I have been playing some really great golf over the last five weeks," Ingraham told the Philadelphia PGA website. "I never thought that at age 51 I’d be able to compete in both groups (regular and senior divisions). I hope I’m able to continue this through the season and into the fall."
   The top 35 finishers at Creighton Farms and River Creek will earn a spot in the Senior PGA Championship, a Champions Tour major, May 24-27, 2012 at The Golf Club at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor Mich.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sheftic takes Pennsylvania Open

   For the first time in three years, Mark Sheftic, the head of instruction at Merion Golf Club, did not earn a berth in the PGA Championship.
    That left him free to tee it up in the Pennsylvania Open, which was held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Moselem Springs Golf Club in Fleetwood off Rotue 222 between Reading and Kutztown.
   And considering Sheftic missed the cut at Hazletine in 2009 and Whistling Straits a year ago, the $10,000 check he took home by winning the Pennsylvania Open made his trip to Berks County a lot more profitable than his forays into major championship golf did.
    Sheftic had rounds of 69, 65 and 71 over the par-70 Moselem Springs for a 54-hole toal of 5-under 205. Sheftic finished a shot ahead of Kevin Sheilds, a club pro at Sewickly Heights G.C. outside of Pittsburgh, although a double bogey by Sheftic on the final hole made the margin a little closer than it was throughout the final round.
  Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Driving Range Newtown who also qualified for the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straits, earned a share of third place with a 1-under 209. Ingraham had rounes of 71, 68 and 70. He was joined at that figure by Nathan Sutherland, an amateur from Wyomissing.
   Conrad Von Borsig, the Daily Times Player of the Year at Strath Haven in 2004-05, had rounds of 73, 69 and 72 for a 4-over 214 total that left him in a tie for 18th. Billy Stewart (71-73-71), who won a Philadelphia Amateur title while he was a member at Llanerch C.C., was another shot back in a tie for 22nd at 5-over 215.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
   Penncrest sophomore Ethan Heller used the occasion of a Junior Tour stop at Honeybrook G.C. Wednesday to post the first sub-70 score of his career, a 3-under 67 that easily gave him the top spot in the 13-to-15 age group.
   Paul Yun of Broomall finished in a tie for seventh with a 78. Other finishers included Minwoo Kwok (80) of Bryn Mawr, Stefan Troilo (89) of Haverford and Ryan Garrity (95) of Upper Chichester.
   Recent Delco Christian graduate Brandon Weidemann finished in a tie for fifth in the 16-to-18 division with a 76.
   Annika Vandayar of Garnet Valley was the top finisher  in the 13-to-15 division with a 79.
Among the nine-holers, Radnor's Chris Austen finished fifth with a 44, Wayne's Kim was another shot back in sixth with a 45 and Jacob Calamaro of Newtown Square finished ninth with a 50.

   Garnet Valley's Cornacchia carded an 84 to finish in a tie for fourth at the 10th annual Harry Hammond Invitational at Penn Oaks G.C. Aug. 5.
   The event is named for one of the region's biggest supporters of junior golf, PGA Master Professional, Penn Oaks Director of Golf and - in his spare time - West Chester University golf coach Harry Hammond Jr.
Scholarships are awarded to the top three finishers among the boys and girls with the funds coming from the Greater Horsham Valley Junior Golf Foundation.
   The scholarship award winners among the girls were Amanda Ploener of Chadds Ford with a 77, Gabriella DiMarco, the recent West Chester East graduate who was the runnerup at the PIAA Tournament as a senior, with a 79 and Kelsey Sloan of Lumberton, N.J. with an 81.
   Megan Chizauskie of Thornton finished 10th with a 96.
   The scholarship winners among the boys were Ben Cooley of Rydal, who defeated Nino Rosal of Camden, Del. on the first hole of sudden death after both carded 72s, and Ryan Fogel of West Chester, who was third with a 74.
   Other top finishers included Episcopal Academy product Bobby Svigals, who ended up in a tie for 14th with a 79, Ryan of Broomall and the Prep who tied for 30th with an 83, Springfield junior Jim Callahan, who was in a tie for 46th with an 88 and Radnor's Kleiman, who was 48th with an 89.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
   Overbrook G.C.'s Oscar Mestre carded a 1-under 71 over the Philadelphia Cricket Club's 6,792-yard, par-72 Militia Hill Course to finish in a tie for fourth in the Marston Cup Aug. 4.
   Steve Lubin of Five Ponds G.C. was the Marston Cup winner with a 5-under 67.
   Other top Delco finishers were Llanerch C.C.'s Mark Fuessinger (74, tied for 11th), Concord C.C.'s Doug Fedoryshyn (75, tied for 15th), Edgmont C.C.'s Peter Moran (77, tied for 26th) and Concord's John Donnelly (78, tied for 37th).
Cimina makes the grade   Kevin Cimina, a 2010 Marple Newtown graduate, recently passed his PGA Playing Ability Test, a 36-hole event held at Moccasin Run G.C.
   Completing the PAT is an important step on the road to becoming a PGA professional. Cimina is enrolled in Penn State's PGA Golf Management Program. He is interning this summer in the White Manor C.C. pro shop.
Patterson Cup leftovers
   In addition to crowning a Patterson Cup champion in Andrew Mason at White Manor C.C., the Golf Association of Philadelphia also handed out the Silver Cross, which goes to the stroke-play champion. The winner is determined with the combined scores from the 36 holes of qualifying for the Philadelphia Amateur and the 36-hole Patterson Cup scores.
   Mike Meisenzahl of Little Mill C.C. captured the Silver Cross with a four-shot advantage over Mason, who admitted thoughts of adding the Silver Cross to what would become a Patterson Cup crown almost cost him the Patterson victory Friday.
   Meisenzahl had a solid even-par 71 at White Manor Friday  for a 284 total in the Silver Cross race. Robert Galbreath Jr. of  Huntingdon Valley C.C. and his soon-to-be Villanova teammate James Kania Jr. shared third place with a 289 total, a shot back of Mason. Merion G.C.'s Michael McDermott, the five-time Hyndman Player of the Year, finished in a tie for seventh with a 290 total.
   Jeff Osberg of Llanerch C.C. finished in a tie for 14th in the Patterson Cup with rounds of 76 and 72 and can now turn his thoughts to the U.S. Amateur in a little over a week at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.
    Steve Seiden, Osberg's fellow Llanerch member, will also make the trip to Wisconsin. He was the first alternate in qualifying at Rolling Green G.C. and Llanerch at which Osberg was the medalist in dominating fashion.
   "The USGA told me I'm the 11th alternate overall," Seiden said after his fourth-place finish in the Patterson Cup Friday. "They also said there are 10 spots being held for the British Walker Cup team, but they don't think they're coming. We'll see, but I think if you have a chance to play in a USGA event, you have to take it.
   "And if I don't get in, I'll just hang around and root for Jeff."
   The Walker Cup, retained by the United States right here in Delaware County at Merion G.C.'s historic East Course by the Rickie Fowler-led and Buddy Marucci-captained U.S. team in 2009, will be contested this year at Balgownie Links of Royal Abeerden Golf Club in Scotland. Which is why it would seem unlikely that the Great Britain-Ireland squad would feel a need to tee it up at Erin Hills.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shattuck, Soeth continue strong play on Junior Tour circuit

   Sun Valley senior Braden Shattuck was just as hot as the weather as he completed a dominant run through the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour’s Oakley Dover Series with a 1-under 72 in 100-degree heat at Maple Dale Country Club July 22 to take top honors in the 16-to-18 division for the day and take the series by  a whopping 13 shots.
   Shattuck finished off the series in style with four birdies on the back nine at the 6,646-yard, par-73 Maple Dale layout. His final-round 72 gave him a 54-hole total of 216, leaving Nino Rosal of Camden, Del. and Jonathan Rennard of Phoenixville well back in second place at 229.
    Brandon Weidemann, a recent Delco Christian graduate, finished tied for 10th at Maple Dale with an 84 and tied for sixth for the series at 236.
   Sam Soeth, coming off an All-Delco freshman season at Marple Newtown, also had a strong showing in the Oakey Dover series.
   He finished in a tie for third in the 13-to-15 division with a 74 Maple Dale to finish tied for third. That gave Soeth a tie for second in the series with a 215 total.
   Penncrest sophomore Ethan Heller finished in a tie for ninth with an 80 at Maple Dale, which gave him 10th for the series at 239.
   Annika Vandayar of Garnet Valley was awarded first place in the 13-to-15 division at Maple Dale in a match of cards with Samantha Leite of Camden, Del. after both posted 88s. Vandayar finished with a 253 total for the series to best Leite by five shots for the overall series title.
   On the first stop of the Oakley Dover Series at Garrisons Lake G.C. July 20, Shattuck topped the field in the 16-to-18 division with a 1-over 73.
   Shattuck birdied both par-5s and added another birdie on the back nine over the 6,698-yard, par-72 Garrisons Lake layout.
   Weidemann finished fourth with a 78.
   Soeth had the day’s best score overall and topped the 13-to-15 division with five birdies on his way to a 1-under 71.
   Penncrest’s Heller finished 12th with an 81.
   John Updike of Wayne was fourth among the nine-holers with a 45.
   Vandayar finished second in the girls 13-to-15 division with an 85.
   On day 2, July 21 at Wild Quail G.&C.C., Vandayar had the best score of the day among the girls as she strung together six straight pars on the back nine and made a birdie at the second hold on her way to an 80.
Shattuck again had the best score in the boys 16-to-18 division as he made four birdies on his way to a 1-under 71 over the 6,502-yard, par-72 Wild Quail layout.
Weidemann finished in a tie for fourth with a 74.
   The day’s best round belonged to Ryan Rucinski of Wilmington, Del. who topped the 13-to-15 division with a brilliant 8-under 64. Soeth again had a strong showing with a 2-under 70.
   Heller had another solid round with a 78, which left him in 14th place, and Connor McNulty of Newtown Square finished 21st with an 86.
   Marple Newtown’s Soeth took top honors in the 13-to-15 division Tuesday at Applebrook G.C., which also gave him a nine-shot margin of victory overall in the two-day Junior Golf Scoreboard’s series event that began Monday at Wilmington C.C.’s North Course.
   Soeth posted a 3-over 74 at the 6,527-yard, par-71 Applebrook layout, going out on the front nine in 2-under 34.
   That gave him a 146 total for the two days, leaving Vinay Ramesh of Newtown well back in second.
Also in the 13-to-15 division at Applebrook, Matt Grubb of Villanova finished fourth with an 80, Christopher Chizauskie of Thornton was 11th with an 86, Springfield sophomore Brian Todaro was 12th with an 88, Alex McLaughlin of Media was 21st with a 97 and Sean Hughes of Newtown Square was 22nd with a 101.
Grubb (83-80—163) was fifth overall for the two days, Chizauskie (94-86—180) was 11th, and McLaughlin (95-97—192) was 14th.
   Michael Kelley, an All-Delco at Springfield as a senior, finished in a tie for second in the 16-to-18 division with a 76 at Applebrook along with Delco Christian’s Weidemann and Episcopal Academy junior Alex Dupre.
   Penncrest senior Patrick Nommensen finished in a tie for 11th with a 79, St. Joseph’s Prep junior Mac Ryan of Broomall finished in a tie for 14th with an 80, Springfield junior Kyle Hakun finished in a tie for 23rd with an 85, Ryan Smith of Media finished in a tie for 28th with an 88 and Glen Mills senior Eddie Maul finished in a tie for 35th with a 92.
   In the overall final standings, Weidemann (74-78—154) and Dupre (78-76—154) finished in a tie for second, Nommenson (81-79—160) placed eighth and Maul finished 12th (82-92—174).
   Garnet Valley senior Erica Cornacchia took second in the girls 16-to-18 division at Applebrook with an 89 and Megahn Chizauskie of Thornton was fourth with a 106.
   Cornacchia (95-89—184) placed second overall for the two-day event.
   Day 1 at the 6,299, par-71 North Course at Wilmington C.C. Monday saw Soeth top the 13-to-15 division with a 1-over 72.
   Garnet Valley sophomore Liam McAnally finished in a tie for third with a 77, Michael Stanilka of Garnet Valley finished in a tie for 11th with an 83, Grubb was 14th with an 83, Thornton’s Chizauskie was 29th with a 94, Media’s McLaughlin finished in a tie for 30th with a 95, Timonty Reeves of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 32nd with a 98 and Colby Schrebier of Garnet Valley finished 34th with a 103.
   Vandayar of Garnet Valley finished second in the girls 13-to-15 division with an 86. Cornacchia finished fourth in the girls 16-to-division with a 95 and Delco Christian junior Emma Schaafsma  finished fifth with a 106.
   Soeth and The Haverford School’s Cole Berman, two talented sophomores, had strong showings in a Junior Tour stop Wednesday at Meaowlands C.C.
   Soeth and Berman carded 3-over 74s over the 6,565-yard, par-71 Meadowlands layout to finish in a tie for third in the 13-to-15 division.
   Alec Kerr of Broomall finished seventh with an 80.
   Penncrest senior Jim Allen finished fourth in the 16-to-18 division with a 76. Nommensen, Allen’s Penncrest classmate, finished in a tie for seventh with a 79. Delco Christian product Weidemann placed 12th with an 81.
   In the girls 16-to-18 division Radnor junior Abigal Sydnes finished fifth with a 108 and Delco Christian’s Schaafsma finished sixth with a 117.
   Among the nine-holers, Michael Sydnes of Bryn Mawr finished fifth with a 53.
                                                   Mason takes Pa. Amateur
   Andrew Mason backed up his runaway victory in the Philadelphia Open earlier this month by claiming a one-shot victory in the Pennsylvania Amateur Championship at Lancaster C.C. this week.
   Mason’s final-round 71 Wednesday, with the scores much higher than the first two days, edged Matthew Burkhart of Meadia Heights G.C. Mason finised with an even-par 210 total.
   Mason, who won the Philly Open on his home course at Huntingdon Valley C.C., opened with rounds of 70 and 69 over the 6,850-yard, par-70 Lancaster C.C. layout, Monday and Tuesday, respectively, but trailed Adam Hofmann of Fox Chapel G.C. by two shots. Hofmann fell back to third place with a final-round 76 and a 213 total.
   Michael McDermott, the five-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Hyndman Player of the Year, was in the hunt after rounds of 70 and 68 to open the tournament. But the Merion G.C. member struggled to a final-round 78 to take fifth with a 216 total.
   Llanerch C.C.’s Jeff Osberg (69-75-74—218) finished in a tie for eighth; Merion G.C.’s Nelson Hargrove (72-75-74—221), a Haverford School product, finished in a tie for 15th; Overbrook C.C.’s James Kania Jr. (70-73-79—222), the 2005-06 Daily Times Player of the Year at The Haverford School, finished in a tie for 17th; younger brother Michael Kania (71-74-79—224), a two-time Haverford School All-Delco, finished in a tie for 23rd; defending champion Corey Siegfried (69-79-77—225), another Haverford School All-Delco, finished in a tie for 31st; and Llanerch’s Steve Seiden (74-75-82—231), a Strath Haven All-Delco, finished in a tie for 38th.