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Saturday, April 30, 2011

They play golf in Division II and III, too

   As the editor who had to jam a ton of Saturday college sports into a finite space on a printed page in the Sunday Times, this is a small way of paying back Cardinal O'Hara product Pat Rooney for cutting him out of the roundup lead on Cabrini capturing the CSAC championship Saturday.
   We did manage to get in there that Greg Verde, a sophomore who starred on Kevin Pechin's powerhouse Conestoga program, won the individual title as he added a 3-over 75 at Glen Oak Counry Club in Clarks Summit. Saturday to his opening round of 74 Friday. Fellow Cavalier Mike Ryan, a senior, finished second as he carded a 78 Saturday after grabbing the first-round lead Friday with a 1-over 73. Freshman Rob Bass finished in a tie for third at 1-over after posting a 5-over 77 Saturday.
   Rooney, a freshman, finished 12th at 16-over and junior Chris Sarvadi rounded out Cabrini's scorers as he placed 13th at 17-over.
   It all added up to a 21-shot runaway for Cabrini under first-year coach Adam Pifer. It marked the third time in four years that Cabrini has won the CSAC title. Congratulations to Rooney, coach Pifer and the rest of the Cavaliers.
A Trosley sighting
    George Trosley, a Ridley product, had one very memorable summer during high school when he was the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour Player of the Year.
   He made a couple of disappointing trips to the District One Tournament at Turtle Creek and rumor had it he had given up the game, at least competitively, after matriculating at Millersville.
    It was good news to hear that Trosley was back playing at Millersville this year. And in a testament to the way Trosley always carried himself on the course, there was a release from Millersville recently about how Trosley spent a recent Sunday.
   He joined his coach, Scott Vandergrift, and teammates Daniel Brown and Brian Cooper at the Quarryville, Lancaster County home of Millersville graduates and longtime Marauder supporters Barry and Joan Decker.
   It's been a rough go for the Deckers lately. They lost their home to a fire last year. Barry was diagnosed with cancer and has already undergone four surgeries. Joan has a broken shoulder and is undergoing physical therapy.
    Trosley and his fellow Marauders went to the Deckers' new home and did some spring cleaning, clearing out leaves, sticks and debris in their yard and aerating and mowing the lawn. They left a nicely groomed yard and a couple of grateful Millersville alums.
   "Although we like to be the ones who help others, there are times when we find ourselves needing help -- and this was one of those times," Barry Decker said.
Quinn takes playoff
   The Philadelphia Section PGA pros teed it up at Laurel Country Club last Monday for the Delaware Valley Open and it took an extra hole after Links G.C. pro Dave Quinn and Shawnee Inn Resort assistant Brian Bergstol shot matching 5-under 66s.
   Quinn took the title with a par on the first extra hole as Bergstol caught a tough lie in the rough off the tee and wnet over the green with his approach.
   The DVO was also the first of the five tournaments in the new Cleveland Golf/Srixon Points Championship and Quinn's victory gives him the early lead in that race.
   Mark Sheftic, the teaching professional at Merion G.C., was one of four players who finished in a tie for eighth at even-par 71.
Hold that thought
   I jumped the gun with that post last week about the showdown between Merion G.C. and Llanerch C.C. in the Golf Association of Philadelphia Team Matches.
   The matches took the week off for Easter Sunday, so that match, pitting Merion captain Michael McDermott against brothers Brian and Kevin and a whole slew of old Llanerch buddies will be today (May 1).
   One of the recent additons that has made the Llanerch stable even more formidable, Jeff Osberg, was part of the Golf Association of Philadelphia team that bested its counterparts from the New Jersey State Golf Association in the Compher Cup matches held Wednesday at Trump National G.C. in Colts Neck, N.J.
   The GAP team claimed a 13-5 victory with Osberg winning his individual match and teaming with GAP captain Michael Brown of Lookaway G.C. to grab another team point in their four-ball match.
   Also contributing to GAP victory were Rob Galbreath, Jr., the one-time GAP junior standout and scholastic star at Lower Moreland who played at Villanova this year, and Overbrook G.C.'s Chris Lange Jr., son of the ageless senior GAP standout of the same name.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Family feud

   Neither team's road squad will have far to travel when Merion Golf Club's top team squares off with Llanerch Country Club's A squad in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Division AA Section 4 showdown this weekend.
   And nobody will be pulled in more different directions than Merion captain Michael McDermott, who became the top player in the Philadelphia area in the first decade of the new millennium with a game he honed at Llanerch. McDermott, five times the winner of the William Hyndman III Award that goes to the GAP Player of the Year, will be teeing it up against younger brothers Brian and Kevin, who like Michael, starred scholastically at Haverford High and collegiately at Saint Joseph's.
    Merion is coming off a 27-27 tie with Philadelphia Cricket Club, a pretty good effort for a Cricket Club squad against a Merion team that includes McDermott and Buddy Marcucci, the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion and captain of the winning U.S. Walker Cup teams in 2007 and 2009, the second of those coming at the historic East Course at Merion.
  Llanerch is coming off a victory over Laurel Creek after dropping an opening-week decision to the Cricket Club. A big win over Merion, combined with a Cricket Club loss could vault Llanerch to the Section 4 crown and into the Division AA playoffs.
   "My family is on the team and a lot of my closest friends play on the team,"  Michael McDermott said on the GAP webiste as  he anticipated the Delco battle royalee with Llanerch. "Now, we're going head-to-head. It's a predicament. They're a great team. They may be the best team in our division. They just happened to lose the first week, so we really have our hands full against them."
   In a little bit of suprise in Section 2, Overbrook, a six-time champion at the top level of the team matches, dropped a 29.5-24.5 decision to Little Mill.
Big finish for Villanova
   Michael Kania, the two-time Inter-Ac League champion and two-time All-Delco at The Haverford School, picked a great week to have his best week as a Villanova golfer.
    Kania transferred to Villanova following his freshman year at the University of Kentucky and big things were expected of him on the Main Line. The Overbrook member delivered in a big way this week in the Big East Championship tournament at the 7,340-yard, par-71 Coopperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.
   Kania had rounds of 73, 73 and 76 and finished tied with Wildcat teammates Brendan Kelly and Conor Casey, both seniors, in 10th place at 9-over 222. Spurred by that trio of high finishes, Villanova finished third in the team standings.
   Kelly followed an opening round 78 with a pair of 72s and Casey sandwiched an even-par 71 in the middle round with a 74 and a 77. Junior Brian Colbert matched par on the final day to gain a tie for 20th at 1-over 224 and sophomore Steve Skurla kept getting better all week, going 85, 79 and 76 for a 27-over 240 total.
   It all added up to a 37-over 889 team total for the Wildcats, 13 shots behind Big East team champion Notre Dame.
   Last week's post on Villanova golf called it Will Reilly's team, but somewhere between the fall and spring portions of the Villanova golf campaign, James Wilkes took over the program. Congratulations to both men as Reilly assembled a strong group of players and Wilkes got the most out of that group this week at Innisbrook.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Big East golf teeing off

  The Villanova men's golf team will tee off at the Big East Championship tournament Sunday at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club's Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla.
   The Wildcats will be coming off one of their strongest showings this spring as they finished third two weeks ago while hosting the Wildcat Invitational at White Manor Country Club.
   Sophomore Steve Skurla, the medalist  at a U.S. Amateur qualifier near his Wheaton, Ill. home last summer, competed as an individual and was Villanova's top finisher, checking in third overall. Skurla opened with a 1-under 70 and added a second-round 73 for a 1-over 143 total.  It was Skurla's first career top-5 finish.
    Junior Brian Colbert led Villanova in the team competition by finishing fourth in the individual chase with Day 2's best round, a 2-under 69, giving him a 144 total.
    Rounding out the contributors to Villanova's team total were senior Brendan Kelly,  who finished in a tie for 27th with rounds of 77 and 74 for a 9-over 151 total, senior Conor Casey (77-75_152, tie for 32nd), sophomore Robbie Galbreath (76-77_153, tied for 35th) and sophomore Michael Kania (83-73_156, tied for 41st), the two-time Haverford School All-Delco.
    Casey's second round was highlighted by a hole-out for eagle at the 330-yard, par-4 15th hole at White Manor.
    This might be the strongest team Villanova coach Will Reilly has taken to the Big East Championship. It will be interesting to see how the Wildcats fare.
Philadelphia PGA adds a partner
   The Philadelphia Section PGA palyers will have a little more money to shoot for with the announcement that Cleveland Golf/Srixon will throw in some money at six Section events and the Points Series Bonus at the end of the year.
   Combined with the support Cleveland Golf/Srixon gave to the Section's latest teaching summit, "The Great Debate" as a presenting sponsor, the orgnanization's total commitment to the Philadelphia PGA will be $9,000 in 2011.
T Mac Tees Off wants results
   This blog seeks results from any of the Delco clubs, public or private. Or you might want to take an even bigger leap and be the golf blogger at your club. The Daily Times has been seeking bloggers with information on plenty of things going on in the county, so why not golf?
   If you're interested in becoming the official golf blogger at your club, just contact me or Daily Times editor Phil Heron.
    We're hopeful that we might be able to solicit some help from some of the county's pros for video tips like the ones we presented last summer. The golf community in Delco is a vibrant one and we want to make the Daily Times website a place where golfers can find out about what's going on on the links.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Inter-Ac golf off to a wet start

   This blog will try to get at some of the golf news that falls through the cracks at the Daily Times. And never does that happen more than in the spring when there is a ton of high school sports, the Phillies are under way and the Flyers and even the 76ers this year are in the playoffs.
    Got word the other day that family commitments will keep Steve Cloran from accompanying The Haverford School golf team on the Inter-Ac League fairways this spring. Gerry Rooney and Gui Costin are sharing the coaching duties for the Fords.
   It didn't seem likely that the Fords would get their match in with archrival Episcopal Academy at Merion Golf Club's West Course in Tuesday's nasty weather.
   But play they did with the Churchmen, led by Bobby Svigals' 33, edging the Fords, 234-239. Svigals was one of the top junior players on the Golf Association of Philadelphia circuit last summer, winning the Christman Cup title and reaching the semifinals of the GAP Junior Championship.
    As a former Merion looper who got to play "the West" more than a few times a few decades ago, I can tell you that it is short, but challenging. I pretty sure they usually play the front nine for high school matches there, but regardless, a 33 in rain and wind is pretty strong.
   Rooney and Costin, though, have some very talented young players at The Haverford School and that was very much in evidence Tuesday as the Fords were led by sophomore Scott Jaster with a 38 and freshman Cole Berman with a 39.
   Jaster qualified for the Junior PGA Championship last summer while Berman was a fixture on Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour leaderboards all summer.
   The elder statesman for The Haverford School is senior captain Ted Brennan, the GAP Junior Player of the Year in 2010. Brennan won the Jock McKenzie Memorial, earned the Harry Hammond Award and was the qualifying medalist at the GAP Junior Championship on his way to Player of the Year honors.
   The other captain for the Fords is junior Mac Selverian, an All-Delco as a sophomore. He was probably the most consistent player on a Haverford School team that finished 6-4 in league play a year ago.
   Other playrs expected to contribute for the Fords are freshman Ryan Tetrault, eighth-grader Alex Fisher, junior Kevin Zipf, freshman Jake VanArkel, junior Jimmy Ryan and sophomore Garrett Grubb.
Golf Association of Philadelphia team matches
     The Golf Association of Philadelphia conducts a competition each spring that pits players from clubs all over the region against one another in a unique format in which half of the matches are played at each of the two clubs' courses to come up with a result.
   Overbrook Golf Club with its star-studded group of veterans -- we're talking Chris Lange, the brothers Thompson, Andy and Ray, Frank McFadden, etc. -- complemented by some young guns like Chris Lange Jr. and James Kania Jr., has won the title in the top echelon of the matches -- Division AA -- six times. Overbrook got started Sunday with a 41.5 to 15.5 dismantling of Moselem Springs G.C. in its Section 3 opener.
    A pretty tough Llanerch C.C. team, led by one of its newer members, 2010 Patterson Cup champion Jeff Osberg, was knocked off, 31.5-22.5, by Philadelphia Cricket Club in Section 2.
   Meanwhile in Section 3, RiverCrest, led by Radnor High golf coach Andy Achenbach, pulled off a bit of a surprise with a 30-24 victory over Glenmaura National.
Tiger's Masters
    I will allow myself the occasional comment on the national scene, especially when the AT&T National draws closer.
   In a national golf publication, Golf World, Dan Jenkins, reminiscing about his many years covering the golf scene, wrote something to the effect that Tiger Woods went 15 years without missing a putt. That should not be possible, Jenkins said.
    That's what makes those short putts Tiger missed Saturday and particularly Sunday at Augusta National so shocking. It will be interesting to see how he approaches that part of his game as the swing changes he's worked on with new coach Sean Foley appear to be starting to take hold.