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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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kan falls short of quarterfinals at U.S. Girls' Junior

   Aurora Kan, the three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester, has appeared on the national stage before, but the fifth USGA appearance in her fledgling career turned out to be her most successful.
   After staging a big comeback to reach the third round of the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship at the Olympia Fields Country Club's South Course in steamy Olympia Fields, Ill., Kan was ousted in her second match of the day Thursday, falling 5 and 3 to Summar Roachell of Conway, Ark.
    Kan, who will tee it up for NCAA Division I power Purdue this fall, squared off in the morning against Eimi Koga, a 15-year-old Hawaiian who finished third in qualifying earlier in the week.
   It looked like Kan might be headed home after making two double bogeys as Koga took a 3-up lead after nine holes. But Kan erased the deficit with a birdie at 10, a par at 11 and a par at 12. A birdie at 14 by Kan gave her a 1-up advantage, but Koga got it back to to even as her par at 15 bettered Kan's bogey.
   But Kan then birdied 16 to go 1-up and finished off a 2 and 1 victory with a par at 17 while Koga struggled to an 8.
    Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women's Amateur and PIAA champion, actually got off to a 1-up lead in her afternoon match with Roachell with a par on the first hole.
   But Roachell went from 1-down to 3-up with a burst that included a par at the fourth, birdies at five and six and a par at the seventh.
   Still Kan hadn't blinked when facing a three-hole deficit in the morning and she didn't against Roachell, replying with a birdie at the eighth hole to cut her deficit to two holes.
   But Roachell didn't let this one get away. She went 3-up with a par at the 10th and then took a commanding 4-up lead with a birdie at the 13th. Her par at 15 finished off her 5 and 3 victory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kan reaches second round of U.S. Girls' Junior

   Aurora Kan, a three-time Daily Times Player of the Year during a brilliant scholastic career at Chichester, held off a determined charge by 2010 quarterfinalist Stephanie Liu of St. Albans, Mo. to claim a 2 and 1 victory Wednesday and reach the second round of match play at the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship in sweltering heat at Olympia Fields C.C.'s South Course in Olympia Fields, Ill.
   Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women's Amateur and PIAA champion, struggled in qualifying for the U.S. Girls, posting an 81 at Spring-Ford C.C. and was an alternate. But when a spot opened up, she was ready to compete in her fifth USGA event.
  And Kan, who is headed for Purdue University, bettered her one previous trip to the U.S. Girls -- two years ago at Trump National -- by qualifying for match play.
   Kan had rounds of 75 and 76 over the 6,403-yard, par-72 Olympia Fields South layout to finish in a tie for 33rd and easily make the field for match play.
   In her opening-round match, Kan matched par on the front nine to build a 4-up lead on Liu. But Liu won the 10th and 13th holes with birdies and the 14th with a par to trim the deficit to one hole. But Kan kept making pars and when Liu made a double bogey at the 17th, the match belonged to Kan.
   Kan played 2-over golf while making 15 pars and two bogeys. That's a formula for success in match play.
   Kan's next foe Thursday morning is 15-year-old Hawaiian Eimi Koga, who claimed a 3 and 2 victory over Megan Blonien of Altus, Okla. in her first-round match. Koga finished third in qualifying. Her 3-under 69 was the low score of the second round of qualifying. If Kan wins the match, she'll have to turn around and play her third-round match Thursday afternoon.
   Meanwhile, about 1,000 miles west if Olympia Fields, the boys were competing in the U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain C.C.'s Olympic Course in Bremerton, Wash. and Michael Davis, the Newtown Square resident and the Intter-Ac League champion as a freshman at Malvern Prep this spring, gave a pretty good account of himself
   Davis, a Merion G.C. member, had a pair of 75s in qualifying over the 7,111-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Olympic Course layout, in qualifying to finish in a tie for 36th and earn a spot in match play.
   Davis dropped a 3 and 2 decision to Hank Lebioda of Winter Springs, Fla., in an opening-round match Wednesday, but the two were all square with five holes to play.
   That's when Lebioda sandwiched winning birdies at 14 and 16 around a double bogey by Davis that cost him the hole at 15 and Lebioda was able to advance.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Davis, Selverian team up to take Hussey; Bernard wins Philly Women's Am

   Michael Davis, the Newtown Square resident who won the Inter-Ac League title as a freshman at Malvern Prep this spring, teamed with Haverford School senior Mac Selverian to cruise to the Francis X. Hussey Memorial Tournament title at Rolling Green Golf Club Monday.
  "We thought we could go low because the course was set up a little short and the greens were perfect," Davis told the Golf Association of Philadelphia website after the duo matched the tournament record with their 8-under total at the challenging 6,315-yard, par-71 Rolling Green layout. "If you got your putt on the right line, everything went in."
   Davis, who will be headed to Gold Mountain G.C.’s Olympic Course in Bremerton, Wash. for the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship next week, made birdies at the fourth and fifth holes and Selverian, an All-Delco with the Fords as a sophomore, added birdies at the sixth and seventh holes to get the duo rolling.
  Davis, playing out of Merion G.C., then highlighted the round by driving the par-4 12th hole and draining the downhill putt for an eagle. Selverian, playing out of Aronimink G.C., capped the record-tying effort by dropping a 15-foot birdie put on the final hole.
   Finishing in a tie for second at 4-under 67 was a pair of Inter-Ac rivals of Davis’ and Selverian’s, Episcopal Academy juniors Sean Fahey and Alex Dupre. Fahey plays out of Overbrook G.C. while Dupre had home-course advantage at Rolling Green.
   They shared second place with the Commonwealth National G.C. pair of T.J. Summers and Kyle Martin.
   The Rolling Green pair of Nolan Dirienzi and Brian Todaro finished sixth with an even-par 71 and Matthew Bastian Jr. and Quinn Dolan, another Rolling Green duo, finished in a tie for seventh at 1-over 72.
   In the Junior-Junior boys competition, the Rolling Green pair of Ryan Brennan and Andrew Todaro finished second with a 40, three shots back of R.J. Wrenn (Honeybrook G.C.) and Mitchell Davis (Wilmington C.C.). The Aronimink G.C. pairing of Thomas Gravina Jr. and Matt Davis finished sixth with a 43.
   Stephanie Bellisario, who plays out of Overbrook G.C. and is a member of the Notre Dame golf team, teamed with Courtney Mangano of Indian Valley G.C. to take top honors in the girls 14-to-17 division with a 92.
   GAP’s top junior players were right back in action Thursday in the Christman Cup at Biderman G.C. in Wilmington, Del. with Ryan Siegler of Mercer Oaks G.C. taking top honors with rounds of 74 and 73 for a 3-over 147 total.
Haverford High senior and Llanerch C.C. member Connor Eichman topped the Delco contingent with rounds of 75 and 79 for a 155 total that left him in fifth place.
   Haverford School sophomore Cole Berman had rounds of 78 and 79 and his 157 total left him in a tie for sixth.
Overbrook’s Fahey (79-80—159) finished 12th and Marple Newtown sophomore Sam Soeth (87-79) and Rolling Green’s Dupre (82-84) were in a tie for 19th at 166.
   Other Delco finishers at Biderman were Rolling Green’s Matthew Bastian Jr. (80-88—168); Garnet Valley sophomore Liam McAnally (86-84—170); Haverford School’s Selverian (82-89—171); Mac Ryan (81-91—172) of Overbrook G.C.; Liam Fahey (94-83—177) of Overbrook; and Mac Walsh (90-88—178) of Aronimink G.C.
Pennsylvania Junior Championship
   Soeth, coming off an All-Delco freshman campaign at Marple Newtown, led a strong showing by the Delco contingent at the Pennsylvania Junior Championship last week at Hershey C.C.’s East Course.
   Playing a Hershey East layout toughened up for the recent PGA Professional National Championship, Soeth had rounds of 76 and 70 to finish in a tie for fourth at 4-over 146. Reilly Erhardt, the beaten finalist in the GAP Junior Championship earlier this summer, took the title with rounds of 74 and 70 for a 2-over 144 total. Zach Herr, the District One champion from Council Rock North last fall, was one of two players who finished tied for second at 3-over 145.
   Episcopal Academy’s Dupre (76-74) and The Haverford School’s Selverian (77-73) were among three players in a tie for 12th at 8-over 150. Episcopal Academy’s Fahey (78-74) was another two shots back in a tie for 18th at 152.
The Haverford School’s Berman (80-78) finished in a tie for 44th at 158.
Philadelphia Women’s Amateur
   Lauren Bernard, the Notre Dame product who is coming off a big freshman season at Bucknell, beat all comers this week to capture the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur championship at Sunnybrook G.C.
   Bernard, playing out of Aronimink G.C., finished off the title in thrilling fashion, beating Gabriella DiMarco, the recent West Chester East graduate who lost in a playoff to Chichester’s Aurora Kan as last fall’s PIAA Tournament, on the 38th hole Friday. The scheduled 36-hole final went to two extra holes before Bernard could claim the Glenna Collett Vare Cup that goes to the Philadelphia women’s amateur champion.
   Along the way, Bernard disposed of another of Notre Dame’s finest golfers, Catherine Elliott, the Merion G.C. player who led the University of Pennsylvania to the NCAA Tournament in her senior year in the spring of 2010. Bernard won the matchup that featured arguably two of the best players to ever tee it up for Notre Dame in a convincing 8 and 6 semifinal match.
   Bernard capped her freshman season at Bucknell by carding a final-round 72 for a 226 total in the Big South Tournament. Her second-place finish was a record for a Bison player and she led Bucknell to a third-place finish in the team race, also a record at the Lewisburg-based school.
   In the quarterfinals, Bernard edged Christine Shimel, the 2008 PIAA champion when she was at Kennett, 2 and 1. Shimel plays collegiately at the University of Maryland.
   Elliott had claimed the qualifying medal with a 75, just a shot better than Bernard’s 76.
   DiMarco, who is headed for the University of Kansas, fired the loudest shot in the opening round of match play when she stunned Laura Ladden, who won this title for an eighth time a year ago, 4 and 3.
   Overbrook G.C.’s Karen McFadden also earned a spot in the championship flight with an 83 in qualifying. McFadden was ousted in the first round of match play, 5 and 4, by Kelli Pry of Coatesville C.C. DiMarco, playing out of Penn Oaks G.C., edged Pry in the semifinals on the 19th hole, the second of three straight matches in which DiMarco went to extra holes, including the final.
   Sarah Harvey of Edgmont C.C. just missed earning a spot in the championship flight with an 84 in qualifying. Competing in the first flight, Harvey edged Carol Cowhey of Philadelphia Cricket Club on the 19th hole before falling, 7 and 6, to eventual first-flight winner Marji Goldman, also of the Cricket Club.
In the opening round of the first flight, Goldman knocked out Aronimink’s Lyn Kurz, 4 and 3. Kurz posted an 86 in qualifying.
   Carol Wlotko of Llanerch C.C. also won a match in the first flight before falling after carding an 85 in qualifying. Wlotko claimed a 6 and 5 victory over Judith Owens of Waynesborough C.C. before falling, 3 and 1, to eventual first-flight runnerup Ruth Averback of Old York Road C.C.
   Wendy Kennedy of The Springhaven Club earned a spot in the second flight with a 92 in qualifying. She claimed a 2 and 1 victory over Susan Trombley in the first round before getting knocked out by eventual second-flight winner Christine Hunt of Whitford C.C., 6 and 5, in the second round.
   Mary Jo McWilliams of Llanerch carded an 88 in qualifying, but was unable to compete in match play.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
   Penncrest senior Patrick Nommensen, an All-Delco second-team pick as a junior, carded an 8-over 79 to finish second in the 16-to-18 division in a Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour stop at Llanerch C.C. Monday.
   Jonathan Rennard of Phoenixville fired a 4-under 32 total on the front nine at Llanerch on his way to an even-par 71 that gave him first place.
   Broomall’s Mac Ryan, a junior at St. Joseph’s Prep, finished in a tie for third with an 81. Springfield junior Kyle Hakun was two shots back of Ryan in seventh with an 83.
   Springfield’s Jim Callahan, like Ryan a junior at the Prep, finished in a tie for 10th with an 85.
   In the nine-hole division, John Updike of Wayne finished second with a 44, Kevin Smith of Wallingford placed fourth with a 52 and Michael Sydnes of Bryn Mawr was sixth with a 55.
   Leading the Delco contingent in the 13-to-15 division at Llanerch was Garnet Valley’s McAnally, who posted a 6-over 77 to finish second. Marple Newtown’s Soeth was third with an 80, Media’s Griffin Colvin finished in a tie for eighth with an 86 and Alec Kerr of Broomall finished 11th with an 87.
   Garnet Valley senior Erica Cornacchia carded an 85 to finish second in the girls 16-to-18 division.
   Nommensen headed for New Jersey Tuesday and Wednesday for a Junior Tour Junior Golf Scoreboard two-day event at Little Mill C.C. and Pennsauken C.C., respectively.
   Nommensen bounced back from one of his worst rounds of the summer, a 91 at Little Mill, with a 5-over 75 at Pennsauken to finish seventh overall at 166 in the 16-to-18 division for the two-day event.
   Nommensen’s 75 at Pennsauken left him a tie for fifth in his division for the day.
   Radnor junior Ben Kleiman teed it up at Little Mill and his 80 left him in second place in the 16-to-18 division for the day.
Also at Little Mill, Wallingford’s Smith finished fourth among the nine-holers with a 47. Wayne’s Updike finished second in the nine-hole division at Pennsauken with a 39.
   Nommensen made an eagle on the 17th hole on his way to an even-par 72 that gave him the top spot in the 16-to-18 division in a Junior Tour stop at Ron Jaworski’s Valleybrook C.C. July 7.
   Smith continued his strong play in the nine-hole division with a 45 that gave him a fourth-place3 finish.
  Springfield’s Callahan earned a share of second place in the 16-to-18 division after posting an 8-over 80 in a Junior Tour stop at the Moorestown Field Club July 8.
   Updike of Wayne finished in a tie for third in the nine-hole division with a 48.
   Radnor’s Kleiman settled for third place in a match of cards after firing a 2-over 73 in a Junior Tour stop at Linfield National G.C. July 6.
 Kleiman finished in a tie for second with Douglas MacDonald of Berwyn.
   In the girls 13-to-15 division Anniak Vandayar of Garnet Valley finished in a tie for second with a 94.
Swinging seniors
   Llanerch C.C.’s Neil McDermott, patriarch of the golfing McDermott family, made up part of a powerhouse squad that easily repeated as the winner of the GAP Senior Four-Man Team event held Thursday at Applecross C.C.
   McDermott teamed with Carl Everett of Merion G.C., Mike Rose of Meadowlands C.C. and Don Donatoni of White Manor C.C. for a two-best-balls-of-foursome total of 14-under 130 over the 6,182-yard, par-72 Applecross layout.
   "It’s hard to know what the formula is in these team events, but we just seem to play well together," said McDermott, who contributed birdies at nine, 10 and 12 to the cause and watched Donatoni make seven birdies on his ball. "We are very comfortable around each other."
   That left them two shots clear of a strong runnerup entry that included Frank McFadden and Ray Thompson of Overbrook G.C., Douglas Fraser of Galloway Natuional G.C. and Terry Sawyer of Mercer Oaks G.C.
   The Springhaven Club entry of Andrew Harmer, John Turner, Rich Thon and Robert Maze finished in a tie for fifth at 141.
   A day earlier Overbrook’s McFadden fell in the semifinals of Brewer Cup Senior at Bellewood C.C., going 19 holes before bowing out to Craig Scott of Huntingdon Valley C.C.
   Scott went on to lose, 3 and 2, to Chip Lutz of LedgeRock G.C. in the final.
Outings and tournaments

"Fore the Kids" will be held Saturday, Aug. 6 with an 11 a.m. shotgun start at Beckett Golf Club in Swedesboro, N.J. Cost is $90 per player and includes greens fee, cart, individual and team prizes and door prizes. Following golf there will be a buffet awards dinner and three-hour open bar at the Red Lantern’s Tiki Bar, 41 Oak Lane in Folcroft. The tournament benefits the Folcroft Boys Club. Hole sponsors are also being sought. Call: Dino "Gabby" Hartnett (215) 778-0360.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Shattuck dominates at Concord

   Sun Valley senior Braden Shattuck dominated the field in the Philadelphia Section Junior PGA Championship with rounds of 66 and 68 for a 134 total that earned him a trip to the 36th Junior PGA Championship Aug. 2 to 5 at Sycamore Hills G.C. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
   Shattuck’s closest competitor was Episcopal Academy junior Sean Fahey, who topped the ages 13-to-15 division with rounds of 71 and 68 at Concord for a 139 total that left him five shots back of Shattuck in the overall scoring. Fahey was coming off a strong showing in the Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Boys Championship that saw him reach the semifinals.
   Many of Delco’s top scholastic players were in the field, including All-Delco Scott Jaster, a Haverford School junior, who had rounds of 71 and 74 to finish at 145, which earned him a runnerup finish to Shattuck in the 16-to-18 division.
   Also in the 16-to-18 division, Radnor senior Kavian Bina had rounds of 78 and 81 for a 159 total that left him in a tie for 20th.
   Haverford School sophomore Cole Berman was the runnerup to Fahey in the 13-to-15 division with rounds of 78 and 74 and a 152 total. Marple Newtown All-Delco Sam Soeth finished in a tie for eighth with rounds of 83 and 78 for a 161 total, Radnor junior Carey Bina (81-81) and Paul Yun (78-84) of Broomall finished in a tie for 10th at 162 and Springfield sophomore Brian Todaro (83-83) finished 15th at 166.
   Representing the Philadelphia Section in the girls competition at the Junior PGA Championshp, presented by Under Armour and Heritage F.S.E., will be Erica Herr, who captured the District One title last fall in her freshman season at Council Rock North. Herr had rounds of 75 and 76 at Concord for a 151 total.
The nine-hole youngsters got to play a full 18 and John Updike of Wayne finished fourth with an 88 and Kevin Smith of Wallingford was eighth with a 100.
Nommensen takes fifth
   Penncrest senior Patrick Nommensen, who made the All-Delco second team as a junior, finished in a tie for fifth in the 16-to-18 division in a two-day Philadelphia PGA Tour event played at Bellewood G.C. and Downingtown C.C. in Chester County.
   Day 1 was June 28 at Bellewood and Nommensen carded an 82 then came back June 29 at Downingtown with an 80 for a 162 total. Brendan Worth of Chester Springs finished first overall, firing a 67 at Bellewood and a 77 at Downingtown for a 144 total.
  Radnor junior Ben Kleiman carded an 83 at Downingtown to finish in a tie for 15th in the 16-to-18 division on day 2 of the event. Springfield junior Kyle Hakun also teed it up at Downingtown and finished in a tie for 29th with an 89.
   In the girls 16-to-18 division, Radnor senior Jamie Susanin competed both days and finished fifth overall with rounds of 91 at Bellewood and 89 at Downingtown for a 180 total.
   Garnet Valley senior Erica Cornacchia posted and 87 at Downingtown, which was good enough to earn her a tie for third in the day 2 competition.
   In the boys 13-to-15 division, Griffin Colvin of Media carded a 97 at Bellewood, but bounced back with an 84 at Downingtown to finish in a tie for 11th overall at 181.
  Among those who only teed it up at Downingtown, Springfield sophomore Brian Todaro had an 81 (fifth place) and Radnor sophomore Austin Dunlap had an 87 (tied for 15th).
  In the nine-hole division at Downingtown, John Updike of Wayne finished second with a 42, Gabriella Kim of Wayne finished fifth with a 50 and Kevin Smith of Wallingford finished sixth with a 53. In the nine-hole division at Bellewood, Michael Sydnes of Bryn Mawr finished sixth with a 55.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The unabridged musings from Aronimink

This is a longer version of  Tom McNichol's column in the Sunday Times that did not quite fit the constraints placed on it by the printed page

NEWTOWN  — The AT&T National will end its all-too-brief and seemingly successful run at Aronimink Golf Club when the final round comes to a close today.
Ironically, for an event that was anticipated as the chance for Philadelphia area golf fans to finally get a chance to see the great Tiger Woods in action, there were just four mediocre  — by his standards  — rounds in 2010.
Not that the golfing public cared. You can spend a lifetime covering sports and not see anything like the crowds that descended on this Donald Ross gem to see Woods play last year.
Good, bad or indifferent, they didn’t care. They just wanted to see one of the greatest players in the history of the game, play.
 Not that those of us in the media got cheated. When Woods arrived for media day in 2010, it marked the first time since  — you know, the Thanksgiving night fire hydrant thing  — that he took questions in a full-blown press conference setting. It was a media circus to beat all media circuses, not that Woods had a whole lot to say about the state of his marriage or any of the dozen or so “girlfriends” who had come out of the woodwork in the wake of – you know, the Thanksgiving night fire hydrant thing.
  At  media day this year, Woods was taking questions in a full-blown press conference setting for the first time since he walked off the course at TPC Sawgrass after taking 42 shots on the first nine holes of The Players Championship. Even his appearance here Tuesday was the first time Woods had really spoken to media – you know, besides tweets and that kind of  nonsense – since media day and, more importantly, since Rory McIlroy had done a pretty good impersonation of Woods circa 2000 in stomping the field in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.
 But what everybody seems to want to know now that the PGA Tour is leaving town and won’t be back until the U.S. Open returns to Merion in 2013 – and the National Open is something a little more than a PGA Tour stop – will the tour ever come back?
The people at Aronimink have not been shy about the fact that part of their motivation for staging the AT&T was to showcase the course and prove that the overall physical plant has the capability to put on a major championship.
It hasn’t hurt their case one little bit that conditions at Congressional Country Club, where the AT&T will return next year, for last month’s U.S. Open were decidedly un-U.S. Open like. The question of whether Aronimink was playing more like a U.S. Open course than Congressional did was greeted by wry smiles and silence from several players who had no intention of falling out of the good graces of the United States Golf Association.
So yeah, Aronimink is playing more like a U.S. Open course than Congressional did. Of course, if you  ever doubt how much a difference the course “setup” matters, all you had to do was check out guys like Chris Kirk lighting up Aronimink to the tune of a 63 Saturday to understand that moving up a couple of tees and placing pins in accessible locations is all these guys need to go low.
Regardless of all that, the sometimes cranky bunch that plays golf tournaments for a living almost universally gushed about Aronimink this week.
“Every player absolutely loves this place,” Robert Garrigus said
following his opening round of 2-under 68 Thursday. “You know where you can’t hit it and you know where you can. If you hit it there, you’re rewarded.”
Adam Scott, who opened with a 4-under 66, also liked what he saw at Aronimink.
“I have to say it’s set up very, very nicely here,” said Scott, who
dimly recalled playing in the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur at Aronimink.
“It’s a great golf course, obviously, and it’s in great shape. But they’ve set it up beautifully.
“The greens are perfect and they’ve got very generous fairways, but severe rough, which is a nice balance. There’s good scores out there, but you have to play well, I think.”
Reportedly there were PGA people and USGA people in tow n checking things out this week, but even if a major championship was to come to Aronimink, it would be years down the road.
How about a regular tour stop, like the one that used to come to
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club every summer until it was discontinued following the 1980 edition?
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem did express an interest in that possibility, although he said it would be unlikely that it would happen until some time after the 2013 Open at Merion. Again, there has been nothing but good vibes from the tour about the way the AT&T National at Aronimink has been embraced by the fans and, probably more significantly, the business community in the Philadelphia area.
“This is a terrific sports town with a terrific economy of its own,” Finchem said. “The PGA Tour hasn’t been here in a while and we have a strong fan  base here and in our early discussions with the leadership here at Aronimink, there was terrific enthusiasm by the  membership as well. We would definitely like to continue an involvement here in Philadelphia and we’re actively looking for ways to do that.”
  The people at Aronimink seem more interested in having a major championship, so a regular tour stop would probably have to go somewhere else. It’s a big commitment for the  membership at a private club to give up its golf course in the middle of a short season in this part of the world. There’s been some talk that the membership at Congressional is already tiring of its annual commitment to the AT&T National.
  So if you’ re a golf fan, don’t  pass up the opportunity to get out to Aronimink today because it might be a while before you get another up-close look at the best players in the world. We got the fireworks The Golf Channel promised all last week in Saturday’s third round. It might not be a bad golf memory at all to see Rickie Fowler claim his first professional win, right here in Delaware County.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fahey falls in GAP Junior semifinals -- Golf Notebook

   Episcopal Academy junior Sean Fahey reached  the semifinals of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Boys Championship before falling Friday at Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove Township, N.J.
   Fahey, playing out of Overbrook G.C., dropped a 1-up decision to Reilly Erhardt, the 14-year-old medalist from Newtown, Bucks County and Trenton C.C. Later Friday, Brandon Matthews of Fox Hill C.C. edged Erhardt, 1-up, in the title match.
   In the semifinals, Erhardt drew even with Fahey when he dropped a seven-footer for birdie on the ninth hole. Fahey lost the next two holes when he found fairway bunkers off the tee and Erhardt kept him at bay the rest of the way.
   “It’s been a great week,” Fahey, who carded a 76 over the 6,595-yard, par-72 Running Deer layout in qualifying Monday, told the GAP website. “It’s the first time I’ve played in the tournament. It’s fun to come out and do pretty well.”
    Fahey had an interesting day Wednesday. He knocked off Episcopal classmate Alex Dupre — Dupre, playing out of Rolling Green G.C., had finished in a tie for fourth in qualifying with a 1-over 73 — 5 and 4 in an opening-round match.
   Then Dupre turned around and caddied for Fahey in the afternoon and a long day got longer when Fahey needed 22 holes to finally edge Kevin Conners Jr. of Whitford C.C.
   Sam Soeth, coming off an All-Delco freshman campaign at Marple Newtown, made a big splash in his GAP debut by carding a 1-under 71 to finish a shot behind Erhardt in qualifying.
   Soeth, playing out of White Manor C.C., started on the back nine at Running Dear and made three straight birdies at 16, 17 and 18 to make up for a double bogey and a bogey and make the turn at even-par. After a bogey at the second and a birdie at the third, Soeth got under-par for the round by drilling a 9-iron approach at the par-4 sixth to five feet and making the birdie putt.
   “I’m trying to play in bigger tournaments this summer,” Soeth told the GAP website. “I wanted to come out and play a good round and see what happened.”
   T.J. Summers of Commonwealth National G.C. knocked Soeth out in the opening round of match play, 3 and 2.
Overbrook G.C.’s Mac Ryan, a junior at St. Joseph’s Prep, carded a 2-over 74 in qualifying before falling, 3 and 1, to Zach Arsenault of Little Mill C.C. in the opening round of match play.
   Garnet Valley senior Eddie Maul was among the qualifiers for the first flight of matches after carding an 81 in qualifying. Maul advanced to the first flight quarterfinals when Merion G.C.’s Jake Van Arkel withdrew from their opening-round match before falling, 7 and 5, to  Connor Goodrich of Merchantville C.C.
   Haverford School senior Mac Selverian, an All-Delco as a sophomore, was also a first-flight qualifier with an 80, but fell, 4 and 3, to Jack Quirk of Huntingdon Valley C.C. Selverian was playing out of Aronimink G.C.
Overbrook is still the one
   A potent Overbrook G.C. team won the GAP Team Championship for the second straight year and 14th    time overall by piling up 20 points Thursday at Philmont C.C.’s North Course.
   Competing against Llanerch C.C., Commonwealth National G.C. and Little Mill C.C., Overbrook finished two points ahead of Llanerch and Commonwealth with Little Mill finishing fourth with 16 points.
A couple of the Overbrook veterans, Frank McFadden and Oscar Mestre picked up 2.5 points apiece in the singles competition. Mestre teamed with Villanova junior Michael Kania, the two-time Haverford School All-Delco, to earn 1.5 points in foursomes and McFadden and Chris Lange Jr. added a point in foursomes.
   Rounding out the Overbrook team were James Kania Jr., the 2005-06 Daily Times Player of the Year at Haverford School, Chris Lange, Ray Thompson and former Radnor High and Saint Joseph’s standout Bob Cunningham.
   The Llanerch side included five-time William Hyndman III Player of the Year Michael McDermott, Strath Haven All-Delco Steve Seiden, Jeff Osberg, Sean Coyle, Mike Rogers, J.P. Glynn, Tom Spano and Brian McDermott. Osberg was Llanerch’s top point-getter in the singles competition with three. He also teamed with Coyle to earn 2.5 points in the foursomes matches.
Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour
   Garnet Valley senior Erica Cornacchia, a two-time District One qualifier, carded an 89 to take the top spot in the 16-to-18 division in a Junior Tour stop at Wyncote G.C. June 24.
   In the boys 13-to-15 division Penncrest sophomore Ethan Heller shared the top spot with Kevin Connors of Downingtown at 1-over 73, but Connors took top honors in a match-of-cards tiebreaker.
   Sam Soeth, the Marple Newtown All-Delco, was a shot back in a tie for third at 2-over 74.
   Jake van Arkel, a Merion G.C. member, finished ninth with a 78, Radnor sophomore Austin Dunlap was 13th with an 83, John Concannon of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 23rd with an 89, Griffin Colvin of Media and Michael Stanilka of Garnet Valley were among the players tied for 28th with 92s and Cole Stratton of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 32nd with a 94.
   In the boys 16-to-18 division, Garnet Valley senior Eddie Maul finished 14th with an 88.
Caddie Tournament
   James Pokorny, a former Haverford High standout representing Merion G.C., carded an 81 at Green Valley C.C. Monday to finish in a tie for 14th at the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 65th Caddie Tournament.
Overall top honors went to Matthew Wiley, a 37-year-old looper at Hidden Creek G.C. who carded a 1-under 70 at the 6,360-yard, par-71 Green Valley layout.
Club Pro Championship
   Concord C.C. head pro Mike Moses did not earn a trip to this year’s PGA Championship with his performance at the PGA Professional National Championship this week at Hershey Country Club, but he played some pretty good golf.
   Moses had rounds of 73, 69, 72 and 74 to finish in a tie for 43rd at  288. It took four shots better to make the top 20 and earn a spot in the field at the Atlanta Athletic Club in August.
   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, was a shot back of Moses at 289. Ingraham made the field for the 2010 PGA at Whistling Straits with a strong showing at the National Club Pro.
   Merion G.C. head of instruction Mark Sheftic had finished third and second in the last two National Club Pro events, but failed to make the cut with a pair of 72s and a 144 total.