Some of Delco’s recent scholastic standouts have had the chance to tee it up in places quite a bit warmer than it is in our little corner of southeast Pennsylvania as the spring portion of the college golf season is under way.
The Villanova golf team kicked off the spring portion of its 2011-12 season with a trip to Orlando, Fla. and the Reunion Resort’s Watson Course for the Big East Match Play this week and came away with a match win and two losses.
The Big East Tournament later this season will be played at the 7,155-yard, par-72 Watson Course layout.
The Wildcats opened the event with a 3½-2½ victory over DePaul, their first match win in the three years they have kicked off their spring campaign at the Big East Match Play.
Villanova’s No. 1 player, Michael Kania, a two-time All-Delco and two-time Inter-Ac League champion at The Haverford School, got a half in his match. Villanova’s winners were No. 2 Brian Colbert (2 and 1), No. 4 Bret McGaughey (4 and 3) and No. 6 Vince Boyle (4 and 3). Kania is a junior, Colbert and McGaughey are seniors and Boyle, a Catholic League and District 12 champion at Archbishop Ryan, is a sophomore.
In their second match, the ’Cats fell, 4-2, to Notre Dame, which went on to win the title with a victory over USC Upstate in the final. Kania (2 and 1) and McGaughey (1-up) accounted for the Wildcats’ points against the Irish.
In the losers bracket, Villanova dropped a 4-2 decision to Virginia Commonwealth. Freshman Robbie Meador (5 and 4) and Boyle (3 and 2) picked up the Villanova points.
McGaughey and Boyle were the top point-getters for the three matches with two each. Kania picked up 1½ points and Meador and Colbert added a point each.
Villanova will head for warmer climes again in three weeks when the Wildcats tee it up in the USF Invitational in Dade City, Fla.
Kan and Purdue take sixth
Aurora Kan, the three-time Daily Times Player of the Year and 2010 PIAA champion at Chichester, helped Purdue finish sixth at the 10th annual Lady Puerto Rico Classic as the Boilermakers played a spectacular middle round bookended by a pair of so-so efforts for a 901 total.
Kan, a freshman, opened up with an 83 over the Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa’s 6,191-yard, par-72 River Course as Purdue struggled home with a 310 total.
In the second round, Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur champion, fired a 4-over 76 as Purdue carded a tournament-low 286 and surged into sixth place in the team standings.
Laura Gonzalez-Escallion led the way for Purdue with a 7-under 65 that tied a school record.
Kan posted a final-round 80 and Purdue fell back to a 305 and couldn’t move up from sixth place.
Gonzales-Escallon, a native of Belgium, finished in a tie for second with a 1-under 215 total (75-65-75) with Georgia’s Emilie Burger and Arkansas’ Emily Tubert. Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora, the 2011 National Player of the Year, took the title with a 3-under 213 total (74-66-73).
LSU won the team title with a final-round 298 giving the Tigers an 884 total (294-292-298). Georgia finished second at 886 (294-291-301) and Oklahoma State took third at 890 (300-290-300).
Junior Kishi Sinha was Purdue’s second-highest finisher in a tie for 12th at 223 (75-74-74) followed by junior Paula Reto, who finished in a tie for 17th at 224 (77-71-76). Kan’s 239 total left her in a tie for 59th. Freshman Kendall Dusenberry, who enrolled at Purdue for the spring semester after completing high school early, finished in a tie for 83rd at 259 (91-85-83).
Freshman Vicky Scherer competed as an individual and tied for 65th at 241 (81-80-80).
Purdue doesn’t tee it up again until it faces another formidable field at the LSU Tiger Classic March 9-11 in Baton Rouge, La.
Calamaro gets started at Illinois
Earlier this month, Jackie Calamaro, the 2009 PIAA champion and 2009-10 Daily Times Player of the Year at Radnor, helped Illinois open its season with a 6½-5½ victory over cross-state rival Illinois St. in the Illinois Challenge at the 6,146-yard Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club course in Boca Raton, Fla.
Calamaro, a redshirt freshman who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery for a hip injury, clawed her way into the picture with a couple of strong showings late in the fall campaign.
She teamed with senior Samantha Sloan, one of the Illini’s top players, for a 4 and 3 victory over Rachel Powers and Kaitlin Reid in a four-ball match.
Illinois State’s Brianna Cooper downed Calamaro, 5 and 4, in a singles match.
The Illini got singles wins from senior Hailey Koschmann, senior Nora Lucas, freshman Pimploy Thirati and Sloan to enable them to maintain the 1½-point edge they had gained in the four four-ball matches.