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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lutz repeats at Brtish Senior Amateur

   We’re inside 300 days now, with 291 tin o go until the opening round of the 2013 U.S. Open tees off at Merion Golf Club’s East Course the Ardmore section of Haverford Township, just in case you’re counting — and I most certainly am.

It’s been a few weeks and the guy isn’t a Delco person, although veterans of the Golf Association of Philadelphia circuit have certainly crossed paths with him, but it’s just remarkable that Chip Lutz, a 57-year-old resident of the Reading area, has now won two straight British Senior Open Amateur titles.
Lutz was the runnerup in the British Senior Amateur two years ago and then claimed the title last summer at Royal Portrush. A couple of weeks ago, he repeated the feat, firing a final-round of 4-under 68 at Machynys Peninsula in South Wales to finish at 5-under 211, one shot clear of fellow Americans Douglas Pool, Steve Rogers and three-time winner Paul Simson.
Lutz became just the third player in the history of the tournament to earn back-to-back wins. Only Charlie Green and Ron White had done it previously.
“It feels unreal to have won again,” Lutz said in a story on the event that appeared on the GAP website. “It is a significant achievement as it has not been done for about 20 years and then by Charlie Green, who, I believe was something special. He won six times in seven years and I certainly have some way to go to catch him up.
“I felt good coming into the tournament, but the standard is so high these days that winning events like this is a tall order and I am just thrilled to have done it and I really looking forward to Royal Birkdale and the Seniors Open Amateur at Royal Aberdeen next year.”
The Royal Birkdale reference is because by winning the Senior Amateur, Lutz earns a spot in the British Senior Open. His trip to the British Isles this summer included the 2012 Senior British Open and all he did at Turnberry was win the silver medal as the low amateur.
Lutz’s performance is just further proof of the high level of play that is found on the GAP circuit, particularly at the senior level.

Major matters

Rory McIlroy put an exclamation point on the 2012 major season with his dominant victory at Kiawah Island a couple of weeks ago.
The best Tiger Woods can do when he arrives at Merion next summer is 15 major championships and he would need a win in the Masters to April to reach that number.
If he does not win at Augusta, Woods will arrive in Delaware County without a major championship since that epic U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Berman on GAP team at Williamson Cup

   There wasn’t enough room in the Golf Notebook that appeared in Saturday’s Daily Times to get in all the goings-on on the links right now.
   Oh, and if you’re counting — and I most certainly am — the countdown until the 2013 U.S. Open tees off at Merion Golf Club’s East Course in the Ardmore section of Haverford Township is 307 days.

   Cole Berman, an All-Delco pick following his sophomore season at The Haverford School, will represent the Golf Association of Philadelphia in the Williamson Cup, a team competition which gets under way Sunday at Fieldstone G.C. in Greenville, Del.
   Berman, who captured the Inter-Ac League individual title while helping the Fords win the league team crown last fall, is part of a four-man team that will compete in the 36-hole stroke play event that features teams from 11 state and regional golf associations.
   Berman, playing out of Philadelphia Cricket Club, is leading the GAP’s Junior Player of the Year standings. He was the medalist in qualifying for the Junior Boys’ Championship. He finished tied for third in the Jock MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run C.C. and in a tie for second in the Christman Cup at Merion G.C.’s West Course.
   Berman’s aggregate score from the Junior Boys qualifying and the Christman Cup earned him the Harry Hammond Award that goes to the junior stroke-play champion.
   Berman will be joined by Jalen Griffin of Talamore C.C., Kevin Karmarski of Riverton C.C. and Fox Hill C.C.’s Mariano Medico, who captured the GAP Junior Boys’ titl e this summer.
   GAP finished third in the Williamson Cup a year ago at Columbia C.C. in Bethesda, Md. GAP has won the title seven times.

Kan, Sinha finish 12th

   Aurora Kan, a three-time Daily Times Player of the Year at Chichester, joined up with Purdue teammate Kishi Sinha to finish 12th at last week’s Pure Silk Women’s Collegiate Team Championship.
   Kan, the 2010 Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur and PIAA champion, is a sophomore while Sinha is a redshirt senior from India.
   In the unique format played at the 6,306-yard, par-72 Wedgewood G.&C.C. in Powell, Ohio, Kan and Sinha opened with an alternate-shot 76, fired a better-ball 68 and then posted a combined 151 for a 295 total.
   They were only nine shots back of the winners, the Tennessee pair of A.J. Newell and Erica Popson.
   Senior Paula Reto, a teammate of Kan and Sinha at Purdue, reached the quarterfinals of this week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur before falling Friday, 3 and 1, to Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander who is the top-ranked women’s amateur player in the world. Reto, a native of South Africa, finished in a tie for 14th at the NCAA Tournament to help a young Boilermakers squad finish ninth in the team standings.
   Also at the Pure Silk event, the University of Delaware team of former Episcopal Academy standout Amanda Terzian and Andrea Slane finished 34th with rounds of 84, 73 and 164 for a 321 total.

Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour

   The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour made a stop Wednesday at Meadowlands C.C. and Gabriella Kim of Wayne finished second among the nine-holers with a 39.
John Updike of Wayne finished seventh with a 43.
   In the boys 13-to-15 division, Jack Henderson of Wayne finished in a tie for fourth with an 84, Luke Nichols of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for sixth with an 87 and Griffin Colvin of Media finished in a tie for eighth with an 88.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ingraham heats up to take Lehigh Valley Open

   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at M Golf Range, fired a brilliant 9-under 63 in Tuesday’s second round at Northampton Country Club to claim a one-shot victory in the Lehigh Valley Open.
   After an indifferent 1-over 73 in the opening round, Ingraham made five birdies for a 31 on the front side at Northampton. Four more birdies on the back nine enabled him to post an 8-under 136 total to edge Dave Quinn of Links G.C. by a shot.
   “Starting off, I didn’t think I would be able to make a run considering how I played (Monday),” Ingraham told the Philadelphia Section PGA website. “The biggest change today was my putting. I added a new putter in my bag and it made all the difference. Once I made a few birdies I knew there was a number out there to make.”

Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour

   Springfield junior Brian Todaro was Delco’s top finisher at Tuesday’s 11th Annual Harry Hammond Invitational with a 79 at Penn Oaks C.C.
   Todaro finished in a tie for 14th in the 16-to-18 division in one of the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour’s top events, whose namesake is the Penn Oaks Director of Golf. Hammond, a Master Professional, is the Philadelphia area’s top booster of junior golf.
   The top three boys and girls finishers each earn a $3,000 scholarship toward their college education.
Radnor junior Austin Dunlap finished in a tie for 28th with an 83.

   Radnor senior Ben Kleiman made the trip to Easton for a Junior Tour stop at The Club at Morgan Hill July 25 and had a strong showing with a 75 that earned him a fourth-place finish in the 16-to-18 division.
Griffin Colvin of Media finished third in the 13-to-15 division with a 76 and Andrew Todaro of Springfield ended up in a tie for seventh with an 81.
   Among the nine-holers, Gabriella Kim of Wayne finished in a tie for third with a 40.

   Sawyer Wolfers of Newtown Square topped the field in the 13-to-15 division in a Junior Tour stop Monday at Wilmington C.C. with an even-par 71.
   Michael Stanilka of Garnet Valley was another shot back in second with a 72.
   Other finishers at Wilmington included: Media’s Colvin (84); Joey Del Franco (88) of Broomall; and Shane Dougherty (90) of Broomall.
   In the 16-to-18 division, Garnet Valley junior John Concannon had a 79, Springfield senior Jim Callahan had an 81, Garnet Valley junior Jack Highfill had an 82, and Jake Hudock of Glen Mills had an 83.
   Garnet Valley sophomore Annika Vandayar finished second among the girls in the 13-to-15 division with an 81. Alyssa Fulginiti of Garnet Valley finished in a tie for fifth with a 93.
   In the 16-to-18 division for the girls, Bridget Novielli had a 118 and Emily Fulginiti of Garnet Valley posted a 130.
Major moments

   The countdown until the 2013 U.S. Open tees off at Merion Golf Club’s East Course in the Ardmore section of Haverford Township is down to 314 days.   Somehow the last major championship of 2012 is already upon us as the PGA Championship will get started Thursday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
   If Tiger Woods makes it his fourth straight major-less year — and his performance through the first two rounds at one of his favorite courses at this week’s Bridgestone Invitational isn’t inspiring much confidence — the best he can possibly arrive at Merion with is 15 major championships.
   Through three majors, it has been a pretty interesting 2012.
   You have to give it to Bubba Watson for his 40-yard hook to win the Masters in a playoff. Webb Simpson did the last-man-standing thing that so often gets you a U.S. Open title.
   Ernie Els’ fourth career major title —  coming after he had been inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame — will best be remembered for Adam Scott getting on the bogey train and being unable to get off in blowing the British Open.
   But four career majors is four career majors and Els has been nothing but a good player since he got that first one in the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 1994 (the weekend of the Bronco chase involving that O.J. Simpson fella).
   Recent history would suggest somebody completely different winning 2012’s final major. How about the guy who let the PGA slip through his fingers a year ago and has bounced back to have a fantastic 2012? I’m talking Jason Dufner, of course.