McDermott back in form at Crump Cup
He took another break this year, but this one was not planned. A digestive illness landed him in the hospital and kept him off the golf course for six weeks.
The illness cost him a chance to compete in this summer’s Philadelphia Open at the famed Pine Valley Golf Club in South Jersey. McDermott is a member at Merion Golf Club, site of the 2013 U.S. Open, but like many top amateur players in this area, he maintains a membership at Pine Valley as well, so he had to be disappointed to not be able to tee it up in one of the few events on the GAP circuit that he has yet to win.
But last weekend the 37-year-old, who starred scholastically at Haverford High and collegiately at Saint Joseph’s University, got the next best thing. He won the 88th edition of the Crump Cup, an annual event at Pine Valley that draws top amateur players from all over the country.
McDermott downed Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nev., 2 and 1, in the final after going to the 19th hole to edge Gene Elliott of West Des Moines, Iowa in the semifinals.
The story of the early part of the tournament was the play of Mike McCoy, who took the qualifying medal with record-shattering scores unseen around the difficult Pine Valley layout that is carved out of the pine barrens.
The 49-year-old McCoy, like Elliott a resident of West Des Moines, Iowa, has been one of the country’s top amateur players for years. He broke the competitive course record with an opening-round 64 and then added a second-round 65 for a 129 total that broke the Crump Cup qualifying record by seven shots. McDermott was the qualifying runnerup, a distant 13 shots back of McCoy.
But after winning two matches, the magic suddenly wore off for McCoy, who was dusted, 7 and 6, by Marsh in the semifinals.
That set the stage for McDermott to beat Marsh for the title. If there were any doubts that McDermott can still play the game at a high level, they were answered last weekend.
Haverford School sweeps again
The Haverford School put its talent and depth on display again as the Fords swept the field in the Inter-Ac League’s third mini-tournament of the season Sept. 27 at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course. Springside Chestnut Hill Academy hosted the mini-tournament.
That makes the Fords 3-for-3 halfway through the six mini-tournaments that determine the league champion. Haverford School is gunning for a third straight Inter-Ac League crown.
Seniors Scott Jaster and Timmy Brooks and junior Cole Berman led the way with 37s. Max Siegfried and Jay Losty checked in with 39s and the Fords could take their pick for the final counter on their team total from one of the three 40s posted by Jake Van Arkel, Ryan Tetrault and Otis Baker.
It added up to a 229 total, 13 shots clear of Episcopal Academy and Malvern Prep, which shared second place at 242.
Episcopal was led by seniors Sean Fahey and Alex Dupre and sophomore Joe Chambers, each with 40.
Germantown Academy’s Lane Udis captured medalist honors for the day with a 36.
A look at the individual player records through three mini-tournaments shows more evidence of the Fords’ depth. All-Delcos Jaster and Berman are 1-2 with Jaster’s record at 132-3-6 and Berman at 123-11-7.
As was noted at the top of the last blog post, Jaster was recently named a member of the AJGA’s 2012 HP Scholastic Junior All-America team.
The Fords have seven players among the top 17 with Baker fourth, Brooks sixth, Siegfried 10th, Tetrault 14th and Van Arkel 17th.
The Inter-Ac took a break last week. The players get back in action with back-to-back mini-tournaments, the first hosted by The Haverford School at Gulph Mills G.C. Monday (Oct. 8) and the second hosted by Malvern Prep at Waynesborough C.C. Tuesday (Oct. 9).
Pellegrini one of The Citadel’s stalwarts
The Citadel was close to home for last week’s South Carolina State Bulldog Invitational held at Patriots Point in Charleston, S.C.
Sophomore Kellie Anderson paced the Bulldogs with a 237 total to finish 20th.
Pellegrini was just a shot back at 238, a total that featured an opening round of 2-under 70 over the 5,799-yard, par-72 layout. Pellegrini ballooned to a 90 in the second round before recovering with a final-round 77.
Anderson and Pellegrini led the Bulldogs to a 953 total (310-323-320) that enabled them to finish fifth in the team standings. Wofford, The Citadel’s Southern Conference rival, won the team title with an 884 total. Wofford was followed by Bethune-Cookman (895), host South Carolina State (931) and Towson (952), which was just a shot better than the Bulldogs.
In mid-September, Pellegrini had another 70, again a 2-under total, over the 5,932-yard, par-72 Waynesville Inn, Golf Resort and Spa layout in Waynesville, N.C., on her way to a 24th-place finish in the Great Smokies Intercollegiate.
Pellegrini’s 70 came after an opening-round 79 and she was The Citadel’s top finisher in the event, leading the Bulldogs to a tie for 13th in the team standings at 627 (320-307).
Morehead State captured the team title with rounds of even-par 288 and 1-under 287. Tournament host Western Carolina was the runnerup, seven shots back of Morehead State at 582.
Lutz upset at U.S. Senior Amateur
Chip Lutz, the reigning Canadian and British Senior Amateur champion from Reading, looked like he had designs on adding the U.S. Senior Amateur crown to his trophy case.
Lutz had a pair of 70s in qualifying at the 6,745-yard, par-71 Mountain Ridge C.C. layout in West Caldwell, N.J. for a 2-under 140. That left him in a tie for fourth place, just four shots back of medalist Jim Holtgrieve, the U.S. Walker Cup captain who led the qualifying with a pair of 68s for a 6-under 136 total.
But Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale, Calif., knocked Lutz out with a 1-up victory in the opening round of match play.
George “Buddy” Marucci, the winning U.S. Walker Cup team captain in 2007 and again in 2009 at his home course, Merion G.C.’s famed East Course, missed the cutoff for match play with rounds of 78 and 74 for a 10-over 152 total. The cut fell at 7-over 149.
Marucci won the U.S. Senior Amateur title in between his Walker Cup captaincy years in 2008. It was the first USGA title for Marucci, who lost to that Tiger Woods fella in the 1995 U.S. Amateur final.
Don Donatoni of Malvern also missed match play. He opened with a solid 2-over 73, but fell back in the second round with a 78 to finish at nine-over 151.
Philly seniors settle for second
The 24th Senior Challenge Matches were held Tuesday at Whitemarsh Valley C.C. and the Golf Association of Philadelphia squad finished second.
Overbrook G.C.’s Ray Thompson, Saucon Valley C.C.’s Tom Bartolacci Jr. and Lancaster C.C.’s Martin Detweiler led the GAP team as each fired a 76 over the Whitemarsh Valley layout that was once home to a regular PGA Tour stop.
The GAP team compiled a 468 total that left them seven shots back of the Maryland State Golf Association team.
Donatoni, just back from his U.S. Senior Amateur appearance, chipped in with a 77 for Team GAP. The 82 posted by Overbrook’s Frank McFadden also counted. The Springhaven Club’s Rich Thon had an 83.
Speaking of Merion’s East Course, the countdown until the 2013 U.S. Open tees off right here in Delaware County is at 250 days.