Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kan is solid in Philly PGA Junior Tour 2013 opener

   It wasn’t feeling much like spring, but some Delco golfers made the trek to the Jersey Shore last weekend to tee it up in the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour’s first event of 2013, which included separate stops at Ballamor G.C. in Egg Harbor and the Seaview Hotel and G.C.’s Bay Course in Galloway, which is the site of the LPGA’s ShopRite Classic. For those who competed both days, it also comprised a Junior Tour series event.
    Caprian Kan, a Boothwyn resident and the younger sister of 2010 PIAA champion Aurora Kan, put up a solid 84 at Seaview to earn runnerup honors in the 13-to-15 age group, five shots back Kenaida Mills of Tewksbury Township,  N.J.   Combined with the 90 Kan posted at Ballamor, she easily took series honors with her 174 total.
    Also in the 13-to-15 age group at Seaview, Meghan Fahey of Villanova finished in a tie for fifth with a 105.
   Kan’s younger brother Corey also braved the tough conditions at Ballamor and finished eighth among the nine-holers with a 58.
   Garnet Valley junior Jack Highfill took top honors in the 16-to-18 division at Ballamor with a 78.
   Highfill’s Jaguar teammate, sophomore Michael Stanilka, finished in a tie for eighth in the 16-to-18 division at Ballamor with an 84. Highfill came back for more at Seaview and carded an 89. That gave him a two-day total of 173 that earned him a tie for ninth in the two-day series.
   In the boys 13-to-15 division at Seaview, Cardinal O’Hara freshman Alec Kerr finished 11th with an 86, Jacob Calamaro, younger brother of 2009 PIAA girls champion Jackie Calamaro, finished 20th with a 95, and Daniel Bullock of Wayne was 21st with a 100.
   Calamaro opened the weekend with a 101 at Ballamor and finished 13th in the 13-to-15 division overall in the series. Jacob Liberman of Radnor also teed it up in the 13-to-15 division at Ballamor and finished ninth with a 91.
   Caprian Kan was right back at it the Saturday of Easter weekend in a Junior Tour stop at Hidden Creek G.C., again in Jersey Shore territory at Egg Harbor Township. Kan carded an 87 to finish second in the 13-to-15 age group with Mills of Tewskbury Township, N.J. taking the top spot with an 85. Gabriella Morganti of Havertown finished fourth in the division with a 111.
  The Garnet Valley trio of HIghfill, John Concannon and Stanilka were all among the top six in the boys 16-to-18 age group at Hidden Creek. Highfill, a junior, posted an 82 to finish in a three-way tie for second, three shots behind first-place finisher Brandon Vance of Eagleville. Concannon, a junior, finished alone in fifth another shot back at 83 and Stanilka, a sophomore, finished in a tie for sixth with an 85.
   Calamaro finished 13th in the 13-to-15 division with a 98. Jack Hirsh of Villanova finished in a tie for seventh with an 86.
   Among the nine-holers, Joseph Morganti of Havertown was eighth with a 59 and James Quinn of Radnor was 10th with a 65.
Shattuck tees it up in Delaware’s spring opener
   Braden Shattuck, the 2011-12 Daily Times Player of the Year at Sun Valley, was in the lineup for
Delaware’s first event of the spring portion of the campaign, last weekend’s University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) Seahawk Intercollegiate.
   Shattuck, a freshman for the Blue Hens, had rounds of 78 and 85 over the 6,877-yard, par-72 Nicklaus Course at the Country Club of Landfall to finish in a tie for 53rd at 163. Fellow freshman Kyle Wright was the low man for the Blue Hens with rounds of 77 and 81 for a 158 total that left him in a tie for 34th.
   Payne  McLeod of host UNCW was the medalist with rounds of 72 and 71 for a 1-under 143 total that was five shots clear of the rest of the field.
   That led UNCW to the team title with a 604 total. Kent State was a shot back in second, Maryland was third at 609, Coastal Carolina was fourth at 612 and Campbell and Davidson shared fifth place at 617.
   Delaware followed an opening-round 313 with a 331 in the second round for a 644 total that left it in 12th place in a very competitive 12-team field.
   Shattuck and the Blue Hens will be the field today and Tuesday as Villanova hosts the Wildcat Invitational at White Manor C.C.
Some U.S. Open tidbits
   On this April Fools’ Day, the opening round of the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club’s East Course tees off in just 74 days and I’ve got one item of interest from an interview with Hank Thompson, the championship director, that I couldn’t fit into the story that appeared in the Saturday (March 30) Daily Times print edition.
  The last time the Open was at Merion in 1981, the USGA was still holding fast to trying to get every player to start at the first tee. The USGA finally relented to a two-tee start about a decade ago, but the 10th tee at the East Course is not really close to the clubhouse.
   Thompson said players will start at the first and 11th tees the first two days of the Open. The 11th tee is a little closer to the clubhouse. It backs up to Ardmore Avenue. Thompson said it was the proximity of the 10th green to the flash-scoring setup that really decided what other tee was utilized.
   But the 11th is an interesting starting hole. It is, of course, the Bobby Jones hole with a plaque at the tee commemorating the hole on which Jones finished off his 8 and 7 victory over Eugene Homans in the final of the 1930 U.S. Amateur that completed the calendar Grand Slam of the day, the U.S. Open, the British Amateur, the British Open and the U.S. Amateur, for Jones, who promptly retired from competitive golf.
   The 11th is a short hole, about 365 yards, but there’s danger all around one of, if not the, smallest greens on the course. A wayward second shot can mean a ball in the water that surrounds the green on three sides. Or worse, at one point, depending on how the course is marked by tournament officials, the water behind the green can actually be out of bounds.
   Thompson, by the way, is the championship director of the Open for the fourth time. He has been on an odd-year schedule beginning with Oakmont in 2007, Bethpage Black in 2009 and Congressional I  2011.
   Thompson began what turned into a career in golf running the various golf tournaments at the Pinehurst Resort in his native North Carolina. He moved up to putting on some of the prestigious North & South championships that Pinehurst stages every year and got on the USGA’s radar when the 1999 U.S. Open was held at Pinehurst.
   Next year both the men’s and women’s Opens will be held at Pinehurst within weeks of each other. Thompson and golf fans everywhere will be interested to see how that works out.
   One last item on the Open agenda.  There will be three local qualifiers for the Merion Open, at Waynesborough Country Club May 12, at Whitford Country Club May 13 and Applebrook Country Club May 16.
   This area got a couple of extra spots in the U.S. Amateur field when that event was held at Merion in 2005.
   It’s a little different with Open qualifying. Even if you survive the 18-hole local qualifying, it only earns you a spot in a 36-hole, one-day sectional qualifier at which you will often run into PGA Tour professionals, top club pros and top amateur players.
   Michael Tobiason Jr., a native of the Wilmington area, was a golf instructor at Applecross Country Club in Chester County when he made the field for the 2011 Open at Congressional, so it can be done.

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