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Monday, July 29, 2013

Sheftic featured in 'The Road to the PGA Championship'

   This should have made the Golf Notebook in the July 28 Daily Times print product, but it was a bare-bones, just-the-results sort of notebook owing to my being on vacation, except, of course, for the U.S. Amateur qualifying July 22, which I couldn’t possibly miss since it was at Radnor Valley Country Club and Overbrook Golf Club, and which didn’t disappoint a little bit.

   With the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club near Rochester, N.Y. approaching next week, CBS aired “The Road to the PGA Championship” Sunday. The show will be rebroadcast on Golf Channel Wednesday, July 31 from 9 to 10 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 1 from midnight to 1 a.m. and Monday, Aug. 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. and from 8 to 9 p.m.
   I mention this because one of players in the field featured in the program is Merion Golf Club head of instruction Mark Sheftic.
   Sheftic qualified for the field by being one of the top 20 finishers at last month’s PGA Professional National Championship at the Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Ore. I like to refer to the event by its traditional shorthand name, the National Club Pro.
   It is the third time that Sheftic, a 39-year-old Blue Bell resident, has taken this route to the PGA, the final major each year. Sheftic comes from a golf family as his dad is a longtime club pro in the York area. According to a press release from the PGA of America regarding “The Road to the PGA Championship,” Sheftic and his family have dealt with life-threatening health issues regarding their infant daughter Taylor.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hakun finishes third at Honeybrook

   The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour had dueling stops Wednesday with the majority of the local golfers teeing it up at Honeybrook Gof Club in Chester County.
   Springfield All-Delco Kyle Hakun headlined that group with a 77 that gave him a third-place finish in the 16-to-18 division. He finished eight shots back of the day’s overall winner, Paoli’s Andrew Willner, who fired a 1-under 69 over the 6,296-yard, par-70 Honeybrook layout.
   Jake Hudock of Glen Mills finished in a tie for 15th with an 83 and Nicholas Monaghan of Newtown Square was another shot back in 17th with an 84.
   In the 13-to-15 division, Jacob Liberman of Radnor finished sixth with a 76, Minwoo Kwak of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for ninth with a 81, Ryan Conway of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for 16th with an 87 and Daniel Bullock of Wayne finished 22nd with a 105.
   Incoming Radnor freshman Gabrielle Kim had a busy week on the Junior Tour, including a second in the 13-to-15 division at Honeybrook with an 84, eight shots behind Coatesville state qualifier Samantha Staudt.
   A couple of members of Notre Dame’s undefeated Inter-Ac League championship team teed it up in the 16-to-18 division with senior Coryn Mullen finishing in a tie for second with a 91 and senior Caroline Barker finishing fifth with a 98.
   Among the nine-holers, Aronimink G.C.’s Civitella brothers, Billy (40) and Kevin (50), finished tied for second and 11th, respectively, Dolan Cox of Newtown Square finished ninth with a 47, William Blatchford of Wayne finished in a tie for 10th with a 48, and Wayne’s June Kim, who is very likely Gabrielle’s younger sister, finished 16th with a 56.
   Garnet Valley junior Annika Vandayar, meanwhile, headed south Wednesday for the Junior Tour stop at Garrison’s Lake Golf Club, north of Dover, Del. for the first of a three-day Junior Tour series in the First State.
   She fired an 81 over the 5,540-yard, par-72 Garrison’s Lake layout to finish second in the 16-to-18 division, three shots back of Samantha Leite of Camden, Del., and four shots ahead of Villa Maria junior Cara Basso, the PIAA Class AA champion last fall.
   Those three continued to battle throughout the three days, playing in nearly 100-degree heat each day.
   Basso fired a sparkling 2-over 74 over the 5,512-yard, par-72 Wild Quail Golf & Country Club on Day 2 Thursday  to take top honors for the day with Leite second with a 78 and Vandayar third with an 83.
   On Day 3 Friday at the 5,524-yard, par-72 Maple Dale Country Club layout, Basso and Leite each carded an 85 while Vandayar wasn’t far behind with an 88.
   In the final series accounting, Leite finished first at 241, three shots better than Basso’s 244, with Vandayar claiming third at 252.
   Cardinal O’Hara senior Kevin George finished 17th in the boys 16-to-18 division at Garrison’s Lake with a 90. He improved to an 80 at Maple Dale and finished in a tie for sixth in the division for the final day of the series.
   Kaitlyn Lees, the Agnes Irwin eighth-grader who won the Inter-Ac League title in the spring, was one of the few local golfers who trekked to New Jersey for both ends of the Junior Tour series event that started Monday at Trenton C.C. and concluded Tuesday at Laurel Creek C.C.
   Lees had an 87 at Trenton to top the 13-to-15 field and then added a 93 at Laurel Creek to win the overall series in her age group with a 180 total. Radnor’s Gabrielle Kim bested Lees for the day at Laurel Creek with an 89.
   Kim teed it up in a Junior Tour stop at Riverton C.C. Monday and finished third in the 13-to-15 division there with an 86.
   In the 16-to-18 division, Notre Dame’s Mullen finished third with an 89. Kimmy Sanna of Swarthmore was fifth with a 108.
   June Kim teed it up with the nine-holers at Riverton and finished second with a 57 behind Wayne’s  Blatchford, who had a 46. June Kim also played at Laurel Creek and finished ninth among the nine-holers with a 54.
   In the boys 13-to-15 division at Riverton, Michael Sydnes of Bryn Mawr finished in a tie for second with a 76, Ryan Brennan of Media finished sixth with an 81, Ryan Conway of Bryn Mawr was 10th with an 88 and Daniel Bullock of Wayne was 12th with 95.
   In the boys 16-to-18 division, Harry Bellwoar of Newtown Square finished tied for 10th with an 85 and Garnet Valley junior Michael Stanilka was 13th with an 87.
   In the 13-to-15 division at Laurel Creek, Radnor’s Liberman finished in a tie for ninth with an 81.
   In the girls 16-to-18 division at Laurel Creek, Dominique Marchese of Media finished fifth with a 101 and Anna Haley, the Catholic League champion at Bonner-Prendergast, finished 10th with a 117..

Philadelphia Women’s Amateur

   Emily Gimpel, a standout on the Mount St. Joseph teams that dominated the District One team competition until being unseated by Radnor two falls ago, cruised to a 9 and 8 decision over Kerry Rutan of Philadelphia Cricket Club in the scheduled 36-hole final to capture the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship Friday at Philadelphia Country Club.
   Gimpel, playing out of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, had to go 19 holes to edge Noreen Mohler of Northampton C.C. in Thursday's semifinals. Rutan, meanwhile, edged eight-time champion Laura Ladden of Whitford Country Club, 2 and 1, in the other semifinal. Ladden is the daughter of former longtime Whitford head pro Harry Hammond and was a PIAA champion at Unionville.
   Rutan, Ladden and Kelsey Solan of Burlington Country Club shared medalist honors with 78s Monday. Gimpel was in a group at 79 that included Merion Golf Club’s Catherine Elliott, the former Notre Dame and Penn standout, and Huntingdon Valley Country Club veteran Bonnie George. 
   Merion veteran Liz Haines, the 1994 winner of this evet, also earned a spot in match play with an 84.
   Elliott and Haines were both knocked out in the first round of match play as Elliott fell to Alexandra Frazier of Gulph Mills Golf Club on the 19th hole while Haines dropped a 6 and 5 decision to Ladden.
   Alex Liu, the defending champion and a two-time state qualifier at Lower Merion, was upset by Mohler, 3 and 2, in the quarterfinals.
   Overbrook G.C.’s Karen McFadden earned a spot in the first flight of match play with an 87 in qualifying, but she was ousted in the first round by Wendy Kennedy of Sunnybrook G.C. in a thriller that went 20 holes.
   Christina Koerper of Huntingdon Valley Country Club took first-flight honors with a 2 and 1 victory over Marji Goldman of Philadelphia Cricket Club in the final.

Springhaven quartet settles for second

   Riding a brilliant 6-under 66 posted by Andrew Harmer, The Springhaven Club foursome of Harmer, John Turner, Rich Thon and Robert Maze came up just short in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Senior Four-Man Team championship Thursday at Plymouth Country Club.
   Late in the day, the Springhaven group, which had posted a 9-under 135 total, was edged by a shot by the Lookaway Golf Club foursome of Michael Anton, Fred Ferino, Roc Irey and Thomas Mallouk. The Lookaway crew posted a 10-under 134 total over the 6,274-yard, par-72 Plymouth layout in the two-best-balls-of-foursome competition.
   But that certainly didn’t take anything away from the effort by Harmer, a 58-year-old Media resident. His round included four birdies and an eagle.
   Even when he hit a bad shot, it turned out OK. He chunked a wedge approach on the 294-yard fourth hole. No problem. He just chipped in for birdie on his next shot.
   “I just hit it on the green and it rolled the whole way,” Harmer told the GAP website. “Somehow it stayed on line and reached the hole.”
   He finished the round in style. At the 475-yard, par-5 eighth hole, he reached the green in two with a 5-hybrid from 177 yards and drained an 18-foot eagle putt. Then, after a poor drive on the 387-yard, par-4 ninth hole, he had to shape a right-to-left shot just to get it on the green, 45 feet from the hole. Naturally, he made the long birdie putt.
   Apparently, his playing partners have seen this act before.
   “Anything can happen with Harmer,” said Mize, a 59-year-old Broomall resident. “You know the commercial where the dog’s throwing the ball back out? That’s playing with Harmer. Hits the tree and the ball immaculately comes back into the fairway.”
   The Merion Golf Club foursome of Donald Dissinger, Fred Jones, J. Kirk Lunley and Robert Wagner were one of two teams tied for fourth at 137.
   A Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association quartet that included two of my fellow Archbishop Carroll Class of 1973 products, Mike Owsik and Paul Cornley, finished eighth at 140. Rounding out that group were James Prendergast and Michael Harris.
   Llanerch Country Club’s Neil McDermott, patriarch of the golfing McDermott clan, teamed with William Lawler of Fox Hill Country Club, Michael Rose of Talamore Country Club  and Don Donatoni of White Manor Country Club to finish ninth at 141.
   A Springhaven foursome of James Reger, Joe Culley, R.B. Diorio Jr. and Roy Bell and a Merion foursome of Arthur Kania Jr., Gordon Jamieson, Paul Suckow and Robert Roehr were at 143 in a tie for 11th.
   Springhaven’s Curt Fromal teamed with Norman Jester of Downingtown Country Club, Joseph Maxwell of Hartefeld National and Stan Zabytko of Loch Nairn Golf Club to post a 146.
   Jon Stein, Rick Bunn and William McCabe Jr. of McCall Golf & Country Club teamed with Marty DeLuca of Penn Oaks Golf Club to card a 153. And the Concord Country Club foursome of Bill Blackburn, Edward Randel, Len Orlando and Mike Moses Sr. were at 155.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Philadelphia Open tees off Wednesday at Waynesborough

    Wednesday is going to be a tough day to play 36 holes with temperatures expected to get real close to triple figures, but that’s exactly what the area’s top golfers, pro and amateur alike, will be doing as the Golf Association of Philadelphia stages its 109th Open championship at Waynesborough Country Club.
   And speaking of hot, three of the hottest players in the area will be playing in the same group.
Leading the trio is Merion Golf Club amateur  Michael McDermott, who added his second Philadelphia Amateur championship at Aronimink Golf Club last month to the fourth career Middle-Amateur title he won earlier in the spring.
   “I feel pretty good about my game, but everything in the past is in the past,” said the 38-year-ol d McDermott, who holds a commanding lead as he bids to win the William Hyndman III award that goes to the GAP Player of the Year for a sixth time. “The Open is a great tournament. We all start at even-par on the first. Waynesborough is a hard course. It’s going to test everybody. I’m sure it will be in great shape.”
   Joining McDermott in the marquee threesome is Merion’s director of instruction Mark Sheftic. He is coming off a tie for fourth at the PGA Professional National Championship in Oregon that earned him a ticket to the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in August. Sheftic is leading the Philadelphia Section PGA’s Drexel Morgan & Co. Player of the Year standings.
   Rounding out the trio  is Temple sophomore Brandon Matthews, who is playing out of Glenmaura National Golf Club. Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston, won the rain-shortened Patterson Cup last summer before embarking on an outstanding freshman campaign with the Owls. He just missed earning a spot in the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club with a strong showing in sectional qualifying.
   The field of 78 will include 48 amateurs and 30 pros.
   The reigning Philadelphia Section PGA Player of the Year, Stu Ingraham, the head of instruction at M Golf Range in Newtown Square, will be trying to win his second Philadelphia Open title, the first one coming 19 years ago.
   Ingraham will be joined in his group by Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster giving that group two of the very best over-50 players in area.
   Among the other past champions in the field are Spring-Ford Country Club head pro Rich Steinmetz (2009), Links Golf Club pro David Quinn (2006) and amateur Michael Brown (2010), representing the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association.
   Also in the field are Overbrook Golf Club’s Kania brothers, James Jr., the 2009 William Hyndman III GAP Player of the Year, and Michael, who reached the semifinals of the Philadelphia Amateur at Aronimink. Michael Kania’s teammate on the Villanova golf team this spring, Cory Siegfried, who is playing out of Aronimink, is also in the field. Both Kanias and Siegfried are Haverford School All-Delcos.
   Conrad Von Borsig, a reinstated amateur who was a two-time PIAA medalist and the 2004-05 Daily Times Player of the Year at Strath Haven, is in the field. Von Borsig, playing out of White Manor Country Club, reached the semifinals of the Philadelphia Amateur before falling to McDermott.
   Also in the field are Radnor Valley Country Club’s Kavian and Carey Bina, Radnor’s All-Delco brothers from a year ago. Kavian is coming off a solid freshman season at NYU. Carey, who is headed for Wake Forest later this summer, recently qualified for next week’s U.S. Junior Amateur at the Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Croneys post a 77 in Father & Son event

   Episcopal Academy junior Trey Croney and his dad Kenneth Croney Jr. were the top local finishers as the Golf Association of Philadelphia staged its Father & Son (Younger) event Thursday at St. Davids Golf Club.
   The Croneys, playing out of Overbrook Golf Club posted a 77 over the 6,229-yard, par-70 St. Davids layout to finish tied for 11th in the junior division of the alternate-shot event.
   The title went to Tatnall School sophomore Davis Mitchell and his dad Randy, who carded a sparkling 3-under 67 that left the Wilmington Country Club entry three shots clear of the field.
   Three local teams were among the group in a tie for 14th at 78. They included Rolling Green Golf Club’s Quinn Dolan, a junior at Bonner-Prendergast, and his dad Kevin, the Merion Golf Club pair of son Peter Dissinger and his dad Donald, and The Springhaven Club’s Thomas Chizauskie and his dad Christopher, playing out of Concord Country Club.
   Aronimink Golf Club’s Michael Walsh III and his dad Patrick were at 82 and Garnet Valley senior John Concannon and his dad Jack, playing out of Concord, posted an 84.
   In the junior-junior division, the Aronimink duo of Bill Civitella and dad Billy finished in a tie for fourth with a 77. The junior-junior title went to Jacob Hanzel and his dad Edward as the Running Deer Golf Club duo came in with a 73 to finish three shots ahead of the field.
   Some of the other top local finishers in the junior-junior division included: The Golf Course at Glen Mills pair of Heyward George and dad Brad with an 83; Llanerch Country Club’s  Joseph Morganti and dad Joe with an 84; Richard Patton Jr. and dad Austin Patton of Concord with an 87; Jack Burton of Overbrook and dad Dennis of Stonewall with a 92; Llanerch’s Thomas Castaldi and dad Michael with a 95; Concord’s Robbie Moses and dad Rob with a 98; Aronimink’s Jeff Fialko and dad Jack with a 99; and Brian Deppen of Skippack Golf Club and dad Brendan of Paxon Hollow Country Club with a 101

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jaster ends up tied for sixth at Junior PGA qualifier

   As often happens this time of year, there was more golf news than the printed page could handle in the Daily Times, so a blog post starts with some news from the Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour:
   Three-time Haverford School All-Delco Scott Jaster came up a little short in his bid to return to the Junior PGA Championship, which is being held this year at Trump  National G.C. in Potomac Falls, Va.
   Isaiah Logue of Fairfield earned the coveted ticket to the Junior PGA with rounds of 71 and 73 at North Hills C.C. Monday for a 144 total. Jaster had rounds of 76 and 75 for a 151 total that left him in a tie for sixth.
   Among some of the other competitors in the 13-to-18 division were: Kyle Allan (78-87—165) of Wayne; Garnet Valley senior Jack Highfill (82-84—166); Penncrest junior Griffin Colvin (85-82—168); Springfield All-Delco Kyle Hakun (87-83—170); and Matthew Davis (91-89—180) of Newtown Square. In the 13-to-15 division, Colvin was tied for 12th and Davis was 16th.
   The girls and the younger boys and girls played their Junior PGA qualifier at nearby Meadowlands C.C. and Pennsbury’s Jackie Rogowicz earned the trip to Trump National with rounds of 79 and 67 for a 146 total that was three shots better than reigning District One Class AAA champion Isabella DiLisio  (77-72) of Mount St. Joseph.
   Radnor sophomore Brynn Walker, fresh off her victory in the Pennsylvania Girls’ Junior Tournament, finished in a tie for seventh with rounds of 85 and 82 for a 167 total. Garnet Valley junior Annika Vandayar (87-81—178) was 14th and Springfield senior Samantha Miller (95-97—192) finished in a tie for 18th.
   Among the 13-to-15 girls, Radnor freshman Gabriella Kim (88-89—177) finished in a tie for second, Agnes Irwin eighth-grader Kaitlyn Lees (90-91—181), the Inter-Ac League champion, finished fourth; Boothwyn’s Caprian Kan (95-88—183) finished tied for fifth; and  Villanova’s Meghan Fahey (110-101—211) finished 10th.
   The nine-holers stretched it out to a full 18 in a 12-and-under coed division and Wallingford 10-year-old phenom Kevin Smith topped the field with an 85.

Szipszky on his game at Hershey

   The Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour made a stop at Hershey C.C. Wednesday and Thursday for a Cleveland/Srixon Golf event and Michael Szipszky of Newtown Square had rounds of 79 and 72 for a 151 total that gave him a share of fourth place in the 13-to-18 division.
   Michael Hoare of Mechanicsburg had rounds of 70 and 71 to finish first at the 6,463-yard, par-71 layout with a 1-under 141 total.
   Penncrest junior Griffin Colvin (77-83) finished in a tie for 23rd at 160, Haverford School junior Jay Losty (84-79) finished in a tie for 32nd at 163 and Kyle Hakun (82-82), coming off an All-Delco senior season at Springfield, finished in a tie for 34th at 164.
   In the girls’ 13-to-18 division, Garnet  Valley junior Annika Vandayar (86-87—173) finished in a tie for seventh, Radnor freshman Gabrielle Kim (88-89—177) finished 10th, Agnes Irwin eighth-grader Kaitlyn Lees (89-90—189) finished tied for 11th and Springfield senior Samantha Miller (92-93—185) finished 13th. Top honors went to Haley Goodling of Manheim with rounds of 84 and 77 for a 161 total.

Philadelphia Section PGA

   Rolling Green G.C. assistant Mike Little fired a 71 and was among the early leaders in the TaylorMade Top 100 event, but Alex Knoll, an assistant at Bethlehem G.C., solved the Philmont C.C. layout to the tune of a 4-under 66 to take the title.
   The field included the top 100 finishers on last year’s Drexel Morgan & Co. Player of the Year points list as well as TaylorMade invitees.
   Top honors in the senior division went to John DiMarco, head pro at Laurel Creek C.C., who was also the runnerup overall with a 1-under 69. Checking in with an even-par 70 was none other than Ed Dougherty, the St. James product who is a winner on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour in his illustrious pro golf career.