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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harbold takes the big prize at Haverford Trust Classic

   It is one of, if not the largest payday offered by a PGA Section in the country. That would be the $75,000 first prize that goes to the winner of the Philadelphia Section’s Haverford Trust Classic at Sunnybrook Golf Club.
   Lancaster Country Club pro Rusty Harbold completed a 5-under par round of 67 Tuesday when thunderstorms halted play. Much to his relief, the score held up for that whopping top prize when play was finally complete Wednesday.
   The dropoff in prize money after that top spot is precipitous as Brian Kelly, the veteran pro at Bucknell Golf Club, finished just a shot back of Harbold with a 4-under 68, but earned only $384. The top prize a year ago went to Billy Stewart, who grew up playing at Llanerch Country Club. Stewart was returning to the area after spending nearly a decade playing the Florida mini-tours following his collegiate career at Saint Joseph’s.
   Dave McNabb of Applebrook Golf Club and Terry Hertzog of the Country Club of York shared third place with 69s. Hertzog was one of the players who returned to the course Wednesday with an outside shot at catching Harbold, but he couldn’t quite match Harbold’s 67.
   Stu Ingraham, the teaching pro at the M Golf Range, finished in a tie for fifth at 2-under 70 with John Lynch of Peninsula Golf Club and Steve Swartz pf Conestoga Country Club.
   Among some other finishers in the Haverford Trust were: John Allen (72, tied for 10th) of TaylorMade Golf; Stewart (73, tied for 18th), who is at The ACE Club; Mark Sheftic (74, tied for 20th), the head of instruction at Merion Golf Club; Anthony Napoletano (74, tied for 20th), the former Cardinal O’Hara standout who is at GolfTEC in King of Prussia; Bryan Kienke (74, tied for 20th) of Aronimink Golf Club; Ed Dougherty (75, tied for 30th), the Linwood native who has won on the both PGA and Champions tours; and Carson Solien (75, tied for 30th) of Aronimink Golf Club.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Barron doesn't miss at Mid-Am this time

   A year ago, Pete Barron III of Stone Harbor Golf Club saw his chance at a Golf Association of Philadelphia Mid-Amateur championship, presented by Callaway Golf, slip away in a playoff loss to Merion Golf Club’s Michael McDermott, who won one of GAP’s prized major championships for a fourth time.
   Barron got another chance at this year’s Mid-Am title Thursday at Gulph Mills Golf Club and this time the 38-year-old Mays Landing, N.J. resident made the most of the opportunity.
   Barron holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole at the 6,536-yard, par-71 Gulph Mills layout to complete a final-round 68 and finish at 5-under 137, one shot clear of Yardley Country Club’s Chris Ault.
   Barron had driven it poorly on the shortish 452-yard, par-5 finishing hole and had to chip out. His 9-iron approach landed 30 feet from the pin and spun back to 10 feet.
   “I told myself to make an aggressive swing that will get to the back of the green and spin back,” Barron told the GAP website. “I wanted to hit something hard. I read the putt to have about two feet of break. It broke a hair more than that and snuck in the right side.
   “I was relieved. I could breathe. I was just thinking, get it to the hole and give it a chance.”
   Ault double-bogeyed the tough par-3 17th,  but needed just a pitching wedge to reach the last in two and holed a five-footer for eagle. That completed a final-round 68 that got him to 4-under 138.
   Chip Lutz of LedgeRock Golf Club and one of the leading senior amateur players in the world, faltered down the stretch. Lutz had led after Wednesday’s opening round with a 3-under 68 and still had the lead heading to the back nine. Lutz finished with an even-par 71 and shared fourth place with Andy Latkowski (71-68) at 3-under 139.
   Barron and Lutz had two holes remaining when Thursday’s wild weather hit and they had to wait out a three-hour delay before returning to the course to complete their rounds.
   McDermott, a Haverford High and Saint Joseph’s product who has been the dominant GAP  mid-am player for more than a decade, came on strong in Round 2 after opening with a 74. His 3-under 68 Thursday left him in a tie for sixth at even-par 142. He was joined at that figure by Jeff Osberg (73-69), briefly a member at Llanerch Country Club who now plays out of Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
   Among some other finishers with Delco ties are: Merion’s John Sawin (72-71—143, tied for ninth), a Haverford School All-Delco; Llanerch’s Steve Seiden (73-72—145, tied for 17th), a Strath Haven All-Delco; Overbrook Golf Club’s James Kania Jr. (72-75—147, tied for 24th), the 2005-06 Daily Times Player of the Year at Haverford School; Overbrook’s Chris Lange (75-73—148, tied for 32); Overbrook’s Brad McFadden (76-73—149, tied for 36th); Llanerch’s Cory Reighard (77-72—149, tied for 36th); Overbrook’s Chris Lange Jr. (77-73—150, tied for 43rd); Rolling Green Golf Club’s Shawn Levin (76-75—151, tied for 48th); Overbrook’s Oscar Mestre (78-75—153, tied for 57th); Overbrook’s Ray Thompson (76-77—153, tied for 57th); White Manor Country Club’s Conrad Von Borsig (76-77—153, tied for 57th), the 2005-05 Daily Times Player of the Year at Strath Haven; Llanerch’s Kevin McDermott (78-79—157, tied for 67th), a Haverford High All-Delco; Llanerch’s Sean Coyle (78-80—158, tied for 71st); and Concord Country Club’s Doug Fedoryshyn (74-84—158, tied for 71st).

Hargrove teams with Matthews for share of second

   Many of the state’s top players were at Chester Valley Golf Club Monday and Tuesday for the Pennsylvania Better-Ball Championship sponsored by Allegheny Health Services and a formidable team of former Haverford School standout Nelson Hargrove and reigning GAP Player of the Year Brandon Matthews got a share of second with rounds of 69 and 65 for a 6-under 134 total.
   The Oakmont Country Club pair of Spencer Mellon and Justin Miller emerged from a closely-bunched group of leaders to take the title with rounds of 66 and 67 for a 7-under 133 total.
Will Wears and Cameron Roth (69-65) shared second place with Hargrove and Matthews.
   Hargrove was coming off a solid senior season at Brown, which saw him lose the Ivy League title in a playoff after finishing in a tie for first. Matthews had a strong sophomore season at Temple, capped by earning an individual berth to the NCAA Regional at Raleigh, N.C.
   The brothers Kania, Overbrook’s James Jr. and Michael, both two-time Haverford School All-Delcos, teamed up to finish in a tie for ninth with rounds of 69 and 68 for a 3-under 137 total.
Conrad Von Borsig teamed with Rich Keenan to post rounds of 68 and 71 for a 139 total that left them in a tie for 14th.
   Overbrook’s Liam Fahey teamed with Radnor Valley Country Club’s Bobby Svigals, a former Episcopal Academy standout who’s at Franklin & Marshall, for rounds of 70 and 72 for a 142 total that left them in a tie for 26th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moses tames Trump Nationall to take Connelly Cup

   With the wind up Monday at Trump National Philadelphia in Pine Hill, N.J., par was a pretty good score as the top Philadelphia Section PGA pros competed in the Connelly Cup.
   Only one of them managed to finish under par and that was Concord Country Club head pro Mike Moses, whose 2-under 69 gave him a two-shot margin of victory over Dave Quinn of Links Golf Club.
   Starting on the 11th hole, Moses made a birdie on the 12th before giving a shot back with a bogey at the tough par-4 17th. But birdies at the par-5 first hole and the difficult par-4 third hole got him to 2-under and he finished with seven straight pars.
   “I was able to stay out of trouble for most of the day, but when I did get off track, I managed to avoid making a large number,” Moses told the Philly PGA website. “The course played tough, but fair. I putted really well and I think that is what  made the difference for me today.”
   Quinn was 4-over after his first three holes, but jump-started his round by holing a 7-iron on the 170-yard, par-3 second hole for an ace.
   Some other top finishers at Trump National included: Eric Kennedy (74, tied for third) of Overbrook Golf Club; Stu Ingraham (75, tied for seventh), the teaching professional at the M Golf Range; Craig Susalka (78, tied for 18th) of Edgmont Country Club; Ed Dougherty (79, tied for 24th), a winner on both the PGA and Champions tours; and George Forster (80, tied for 27th), the head pro at Radnor Valley Country Club.
   The Connelly Cup is named for Jack Connelly, who was the head pro at Huntingdon Valley Country Club for many years and served as president of both the Philadelphia Section and the PGA of America during his illustrious career.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Updike, Kan have strong showings at Chesapeake Bay

   The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour staged a two-day Elite Tour event over the weekend at the Chesapeake Bay Golf Club in Rising Sun,  Md.
   To be eligible for an Elite Tour event, boys must have a round of 79 or better on the Junior Tour and girls a round of 89 or better. There are just one boys and one girls division, ages 13 to 18, unlike regular Junior Tour events, which have 13-to-15 and 16-to-18 divisions for boys and girls.
   John Updike of Wayne again had a very strong showing with rounds of 80 and 87 over the 6,439-yard, par-71 (for boys) Chesapeake Bay layout for a 167 total that left him in 11th place. As a class of 2019, Updike was one of the younger competitors in the field.
   Connor Sheehan of Quarryville took top honors with rounds of 75 and 72 for a 5-over 147 total. He finished two shots ahead of Zachary Barbin of Elkton, Md., who had rounds of 74 and 75 for a 149 total.
   The Vance brothers, who led Methacton to the District One Class AAA team title last fall, figured prominently in the event. Kyle, a freshman who was the District One individual champion, finished third with rounds of 77 and 73 for a 150 total and older brother Brandon, a senior, finished in a tie for fourth with rounds of 76 and 75 for a 151 total.
   On the girls side, Chichester freshman Caprian Kan was third in a three-girl field. Kan had rounds of 90 and 85 over the 5,801-yard, par-72 (for girls) layout for a 175 total. Top honors went to Esther Park of Wilmington, Del. who had rounds of 80 and 87 for a 167 total.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Aronimink's Bierkan loses in playoff at Delaware Valley Open

   John Bierkan, Aronimink Golf Club’s head of instruction, got himself in a playoff for the Delaware Valley Open title Monday with a 3-under 68 at Laurel Creek Country Club, but came up short on the Philadelphia Section PGA circuit.
   Bierkan off to a fast start with birdies on three of his first six holes and eventually caught early leaders Dave Quinn, the veteran from Links Golf Club who had won this event in 2011 and 2012, and Don Allan of Burlington Country Club.
   Allan bogeyed the first hole of the playoff to drop out, but Bierkan and Quinn were just getting started. Three holes later, the fourth of the playoff, Bierkan finally blinked as his approach shot found the water and led to a bogey. Quinn won the hole and the DVO title with a par.
   Among some other top finishers, Overbrook Golf Club’s Eric Kennedy got a share of fifth with a 1-under 70, John Allen of GolfTEC Main Line matched par with a 71 and finished in a tie for 11th, Billy Stewart of the ACE Club was in a big group in a tie for 14th at 72, Rolling Green Golf Club’s Mike Little was in a large group tied for 19th at 73, Aronimink Golf Club’s Nick Knight and Patrick Clark and Radnor Valley Country Club’s Tony Perla were in a big group tied for 26th with 74s, Radnor Valley’s George Forster and Concord Country Club’s Mike Moses each had a 75 and were tied for 36th, and Merion Golf Club head of instruction Mark Sheftic, M Golf Range teaching pro Stu Ingraham and Ed Dougherty, a winner on both the PGA and Champions tours, were among a large group of players tied for 49th at 5-over 76.