The scholastic season might be well under way, but last weekend was a busy one for junior golfers.
Radnor junior Michael Sydnes, who has had a strong fall on the scholastic scene, fired a 2-over 73 at Philadelphia Country Club Saturday to capture the boys 15-to-18 age group at the Helen Sigel Wilson Junior Invitational.
The event is named for Helen Sigel Wilson, a Philadelphia Country Club member who was one of the most accomplished amateur golfers in the history of the game in this country. Wilson was the Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur champion 14 times in a time frame that stretched from 1941 to 1972.
Sydnes, who plays out of Talamore Country Club, finished two shots ahead of Brian Isztwan of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and William Mitchell of Laurel Creek Country Club, both of whom came in at 4-over 75. Isztwan, a sophomore at Penn Charter, is the reigning Inter-Ac League champion.
Applecross Country Club’s Michael Zeng, a freshman at Episcopal Academy, finished 10th with an 81, Overbrook Country Club’s D.J. Colleran, a freshman at Radnor, finished in a tie for 11th with an 82, McCall Field Golf & Country Club’s Joey DelFranco, a senior at Marple Newtown, was 19th with an 88 and Overbrook’s Michael O’Neil finished 20th with a 95.
Patrick Sheehan of Talamore and Nikita Romanov of DuPont Country Club shared the top spot in the 12-to-14 division with 4-over 75s.
Applecross’ Jacob Zeng, an eighth-grader at Episcopal, finished seventh with an 86. Overbrook’s Jack Burton and Huntingdon Valley’s Patrick Isztwan finished in a tie for eighth with 87s. And Rock Manor Golf Club’s Corey Kan finished 13th with a 97.
Agnes Irwin sophomore Kaitlyn Lees upheld the Helen Sigel Wilson tradition, representing the host course by shooting an 82 and sharing the top spot in the girls 15-to-18 division with Esther Park of Porky Oliver Golf Club.
Rock Manor’s Caprian Kan, a junior at Chichester, finished third with an 86 and Overbrook’s Olivia Traynor, a sophomore at Notre Dame and the reigning Inter-Ac League champion, finished fourth with a 90.
Morgan Sohosky of Berwick Country Club was the 12-to-14 division winner with a 96.
Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Hara senior Alec Kerr, who has had a spectacular fall of high school golf, ventured to Lopatong, N.J. over the weekend and finished second in the The Architects Cup, an International Junior Golf Tour event at The Architects Golf Club.
After opening with a 3-over 74 over the 6,863-yard, par-71 Architects layout, Kerr fired a 3-under 68 in the second round for an even-par 142 total that left him three shots back of Chris Gotterup of Little Silver N.J. Gotterup opened with an even-par 71 and matched Kerr’s second-round 68 for a 3-under 139 total.
Merion Golf Club’s Peter Bradbeer, a senior at Friends’ Central, had rounds of 79 and 71 to finish in a tie for seventh at 150.
The Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour had a stop Saturday at Spring Hollow Golf Club in Chester County and two of Delco’s talented freshmen, AJ Aivazoglou of Glen Mills and The Haverford School, and Radnor’s Blake Stephano had strong showings in the 13-to-15 division.
Aivazoglou captured division honors in a match of cards as he and Hayden Moffat of Hatboro both carded 8-over 78 over the 5,699-yard, par-70 Spring Hollow layout. A birdie at the 16th hole proved to be the difference for Aivazoglou.
Stephano carded a 79 to finish in a tie for third with, among others, Conestoga sophomore Michael Hamilton. The two would battle for Central League supremacy two days later in a dual match at St. Davids. By the way, I know St. Davids is Brynn Walker’s home course, but the 5-under 30 the reigning Daily Times Player of the Year shot to lead Radnor to the victory against its archrival was pretty amazing.
Also in the 13-to-15 division at Spring Hollow, Samuel Walker of Radnor finished in a tie for seventh with an 82, Jack Cooley of Chadds Ford finished ninth with an 87 and Jackson Fields of Glen Mills finished 13th with a 102.
Benjamin Pochet, a talented sophomore at Spring-Ford, won the 16-to-18 division with a sparkling 1-over 71.
Episcopal Academy graduate Joe Chambers finished in a tie for third with a 77 and Mark Farrell of Newtown Square placed 14th with an 88.
On the girls side, Lily Byrne of Downingtown won the 13-to-15 division with a 97 and Sofia Amoroso of West Chester captured the 16-to-18 division with an 82.
Among the nine-holers, Joshua Ryan of Norristown blitzed the Spring Hollow layout with a spectacular 3-under 32 to take division honors.
Luke Kelly of Wayne finished in a tie for third with a 41, Chase Stephano of Radnor was 10th with a 46, Charlie Bastien of Media finished in a tie for 12th with a 50 and Ryan Garvey of Media was 16th with a 52.
Lutz reaches U.S. Senior Amateur final
Switching up from the kids to the old guys I’ve been following all week at the U.S. Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., kudos to Reading’s Chip Lutz, the reigning five-time (soon to be six-time) Golf Association of Philadelphia Senior Player of the Year who dodged the raindrops to win two matches Wednesday and reach Thursday’s final.
Lutz reached the semifinals in the morning with a 4 and 2 victory over qualifying medalist Randal Lewis of Alma, Mich., the 2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. It sent Lutz to the Senior Amateur semifinals for a fourth time. In his three previous trips he fell short of the final.
Not this time.
Facing a formidable opponent in Tim Jackson, a two-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and two-time U.S. Walker Cup team member from Germantown, Tenn., Lutz, 60, won the first two holes and never looked back to claim a 1-up victory.
The back-to-back winner in 2011 and 2012 of the Canadian Senior Amateur and British Senior Amateur titles, Lutz will try to finally add the Senior Amateur title of his country to his resume. Lutz will take on Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash., who needed 21 holes to oust Steve Liebler of Irmo, S.C. in his semifinal match.
The scheduled 18-hole final tees off at 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning.