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Friday, April 1, 2016

Matthews leads Temple to sixth-place finish at Furman Intercollegiate

   Temple senior Brandon Matthews, winner of the Philadelphia Open twice in the last three years, flashed some of his immense talent in rattling off a pair of 68s in the last two rounds to finish tied for 10th at the Furman Intercollegiate that concluded Easter Sunday at the Furman University Golf Course in Greenville, S.C.
   A couple of recent scholastic standouts, Dartmouth’s Sean Fahey and Temple’s Sam Soeth, were among the top finishers among the group of players who competed as individuals. More on them a little later.
   After opening with a 3-over 75, Matthews, the 2010 PIAA champion as a junior at Pittston, finished strong with back-to-back 4-under rounds over the 6,994-yard, par-72 Furman University layout to finish at 5-under 211.
   Matthews, who reached the second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying process last fall, led the Owls to a solid sixth-place finish in the 19-team field. They sandwiched rounds of 298 and 288 around a strong 9-under 279 in the middle round for a 1-over 865 total.
   Among the other Temple players being counted in the team scoring, Mark Farley (72-70-73) , a sophomore from Penndel and Calvary Christian, finished tied for 19th at 215, Trey Wrenn (76-69-71), a freshman from Suffolk, Va., finished tied for 21st at 216, John Barone (75-72-76), a redshirt freshman from Dunmore, finished tied for 64th at 223 and Gary McCabe (81-80-78) a freshman from Collegeville and La Salle, finished 110th at 239.
   Soeth, a four-time District One qualifier during his career at Marple Newtown, made the most of his chance while competing as an individual. Soeth, a freshman, finished strong with a 2-under 70 after rounds of 74 and 77 and finished tied for 54th at 221.
   That was the third-best score among the 20-man contingent competing as individuals. The best score in that group belonged to Dartmouth junior Sean Fahey, the former Episcopal Academy standout. Fahey went 72, 70 and 76 for a 2-over 218 total that left him tied for 32nd in the individual standings.
   Dartmouth had rounds of 290, 282 and 300 for an 872 total that left the Big Green in a tie for 11th in the team standings.
   The players whose scores counted toward Dartmouth’s team total included: Ian Kelsey (74-69-73), a sophomore from Deerfield, Ill. who finished tied for 21st at even-par 216; Jeffrey Lang (70-70-77), a junior from Lexington, Mass. who finished tied for 28th at 217; John Lazor (71-73-74), a freshman from Westwood, Mass. who finished tied for 32nd at 218; junior Scott Jaster (75-70-77), Fahey’s high school rival on some powerhouse Haverford School teams who finished tied for 58th at 222; and Charles Cai (78-77-76) a senior from West Windsor, N.J. who finished tied for 98th at 231.
   Georgia State had a dominant performance in taking the team title with rounds of 285, a remarkable 13-under 275 and 281 for a 23-under 841 total. Darmouth’s Ivy League rival Harvard (284-280-292) was the best of the rest in earning runnerup honors at 856, 15 shots back of Georgia State.
   Equally dominant was the individual winner, University of South Carolina Upstate’s Ryan Cornfield, a senior from England. Cornfield had a spectacular 8-under 64 in the middle round between an opening-round 70 and a final-round 69 for a 13-under 203 total. That was three shots clear of Wofford’s Andrew Novak, a junior from Mount Pleasant, S.C. Novak wasn’t bad himself with rounds of 67, 70 and 69 for a 10-under 206 total.
   Temple and Dartmouth will run into each other again this weekend as they help Dartmouth’s Ivy League rival Cornell tee off its spring campaign with the Cornell Spring South Florida Invitational Saturday and Sunday at the Fazio Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. It’s just a three-team field, which is a nice change of pace from some of the big three-day events that feature 15 to 20 schools.
   I took a little break from the blog last month to write a couple of stories about Landis Creek Golf Club in Limerick that are now in print in Tri-State Golfer, a publication that you’ll see in a lot of public course pro shops. Tri-State Golfer publisher Joe Burkhardt is working on upgrading his website, www.tristategolfer.com, but the current issue can be viewed on the website.
   Even if you could care less about my prose, Tri-State Golfer can point you toward the best in public-course golf with ads from many of the best tracks from central Pennsylvania to the Jersey Shore.
   Joe and I have had some discussions about linking T Mac Tees Off to his website, so I’ll keep you posted. The CliffsNotes version of my stories on Landis Creek is that Brian and Jean Lutz have done a great job turning the old Limerick Golf Club into a fun and inexpensive place to get in a round and in the Creekside Sports Bar & Grille, a great spot to eat and drink following golf.
   Hmm, how about a round of golf on a Saturday followed by a 6 p.m. tipoff for Villanova in the Final Four at the Creekside. I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday.

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