The tricky spring weather keeps making things tough, but the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour managed to sneak in a stop at Middletown Country Club in Langhorne Saturday.
Liam Ward of Malvern did the best job of handling the early showers and clearing, but chilly conditions at the 6,141-yard, par-70 Middletown layout with a 4-over 74 to capture the 16-to-18 division by four shots. Ward’s round was highlighted by back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12.
Andrew Simpson of Perkasie finished second with a 78. Chris Benvenuto of Langhorne and Caleb Ryan of Norristown shared third place with 79s and John Mullozzi of Horsham finished fifth with an 80. A foursome of players – William Foxman of Bryn Mawr, Tommy Lewis of Doylestown, Timothy Chaykosky Jr. of Ambler and Clement Shao of Warren, N.J. – finished tied for sixth with 81s.
Akhil Giri of Moorestown, N.J. took top honors in the 13-to-15 division with a solid 75. That was one shot better than runnerup Ryan D’Ariano of West Chester and his 76. Three players – Davis Flannery of Wayne, Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. and Logan Hess of Willow Street – finished tied for third with 83s.
Georgia Naples of West Chester was the only girl in the 16-to-18 division and took top honors with a 95.
Elizabeth Beek of Blue Bell bested the girls 13-to-15 field with an 87. Sunshine Gu of Yardley was a shot back in second with an 88 and Paige Cerminaro of Farmingdale, N.J. was third with a 91.
Among the nine-holers, Joshua Ryan of Norristown took top honors with a 42, three shots clear of runnerup Benjamin Saggers of West Chester, who posted a 45. A trio of players – Kevin Lafond of Blue Bell, John Wang of Wilmington, Del. and Adrian Jordan of Lawrenceville, N.J. – finished tied for third with 47s.
It was too cold and windy to play a Philadelphia Junior Tour event around these parts Sunday, which made for a perfect opportunity to watch some junior players kick off Masters week with the ever-popular Drive, Chip & Putt contest at Augusta National.
Angelina Tolentino of Mount Laurel, N.J. was the local hope in the girls 7-to-9 division and she finished seventh. Tolentino nearly took the chipping competition finishing second and earning nine points. Emerson Blair of West Point, Miss. had to win the putting competition to finish with 24 points and just edge Mary Miller of Skidway Island, Ga. and her 23.5 points to take the division title.
One of the more interesting matchups came in the boys 12-to-13 division as Skyler Fox of Beaver Falls won the chipping and putting competitions, but fell short of the division title as Ty Griggs of Manteca, Calif. won the driving and finished second to Fox in the chipping and putting to edge Fox, 28-27.
The event has turned into a tremendous celebration of junior golf and has found a deserving spot on the Masters week calendar.