Radnor senior Brynn Walker and Council Rock North senior Madelein Herr got off to a solid start on the first day of qualifying for match play in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at the Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course in Streamsong, Fla. Saturday.
Walker, the two-time PIAA Class AAA champion, and Herr, the District One Class AAA champion, reached the semifinals in the first edition of this United States Golf Association event a year ago at the Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon.
The pair got right back to work at Streamsong, carding a 4-under 68 over the 6,216-yard, par-72 Streamsong Blue layout that left them in a tie for ninth. That puts them in good position to grab one of the 64 berths in match play, which begins Monday.
Leading the way was the formidable team of 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman of Austin, Texas and 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur runnerup and U.S. Curtis Cup team member Sierra Brooks of Sorrento, Fla.
Gillman, an Alabama recruit, and Brooks, who’s headed for Wake Forest, had eight birdies against one bogey for a 7-under 65 that gave them a one-shot edge over three teams with a second round of qualifying scheduled for Sunday.
Included in that group tied for second at 6-under 66 is last year’s qualifying medalists, Kendall Griffin and Athena Yang. They were joined at that figure by the teams of Pauline Del Rosario and Princess Mary Superal and Evelyn Arguelles and Isabella Fierro.
Walker, a North Carolina recruit, and Herr, who’s headed for Penn State, got off to a quick start with birdies on the first two holes. After a bogey at the fourth, Team WalkHerr ripped off birdies at five, eight and nine to reach 4-under for the round. They stalled with a bogey at the 10th, but a birdie at the 17th got them in at 4-under.
Six other teams are tied with Walker and Herr at 4-under, including Meghan Stasi, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and eight-time Philadelphia Women’s Amateur winner, and Dawn Woodard. Walker and Herr defeated Stasi and Woodard in the quarterfinals of match play in last year’s Four-Ball.
Meanwhile, the team of Merion Golf Club’s Michael McDermott and Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Jeff Osberg are in the middle of the pack, but in decent shape following the first day of qualifying in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
The Bash Brothers, two of the top mid-amateurs in the Golf Association of Philadelphia, carded a 2-under 68 over the 6,728-yard, par-70 East Course at Winged Foot and are in a large group tied for 31st.
Andrew Whalen and Dylan Wu, teammates on Northwestern’s Big Ten co-championship team, are leading the way in qualifying after firing an eight-birdie, no-bogey 8-under 62 on the East Course.
One of three groups trailing Whalen and Wu by a shot in second place is the pair of Brandon Matthews, who recently completed one of the finest careers in the history of Temple golf, and his former Owl teammate Patrick Ross. They carded a 7-under 63 on the East Course.
They were joined at that figure by the teams of Robert Crockett II and Andy Roberts and Drew Allenspach and Matthew Van Zandt. Allenspach and Van Zandt recorded their 63 on the 7,033-yard, par-70 West Course while Crockett and Roberts played the East, site of five U.S. Opens, most recently Geoff Ogilvy’s 2006 victory.
McDermott, a two-time BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion, and Osberg, who won the Philly Amateur in 2014, had an up-and-down round. They got off to a fast start with birdies on the second, fourth and fifth holes before making a bogey at the eighth that dropped them to 2-under. The back nine was an adventure with a birdie at 11, bogeys at 12 and 13, a birdie at 15, a bogey at 17 and a birdie at the last.
Another GAP duo, David Liotta of West Chester and P. Chet Walsh of Wayne, are tied for 84th after signing for a 2-over 72 at the East Course.