A couple of weeks ago, Marty McGuckin of RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve came up short of a Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Boys’ Championship when he lost in the match-play final.
Given a chance to claim GAP’s junior stroke-play championship, the 17th J. Fred Christman Cup presented by GlobalGolfPost, Thursday at Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove, N.J., McGuckin didn’t let it get away.
McGuckin, the Inter-Ac League champion as a senior at Malvern Prep last fall, fired a 4-under 68 over the 6,666-yard, par-72 Running Deer layout in the opening round of the Christman Cup and held a two-shot lead. His round featured seven birdies and three bogeys.
But it was hottest day of the year with temperatures soaring into the 90s and McGuckin still had a round to play. McGuckin, who is headed to Temple to play for Brian Quinn, carded a 1-over 73 in the afternoon for a 3-under 141 total to claim a three-shot victory over Spring-Ford standout Benjamin Pochet. McGuckin was rock solid in the second round with two birdies and three bogeys on his card.
Pochet’s 1-under 71 was the low round of the afternoon, matched by one other player, which, combined with an opening-round 73, gave the Spring-Ford Country Club member an even-par 144 total.
Billy Civitella (73-73) of Radnor Valley Country Club and Wills Montgomery (71-75) of Whitford Country Club finished in a tie for third, each ending up at 2-over 146.
Matt Graeff of Cedabrook Country Club opened with a 2-under 70 and trailed McGuckin by just two shots, but fell back a little with an afternoon 77. His 3-over 147 total left him alone in fifth place.
Austin Barbin of the GAP Junior Players Club also bettered par in the opening round, matching Graeff’s 2-under 70, but fell back with a 78 in the afternoon. That left him in a tie for sixth place with Rob Robinson (77-71) of Talamore Country Club and David Kim (75-73) of Commonwealth National Golf Club at 4-over 148. Robinson’s second-round 71 matched Pochet’s score for the low round of the afternoon.
Daniel Rieger (76-74) of Sunnybrook Golf Club and Nicholas Scott (71-79) of the GAP Junior Players Club finished in a tie for ninth at 150.
Four players – Connor McGrath (79-72) of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, Radnor sophomore Jake Calamaro (77-74), who plays out of Rolling Green Golf Club, Matt Marino (75-76) of Waynesborough Country Club and Eric Carlidge (75-76) of North Hills Country Club – finished in a tie for 11th at 7-over 151.
Doug Ergood of Tavistock Country Club finished alone in 15th place with rounds of 74 and 78 and an 8-over 152 total.
Radnor sophomore David Colleran Jr., who defeated McGuckin to win the Junior Boys’ title, led a group of seven players who ended up in a tie for 16th at 153. Colleran, who plays out of Overbrook Golf Club, had rounds of 76 and 77.
Joining Colleran at 153 were: Zachary Barbin (81-72) of the GAP Junior Players Club; Penn Charter junior Brian Isztwan (78-75), who plays out of Huntingdon Valley; Jack Melville (76-77) of LuLu Country Club; Connor Boham (76-77) of Spring-Ford; Luca Jezzeny (76-77) of The Bucks Club; and Danny Dougherty (74-79) of DuPont Country Club.