The top junior players from the Philadelphia Section PGA and the New Jersey Section PGA gathered Friday at Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. for the Jon M. Pritsch Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition presented by Under Armour.
As the holders of the Pritsch Cup, the Philadelphia juniors needed only to score nine points to retain the Cup and that’s how the battle ended, in a 9-9 draw. It was the second straight win for Philadelphia, which had dropped the first eight editions of the Pritsch Cup. Philadelphia will try to make it three in a row when the competition returns to Philadelphia in 2017 at Gulph Mills Golf Club.
Philadelphia picked up three-and-a-half points in the fourball matches, getting victories from the pairs of Casey Oppenheimer of Conshohocken and Elizabeth Beek of Blue Bell, J.T. Spina of Schwenksville and Liam Ward of Malvern and Alex Mulrooney of Wilmington, Del. and Carson Baca of York. Nikita Romanova of Wilmington and Akhil Giri of Moorestown, N.J. picked up what turned out to be a crucial half-point by halving their match with New Jersey’s Max Sorger of Montclair, N.J. and Brandon Valvano of Franklin Lakes, N.J.
Philadelphia won five-and-a-half points in the singles matches, getting victories from Spina, Romanov, Oppenheimer, Mulrooney and Bacha. Again, Philadelphia got a crucial half-point when Beek finished all square in her match with New Jersey’s Tiya Chowdary of Montgomery, N.J.
New Jersey picked up two wins in the fourball matches from the duos of Colin Peters of Mendham, N.J. and Randall Lazzaro of Colts Neck, N.J. and Ben Steenland of Spring Lake, N.J. and Max Johnson of Flemington, N.J. as well as the half-point earned by Sorger and Valvano.
New Jersey got singles wins from Alexander Imperatore of Summit, N.J., Lazzaro, Peters, Valvano, Steenland and Johnson and that half-point from Chowdary for finishing all square against Beek.
Rounding out Team Philadelphia were Andrew Forjan of York, Jonathan Lumley of Royersford, Buddy Hansen IV of Blue Bell and Caleb Ryan of Norristown.
Rounding out Team New Jersey were Tyler Galantini of West Orange, N.J., Clement Shao of Warren, N.J., Julia McLaughlin of Princeton, N.J. and Pat Ryan of Maplewood, N.J.
The Jon M. Pritsch Cup is played in memory of Jon M. Pritsch, who died of heart disease at age 17 in 1999. Pritsch was a top junior golfer who dreamed of playing professional golf. To keep his dream alive, his parents began a scholarship fund that has contributed more than $175,000 to deserving scholarship recipients. Each Pritsch Cup participant receives a scholarship application.