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Monday, October 31, 2016

Stanford's Lee, Texas' Scheffler win East Lake Cup individual titles

   In a lot of collegiate sports, it would be unusual that a freshman would have the experience edge on a senior. But hey, this is golf.
   Casey Danielson, the senior leader on a Stanford team ranked No. 3 by Golfstat found herself taking on freshman teammate Andrea Lee in a playoff for the individual title Monday in the East Lake Cup, an event pitting the final four men’s and women’s teams from last spring’s NCAA Championships.
   Just this year, Lee of Hermosa Beach, Calif. played on the U.S. Curtis Cup team, lost in the final of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur to South Korea’s Eun Jeong Seong and then was edged by Seong again, 1-up, in a tremendous quarterfinal match in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club. And oh yeah, she also played on the U.S. team that finished sixth in the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico in September.
   Danielson of Osceola, Wis. carded a 4-under 68 over the 6,249-yard, par-72 East Lake Golf Club layout, but was matched by Lee. It took six holes, but Lee finally outlasted her teammate on the sixth hole of the playoff to claim the individual title.
   The good news is, the two helped the Cardinal earn the top seed for the semifinal matches Tuesday. In addition to the two 68s by Lee and Danielson, Stanford got a 1-under 71 from Shannon Aubert, a junior from Stuart, Fla. who finished tied for fifth in the individual standings, and a 75 from Sierra Kersten, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., for a team total of 6-under 282. Stanford was able to toss a 76 from Albane Valenzuela, a freshman from Switzerland.
   Stanford will take on defending national champion Washington, which finished fourth at 316, in one semifinal while the other semifinal will pit No. 6 UCLA, which finished second at 1-under 287, and No. 23 Duke, which carded a 2-over 290.
   A couple of teammates on the winning Great Britain & Ireland side in the Curtis Cup Match this summer, Duke’s Leona Maguire, a junior from Ireland, and UCLA’s Bronte Law, a senior from England, finished in a tie for third in the individual chase at 2-under 70.
   Joining Stanford’s Aubert in the three-way tie for fifth at 1-under 71 were UCLA’s Mariel Galdiano, a freshman from Pearl City, Hawaii, and Duke’s Sandy Choi, a senior from South Korea. Galdiano was the qualifying medalist at Rolling Green this summer and was part of the U.S. team along with Lee and South Carolina senior Katelyn Dambaugh at the World Amateur Team Championship.
   On the men’s side, Texas’ Scottie Scheffler, a junior from Dallas, captured the individual title with a sparkling 6-under 66 on an East Lake course that measured 7,450 yards for the guys.
   Fresh off a win over Oregon’s NCAA individual champion Aaron Wise in the Longhorns’ 3-2 loss in the NCAA final, Scheffler fired a 1-under 69 in the opening round of the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. He ran out of gas and failed to make the cut at Oakmont, but he certainly flashed his considerable talent in that opening round.
   Scheffler had seven birdies against one bogey to finish two shots ahead of Illinois’ Nick Hardy, a senior from Northbrook, Ill., and Vanderbilt’s Will Gordon, a sophomore from Davidson, N.C., both of whom carded a 4-under 68.
   Scheffler’s teammate Doug Ghim, a junior from Arlington Heights, Ill., finished fourth with a  3-under 69 and Illinois’ Michael Feagles, a freshman from Scottsdale, Ariz. took fifth at 2-under 70.
Vanderbilt, the No. 1 team in the latest Golfstat rankings, grabbed the top seed in Tuesday’s semifinal matches with a 6-under 282. No. 12 Texas was five shots back in second at 1-under 287, No. 4    llinois was third at even-par 288 and defending national champion Oregon, ranked 18th, finished fourth at 295. Vanderbilt will take on Oregon in one semifinal with Texas and Illinois squaring off in the other semifinal.
   In addition to Gordon’s 68, the top-ranked Commodores got a pair of 71s from Patrick Martin, a sophomore from Birmingham, Ala., and Theo Humphrey, a junior from Greenwich, Conn., and an even-par 72 from Matthias Schwab, a senior from Austria. Martin and Humphrey finished tied for sixth and Schwab was alone in ninth.
   Vanderbilt was able to throw out a 1-over 73 from John Augenstein, a freshman from Owensboro, Ky. Augenstein finished alone in 10th place.

Polland fires 69 to take Assistant PGA Professional Championship

   Ben Polland had just made a mess of the 18th hole at Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Wissahickon Course,  making a double bogey that cost him the title in the 2015 PGA Professional Championship.
   A group of golf writers, myself included, approached him warily. Emotions can still be a little raw for a player in a situation like that. But not Polland. The assistant pro at Deepdale Golf Club in New York was gracious in defeat, calmly replaying his disastrous final hole. He focused on the positives. He was still going to the PGA Championship. He had still played well while leading the biggest event for club pros in this country for a long time.
   So it was nice to see him shoot a final-round 69 Sunday to capture the $9,000 top prize in the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla.  His 3-under final round over the 7,123-yard, par-72 Wanamaker Course gave him a 72-hole total of 7-under 281 and a one-shot edge over a trio of tough pursuers, including the defending champion Andy Mickelson.
   The victory also earned Polland a spot in next summer’s PGA Professional Championship, which will be held at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon.
   Mickelson of Mistwood Golf Club in Illinois mounted a spirited defense of his title. His final-round 71 left him in a tie for second at 6-under 282.
   Danny Lewis of Elks Run Golf Club in Ohio had held the 54-hole lead and had a final round of 2-under 70 to join Mickelson at 282. Shawn Warren of Fallmouth Country Club in Maine fired a final-round 69 and was third member of the trio tied for second at 282.
   Todd Bailey of Rock Creek Golf Club in Alabama had a final-round 74 and finished alone in fifth at 3-under 285.
   Gene Fieger, who dominated the Philadelphia Section PGA as an assistant pro at Overbrook Golf Club in the 1990s, finished in a tie for 12th at 1-over 289. Fieger, who plays out of The Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla., matched par in the final round with a 72.
   Sunnybrook Golf Club’s Corey McAlarney moved up to a tie for 15th with a final-round 69. After struggling in an opening-round 77, McAlarney, winner of the recent Philadelphia Section PGA’s Match Play Championship, battled back to finish at 2-over 290.
   Lookaway Golf Club’s Michael Little finished in a tie for 46th at 9-over 297 after a final-round 73.

South Carolina edges Kupcho, Wake Forest for Landfall Tradition team title

   South Carolina, No. 19 in the latest Golfstat rankings, staged a final-round surge Sunday that caught No. 13 Wake Forest and the Gamecocks captured the team title at the Landfall Tradition on a scorecard playoff in a wild finish at the Country Club of Landfall’s Pete Dye Course in Wilmington, N.C.
   Some of the top teams from the eastern half of the country were playing in their final event of the fall portion of their schedules. The event also brought together a whole gang of recent District One and Pennsylvania scholastic standouts, including the sister act of Wake Forest junior Erica Herr and Penn State freshman Madelein Herr, both of whom starred at Council Rock North.
   South Carolina was led by Katelyn Dambaugh, a senior from Goose Creek, S.C. who is No. 5 in the country in the Golfstat individual rankings. Dambaugh, who helped the United States finish sixth in the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico in September, opened the Landfall with a disappointing 78, but turned it on with back-to-back 5-under 67s over the 6,166-yard, par-72 Pete Dye Course to finish in a tie for fifth at 4-under 212. Dambaugh’s final round Sunday featured seven birdies.
   Three other Gamecocks broke par in Sunday’s final round, each posting a 1-under 71, as South Carolina made up seven shots on Wake Forest with an 8-under 280 that enabled it to reach 5-under 859 and catch the Demon Deacons.
   The first tiebreaker was Sunday’s fifth score, but South Carolina’s Marion Veysseyre, a sophomore from France, had a 78, which was matched by Wake’s fifth score, Erica Herr’s 78. The next tiebreaker was the fifth score from Saturday’s second round and South Carolina’s Anita Uwadia, a freshman from Nigeria, had a 75 to the 78 posted by Wake’s Antonia Eberhard, a sophomore from Germany.
   South Carolina had another top-10 finisher in Ainhoa Olarra, a senior from Spain whose final-round 71 left her in a tie for eighth at 2-under 214. Ana Pelaez, a freshman from Spain, had a final-round 71 to finish in a tie for 11th at 1-under 215. Uwadia’s final-round 71 enabled her to finish in a tie for 31st at 223. And Veysseyre had a final-round 78 to finish in a tie for 45th at 226.
   Had a chance to follow Uwadia for a few holes during a qualifying round in the U.S. Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club and she is a powerful player who is a nice addition to the South Carolina lineup. Uwadia  reached match play at Rolling Green, but was ousted in the first round.
   While Wake Forest was denied a first-place finish in the team standings, there was no denying the Demon Deacons’ Jennifer Kupcho, a sophomore from Littleton, Colo., in the race for the individual title. Kupcho, the top-rated individual by Golfstat, did nothing to damage that ranking as she finished with a 4-under 68 for a 9-under 207 total that was three shots clear of the field.
   Kupcho led Wake Forest to a final round of 1-under 287 and a 5-under 859 total. It marked the third straight tournament the Demon Deacons have finished under par, a program record.
   Wake Forest also had a second top-five finisher in Sierra Sims, a senior from Austin, Texas. Sims tacked a 2-under 70 on to a pair of 71s the first two days for a 4-under 212 total that left her in a tie for fifth with South Carolina’s Dambaugh.
   Erica Herr, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion at Council Rock North, had a final-round 78 to finish in a tie for 21st at 220. Eberhard had a final-round 74 to finish in a tie for 37th at 225 and Sierra Brooks, a freshman from Sorrento, Fla. who was a member of the U.S. Curtis Cup team this summer, had a final-round 75 and was also in the group tied for 37th at 225.
   Wake Forest’s Mathilda Cappeliez, a freshman from France, competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 60th at 228. Cappeliez was a semifinalist in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green this summer.
   No. 2 Furman had a final round of 2-under 286 to finish third at 2-over 866. No. 12 Purdue had a final-round 292 to take fourth at 8-over 272. No. 24 Oklahoma had a final-round 298 to take fifth at 877. And top-ranked Alabama started to find its footing with a final-round 292 that enabled the Crimson Tide to finish sixth at 881.
   Notre Dame had a final-round 302 to finish 12th at 898, No. 16 North Carolina struggled to a final-round 308 to finish 14th at 905 and Penn State knocked 12 shots off the pair of 309s the Nittany Lions had in the first two rounds with a final-round 297 that left them in 15th place in the powerhouse field of 18 teams at 915.
   Purdue had a pair of individuals finish in the top 10, led by reigning Big Ten champion August Kim, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla. Kim had a final round of 2-under 70 to finish second to Kupcho at 6-under 210. Ida Ayu Indira Melati Putri, a sophomore from Bali, had a final-round 71 to finish in a tie for eighth at 2-under 214.
   Alabama was led by Cheyenne Knight, a sophomore Aledo, Texas and the third-ranked individual player in the nation. Knight added a final-round 71 to a pair of 70s to finish in a tie for third at 5-under 211. She was joined at that figure by North Carolina State’s India Clyburn, a sophomore from England who had a final-round 68.
   After Dambaugh and Sims in the tie for fifth, Oklahoma’s Hannah Wood, a junior from Centennial, Colo., had a final-round 71 to finish alone in seventh at 3-under 213.
   Joining South Carolina’s Olarra and Purdue’s Melati Putri in the tie for eighth at 2-under 214 was Furman’s Taylor Totland, a senior from Tinton Falls, N.J. who had a final-round 73.
   Notre Dame was led by Jordan Ferreira, a senior from University Place, Wash. who had a final-round 73 to finish in a tie for 33rd at 224. Emma Albrecht, a sophomore from Ormond Beach, Fla., finished in a tie for 45th at 226 after a final-round 75, sophomore Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion at Mount St. Joseph, finished in a tie for 52nd at 227 after a final-round 79. Maddie Rose Hamilton, a sophomore from Louisville, Ky., was also in the group tied for 52nd at 227 after a final-round 77. And Mia Ayer, a freshman from Waco, Texas, finished in a tie for 60th at 228 after a final-round 77.
   Junior Allison Snakard, a teammate of DiLisio’s at Mount St. Joseph, competed as an individual for the Fighting Irish and finished in a tie for 84th at 238 after a final-round 81.
   North Carolina was led by Leslie Cloots, a senior from Belgium who had a final-round 78 to finish in a tie for 25th at 5-over 211. Lexi Harkins, a junior from Crystal Lake, Ill., finished in a tie for 45th at 226 after a final-round 77. Bryana Nguyen, a junior from Columbia, Md., finished tied for 52nd at 227 after a final-round 77. Freshman Brynn Walker, a two-time PIAA Class AAA champion at Radnor, finished in a tie for 76th at 235 after struggling to a final-round 80. Kelly Whaley, a sophomore from Farmington, Conn., finished in a tie for 84th at 238, although her final-round 76 was the Tar Heels’ best score of the day.
   Mariana Ocano, a freshman from St. Petersburg, Fla., competed as an individual for North Carolina and finished 83rd at 237, although she had a solid final round of 2-over 74.
   Penn State was led by sophomore Lauren Waller, who lost in a playoff to Walker in the 2014 PIAA Class AAA Tournament as a senior at Canon McMillan. Waller had a final-round 75 to finish tied for 52nd at 227. Freshman Madelein Herr, the 2015 District One champion and Walker’s partner in two deep runs at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, had a final-round 76 to finish tied for 60th at 228.
   Kate Granahan, a grad student who starred scholastically at Parkland, matched par in the final round with a 72 to finish tied for 69th at 232. Sophomore Cara Basso, the 2012 PIAA Class AA champion as a sophomore at Villa Maria Academy, had a final-round 79 to finish tied for 71st at 233. And sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, a two-time District One Class AAA champion at Pennsbury, had a final-round 74 to finish tied for 76th at 235.