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Sunday, April 30, 2017

An impressive Junior Tour Win for Thomas at Iron Valley

   Win Thomas of Coatesville, a regular on the leaderboard among the nine-holers a year ago, made his first 18-hole start in the 13-to-15 division of a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour stop at Iron Valley Golf Club in Lebanon Sunday
   It’s a 6,349-yard, par-72 course. Thomas is listed as being Class of 2023. That would make him a sixth-grader, or thereabouts. He shot 1-over 73 to take first in the division. He had four birdies and was 1-under on the front nine. Somebody’s been practicing. Sounds like young Mr. Thomas is going to be heard from this summer.
   Logan Paczewski of Dallas was the runnerup with a solid 4-over 76. Mario Ventresa III of Blue Bell and Jack Cooley of Chadds Ford, coming off a Junior Tour win Saturday at Indian Spring Country Club, finished tied for third, each carding an 83.
   Dylan Gooneratne of Plymouth Meeting and Karl Frisk of Spring Grove finished tied for fifth at 84 and John Peters was alone in seventh at 85. James Ulsh of Carlisle and William Pabst of Roaring Brook Township shared eighth place at 86. Rounding out the top 10 were three players tied for 10th at 87, including Jack Davis of Newtown Square, Keller Mulhern of Exton and Graham Calhoun of Lititz.
   Two players, Mason Wills of Lititz and Garrett Engle of Harrisburg, matched Thomas’ 1-over 73 to finish tied atop the 16-to-18 division. The match of cards went to Wills for his score over the last six holes. Wills and Engle each had three birdies and both went 2-under on the outward nine.
   Shawn Fedor of Lancaster finished third with a 77, Alex Mulrooney of Wilmington, Del. was fourth with a 78, Logan Hess of Willow Street was fifth with a 79 and Simon Asadoorian of Richboro and Nikita Romanov of Wilmington, Del. shared sixth place, each posting an 81.
   Russell McPaul of York finished eighth with an 82, Brady St. Pierre was ninth with an 84 and Brock Fassnacht of Lititz rounded out the top 10 with an 85.
   Grace Hickey of Downingtown captured top honors in the girls 16-to-18 division with a 91 that included a birdie on the par-4 ninth hole. Jessica McClellan of Freeland was the runnerup with a 93 and Alexandra Schaffer of Lancaster was third with a 133.
   Kathleen Mark of Media also birdied the par-4 ninth on her way to a 93 that gave her a win in the 13-to-15 division. McKylie Boreman of New Cumberland was a shot behind Mark in second with a 94.
   Peyton Kraras of Wyomissing finished third with a 95, Paige Richter of Camp Hill was fourth with a 103 and Lillian McNally of York was fifth with a 109.
   Maxwell Wager of State College and Nicholas Gross of Downingtown both finished at 1-under 35 to top the leaderboard among the nine-holers. Both had two birdies. Wager was awarded the top spot based on his score over the last three holes.
   Benjamin Saggers of West Chester, who has been on a roll lately, finished third with a 39. Michael Maslanka of Taylor finished fourth with a 43, Tyler Fortney of Fayetteville was fifth with a 44 and Luke Barbour of Etters and Isaak Bloom of Bellefonte ended up in a tie for sixth, each posting a 47.
   Daniel Shin of Horsham and Stefania Fedun of Glenmoore finished tied for eighth, each posting a 50. Rounding out the top 10 were three players tied for 10th at 52, including Connor Gherghel of Orwigsburg, Ava O’Sullivan of Exton and Gwendolyn Powell of Madison Township.

Georgetown, DePaul tied for lead in Big East Championship

   Georgetown opened its bid for a second straight Big East team title with a 14-over 302 on Callawassie Island’s Dogwood and Magnolia nines at Callawassie Island, S.C. Sunday and a share of the top spot with DePaul after the opening round.
   Sam Madsen, a junior from Madison, Wis., and Kevin Jackson, a sophomore from Atlanta, led the way for the Hoyas, each carding a 2-over 74 over the 6,983-yard, par-72 Tom Fazio-designed Dogwood and Magnolia nines that landed them in a group of seven players tied for fifth. Madsen was named to the All-Big East first team Friday.
   Three teams, Marquette, Seton Hall and Xavier, are tied for third in the tight team race at 304, just two shots behind the co-leaders. Villanova struggled in its first tour of the Dogwood and Magnolia nines and  is eighth in the nine-team field at 322.
   Junior Cole Berman, a former Haverford School standout and the 2015 BMW Philadelphia Amateur champion, backed up Georgetown’s top two with a 76 that has him in a group tied for 15th. Berman appears on the All-Big East second team. Also for the Hoyas, Eduardo Blochtein, a freshman from Delray Beach, Fla., is tied for 19th after shooting a 78 and Jack Musgrave, a junior from Chesterton, Ind., is tied for 38th after struggling to an 84.
   DePaul was led by Jonathan Hewett, a senior from England who is also in the group tied for fifth at 74. Freddy Thomas, a junior from Lakeville, Minn., and Garrett Buckley, a junior from Novi, Mich., backed up Hewett as each carded a 3-over 75 and are in a group tied for 11th.
   Also for the Blue Demons, Jonathan Goldstein, a senior from Northbrook, Ill., is tied for 19th after carding a 78 and James Lelliot, a senior from England, is tied for 27th after opening with an 80.
   Butler’s Joey Acuri, a senior from Cincinnati, had the day’s only sub-par round, a 2-under 70, to seize the individual lead. His teammate, Patrick Allgeier, a freshman from Fort Wayne, Ind., and Seton Hall’s Gen Nagai, a sophomore from the Philippines, each matched par at 72 and are tied for second, two shots behind Acuri. Marquette’s Matt Bachmann, a freshman from Sheboygan Falls, Wis., is alone in fourth place with a 1-over 73.
   Xavier has a pair of players the group tied for fifth at 74, Eduardo Rivera Nicholls, a sophomore from Colombia, and Fox Morrissey, a senior from Franklin, Tenn. Rounding out that group is St. John’s Andrew Yub Baek, a sophomore from Arcadia, Calif.
   Villanova was led by junior Andy Butler, a product of the Manheim Township program who carded a 78 and is in a group tied for 19th. Lucas Trim, a senior from Tampa, Fla. and an All-Big East second-team selection, is tied for 27th after carding an 80.
   Connor Daly, a freshman from Bronxville, N.Y., is tied for 29th after posting an 81 and Zach Egermayer, a junior from Glen Rock, N.J., and Andrew Bowyer, a sophomore from Summit, N.J., each shot 83 and are tied for 36th.

Meyer, Illinois sweep to Big Ten crowns at Five Farms

   Dylan Meyer, a junior from Evansville, Ind., carded a steady 1-under-par 69 at Baltimore Country Club’s Five Farms East Course to claim the individual crown and lead Illinois, No. 9 in the latest Golfstat rankings, to its third straight Big Ten title Sunday.
   Mike Small’s Illinois program has dominated the Big Ten over the last decade and Sunday’s title was the eighth in the last nine years for the Fighting Illini.
   Such is their depth that a guy like Edoardo Lipparelli, a sophomore from Italy, can come into the final round leading the individual standings and shoot a 5-over 75 that the Illini throw out an still card a 1-over 281 and win comfortably by 16 shots.
   After opening with an 11-under 269 Friday, Illinois played even-par golf the rest of the way for an 11-under 829 total. No. 32 Northwestern closed strong with a 3-under 277 to finish second at 5-over 845.
   No. 60 Ohio State matched par with a 280 to claim third, another 10 shots behind Northwestern at 855
   It was a really nice finish for No. 50 Penn State, which carded a 1-over 281 to get a share of fourth place at 18-over 858. No. 57 Iowa had the day’s best round, a sparkling 4-under 276, and No. 38 Purdue had a final-round 290 to finish in the tie with the Nittany Lions for fourth at 858.
   Meyer had established the course record at the 7,181-yard, par-70 Five Farms layout with a brilliant opening round of 7-under 63. After stumbling to a 73 in the middle round, he finished up with a 69 to finish a shot ahead of hard-charging Will Grimmer, an Ohio State sophomore from Cincinnati, and Ryan Lumsden, a Northwestern sophomore from England, at 5-under 205.
   Illinois’ other standout junior, Nick Hardy of Northbrook, Ill., was one better than Meyer Sunday with a 2-under 68 to finish tied for sixth at 1-under 209. Lipparelli, despite falling out of contention for individual honors, still finished alone in eighth at even-par 210.
   The Illini also got strong showings from a pair of freshmen. Giovanni Tadiotto of Belgium carded a final-round 71 to finish tied for 10th at 2-over 212 and Michael Feagles of Scottsdale, Ariz. finished up with a 73 to end up tied for 23rd at 7-over 217.
   Illinois, and probably a number of its Big Ten rivals, will find out where its season will continue when the NCAA regional fields are revealed Thursday at noon on The Golf Channel. If the Illini can fight their way through the regionals, they could be tough at an NCAA Championship which will be staged not far from home at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
   Ohio State’s Grimmer fired a sizzling 4-under 66 in the final round to share second with Northwestern’s Lumsden, who posted a final-round 68, at 4-under 206.
   Penn State was led by Charles Huntzinger, a sophomore from Duluth, Ga. who capped a strong showing at Five Farms with a 3-uneder 67 to get a share of fourth place at 2-under 208. Huntzinger was joined at that figure by Maryland’s David Kocher, a junior from Charlotte, N.C. who had the best round of the day, a 5-under 65.
   Huntzinger’s teammate, junior Cole Miller, a Northwestern Lehigh product and the reigning Pennsylvania Amateur champion, also had a great weekend as he finished up with a 1-under 69 to get a share of sixth with Illinois’ Hardy at 209.
   Also for the Nittany Lions, sophomore JD Hughes, a Carlisle product, finished tied for 35th at 220 after a final-round 74. Ryan Davis, a freshman from Berkeley Heights, N.J., rebounded nicely from a second-round 83 with a final-round 71 to finished tied for 59th at 227. And Christian Elliott, a senior from Canada, finished 67th at 235 after a final-round 78.
   I’m no bracketologist, but the Nittany Lions should hear their name called when the regional bids are awarded Thursday. Not sure if sophomore Ryan Dornes, a former Manheim Township standout, will be recovered from a fractured hand in time to play in regionals, which tee off May 15, but it’s been a been a pretty good spring for Greg Nye’s team, regardless of what happens at regionals.