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Friday, June 30, 2017

Team Gregor captures GAP's Father & Son (Younger) title



   As the president of the Pennsylvania Golf Association, nobody knows better than Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Douglas Gregor how the game is so often passed down from father to son.
That’s why he’s always made it a point to compete in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Father & Son (Younger) Championship with his son Wade, a 16-year-old junior at La Salle. Winning it is just a nice little bonus.
   Team Gregor claimed the title Thursday on the 6,240-yard, par-72 Whitford Country Club layout, posting a 1-over-par 73 in the select drive/alternate shot format for a three-shot margin of victory over a quartet of dads and sons.
   “Spending four hours with him on a golf course, nothing could be better,” Douglas Gregor told the GAP website. “It’s great to see his maturity. We started playing in this years ago. It’s nice that our scores have gotten better. We have adult conversations in the cart now. It’s a fun four hours.”
   Wade Gregor was particularly adept at converting dad’s good approaches into birdies with the putter. Douglas Gregor hit a wedge from 120 yards to 10 feet at the third and Wade made the birdie try, dad knocked a wedge to 10 feet at the 116-yard, par-3 fifth and Wade made the putt and after a solid tee shot by Wade at the 10th, dad used a sand wedge to hit it to 10 feet and Wade again dropped the birdie putt.
   Heading up the group of four teams tied for second was the homestanding pair of Kevin Conners and Ryan Conners, the runnerup in the District One Class AAA Championship last fall for Bishop Shanahan. Joining them at 4-over were Jackson Tappen and Roger Tappen of Cedarbrook Country Club, William Keane Jr. and Will Keane of Philadelphia Country Club and Colman Mitchell and Randy Mitchell of Wilmington Country Club.
   Mark Lafond and Matthew Lafond of Blue Bell Country Club finished alone in sixth at 77 and Dylan Audi and George Audi of LedgeRock Golf Club and Franny McCabe Jr. and Ryan McCabe of The Springhaven Club finished tied for seventh at 79.
   Alex Hanna and Gregory Hanna of Overbrook Golf Club and Christopher Greer and Hayden Greer of Laurel Creek Country Club shared ninth place, each team posting an 80. Dan Lafond and Eric Lafond of Commonwealth National Golf Club finished 11th at 81.
   Three more teams finished tied for 12th at 82, including Andrew Damico and Phillip Damico of McCall Golf & Country Club, Jim Dalzell and James Dalzell Jr. of Linwood Country Club and Mark Fuessinger and Stephen Fuessinger of Llanerch Country Club.
   The home-course advantage helped out in the Junior-Junior division as the Whitford pair of Keller Mulhern and Owen Mulhern shared the title with Anthony Ciconte and Jeffrey Ciconte of Wilmington Country Club, each team matching par with a 72.
   Team Mulhern finished with four birdies and an eagle on their home course, which played 5,809 yards for the junior-junior division.
   The 40-year-old Owen Mulhern, a financial adviser, hit a sand wedge from 65 yards away to 10 feet at the fourth and 13-year-old Keller, an eighth-grader at Lionville Middle School, made the putt.    Keller got a wedge to finish 12 feet away on the fifth hole and Owen rolled that one in. Dad again converted a birdie try when Keller wedged his approach at the seventh to eight feet.
   Team Mulhern reached the par-5 12th in two when Keller bombed a 5-iron from 165 yards out to seven feet and dad rolled in the eagle putt. Owen Mulhern used a pitching wedge to knock his approach at the 13th hole to seven feet and his son made the putt.
   Keller Mulhern’s most clutch shot of the day may have come on the par-5 16th after dad bladed his approach out of a bunker and watched the ball go out of bounds. Forced to play the same 60-yard bunker shot and now lying four, Keller stuffed it to six feet and dad made the putt to save bogey for Team Mulhern.
   Jeffrey Ciconte, a 40-year-old who’s in the banking industry, got in rounds with both of his sons at Whitford, playing with Joe in the morning before getting into a share of first in the afternoon with Anthony, an eighth-grader at The Tatnall School.
   Jeffrey admitted Team Ciconte might have had a little bit of advantage from dad’s morning scouting mission with Joe, but it was Anthony’s putter that really made the difference.
   Jeffrey hit his approach at the fifth hole to four feet and Anthony made the birdie putt and dad’s sand wedge from 90 yards away on the ninth finished 15 feet from the hole and Anthony drained the putt. Dad nearly drove the green at the short par-4 10th, Anthony bumped it 10 feet away and Jeffrey made the putt for the pair’s third birdie of the round.
   The Talamore Country Club pair of Christian Matt and Kenneth Matt finished alone in third place in the Junior-Junior division with a 3-over 75. Derek Zerfass and Matthew Zerfass of Brookside Country Club in Macungie took fourth with a 76.
   Declan Rymer and Keith Rymer of Whitford and Barry Wiseman and Nate Wiseman of The Bucks Club shared fifth place, each pair posting a 77.
   Chris LaRosa and David LaRosa of Cedarbrook finished seventh at 78. And Benjamin Saggers, who has been a regular on the leaderboard of the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour’s 12-and-under division this year, and Nick Saggers of Applecross Country Club finished eighth with a 79.







Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sheehan dominates Turtle Creek for another Precision Pro Golf Open victory



   Patrick Sheehan seems to like the Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour Precision Pro Golf Open format.
   The Precision Pro Golf Open tournaments are 36-hole Junior Golf Scoreboard events and for the second time in three weeks, Sheehan, a junior at Central Bucks East, cruised to the title. A couple of weeks ago, Sheehan won a Precision Pro Golf Open event, finishing 3-under par over two days on Hickory Valley Golf Club’s Ambassador and Presidential courses.
   Last fall, Sheehan fell one frustrating shot short of advancing to the PIAA Class AAA East Regional with an 8-over 152 total in the District One Championship. This week, particularly in Thursday’s second round, Sheehan got a little bit of revenge on the 6,518-yard, par-72 Turtle Creek layout.
   Sheehan fired a 5-under 67 Thursday, which, combined with a 2-under 70 in Monday’s opening round, gave him a 7-under 137 total. For the two days, Sheehan blitzed the Turtle to the tune of 12 birdies and an eagle. Look out for him when the District One Championship returns to the Turtle in October.
   Sheehan’s effort gave him the top spot in the 16-to-18 division and in the overall JGS Scoreboard scoring for players 13 to 18.
   Caleb Ryan, who did advance out of districts last fall as a sophomore at Norristown and made it all the way to the PIAA Championship, was the runnerup to Sheehan at the Turtle this week. Ryan torched the Turtle to the tune of a 5-under 67 in Wednesday’s opening round, but fell back with a 4-over 76 Thursday to finish six shots behind Sheehan in second place at 1-under 143.
   Still, Ryan was the only other player to finish under par for the two days and it was another six shots in the 16-to-18 division back to two players tied for third at 5-over 149. They were J.T. Spina, the Pope John Paul II standout who was the Junior Tour’s 16-to-18 Player of the Year in 2016, and Thomas Butler of Telford.
   Spina, who was the top District One finisher in the PIAA Class AAA Championship with a tie for third, matched par Thursday with a 72 after opening with a 77. Butler added a 76 to his opening-round 73.
   Robert Brock of Allentown finished fifth at 151 after adding a 79 to his opening-round 72 and Jimmy Gillespie of Glen Mills was another shot back of Brock at 152 after a 3-over 75 Thursday.
Michael Campanelli of Manahawkin, N.J. and A.J. Adams of Malvern finished in a tie for seventh at 153. Campanelli had a 75 Thursday while Adams, who had opened with a 3-under 69, struggled home with an 84.
   Rounding out the top 10 in a tie for ninth at 154 were Akira Pavey of Dover, Del. and Conner Gollwitzer of Boyertown. Pavey had a second straight 77 while Gollwitzer added a 78 to his opening-round 76.
   Hunter King of Atglen had the day’s second-best round, a 1-under 71, to take top honors in the 13-to-15 division at even-par 144. King also finished third in the overall JGS 13-to-18 scoring. He got hot with four birdies in a five-hole stretch during his round Thursday.
   Morgan Lofland of Paoli was the runnerup in the 13-to-15 division with rounds of 76 and 75 for a 151 total.
   Low Ryan for the day was Caleb’s younger brother Joshua, who matched par with a 72 – an eight-shot improvement on his opening-round 80 -- and finished in third place at 152. Davis Flannery of Wayne finished fourth at 157 after a second-round 80 and Jack Cooley of Chadds Ford, who had an 83 Thursday, finished fifth at 160.
   Four players – Justin Dougherty of Wyndmoor, Dylan Gooneratne of Plymouth Meeting, Joseph Taggart of Broomall and Joseph Morganti of Havertown – finished tied for sixth at 162. Dougherty had a 79 Thursday and Gooneratne, Taggart and Morganti each posted a second straight 81.
   Rounding out the top 10 was Jack Davis of Newtown Square, who had a final-round 84 for a 165 total.
   Lily Yang of West Chester was the only girls 13-to-15 competitor, so her rounds of 78 and 79 and her 157 total won that division. But it was also good enough to leave her atop the overall JGS scoring for girls 13 to 18.
   Cristea Park of Blue Bell claimed the 16-to-18 title with a 169 total after she added a 90 to her opening-round 79. Maya Torpey of Malvern was the runnerup at 171 after a final-round 88.
Megan Adelman of Bryn Mawr added a 46 to her opening-round 39 to finish first among the nine-holers with an 85. Hunter Probst of Bear Creek was a shot back at 86 after a second-round 45.
   Sydney Yermish of Wynnewood finished third at 90 after a final-round 46 and Serena Bagga of Blue Bell was fourth at 94 after a 49 Thursday.
   Andrew Simpson of Perkasie captured the men’s 17-to-24 division as he added a solid 1-over 73 to his opening-round 77 for a 6-over 150 total. Thomas Schaffer of Collegeville was the runnerup at 153 after a final-round 75.
   Emily McGarrigle of Wernersville won the women’s 17-to-24 division with a 165 total. After opening with an 80, she carded an 85 Thursday, a round that included a birdie on the par-5 eighth.
   Former Perkiomen Valley standout Carly Dorminy was the runnerup at 169 after a final-round 85. Former Archbishop Prendergast standout Anna Haley had opened with a solid 82, but fell back with a 95 Thursday to finish third at 177. Annalia Kostow of Lebanon finished fourth at 180 after a final-round 93.








Anders powers his way past Isztwan to win GAP Junior Boys' Amateur title



   Dawson Anders returned from his quick vacation to Jamaica, a celebration of his graduation from Souderton that included his family and some of his classmates and their families, Tuesday and then spent Wednesday at the practice facility hoping his game would be ready for the final of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 103rd Junior Boys’ Amateur, presented by PURE Insurance.
   It was. The power game that carried Anders, who plays out of Indian Valley Country Club, past Nikita Romanov in the quarterfinals and Wills Montgomery in the semifinals last Thursday at Spring-Ford Country Club was still there Thursday as he won the last five holes of the match to inscribe his name on the Peg Burnett Trophy with a 6 and 4 victory over Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Brian Isztwan.
   “This is my biggest win to date,” Anders, who will join Brian Quinn’s Temple program later this year, told the GAP website. “It feels great to have my name on that trophy with all the other talent that has come through the GAP.”
   The schedule for the Junior Boys’ was thrown off by a thunderstorm on qualifying day June 19, which meant the final had to be rescheduled for a mutually agreed upon day, which turned out to be Thursday.
   Anders got the early jump when Isztwan, the top player in the Inter-Ac League’s regular-season points standings as a junior at Penn Charter last fall, lost the third hole with a bogey and the fourth with a double bogey.
   Then Anders unleashed his power, taking driver out of the bag on the 315-yard, par-4 sixth hole and blasting it on the green, leaving himself with six feet for eagle. He missed the putt, but his two-putt birdie gave him the hole and a 3-up advantage.
   To his credit, Isztwan battled back, taking the seventh hole by holing out for birdie from 44 yards away and making birdie on the eighth to cut Anders’ advantage to 1-up. But Isztwan couldn’t make Anders pay for a poor drive on the ninth hole, Anders escaping with a halve.
   Isztwan made double bogey at the 10th to fall back to 2-down and Anders birdied the 11th to restore his 3-up advantage.
   Back-to-back bogeys by Isztwan at 12 and 13 led to losses and suddenly he was 5-down. Anders finished it in style, knocking a 9-iron to 10 feet at the 170-yard, par-3 14th and making the birdie putt to close out the match.
   “I played the back nine really well last week,” said Isztwan, who finished tied for 40th in the Pennsylvania Junior Boys’ Championship, presented by LECOM and hosted by PinnacleHealth, with rounds of 77 and 78 and a 155 total at Hershey Country Club’s East Course, earlier this week. “The first shot I hit left all day went out of bounds and in match play it’s all about momentum.
   “It was Dawson’s turn to win the tournament and he was 2-under on the back nine, so it was tough to beat him.”