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.”