It was a pretty good week for Alec Ryden of Moorestown, N.J. and Joshua Ryan of Norristown.
They capped the week Friday by going 1-2, respectively, overall and winning their respective age groups as a Philadelphia Section PGA Junior Tour two-day Precision Pro Golf Open event wrapped up at Philmont Country Club’s challenging South Course. Thursday's opening round was played on Philmont's North Course.
Ryden spent his week at or near the top of Junior Tour leaderboards. He won a stop Monday at Scotland Run Golf Club with an even-par 71. He finished tied for third in the Harry Hammond Invitational a day later with a solid 2-over 73 at Penn Oaks Golf Club.
He made three birdies on the front nine on his way to a really strong 1-under 69 in the opening round Thursday over Philmont's 6,345-yard, par-70 North Course. It was the best round of the tournament and gave him what turned out to be an insurmountable lead.
He had two more birdies on the front nine in Friday’s second round and struggled a little coming in, but no more than anyone else did, as he posted a 76 over the 6,063-yard, par-70 South Course layout to finish with a 5-over 145 total. That gave him a three-shot margin over Ryan in the overall 13-to-18 age group scoring and a five-shot cushion in the 16-to-18 division.
Ryan teed it up in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior-Junior Championship at Phoenixville Country Club earlier this week. He was the qualifying medalist with an even-par 35 and won his first-round match Monday, won two more nine-hole matches Tuesday to reach the final and then defeated Ben Saggers of West Chester 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final Wednesday.
Ryan matched par on the back nine on his way to a 5-over 75 in Thursday’s opening round and then had one of the best rounds of the day Friday, a 3-over 73, to finish as the runnerup to Ryden in the overall scoring and win the 13-to-15 division by a whopping 10 shots.
Josh Ryan’s older brother, Norristown junior Caleb Ryan, had a solid 3-over 73 in Friday’s second round to go with his opening-round 77 for a 150 total that gave him a share of second place behind Ryden in the 16-to-18 division with Maxwell Rubin of Marlton, N.J. Rubin did Caleb Ryan one better Friday with a 2-over 72 to go with his opening-round 78. Caleb Ryan, however, had to settle for second in the battle for low Ryan, two shots behind his younger brother.
Hayden Moffatt of Hatboro added a 75 to his opening-round 76 to finish fourth at 151. Drew Steinmetz of Gilbertsville had the low round of the day Friday at the South Course, a 1-over 71, to finish alone in fifth at 152. He had opened Thursday with an 81.
Liam Hart of Holland added an 81 to his opening-round 73 to finish sixth at 154 and Andrew Wallace of Narberth was another two shots behind Hart in seventh at 156 after rounds of 80 and 76.
Rounding out the top 10 were four players tied for eighth at 161, including Nikita Romanov (75-76) of Wilmington, Del., Dylan Topaz (84-77) of Fort Washington, Philip Bancroft (80-81) of New Hope and Simon Asaadorian (78-83) of Richboro.
Dylan Gooneratne of Plymouth Meeting was the runnerup to Josh Ryan in the 13-to-15 division as he improved by four shots from his opening-round 81 with a 77 Friday for a 158 total. Jake Maddolini of Newtown Square was another shot behind Gooneratne in third place at 159 after rounds of 78 and 81.
Joseph Morganti (84-76) of Havertown, Stephen Lorenzo (83-77) of Lower Gwynedd and Patrick Laushell (85-75) of Morrisville finished tied for fourth, each posting a 160 total. Alec Stern of Bryn Mawr had a pair of 83s and Brett McGrath of Huntingdon Valley had rounds of 82 and 84 as they shared seventh place at 166.
Rounding out the top 10 were two players – Darren Nolan (83-84) of Glenside and Roy Anderson (82-85) of Chadds Ford – tied for ninth at 167.
The respective 1-2 finishers in the 13-to-15 division, Natasha Kiel of New Hope and Michelle Cox of Allentown, were also 1-2 in the 13-to-18 overall scoring among the girls.
Kiel trailed Cox by two shots after Cox opened up with an 80 and Kiel an 82 Thursday. But Kiel posted a solid 84 Friday, making five pars on the back nine to hold onto her lead, for a 166 total. Cox had a second-round 88 to finish second at 168.
Sunshine Gu of Yardley improved eight shots from her opening-round 91 with an 83 to finish third in the 13-to-15 division with a 174 total. Julia Li of Hockessin, Del. was fourth in the division with rounds of 128 and 123 for a 251 total.
Maya Torpey of Malvern added an 83 to her opening-round 86 to take the top spot in the 16-to-18 division and finish third overall at 169. Notre Dame senior Brianna Marmorstein of Havertown had the opening-round lead with an 81, but fell back with a 92 Friday to claim runnerup honors in the division with a 173 total.
Sophia Mancuso of Jamison took third with a pair of 87s and a 174 total, Liv Juliana of Malvern was fourth at 175 after rounds of 90 and 85 and Olivia Wirsching of Blue Bell was fifth at 178 with rounds of 84 and 94.
Savannah Scott of Quantico, Md. had rounds of 91 and 90 to finish sixth at 181, Cecilia Priolo of Ambler was seventh at 194 after rounds of 91 and 103 and Olivia Brogan of Meadowbrook was eighth at 223 after rounds of 108 and 115.
Kevin Lafond of Blue Bell made four pars in a second-round 41 to take top honors among the nine-holers with a 92 total. Lofland opened with a 51 Thursday. Caroline Gola of North Wales was the runnerup with rounds of 52 and 58 and a 110 total.
As is always the case with the Precision Pro Golf Open events, there were men’s and women’s 17-to-24 divisions with Andrew Simpson of Perkasie capturing the men’s title with consistent rounds of 85 and 83 for a 168 total. Thomas Schaffer of Collegeville was the runnerup with rounds of 87 and 88 for a 175 total.
Annalia Kostow of Lebanon was the only women’s competitor. She birdied the 16th hole on her way to an 88 Friday after opening with an 89 Thursday for a 177 total.