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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ingraham, Pillar, McNabb survive the cut in Senior PGA Professional Championship

   The Philadelphia Section PGA contingent at the Senior PGA Professional Championship at the Desert Mouintain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. had a rough couple of days with only Stu Ingraham, the head of instruction at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, John Pillar, the director of golf at the Country Club at Woodloch Springs, and Applebrook Golf Club head pro Dave McNabb surviving the 36-hole cut.
   Ingraham was tied for 15th after carding an opening-round 70 on Desert Mountain’s Geronimo Course,  but struggled on a couple  of holes during Round 2 Friday at the Cochise Course on his way to a 4-over 76. Still, at 2-over 146, the 57-year-old Ingraham, playing in his 29th PGA of America national event, is tied for 42nd and very much in the hunt to qualify for next spring’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Benton Harbor, Mich.
   The top 35 finishers in the PGA Senior Club Pro, presented by Mercedes-Benz and supported by GolfAdvisor and John Deere, earn a ticket to the Senior PGA Championship, the first major of 2018 on the PGA Tour Champions.
   Pillar, who has had a very good 2017, teeing it up in the U.S. Senior Open and the PGA Professional Championship in Sunriver, Ore. in addition to earning a trip to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, had struggled to 77 in the opening round. But he bounced back Friday with a 1-under 71 on the Geronimo Course to end up a shot under the cut line at 4-over 148. Pillar is one of 21 players tied for 69th.
   The final two rounds will be played at the Cochise Course.
   Ingraham started on the back nine at the Cochise Friday and quickly got it to 4-under for the tournament with birdies at the 12th and 14th holes. He stumbled with a double bogey at the 15th, but a birdie at the 18th hole got him back to 3-under.
   A triple bogey at the first, though, was followed by bogeys at three and eight that left him a 2-over at the halfway point, still easily inside the cut line.
   Gene Fieger, an assistant under Ingraham at Overbrook Golf Club back in the day, is a shot better than Ingraham in a tie for 34th at 1-over 145 after battling to a 1-under 71 on the Cochise Course Friday. Fieger, an assistant pro at the Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla., won the Senior Club Pro in 2013.
   McNabb had to battle hard to make the cut after opening with an 80 on the Geronimo Course Thursday. McNabb, who has had a busy month that’s included berths in the PGA Championship and the PGA Cup in England, had an efficient three-birdie, no-bogey 3-under 69 for a 149 total that made the cut on the number.
   McNabb earned his trip to the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow with a runnerup finish in the PGA Professional Championship at the Sunriver Resort in Oregon, where he lost out in a playoff to Omar Uresti.
   Radnor Valley Country Club head pro George Forster, playing in the Senior Club Pro for the 12th straight year, struggled to a 79 at the Geronimo Course for a 150 total. Forster had opened up with a solid 1-under 71 on the Cochise Course Thursday.
   He was joined at 6-over 150 by Philmont Country Club pro David Quinn, who won the Philadelphia Senior PGA Championship last month. Quinn added a 77 at the Geronimo Course Friday to his opening-round 73 Thursday at the Cochise Course.
   Laurel Creek Country Club pro John DiMarco had his second straight 81 for a 162 total and Lehigh Country Club pro Wayne Phillips added an 82 on the Cochise Course to the 83 he carded Thursday at the Geronimo Course for a 163 total.
   Steve Schneiter, an assistant pro at Schneiter’s Pebblebrook Golf Course in Utah, made a big move toward repeating as the winner of the Senior PGA Professional Championship as he added a 5-under 67 at the Cochise Course to his opening-round 68 at the Geronimo Course to grab a one-shot lead at 9-under 135.
   Schneiter missed only two greens in regulation while making seven birdies to offset his only mistake, a double bogey at the 10th.
   Mike O’Toole, out of the pro shop at Riverside Golf Course in Indiana, added  a 68 on the Geronimo Course to the 68 he shot at the Cochise Course and is a shot behind Schneiter at 8-under 136.
   Frank Esposito of Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, N.J. and Chris Starkjohann, a PGA of  America Life  Member  from Oceanside, Calif., are tied for third, three shots behind O’Toole at 5-under 139.
   Esposito posted a 1-under 71 at the Geronimo Course Friday after opening up with a 4-under 68 at the Cochise Course Thursday. Starkjohann moved into contention with a 68 at the Cochise Course after he had opened up with a 71 at the Geronimo Course Thursday.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Gillman leads Alabama to impressive victory in Schooner Fall Classic

   It’s still early in the 2017-18 college golf season, but there are plenty of  tournaments that shed light on where this might be going.
   Such was the case with the Schooner Fall Classic, hosted by Oklahoma and supported by the Toby Martin Foundation, which wrapped up Monday.
   It certainly looked like Alabama had a chance to be really good coming into this season and the Schooner confirmed that notion as sophomore Kristen Gillman, the 2014 U.S. Women’s  Amateur champion, and junior Lauren Stephenson, a quarterfinalist at this summer’s U.S. Women’s Amateur that it took  30 holes to eliminate, ripped off respective rounds of 7-under 64 and 5-under 66 over the 6,046-yard, par-71 Belmar Golf Club layout in Norman, Okla. in the final round lead the Crimson Tide to a 17-shot victory over a field filled with quality teams.
   Gillman of Austin, Texas cruised to the individual title with a 13-under 200 total and Stephenson of Lexington, S.C. was the runnerup at 10-under 203. Their scorching final rounds helped the Crimson Tide fire a spectacular 15-under 269 in the final round for a 21-under 831 total.
   Clemson, which got top-four finishes from Alice Hewson, a junior from England, and Ana  Paula   Valdes, a sophomore from Mexico, fired a final round of 7-under 277 to take runnerup honors with a  4-under 848 total.
   Reigning Southeast Conference champion Florida, which suffered some key personnel losses, finished third, a shot behind Clemson at 3-under 849.
   Texas, which got a pair of final-round 64s from Emilee Hoffman, a sophomore from Folsom, Calif. and Katilyn Papp, one of the top freshmen in the country from Austin, Texas, finished fourth at 1-under 851 after a final round of 10-under 274.
   The scary thing about the Longhorns is they did that without reigning U.S. Amateur champion, Sophia Schubert, a senior from Oak Ridge, Tenn., or reigning European Ladies champion Agathe Laisne, a freshman from France, in the lineup. Both played in the Evian Championship, the LPGA’s final major of the year, which was played in France.
   Florida State had a final round of 7-under 277 to finish fifth at 1-over 853.
   Notre Dame, showing it belongs with some of elite programs in women’s Division I golf, had a 6-under 278 in the final round to get a share of sixth with host Oklahoma, which had a final round of 2-under 282, at 2-over 854. The Sooners had grabbed the lead in the opening round with a 7-under 277 on a day when scores were generally higher than they were the final two days of the Schooner.
   In addition to the 1-2 finish by Gillman and Stephenson, the Tide also got a solid showing from Cheyenne Knight, a junior from Aledo, Texas who had a final round of 2-under 69 to finish tied for 21st at even-par 213. Lakareber Abe, a senior from Angleton, Texas, finished tied for 33rd at 2-over 215 after a final round of 1-under 71. Angelica Moresco, a freshman from Italy, who finished tied for 55th at 10-over 223.
   Alabama was so good in the final round, the Tide were able to toss Moresco’s 2-over 73.
Gillman’s final-round 64 came on the heels of back-to-back 4-under 68s over the weekend as she cruised to the individual title with her 13-under 200 total. Stephenson had respective rounds of 69 and 68 Saturday and Sunday before her final-round 66 gave her a 10-under 203 total.
   Clemson’s Hewson finished up with a 6-under 65 to finish alone in third at 8-under 205.  Her teammate Valdes had a final-round 67 to share fourth place with Miami’s Dewi Weber, a junior from the Netherlands, at 4-under 207. After opening with an even-par 72, Weber finished strong with rounds of 68 and 67 to join Valdes in fourth.
   The 64s fired by Texas’ Hoffman and Papp were program-record scores, although the Longhorns have had players go 7-under on par-72 layouts. The scintillating finishes enabled them to finish tied for sixth with Oklahoma’s Hannah Wood, a senior from Centennial, Colo., at 4-under 209. Wood opened with a 68 and added steady rounds of 71 and 70 to get to 4-under.
   Notre Dame was paced by Maddie Rose Hamilton, a junior from Louisville, Ky. Hamilton bounced back from an opening-round 76 with a blazing 6-under 65 in Sunday’s second round and finished up with a 2-under 69 to finish tied for ninth at 3-under 210.
   Junior Isabella DiLisio, the 2013 PIAA Class AAA champion as a junior at Mount St. Joseph, was almost as good as Hamilton in the second round, firing a 5-under 67. She opened with a 75 and finished up with an even-par 71 to finish tied for 21st at even-par 213.
   Joining DiLisio in the group tied for 21st for the Irish was Emma Albrecht, a junior from Ormond Beach, Fla. who had solid rounds of 67 and 69 around a tough 77 in Sunday’s second round. Albrecht represented the Irish in the NCAA Columbus Regional as an individual last spring.
   Abby Heck, a freshman from Memphis, Tenn., contributed a 2-under 69 to Notre Dame’s strong finish as she finished tied for 39th at 5-over 218. DiLisio’s Mount St. Joseph teammate, Alison Snakard, the Irish’s senior captain, finished 80th at 238 after posting her best round of the tournament, a 3-over 74, in the final round.
   Mia Ayer, a sophomore from Waco, Texas, competed as an individual and finished tied for 75th at 233 after a final-round 77.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Ingraham has solid start in PGA Senior Professional Championship at Desert Mountain

   Stu Ingraham, the head of instruction at the M Golf Range in Newtown Square, fired a 2-under-par 70 over Desert Mountain’s Geronimo Course in Scottsdale, Ariz. Thursday to head the Philadelphia Section PGA contingent in the Senior PGA Professional Championship, presented by Mercedes-Benz and supported by GolfAdvisor and John Deere.
   The 57-year-old Ingraham, playing in his 29th PGA of America national championship, had a spectacular birdie, birdie, eagle burst to close out the outgoing nine at the Geronimo Course and is tied for 15th after the opening round of the 72-hole event.
   The top 35 finishers qualify for next May’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, the first major championship of 2018 on the PGA Tour Champions, at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor, Mich.
   Ingraham, who finished tied for 49th at this summer’s U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Mass., started off slowly with a bogey at the second, but then birdied the seventh and the eighth before making an eagle at the par-5 ninth to suddenly reach 3-under.
   He birdied the 15th to reach 4-under before making bogeys at 16 and 18 for a 2-under total on a Geronimo Course that played a little tougher than the Cochise Course Ingraham will play Friday.
Ingraham is five shots behind pace-setter Mike Small, the University of Illinois men’s golf coach who fired a 7-under 65 at the Geronimo Course.
   Seven players are three shots behind Small at 2-under 68, including defending champion Steve Schneiter of Schneiter’s Pebblebrook Golf Course in Utah and 2014 champion Frank Esposito, a teaching pro at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township,  N.J.
   Schneiter’s 68 was the only one accomplished on the Geronimo Course. Esposito and five others posted their 68s on the Cochise Course.
   George Forster, the 61-year-old head pro at Radnor Valley Country Club playing in this championship for the 12th year in a row, is tied for 27th after carding a 1-under 71 at the Cochise Course.
   Philmont Country Club’s Dave Quinn, who claimed the Philadelphia Senior PGA Professional Championship at Radnor Valley, is tied for 56th after a 1-over 73 at the Cochise Course.
It was a tough day for the rest of the Philadelphia Section PGA contingent. 
   John Pillar, the director of golf at the Country Club at Woodloch Springs, is tied for 146th after a 77 at the Cochise Course.
   Dave McNabb, the Applebrook Golf Club head pro who has had a busy schedule the last month, had an 80 at the Geronimo course and is tied for 204th. After playing in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, McNabb represented the PGA of America in the PGA Cup matches in England.
   John DiMarco of Laurel Creek Country Club is tied  for 213th after an 81 at the Cochise Course and Wayne Phillips of Lehigh Country Club is tied for 231st after an 83 at the Geronimo Course.
   Gene Fieger, an assistant pro at The Club Pelican Bay in Naples, Fla., is tied for 76th after carding a 2-over 74 at the Geronimo Course. Fieger, a Nether Providence High product who dominated the Philadelphia Section in the mid-1990s as an assistant pro at Overbrook Golf Club, led this championship through three rounds a year at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Fla. before finishing third.