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107th #GAPJunior: Day One

Phoenixville’s Lofland retains #GAPJunior medal

VILLANOVA, Pa. — A Junior Boys’ Championship record eluded Morgan Lofland once before. He didn’t let a second chance at history escape his grasp.

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In the event’s 107th edition Monday at an outstanding Overbrook Golf Club (par 70, 6,299 yards), Lofland carded a 2-under-par 68 to earn medalist honors. By doing so, he became the eighth individual — and first in nearly three decades — to win the Junior Boys’ medal in consecutive years.

Lehigh Country Club’s Carl Greener (1993-94) was the last to accomplish such a feat. A year ago at The 1912 Club, Lofland fell a stroke shy of tying the Junior Boys’ Qualifying scoring record, in relation to par. Radley Run Country Club’s Nicholas Gianelos holds that honor (7-under-par 65 in 2016).

Lofland will be seeded No. 2 when match play begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. The 1912 Club’s Joshua Ryan, as the event’s defending champion, is automatically seeded No. 1. He didn’t compete in stroke-play qualifying Monday.

The cut line for the Championship Flight stopped at 73. Lofland will face Brookside Country Club of Allentown’s Matthew Zerfass, who survived an 8-for-6 sudden-death playoff to advance.

“That’s pretty cool,” Lofland, 18, of Paoli, Pa., said of his achievement. “I’m hitting the shots when I need to. It’s nice to put scores together when you don’t have every part of your game in sync.”

Hard to believe any part of Lofland’s game is malfunctioning, based on recent events. The Phoenixville Country Club member entered Monday fresh off a semifinal run in the 121st BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship a week ago. He fell to eventual champion Conor McGrath of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 3&2.

“It also motivated me more coming in here: to put a good round together and have some fun in match play this week,” Lofland, an incoming Penn State University freshman who will major in business, said. “This is a fun event. The [68] makes it fun, but I was rolling in putts today. The ball-striking wasn’t great, but I saved myself around the greens.”

A birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 361 yards) made Lofland’s start fun. After towering a drive over the right tree line, he knocked a wedge 40 yards to 12 feet above the hole location. Surprisingly “sloppy golf” followed. Poor positioning off the tee, misreads on the green. Lofland exited Overbrook’s outward nine at even courtesy of a bogey on No. 9 (par 4, 430 yards). Impeded by trees on the right after a pushed drive, Lofland punched a 6-iron left of the green and soon missed a 20-footer to save par.

Three back-nine birdies righted the ship. On No. 12 (par 5, 507 yards), Lofland muscled a 5-iron from 195 yards uphill and onto the putting surface. A two-putt birdie followed. With 83 yards to the No. 14 (par 4, 295 yards) flagstick, Lofland threw a wedge above the hole location, using the slope to his advantage. He cleaned up a six-footer for birdie. A monstrous drive on the par 4, 386-yard 17th hole put Lofland in front of the right greenside bunker. He flipped a wedge from 39 yards to seven feet there.

Only one malady afflicted Lofland Monday. He couldn’t shake a tendency to block drives. As a result, on No. 18 (par 4, 389 yards), Lofland overcompensated and ended up in the left fescue. After using a 50-degree wedge for extrication, he skipped a wedge to 15 feet above the hole location. Lofland narrowly missed the ensuing par putt.

And it’s a narrow miss at Cedarbrook that’s prepared Lofland for what’s next at Overbrook. He implemented a new gameplan there, one gleaned from a 1-up loss to Aronimink Golf Club’s Jake Maddaloni in the Junior Boys’ Quarterfinals a year ago.

“I was trying to think one shot better than my opponent. I fixed it up for the Amateur,” Lofland, a recent Conestoga High School graduate, said. “It’s really one shot at a time, one hole at a time. You can’t think about your opponent. It’s only what you bring to the table. I was focusing on myself and not worrying about my opponent.”

Seems like any and all opponents should worry about Lofland.

NOTES
Wilmington Country Club, represented by Anthony Ciconte and the Homer brothers (Jack, Jeffrey and Matthew) captured its first Junior Team Championship. It filed an 8-over-par 218 to prevail by three strokes over Country Club of Scranton. The Junior Team Championship runs concurrently with Junior Boys’ Championship Qualifying. Three of four scores count toward the team total … Talamore Country Club’s Jack Dunsmore aced No. 15 (par 3, 165 yards) with a 7-iron. It marked his first career hole-in-one.

Junior Boys’ Championship
The Junior Boys’ Championship is the premier Major in the GAP Junior Division. It is open to members of a GAP Member Club 14-18 years of age who have not started their college education and who hold a handicap index of 14.4 or lower. Sixteen players qualify for match play; an additional 16 advance into the event’s First Flight. The Junior Boys’ Champion is awarded the Peg Burnett Trophy, named in honor of the Association’s Executive Secretary from 1951-76. Ms. Burnett was an ardent Junior golf supporter who emphasized sportsmanship and respect for the game. “I was very strict about checking the rule book. I didn’t make the rules, but since they are there, you have to abide by them.”

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers
Name, clubScore
Morgan Lofland, Phoenixville Country Club68
Ryan D’Ariano, Penn Oaks Golf Club69
Louis Giovi, Mercer Oaks Golf Course69
Jackson Debusschere, The Springhaven Club71
Christopher Dorey, Metedeconk National Golf Club71
Jeffrey Homer, Wilmington Country Club71
William Pabst, Elmhurst Country Club71
Christian Matt, Cedarbrook Country Club72
Eli Shah, Penn Oaks Golf Club72
*Aidan Farkas, Llanerch Country Club73
*Matthew Homer, Wilmington Country Club73
*Scott Hughes, Cedarbrook Country Club73
*Michael Lynch, Country Club of Scranton73
*Jack Tarzy, Medford Lakes Country Club73
*Matthew Zerfass, Brookside CC of Allentown73
First Flight
*Nick Ciocca, Aronimink Golf Club73
*Jake Maddaloni, Aronimink Golf Club73
Anthony Ciconte, Wilmington Country Club74
James Flickinger, Country Club of Scranton74
Thomas Lynch, Country Club of Scranton74
Keller Mulhern, Whitford Country Club74
Michael Sewack, Country Club of Scranton74
John Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club75
Sean Kelly, Bucknell Golf Club75
Chad Kemmerer, Waynesborough Country Club75
Connor Strine, Bent Creek Country Club75
Logan Wagner, Meadia Heights Golf Club75
Tyler Zimmer, Philadelphia Country Club75
*Evan Eichenlaub, Saucon Valley Country Club76
#Corey Haydu, Spring Mill Country Club76
*Matthew Normand, Laurel Creek Country Club76
Failed to qualify
*Michael Vital, Northampton Country Club76
*Eric Fryer, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Anthony Carson, GAP Youth on Course77
Michael Fioravante, LedgeRock Golf Club77
Jason Koch, Shawnee Country Club77
Kevin Lafond, Blue Bell Country Club77
Elijah Ruppert, Golden Oaks Golf Club77
Jackson Tappen, Cedarbrook Country Club77
Reese Dalzell, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
Tyler Debusschere, The Springhaven Club78
Jack Dunsmore, Talamore Country Club78
Will Huntley, Blue Bell Country Club78
Tyler Leyden, North Hills Country Club78
Sawyer Marten, Overlook Golf Course78
Jake Micewski, LuLu Country Club78
Travis Robertson, Sunnybrook Golf Club78
Benjamin Saggers, Applecross Country Club78
Jack Homer, Wilmington Country Club79
Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club79
Kristof Kopecky, Concord Country Club79
Stephen Butler, Indian Valley Country Club80
Matthew Dietl, GAP Youth on Course80
Zach Holmlund, Sandy Run Country Club80
Derek Johnson, Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club80
Michael Maslanka, Country Club of Scranton80
Darren Nolan, Cedarbrook Country Club80
Nicky Riscica, Trenton Country Club80
Mario Ventresca, Cedarbrook Country Club80
Nick Werner, Wyoming Valley Country Club80
Jack Davis, Aronimink Golf Club81
Christian Deussing, Jericho National Golf Club81
Ryan Garvey, Rolling Green Golf Club81
Nathan Guertler, Merion Golf Club81
Brendan Harrington, Applebrook Golf Club81
Thomas Larkin, GAP Youth on Course81
Alex Nemo, Merion Golf Club81
Jarred Berish, Bellewood Country Club82
Drew Clark, Bidermann Golf Club82
Tyler Smith, Laurel Creek Country Club82
Chase Stephano, Aronimink Golf Club82
Connor Toussaint, North Hills Country Club82
Matt Tressler, Huntsville Golf Club82
Daniel Flaherty, Rolling Green Golf Club83
James Gradisek, Philadelphia Country Club83
J.P. Hoban, McCall Golf Club83
Jonathan Joseph, Valley Country Club83
Nicklaus Meisinger, Penn Oaks Golf Club83
Patrick Traynor, Overbrook Golf Club83
Finn Coll, Sandy Run Country Club84
Kevin Deng, Radnor Valley Country Club84
Bryce Fazio, Huntingdon Valley Country Club84
Steven Fryer, Commonwealth National Golf Club84
Davis Myer, GAP Youth on Course84
Lucas Steinmetz, Spring Ford Country Club84
Owen Blazick, Wyoming Valley Country Club85
Justin Forman, Scotland Run Golf Club85
Patrick Meko, North Hills Country Club85
Shane Powelson, Bidermann Golf Club85
Seth Roth, Philmont Country Club85
Zachary Sandler, Bluestone Country Club85
Reilly Shaffer, Llanerch Country Club85
Quinn Hamilton, Country Club of Scranton86
Michael Henry, Overbrook Golf Club86
Ryan Hsieh, GAP Youth on Course86
Jack Orr, Little Mill Country Club86
Liam Coll, Sandy Run Country Club87
Luke Corcoran, Cedarbrook Country Club87
Luke Evans, St. Davids Golf Club87
Matthew Hurchalla, The Springhaven Club87
Aidan Irons, Yardley Country Club87
Henry Pilliod, GAP Youth on Course87
Jack Chodkowski, Overbrook Golf Club88
Will Dunsmore, Talamore Country Club88
Marshall Kain, Overbrook Golf Club88
Carson Thompson, Laurel Creek Country Club88
Zach Moua, St. Davids Golf Club90
Jackson Puskar, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club90
Jack Yearley, Merion Golf Club90
Kasim Narinesingh-Smith, Radley Run Country Club92
Matthew Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club93
John Curran, Chester Valley Golf Club93
Liam Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club95
Jason Jones, Radley Run Country Club95
Joe Kriz, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club95
Nathan Jones, The 1912 Club98
Jackson Lucca, Applecross Country Club101
Alec Hamilton, Country Club of ScrantonNS
Kevin Lydon, Commonwealth National Golf ClubNS
Shane Lawler, Chester Valley Golf ClubWD
Nicklaus Woods, Concord Country ClubWD
* – determined in playoff; # – to be determined
NS – no show; WD – withdrawal
Junior Team Championship
ClubScore
Wilmington Country Club218
Anthony Ciconte*74
Jack Homer79
Jeffrey Homer*71
Matthew Homer*73
Country Club of Scranton221
Michael Lynch*73
Thomas Lynch*74
Michael Maslanka80
Michael Sewack*74
Cedarbrook Country Club222
Scott Hughes*73
Christian Matt*72
Darren Nolan80
Jackson Tappen*77
Penn Oaks Golf Club224
Ryan D’Ariano69
Nicklaus Meisinger83
Eli Shah72
Aronimink Golf Club227
Nick Ciocca*73
Jack Davis*81
Jake Maddaloni*73
Chase Stephano82
The Springhaven Club236
Jackson Debusschere71
Tyler Debusschere78
Matthew Hurchalla87
Merion Golf Club237
John Bradbeer*75
Nathan Guertler*81
Alex Nemo*81
Jack Yearley90
Huntingdon Valley Country Club241
Reese Dalzell78
Bryce Fazio84
Patrick Isztwan79
North Hills Country Club245
Tyler Leyden78
Patrick Meko85
Connor Toussaint82
Laurel Creek Country Club246
Matthew Normand76
Tyler Smith82
Carson Thompson88
Sandy Run Country Club251
Finn Coll84
Liam Coll87
Zach Holmlund80
Rolling Green Golf Club257
Liam Buckley95
Matthew Buckley*93
Daniel Flaherty*83
Ryan Garvey*81
Overbrook Golf Club257
Jack Chodkowski*88
Michael Henry*86
Marshall Kain88
Patrick Traynor*83
* – counted toward team total