38th Francis X. Hussey Memorial - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 08, 2024

38th Francis X. Hussey Memorial

Biscotti, Johnson birdie last three to win

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. — Thomas Biscotti and Derek Johnson went the wrong way. Then the right way. Then all the way to victory in the 38th Francis X. Hussey Memorial at Rolling Green Golf Club (par 71, 6,354 yards) Monday.

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The Mountain Top, Pa. residents departed at 8 a.m. with moms Melissa Biscotti and Kristen Johnson handling navigational duties. However, they accidently set Bowling Green Golf Club in Oak Ridge, N.J. as the destination.

Melissa and Kristen, after bypassing the Pennsylvania Turnpike, realized the GPS error and immediately rerouted to get Tom and Derek to their 10:42 a.m. tee time at Rolling Green.

Thomas Biscotti & Derek Johnson

Zero panic from the backseat.

“We were just looking on our phones, not worried for a second,” Derek, 18, said.  

“We were showing each other TikToks,” Tom, 17, added.

Their performance Monday may go viral. The Biscotti and Johnson team birdied its final three holes to finish at 6-under-par 65 and to win by a stroke over Hartefeld National’s Tre Lesperance and Kennett Square Golf & Country Club’s Jackson Puskar.

The Francis X. Hussey Memorial is a better-ball of partners event.

“It really puts things into perspective. We knew we had to birdie the last three, and we went out and did it. We put ourselves in a good spot,” Johnson, who will attend Western New England University in the fall, said.

“He just played incredible all day. I knew we were going to get [to 6 under],” Biscotti added.

The Biscotti and Johnson team drifted three shots off the clubhouse lead following a bogey on the par 3, 210-yard 10th hole. Biscotti missed a seven-footer to save par. Johnson sailed the green with a 5-iron and couldn’t get up-and-down. The error ignited a flame.

“We knew we needed to start hitting good shots and making putts to get back to where we needed to be,” Johnson, a Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club member, said.

“We went with the mentality of, ‘Birdie every hole,’” Biscotti, who won his third junior championship at Fox Hill Country Club over the weekend, added. “I wasn’t helping out on the front nine. I tried to lock in and help on the back.”

And he did. Biscotti drove the gettable par 4, 260-yard 12th hole and totaled two putts from 30 feet for birdie. His par on the next hole (par 4, 410 yards) kept the team at 3 under. As a thank you of sorts, Johnson birdied the last three holes. On No. 16 (par 3, 121 yards), he stuck a 54-degree wedge to three feet. Both Johnson and Biscotti stood in prosperous positions for red on No. 17 (par 5, 516 yards). Johnson’s 5-iron from 205 yards settled on the green’s back edge. A two-putt from 30 feet produced a 4; Biscotti made a seven-footer for birdie.

The Biscotti and Johnson team arrived at Rolling Green’s closer (par 5, 522 yards) tied for the lead. Both found the fairway. Biscotti’s second shot traced the flagstick, but carried into the backside rough. Johnson caught the left greenside bunker with a 5-iron from 200 yards. The team’s prospects, based on position alone, appeared as unsteady as a polar bear on ice skates.

Biscotti treated his downhill chip for eagle delicately, as expected. His ensuing eight-footer for birdie grazed the right edge. Despite the heat (temperatures soared to the mid-90s) and the heat of the moment, Johnson didn’t break a figurative sweat. His sand shot stopped two feet from the hole.

“That was probably one of the best bunker shots of my life,” Johnson said. “I had a good lie. I knew it was a decent 25-yard bunker shot, so I knew I had to get more club on it and get it to check. It bounced once and stopped. We knew one of us had to get up and down.”

Sans hesitation, Johnson dropped his birdie putt dead center for the win.

“I’m happy for him. I’m happy for us,” Biscotti said. “I’m just looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Friends since their days at Fairview Elementary School, Biscotti and Johnson competed on the Crestwood High School golf team together. They crystalized their team chemistry this past season as partners. Biscotti is a rising senior at Crestwood.  

Although they will now head their separate ways academically, Biscotti and Johnson ultimately traveled the right way Monday.

Maybe next time, Bowling Green.

“I don’t think it would’ve worked out well if we went there,” Johnson said.

Eric Cunningham & Christos Bottos

Junior-Junior Division
Classmates Christos Bottos and Eric Cunningham carded a 3-under-par 33 to capture the event’s Junior-Junior Division (par 36, 2,592 yards).

“We mostly helped each other out. When I did bad, he did good, and when I did good, he did bad,” Bottos, 12, of Berwyn, Pa., said.

Back-to-back birdies on Nos. 6 (par 3, 124 yards) and 7 (par 5, 405 yards) elevated the incoming seventh graders at Tredyffrin/Eastown Middle School to the winner’s circle. On the former, Bottos, a member of the host club, hit a 6-iron to four feet. A GAP Youth on Course member, Cunningham, 12, of Wayne, Pa., canned a 20-footer for birdie on No. 7.

Bottos’ sister Nicolette teamed with Whitford Country Club’s Corinne McReynolds to take the Junior Girls’ Division (par 71, 6,354 yards). The duo carded a 4-over-par 75. The Springhaven Club’s Jake Lairdieson and DuPont Country Club’s Meredith Finger won the Mixed Division (par 71, 4,941 yards) with a score of 4-under-par 67.

Union League Golf Club at Torresdale’s Logan Cassidy aced the par 3, 121-yard 16th hole with a 54-degree wedge. It marked his first career ace. Cassidy, 15, of Bensalem, Pa., is a rising sophomore at Holy Ghost Preparatory School … Francis X. Hussey, the tournament’s namesake, was a Junior member at Rolling Green. He suffered from congenital heart disease and died in December 1983 while undergoing major heart surgery. He was 13 years old when he died. Francis was a student in the Haverford Township school system, an avid sports fan and an active junior member at Rolling Green. His courage in the face of his illness was a great inspiration to all who knew him.

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.

Junior Boys’ Division  
Thomas Biscotti/Derek JohnsonFox Hill Country Club/Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club65
Jackson Puskar/Tre LesperanceKennett Square Golf & Country Club/Hartefeld National66
Joe Ciconte/Jack HomerWilmington Country Club67
Cole Berry/Anestis KalderemtzisOverbrook Golf Club/Penn Oaks Golf Club67
Colby Komancheck/Timmy BurnsRiverCrest GC & Preserve68
Michael Deussing/Tyler JamesJericho National Golf Club69
Seiji Sako/Ian LarsenMcCall Golf Club/Honeybrook Golf Club69
Christian Dawley/Jack DarePhiladelphia Country Club/Riverton Country Club69
Ian Natale/John StevensonSunnybrook Golf Club69
Paul Reilly/Keller TannehillGalloway National Golf Club/Atlantic City Country Club69
Will Walsh/Harrison BrownPhiladelphia Country Club71
Shane Klapinsky/Joshua EmelGAP Youth on Course/White Clay Creek Country Club71
Frank Boensch/Colin SarnoskiSteel Club/Saucon Valley Country Club71
Brody Bell/Ryan McQuarrieSpring Ford Country Club72
Robbie Lohkamp/Davin LysikDuPont Country Club/Delcastle Golf Club72
Mehdi Ben Youssef/Sami Ben YoussefUSGA/GAP GC72
Kasim Narinesingh-Smith/Zachary AntaoRadley Run Country Club/DuPont Country Club72
Liam Littleton/Cody SutcliffeSunnybrook Golf Club/The 1912 Club72
Brady Crow/Danny CantwellMoorestown Field Club73
William Johnson/Scott CunninghamWhite Manor Country Club73
Gregory Kriz/Chase AndrewsManufacturers’ Golf & Country Club73
Patrick Duda/Mac TraynorBellewood Country Club/Merion Golf Club73
William Shuford/Noah BrandWaynesborough Country Club/Overbrook Golf Club74
Alex Henbest/Jackson BodonyBlue Heron Pines Golf Club/LBI National Golf & Resort74
Kieran Gillespie/Charlie RobinsonGAP Youth on Course/USGA/GAP GC75
Logan Cassidy/John DiamondUnion League Golf Club at Torresdale/John F. Byrne Golf Club75
Shayne O’Doherty/Nate ShafferStonewall/Lancaster County Junior Golf Tour75
John Gavaghan/Andrew SchwartzSandy Run Country Club75
Beau Riviere/Charlie MorrisonGAP Youth on Course76
Gavin Dirita/Jason DiRitaThe Springhaven Club76
Conner Abel/Robert MunleyGlen Oak Country Club77
Jake Higgins/Zach MouaSt. Davids Golf Club77
Jackson Lane/Gavin LaneRiverton Country Club77
Mac Gorman/Paul HenkelsLuLu Country Club/Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Will Savarese/Trevor SchaferLlanerch Country Club78
Michael Green/Brian McCartyCedarbrook Country Club79
Carter Johnson/Charlie RihnWaynesborough Country Club/GAP Youth on Course79
Beckett Chipman/Fletcher JonesWilmington Country Club79
Brian Smyth/John PeytonRolling Green Golf Club79
Gavin Ellis/Colin OdumGAP Youth on Course80
Sachin Blake/Richie BiboroschWhite Manor Country Club/Aronimink Golf Club80
Jack Kessler/Daniel DowlingUSGA/GAP GC/GAP Youth on Course85
Devin Carpenter/Brayden HollandWalnut Lane Golf Club86
Braden Kelly/Alex FesslerGAP Youth on Course/The Bucks Club87
William Castor/Bryce DevlinDoylestown Country Club89
Junior-Junior Boys’ Division
Eric Cunningham/Christos BottosGAP Youth on Course/Rolling Green Golf Club33
Henry Sokol/Jack SokolGreen Valley Country Club34
Baylor Keim/Jack MetrokaHuntingdon Valley Country Club37
William Quartermain/Joe McDonaldLlanerch Country Club/Flourtown Country Club39
Grant Cooper/Samuel KarasNorth Hills Country Club42
Ryan Comly/Stephen ComlyLlanerch Country Club45
Junior Girls’ Division
Nicolette Bottos/Corinne McReynoldsRolling Green Golf Club/Whitford Country Club75
Makayla Stone/Sophia DeSantisConcord Country Club76
Mixed Division
Meredith Finger/Jake LairdiesonDuPont Country Club/The Springhaven Club67

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