Jun 15, 2004

Amateur Championship field whittled to Elite Eight

Match Play Tree | Day One – results

FLOURTOWN, Pa.-Frank McFadden and Oscar Mestre, Jr. are both longtime members of Overbrook GC and close friends. On Tuesday, in the haze and heat of Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Militia Hill Course (par 72, 7,219 yards), the two played golf together for the first time this season – in the second round of the Amateur Championship.

  It marked the second consecutive summer McFadden and Mestre have faced off in the Amateur Championship. Last year, the duo met in the first round at Philmont CC (North).

  The result, as it was a year ago, a victory by McFadden, 2&1.

  It’ll be the fourth Amateur quarterfinal appearance for McFadden, 54, of Newtown Square, Pa. He’s still searching for his first trip to the semifinals.

  “I not sure why I do this, but I guess I love to compete,” said McFadden, who last made the quarters at Riverton CC two years ago. “Right now, it’s a real challenge to stay on my feet. It would be nice to wake up and feel my legs under me.”

  The Amateur Championship is a walking only event.

  Tuesday, the legs appeared OK.

  The wily, tournament tough McFadden finished at 2-under-par for 17 holes – a credit to his solid driver and an unbelievable short game.

  “He made some great up and downs today,” said Mestre, 44, of Berwyn, Pa. “He didn’t miss one up and down opportunity and some were ridiculously hard.”

  McFadden, seeded 28th, made great par saves on No. 6 (par 5, 596 yards), after going long, and an unconscious up and down on No. 9 (par 3, 228 yards). On the ninth, long and left over the green, McFadden chipped it to an inch. He made the turn 3-up.

  Mestre, the 12th seed, made a charge at his clubmate, going 3-under-par on the back and slicing two holes off his deficit to be two down with four holes to go, but never got any closer.

  McFadden faces Sean Seese of Huntingdon Valley CC, the 13th seed, tomorrow. Seese stopped Thomas Gramigna of Tavistock CC, the fourth seed, in 19 holes.

  Also alive in the Elite Eight is defending Amateur champion Michael Tash of Tavistock CC. The 2003 winner and top seed survived a scare from Rich

  Pruchnik of West Chester G&CC, the 17th seed, 1-up. Tash advanced thanks to victories on the final two holes.

  “It was nice drawing off last year’s experiences and knowing you can [hit those shots] with the match on the line,” said Tash, 42, of Glassboro, N.J. “I hit a really good shot on No. 18 under pressure. It was a 3-iron from 183 yards into the wind.”

  That par resulted in the victory.

  Tash’s next opponent will be Roc Irey of Cedarbrook CC. Irey, 51, of Doylestown, Pa., dropped 40 pounds in the last three months and has seen his game improve.

  “I’m dieting and working out and my golf game came back,” said Irey, the No. 9 seed. “I was just trying to get healthy and this is a nice by-product.”

  Irey, a long hitter, and Tash, who relies on a straight driver and sniper irons, are also close friends.

  The two play as a team in the Stonewall Invitational every fall.

  “I’ll be in front of him off the tee all day,” said Irey with a smile. “It’ll be up to him to reverse the pressure with his iron game.”

  Other second-round winners were: Mike Lebow of Spring Ford CC, the Amateur Championship qualifying medalist; Scott Ehrlich of Meadowlands CC, the 23rd seed; Dan Walters of Philadelphia Publinks, the No. 3 seed, and Billy McCrossan of The Springhaven Club, the 27th seed.

Round of 32

Zelner stops McDermott in 22 holes – Doug Zelner of Coatesville CC, the 15th seed, upset Michael McDermott of Llanerch CC, the reigning Player of the Year and 18th seed, when McDermott failed to escape the fescue on the 22nd hole (No. 13, 398 yards). Zelner and McDermott exchanged opportunities for the win late in the match and in the playoff before on the fourth extra hole McDermott’s drive landed in the right fairway fescue. Zelner’s drive was center cut and his approach stopped shot landed on the front fringe. McDermott took three tries to escape the long grass, but failed and conceded the hole.

  “My strategy was to make as many pars as possible and make him beat me with birdies,” said Zelner, 42, of Exton, Pa. “He made some birdies, but he made some bogeys as well.”

  Zelner was 1-over-par for the 22 holes. He had 19 pars, two bogeys and a birdie.

  The match entered their 18th hole (the 9th hole on the course) All Square, when Zelner drilled a long iron to 20 feet. McDermott knocked a 4-iron to the edge of the hazard, but dropped a terrific lob wedge to four feet to save par and halve the hole.

  “That was the best shot of my career,” said McDermott, 29, of Havertown, Pa. “Especially, considering the circumstances.”

  Zelner dropped it tight on No. 10 (par 4, 420 yards) but missed a short birdie putt and McDermott watched a three-foot par chance for the victory on No. 11 (par 3, 160 yards) slip to the high side.

  A pair of routine pars on No. 12 (par 4, 398 yards) sent the twosome to the deciding 13th.

  A total of five first-round matches had a playoff.

  Also, victorious in extra holes were P. Chet Walsh of Philadelphia CC (21 holes), Billy McCrossan of The Springhaven Club (19 holes), Thomas Gramigna of Tavistock CC (19 holes) and John Pelet of Wyncote GC (19 holes).

Round of 16
1. Michael Tash, Tavistock CC, d. 17. Rich Pruchnik, West Chester G&CC, 1-up
9. Roc Irey, Cedarbrook CC, d. 8. John Pelet, Wyncote GC, 6&4
13. Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley CC, d. 4. Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock CC, 19 holes
28. Frank McFadden, Overbrook GC, d. 12. Oscar Mestre, Jr., Overbrook GC, 2&1
2. Mike Lebow, Spring Ford CC, d. 15. Doug Zelner, Coatesville CC, 8&7
23. Scott Ehrlich, Meadowlands CC, d. 26. Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster CC, 4&2
3. Dan Walters, Philadelphia Publinks, d. 19. John Sawin, Philadelphia CC, 19 holes
27. Billy McCrossan, The Springhaven Club, d. 22. P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia CC, 19 holes
Round of 32
1. Michael Tash, Tavistock CC, d. 32. James Winner, Talamore at Oak Terrace CC, 2-up
17. Rich Pruchnik, West Chester G&CC, d. 16. Scott Storck, Philadelphia Cricket Club, 6&5
8. John Pelet, Wyncote GC, d. 25. Michael Rose, Ashbourne CC, 19 holes
9. Roc Irey, Cedarbrook CC, d. Anthony Apostolico, Deerfield G&TC, 1-up
4. Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock CC, d. 29. Dan Pickering, Indian Valley CC, 19 holes
13. Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley CC, d. 20. Ron Weaver, Meadia Heights GC, 5&4
28. Frank McFadden, Overbrook GC, d. 5. Kyle Davis, Kennett Square G&CC, 2&1
12. Oscar Mestre, Jr., Overbrook GC, d. 21. Steve Owens, Wildwood G&CC, 5&4
2. Mike Lebow, Spring Ford CC, d. 31. Tom Borsello, Fieldstone GC, 3&1
15. Doug Zelner, Coatesville CC, d. 18. Michael McDermott, Llanerch CC, 22 holes
26. Marlin Detweiler, Lancaster CC, d. 7. Chris Lange, Overbrook GC, 3&2
23. Scott Ehrlich, Meadowlands CC, d. 10. Geoff Forcino, Waynesborough CC, 3&2
3. Dan Walters, Philadelphia Publinks, d. 30. John Robinson, Commonwealth National GC, 4&3
19. John Sawin, Philadelphia CC, d. 14. Jamie Slonis, Tavistock CC, 4&3
27. Billy McCrossan, The Springhaven Club, d. Lynn Kilduff, Huntsville GC, 19 holes
22. P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia CC, d. 11. Brian Corbett, Huntsville GC, 21 holes

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