Bala GC’s Walker tops Spring Ford CC Open Qualifier - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 23, 2008

Bala GC’s Walker tops Spring Ford CC Open Qualifier

  ROYERSFORD, Pa. – Bill Walker, an assistant professional out of Bala GC, rode some fortuitous bounces and timely long putts to top the 109-player field attempting to qualify for the 104th Open Championship at Spring Ford CC (par 72, 6,698 yards) Monday.

  Walker carded a 3-under-par 69 to lead the field at the second qualifier used to help determine the field for the Championship set for July 23 at Lookaway GC.

  “I had a couple shots that could have ended up in bad shape but bounced the right way,” said the assistant professional in his second year at Bala GC. “I had a couple where I made birdie where I thought I might make a bogey.”

  Such was the case on the par 4, 17th hole (413 yards) when Walker’s 4-iron off the tee went into a tree guarding the right side of the fairway. Figuring he’d be in some trouble, Walker was surprised to find his ball sitting in the fairway just over 215 yards from the flagstick. From there, he knocked a 5-iron onto the green and made the downhill 40-footer for his third birdie through eight holes (Walker started on No. 10).

  As he made the turn onto the first hole (No. 1, par 4, 457 yards), Walker found trouble right away after his tee shot found the fairway bunker and his second shot from the sand headed directly at the creek cutting across the fairway. But lady luck appeared yet again as his ball miraculously struck a rock in the hazard and bounced up onto the fairway where he eventually made a bogey.

  “That was a fortunate bounce and outcome,” said Walker, 38, of Riverton, N.J. “It could have been a lot worse.”

  Walker, who’s best finish at the Open was a tie for eighth place, hopes to take his strong play on into the Championship next month.

  “I struck it pretty steady all day, had some fortunate bounces and made some putts,” Walker said. “[The Open Championship] is still a month away so I still have to play well leading in.”

  Added Walker, “I want to continue to play well and try and keep the momentum going into our [Philadelphia] Section tournaments and then hopefully into the Open.”

  When the day came to an end, the cut line fell to 75 and a total of 22 players advanced into the Championship.

  The Open Championship’s field of 72 players will be comprised of 24 exempt entrants and 48 qualifiers. The final qualifier is scheduled for June 25 at LedgeRock GC where there will be nine qualifying positions available. The Open Championship will have a purse of $40,000.

  Mark Miller of Yardley CC finished at even-par 140 to take the 103rd Open Championship at historic Merion GC. Miller edged out Mark Sheftic (rounds of 70-71), an assistant professional at Sunnybrook GC, and the remainder of the 72-player field, by a stroke to become only the 12th amateur to capture the Open Championship.

  The field for the 104th Open Championship will consist of professionals who are members in good standing of the Philadelphia Section PGA, head professionals of GAP Member Clubs and amateurs who are members of member clubs and have handicap index of 7.0 or less.

Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 136 Member Clubs and 56,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

Name Club Score
Bill Walker Bala GC 69
(a) Warren Taylor Yardley CC 70
Eric Dovre Galloway National GC 71
(a) Eric Spiller Woodcrest CC 72
Kevin Melrath Sunnybrook GC 72
(a) Andrew Lawson Hershey’s Mill GC 73
(a) Pierce Dever Jericho National GC 73
Gregory Pieczynski The Academy Golf Center 73
(a) Stephen Dressel Spring Ford CC 73
Andrew Barbin Chesapeake Bay GC 74
(a) Oscar Mestre, Jr. Overbrook GC 74
(a) Robert Dziak Spring Ford CC 74
Kevin Nicholson Sunnybrook GC 74
(a) David Liotta Whitemarsh Valley CC 74
*(a) Desmond Patrick Atkinson Riverton CC 75
*(a) David Goodman Bucks County GC 75
*Rick Hughart Tavistock CC 75
*John Spina Philadelphia Cricket Club 75
*Mike Dynda Blue Bell CC 75
*Hugh Reilly Huntingdon Valley CC 75
*(a) Rich Pruchnik West Chester G&CC 75
*Robert Agresti Aronimink GC 75
Alternates (in order)
*(a) Robert de Rojas RiverCrest GC & Preserve 75
*Anthony Napoletano Chester Valley GC 76
*(a) James Kania, Jr. Overbrook GC 76
*(a) John Robinson Commonwealth National GC 76
Failed to qualify
*(a) Russell Hartung Doylestown CC 76
(a) Kevin Genuardi Cedarbrook CC 77
Gregory Farrow Deerwood CC 77
(a) Ted Brennan Philadelphia CC 77
(a) Sam Pancoast Radley Run CC 77
(a) Tom Borsello Fieldstone GC 77
Brian Levengood Aronimink GC 77
John Allen Sunnybrook GC 77
(a) David Taraschi Merchantville CC 77
(a) C.J. Van Ostenbridge Spring Ford CC 77
(a) P. Chet Walsh Philadelphia CC 77
George Frake, II Little Mill CC 77
Michael Sullivan Whitemarsh Valley CC 77
Eric Korpics Lookaway GC 78
(a) Kevin Melnick, Jr. Plymouth CC 78
(a) Daniel Bernard RiverCrest GC & Preserve 78
(a) Benjamin Cooley Lu Lu CC 78
(a) G. Patrick Dougherty Talamore CC 78
(a) Greg Verde Spring Ford CC 78
(a) Nelson Hargrove Merion GC 78
(a) Michael Domenick Phoenixville CC 78
(a) Tom Carter Greate Bay CC 78
(a) Duncan Zeiders Old York Road CC 78
(a) Scott Klee Indian Valley CC 78
(a) Daniel Charen Yardley CC 78
(a) Peter Moran Edgmont CC 78
(a) Joseph Gunerman Yardley CC 78
Dennis Strigh Frog Rock CC 79
(a) Colin Smith Radley Run CC 79
(a) George Steinmetz Spring Ford CC 79
David Smith, Jr. Yardley CC 79
(a) Ken Sim Commonwealth National GC 79
David Clark Pine Valley GC 79
David Seeman, Jr. The St. Annes Club 79
Jeffrey Kiddie Aronimink GC 79
(a) Patrick Rugg Rolling Green GC 79
William Mullen Whitemarsh Valley CC 79
(a) Tim Pici Chester Valley GC 80
(a) Drew Panebianco Talamore CC 80
(a) Bo Maguire Brookside CC 80
(a) James Tallent Merion GC 80
John Diamond Talamore CC 80
J.R. Delich Applebrook GC 80
(a) Stephen Belh Woodbury CC 81
(a) Thomas Mallouk Lookaway GC 81
(a) Gary Root French Creek GC 81
Michael Paukovits Moselem Springs GC 81
(a) Vinny Alessi Penn Oaks GC 81
(a) Ben Feld Blue Bell CC 81
(a) Michael Quinn Edgmont CC 81
(a) Matthew Pesci Yardley CC 82
(a) John Palmer Chester Valley GC 82
(a) Stephen Sieracki Merchantville CC 82
(a) Matt Kaelin Little Mill CC 82
(a) Craig Labarbera RiverCrest GC & Preserve 82
(a) Michael Flatley Bellewood GC 82
(a) Zachary Herr Jericho National GC 83
(a) Fred Luck Spring Ford CC 83
(a) William Hoese Links GC 83
(a) James Braunsberg Blue Bell CC 83
Darren Mills Northampton CC 83
(a) Burton McHugh Sunnybrook GC 84
(a) Tim Westfall RiverCrest GC & Preserve 84
(a) Jeffrey Huntzinger North Hills CC 84
(a) Jack Rosenberg Waynesborough CC 85
Mark Anderson Philadelphia Cricket Club 86
(a) Philip Petroll Penn Oaks GC 86
(a) Craig Munson Honeybrook GC 87
(a) Michael Beran RiverCrest GC & Preserve 87
(a) Ross Godick Rolling Green GC 88
C.J. Park Five Ponds GC 88
Chandler Withington Merion GC 89
(a) Joseph Dulka DuPont CC 89
(a) James Della Guardia Spring Ford CC 90
(a) Chuck Kraatz Talamore CC 90
(a) Jason Barkley Moselem Springs GC 94
(a) Jon Thomas White Clay Creek CC 95
Michael Duffy The Saint Annes Club WD
(a) Bobby Kershner Spring Ford CC WD
(a) Mark Kosko Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa WD
Terry Hertzog Bent Creek CC WD
(a) John Sweeney Lancaster CC WD
(a) Andy Achenbach RiverCrest GC & Preserve DQ
*-determined in a playoff
(a) amateur
DQ-disqualification; WD-withdrawal

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