Aug 08, 2018

Bala’s McNeil finds comfort en route to 116th #PatCup lead

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.-Life has interrupted Scott McNeil’s golf game. As typical for anyone around McNeil’s age, 32, family and work have pushed golf down the priority list.

Scorecards | Round 2 tee times | Day 1 Notebook | History | Day 1 Video |

  However, with those obligations under control, a quick swing lesson in tow and longtime friend Doug Havens on the bag after a health scare, a clear-minded McNeil returned to his former stomping grounds Wednesday – the top of a leaderboard.

  McNeil, winner of the 2015 Middle-Amateur Championship, carded a toasty 4-under-par 67 in the opening round of the 116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at a sweltering Gulph Mills Golf Club (par 71, 6,501 yards).

  The long-hitting righty posted three birdies, an eagle and a bogey to land atop the scoreboard. A total of 12 players finished under par.

  The cut line fell at 75 with 68 players advancing to Day 2. The final group of McNeil, Joe Tigani and Campbell Wolf start at 11:30 a.m. Tigani of Fieldstone Golf Club, Wolf of Carlisle Country Club as well as Chris Ault of Yardley Country Club stand at 3 under. Defending champion Peter Bradbeer of Merion Golf Club missed the cut.

  “Today was very enjoyable,” McNeil, a member at Bala Golf Club and resident of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “To have Doug back on the bag and enjoy ourselves was all that mattered to me. He’s worried about me and I am worried about him when it is this hot. It helps that I am not worried about myself.” Havens is 73 years old.

  McNeil’s not worried, but his competition should be. His ability to get out of the house early for a quick lesson with Bala pro Chris Barletta resulted in better, sharper contact throughout his round.

  McNeil said Barletta noticed he wasn’t staying down through impact. That adjustment resulted in plenty of birdie opportunities today.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 422 yards), he converted a 30-foot birdie putt straight up the hill. Five straight pars followed before, on No. 7 (par 5, 498 yards), he blasted a 7-iron from 166 yards to three feet. He drained the downhill breaker. On No. 11 (par 4, 317 yards), McNeil’s drive landed next to the green. He chipped up to two-and-a-half feet for a 3. A bogey on No. 17 (par 3, 205 yards) came as the result of a poor tee shot before McNeil reached No. 18 (par 5, 430 yards) in two shots and two-putted from 30 feet.

  “I feel like it could get better tomorrow,” McNeil said of his swing. “My ball-striking has been average. Nothing terrible, nothing great. I had some good consistency and fewer mistakes today. 

  “I had a lot of good looks that I wasn’t able to convert. The pins and greens are difficult. It is difficult to make everything you look at because the greens break so much. I got more looks than I have had recently and I don’t feel like there is a ton of trouble off the tee for me [here].”

  Ault, Tigani and Wolf are all a shot back.

  Wolf threatened McNeil’s top spot but double bogeyed No. 18 after sending his second shot long of the green. The 19-year-old from Mechanicsburg, Pa., who is heading to DePaul University in the days ahead, had six birdies, a bogey and that double. The Patterson also serves as the final two rounds of the Silver Cross (the Silver Cross is awarded to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup.) Wolf stands one behind leader Ryan Rucinski of Hartefeld National.

  “I just wanted to make as many birdies as I could,” said Wolf, who like McNeil, has never played Gulph Mills before. “I’m trying to win the Silver Cross.”

  Tigani, 22, of Hockessin, Del., who was playing in his second ever Patterson Cup, had four birdies, an eagle and three bogeys. Ault, who made four birdies and a bogey, has good vibes at Gulph Mills. His last appearance in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Major at the club, the 2014 Middle-Amateur, resulted in a second-place finish.

  “I love this place,” Ault, 32, of Yardley, Pa., said. “It sets up well for me off the tee. It fits my eye really well because I like to fade the golf ball. It is fair but challenging. There is nothing I don’t like about it. Whenever I step on the course here I feel comfortable.”

Name, clubScore
Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club67
Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club68
Joe Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club68
Campbell Wolf, Carlisle Country Club68
Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club69
Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club69
Peter Barron, III, Greate Bay Country Club70
Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club70
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club70
Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve70
Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club70
Sam Soeth, The ACE Club70
Adam Armagost, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club71
Alexander Butler, Bluestone Country Club71
Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course71
David Hicks, The Shore Club71
Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton71
Ryan Rucinski, Hartefeld National71
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club71
Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course71
Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club72
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club72
Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown72
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club72
Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club72
Matt Kocent, Philadelphia Cricket Club72
Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club72
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club72
Paul Mauer, Stonewall72
Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club72
Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club72
Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club72
Ethan Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club72
Reed Winkler, Hartefeld National72
Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club73
Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club73
Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club73
Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club73
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club73
Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club73
Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club73
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club74
Mark Farley, Lu Lu Country Club74
Blake Hinckley, Wilmington Country Club74
Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club74
Marco Nieto, Glenmaura National Golf Club74
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club74
Jay Whitby, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club74
John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club75
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club75
Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club75
Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club75
Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield75
Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club75
Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve75
Greg DeLuca, Makefield Highlands Golf Club75
Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton75
David Herbst, West Shore Country Club75
Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club75
Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve75
Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club75
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club75
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club75
Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club75
James Sullivan, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club75
Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club75
Failed to qualify
Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club76
Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club76
Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club76
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club76
Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club76
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club76
Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club76
Jack Melville, Lu Lu Country Club76
Patrick Mitchell, Glenmaura National Golf Club76
Alex Pillar, CC at Woodloch Springs76
Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club76
Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club76
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club77
Robert Firth, Jr., North Hills Country Club77
Brian Fischer, Commonwealth National Golf Club77
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club77
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club77
Matt Kristick, Blue Bell Country Club77
Daniel Rieger, Sunnybrook Golf Club77
Andrew Strock, Trenton Country Club77
R.J. Wren, LedgeRock Golf Club77
Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club78
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club78
Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club78
T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club78
Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club78
Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club79
Michael Beran, Spring Ford Country Club79
Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club79
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club79
David Kim, Commonwealth National Golf Club79
Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club79
Joseph Morganti, Llanerch Country Club79
Owen Mulhern, Whitford Country Club79
Greg O’Connor, Bellewood Country Club79
Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club79
J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club79
Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale79
Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club79
Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club79
Arthur Worthington, Gulph Mills Golf Club79
Greg Bender, Honeybrook Golf Club80
Cal Buonocore, Llanerch Country Club80
Danny Dougherty, DuPont Country Club80
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club80
Matthew O’Brien, Philadelphia Publinks GA80
Connor Sharp, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale80
Brendan Bacskai, Applebrook Golf Club81
Matt Chalupa, Inniscrone Golf Club81
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club81
Alex Golland, Spring Ford Country Club81
David Hurly, White Manor Country Club81
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club81
Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club81
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club81
Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club81
Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club82
Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club82
Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club83
Robert Good, II, Merion Golf Club83
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club83
Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club83
Brett Wallace, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club83
Jordan Cook, Downingtown Country Club84
Marc Groenhuysen, Radley Run Country Club84
Connor Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton85
James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club86
Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club87
P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club90
Nic Portonova, Coatesville Country Club102
Ed Brown, Wild Quail Golf & Country ClubWD
Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf ClubWD
Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket ClubWD
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country ClubWD
Eric DeKarski, Greate Bay Country ClubNS
WD-withdrawal; NS-no show

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