Aug 08, 2018

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

Aug. 8, 2018

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, club Score
Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club 67
Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club 68
Joe Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club 68
Campbell Wolf, Carlisle Country Club 68
Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club 69
Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club 69
Peter Barron, III, Greate Bay Country Club 70
Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club 70
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club 70
Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 70
Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club 70
Sam Soeth, The ACE Club 70
Adam Armagost, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club 71
Alexander Butler, Bluestone Country Club 71
Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 71
David Hicks, The Shore Club 71
Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton 71
Ryan Rucinski, Hartefeld National 71
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club 71
Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course 71
Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club 72
Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club 72
Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club 72
Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown 72
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 72
Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club 72
Matt Kocent, Philadelphia Cricket Club 72
Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 72
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club 72
Paul Mauer, Stonewall 72
Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club 72
Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club 72
Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club 72
Ethan Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club 72
Reed Winkler, Hartefeld National 72
Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club 73
Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club 73
Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club 73
Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club 73
Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club 73
John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club 73
Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club 73
Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club 73
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club 74
Mark Farley, Lu Lu Country Club 74
Blake Hinckley, Wilmington Country Club 74
Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 74
Marco Nieto, Glenmaura National Golf Club 74
Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 74
Jay Whitby, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club 74
John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club 75
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club 75
Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club 75
Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club 75
Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield 75
Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club 75
Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 75
Greg DeLuca, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 75
Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton 75
David Herbst, West Shore Country Club 75
Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club 75
Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 75
Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club 75
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 75
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club 75
Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club 75
James Sullivan, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club 75
Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club 75
Failed to qualify
Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club 76
Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club 76
Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club 76
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club 76
Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club 76
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 76
Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club 76
Jack Melville, Lu Lu Country Club 76
Patrick Mitchell, Glenmaura National Golf Club 76
Alex Pillar, CC at Woodloch Springs 76
Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club 76
Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club 76
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club 77
Robert Firth, Jr., North Hills Country Club 77
Brian Fischer, Commonwealth National Golf Club 77
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club 77
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club 77
Matt Kristick, Blue Bell Country Club 77
Daniel Rieger, Sunnybrook Golf Club 77
Andrew Strock, Trenton Country Club 77
R.J. Wren, LedgeRock Golf Club 77
Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club 78
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club 78
Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 78
T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club 78
Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club 78
Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club 79
Michael Beran, Spring Ford Country Club 79
Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club 79
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club 79
David Kim, Commonwealth National Golf Club 79
Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club 79
Joseph Morganti, Llanerch Country Club 79
Owen Mulhern, Whitford Country Club 79
Greg O’Connor, Bellewood Country Club 79
Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club 79
J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club 79
Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 79
Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club 79
Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club 79
Arthur Worthington, Gulph Mills Golf Club 79
Greg Bender, Honeybrook Golf Club 80
Cal Buonocore, Llanerch Country Club 80
Danny Dougherty, DuPont Country Club 80
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club 80
Matthew O’Brien, Philadelphia Publinks GA 80
Connor Sharp, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 80
Brendan Bacskai, Applebrook Golf Club 81
Matt Chalupa, Inniscrone Golf Club 81
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 81
Alex Golland, Spring Ford Country Club 81
David Hurly, White Manor Country Club 81
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club 81
Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club 81
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club 81
Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club 81
Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club 82
Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club 82
Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club 83
Robert Good, II, Merion Golf Club 83
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club 83
Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club 83
Brett Wallace, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 83
Jordan Cook, Downingtown Country Club 84
Marc Groenhuysen, Radley Run Country Club 84
Connor Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton 85
James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club 86
Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 87
P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club 90
Nic Portonova, Coatesville Country Club 102
Ed Brown, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club WD
Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club WD
Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club WD
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club WD
Eric DeKarski, Greate Bay Country Club NS
WD-withdrawal; NS-no show

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