June 26, 2018
DANIELSVILLE, Pa. — A driver tune-up gave Ron Robinson the ammunition and assurance necessary to navigate Woodstone Country Club & Lodge (par 72, 6,827 yards) Tuesday.
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The two-time reigning Harry Hammond Award winner avoided tree trouble on the lavish lumber landscape en route to carving a 1-under-par 71. In doing so, Robinson earned medalist honors and one of 12 qualifying positions and ties available in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship Qualifier.
The cut line stopped at 79 by day’s end, with 14 individuals (13 amateurs, one professional) advancing. The 114th Open Championship will take place July 18-19 at St. Davids Golf Club.
“I hit the ball off the tee OK, just kept it in between the trees,” Robinson, 19, of Hatfield, Pa., said. “I gave myself a lot of four, five-footers for par that I luckily made. I was just trying to give myself around 150 yards [for approach shots] in the fairway to be able to attack, which was good.”
To ensure less tree trouble and more playable approaches, Robinson met with Mike Wheeler at Whitford Country Club last week for an instrumental ball-striking lesson.
“We worked on getting my driver more consistent. I hit two fairways [in the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Qualifier two weeks ago],” Robinson, a Commonwealth National Golf Club member, said. “That was what we worked on mostly — keeping the ball in between the trees so I could make birdies.”
Robinson converted five birdies at Woodstone. Sharp sand wedge shots of 145 and 127 yards set up red opportunities of three and 15 feet on Nos. 3 (par 5, 559 yards) and 7 (par 4, 431 yards). Robinson nearly reached the par 5, 483-yard No. 9 with a 4-iron from 210 yards. A chip to two inches made the rising Monmouth University sophomore the only player to turn in red figures Tuesday.
Loose tee shots on Nos. 2 (par 4, 395 yards) and 8 (par 3, 201 yards) framed his frontside bogeys. Robinson also struggled on Nos. 10 (par 4, 410 yards) and 11 (par 4, 414 yards), missing a five-footer for par on the first and splashing a 3-wood into the water on the latter. A heavy pitching wedge on the par 4, 426-yard 12th nearly cast Robinson away from the spotlight. He righted the ship by knocking a wedge 40 yards to five feet for a critical par save.
The burly basher rescued a red round with consecutive birdies to close. The par 5, 503-yard 17th hole mirrored the No. 9 outcome: powerful second shot (3-iron from 240 yards) lands short of the green, ensuing chip to kick-in range. Robinson deposited a 15-footer for birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 430 yards) following a pitching wedge from 140 yards.
Driver consistency aside, Robinson is also recovering from a left wrist injury. He hit a root while playing golf during the winter.
“My game’s been here and there [as a result]. I’m starting to get back to 100 percent, which is nice,” Robinson, a business administration major and education minor at Monmouth, said. “I haven’t gotten the MRI results back yet. The doctor said I could play golf. He just said, ‘Don’t be stupid.’ I can play golf. That’s all that matters.”
Making the Championship proper is all that mattered Tuesday. Robinson finished in the Top 25 a year ago at Philadelphia Country Club.
“Hopefully I can contend this year, which will be nice,” he said.
Brookside Country Club of Allentown’s Carlos Fullerton carded a 2-over-par 74 to place second. The Penn State University graduate student played a practice round of sorts over the weekend. Fullerton, 22, of Lower Macungie Township, Pa., finished fourth in the Lehigh Valley Medal Play Championship at Woodstone.
“It gave me an idea of what I was going to do. The tees were the same, the par 3s were the same,” Fullerton, who captured the Four-Man Team a week ago alongside Max Harrington, Richard Riva and Adam Sutovich, said.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia expanded its Open Championship field to 132 players in 2017. The format remains 36 holes of stroke play. It is contested over two days instead of one — a change also made in 2017. A cut to the low 60 and ties takes place after Day One.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|(a) Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club||71|
|(a) Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown||74|
|(a) Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||75|
|(a) John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club||75|
|Mike Furey, Mahoning Valley Country Club||75|
|(a) Michael Thomas, Scranton Municipal Golf Course||75|
|(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside CC of Allentown||76|
|(a) Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||77|
|(a) Jack Habeeb, Country Club of Scranton||77|
|(a) Matt Keim, Brookside Country Club||77|
|(a) Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club||79|
|(a) Luke Fayocavitz, Glen Oak Country Club||79|
|(a) Thomas Lewis, Commonwealth National Golf Club||79|
|(a) Paul Mauer, Stonewall||79|
|Failed to qualify|
|(a) Alec Cwienkala, Saucon Valley Country Club||80|
|(a) Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club||80|
|Joseph Doughty, Saucon Valley Country Club||80|
|(a) Anthony Barr, Blue Bell Country Club||81|
|Rob Coyne, Applecross Country Club||81|
|(a) Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club||81|
|(a) Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club||81|
|(a) Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club||81|
|(a) Nicholas Lukow, Woodstone Country Club & Lodge||82|
|(a) Hayden Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club||84|
|(a) Daniel Simonsen, Green Valley Country Club||84|
|(a) Coley Burke, Pocono Manor Golf Club||85|
|William Smith, Mahoning Valley Country Club||85|
|(a) Joshua Krumholz, LedgeRock Golf Club||86|
|(a) Matt Milligan, Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg State Park||86|
|(a) Jeffrey Romines, Philadelphia Publinks GA||86|
|(a) David Leonardis, Jack Frost National||87|
|(a) Clay Anders, Indian Valley Country Club||89|
|Thomas Regan, Jr., PineCrest Country Club||89|
|Gary Strausser, II, Riverview Country Club||89|
|(a) John DiValentino, Jr., Cedarbrook Country Club||98|
|Francis Nattle, Philadelphia Publinks GA||NC|
|Eric Buckland, Meadia Heights Golf Club||WD|
|Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club||WD|
|(a) — denotes amateur|
|NC — no card; WD — withdrawal|