May 23, 2012

Cricket’s Brennan cards 3-under 67 in Rd. 1 of Middle-Amateur

Ben Smith of Little Mill CC tees off on No. 8 (par 4, 405 yards).

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 MALVERN, Pa.–Buzzwords like redemption and validation have been the theme of the two previous Middle-Amateur Championships. Should this year’s 18-hole leader John Brennan of Philadelphia Cricket Club survive tomorrow’s final round, either descriptor, and probably both, would aptly apply to the 33-year-old resident of Audubon, Pa.

  Brennan, still in search of his first individual Golf Association of Philadelphia victory, has finished in the Top 9 in four of the past six Mid.-Ams. On Thursday, he enters the second round of the 29th Middle-Amateur Championship at Chester Valley Golf Club (par 70, 6,582 yards) fresh off an impressive 3-under-par 67 and in unfamiliar territory with a two-stroke advantage.

  “It would mean the world to me to win it,” said Brennan, a social studies teacher at Spring-Ford High School. “The tough part is probably going to be sleeping on the lead. I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of text messages tonight from people wishing me luck. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether it is your club championship or playing in the GAP Mid.-Am., sleeping on a lead is tough. But I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

  Ben Smith of Little Mill Country Club, 25, from Philadelphia, Pa., stands alone in second place at 1 under. Michael Brown, 39, of Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association from Cheltenham, Pa., the 2009, Mid.-Am. winner, sits in third place at 1 over. Defending champion Glenn Smeraglio of Mercer Oaks Golf Course missed the cut with an 86.

  The cut-line for the Mid.-Am. fell at 80. A total of 71 players advanced to tomorrow’s second round which starts at 7:30 a.m. Brennan, Smith and Brown begin their final 18 holes at 11:40 a.m.

  Brennan emerged from a jumbled pack when he caught fire on the back nine after posting an even-par 35 on his outward side. He birdied four of his first seven inward holes to rocket up the leaderboard.

  On No. 10 (par 3, 184 yards), he lofted a 6-iron to 15 feet and made the putt before fueling that fire a few shots later when he rolled it in from the front fringe on No. 11 (par 4, 379 yards).

  “The birdie on No. 11 is a funny story,” said Brennan. “Matt [Mattare] hit his second shot out of bounds and Steve [Seiden] pulled his second shot to the left side. So I have a lot of good thoughts going through my head as you can imagine and I leave my second shot short. I used my putter from about three steps off the front and it rolled in. It was probably a good 65 feet.”

  Brennan continued with his torrid birdie pace on No. 14 (par 5, 495 yards) when he got up-and-down from just short of the green and on No. 16 (par 4, 404 yards) when he knocked a pitching wedge from 133 yards to 12 feet.

  Brennan ended the round on a sore note, though, when his 9-iron from 167 yards in the right rough on No. 18 (par 4, 436 yards) rolled over the green and he failed to save par.

  “I caddied here when I was going through college (Lebanon Valley College), so I felt comfortable on the course,” said Brennan. “I felt comfortable I knew the lines and I had a good idea on the greens.”

  Smith, a member of Little Mill CC’s last two GAP Team Matches Championship team, sneaked up into the final pairing with a strong finish as well. He birdied four of his final 10 holes to go from nomad to contender.

  On No. 9 (par 4, 380 yards), he knocked a 92-yard, 54-degree wedge to three feet for birdie. He followed that up on No. 11 (par 4, 379 yards) with a 60-degree wedge from 96 yards to eight feet. On the par 5, 14th, he made a smart up-and-down from five yards short of the green for four before knocking his 60-degree wedge on No. 17 (par 4 385 yards), again from 96 yards, to six feet.

  “My expectations were pretty high [coming in here]. I’ve been playing pretty good golf lately,” said Smith. “Being paired with [past Mid.-Am. Champions] Chris Lange and Chip Lutz was inspiration for me.”

  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 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 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.

Name, clubScore
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club67
Benjamin Smith, Little Mill Country Club69
Michael Brown, Philadelphia Publinks GA71
Chip Lutz, LedgeRock Golf Club72
Rich Pruchnik, Back Creek Golf Club72
Daniel Feeney, Philadelphia Cricket Club73
Bill Boyle, Metedeconk National Golf Club73
Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club73
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club74
Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club74
G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club74
Michael Quinn, Edgmont Country Club74
Brian McDermott, Llanerch Country Club74
Steve Lubin, Five Ponds Golf Club75
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club75
William Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club75
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club75
Scott McNeil, Philadelphia Publinks GA75
Eric Williams, Makefield Highlands Golf Club75
Anthony Apostolico, Back Creek Golf Club75
Mark Walker, Laurel Creek Country Club75
Jack Anderson, Makefield Highlands Golf Club75
Thomas Hyland, Little Mill Country Club76
Paul Kupcha, Fieldstone Golf Club76
Joe Viechnicki, Saucon Valley Country Club76
Ronald Jamarowicz, Hartefeld National76
David Shields, Philadelphia Publinks GA76
Robert Bechtold, Loch Nairn Golf Club76
James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club76
Mark Coassolo, Brookside C.C. of Allentown76
Rich Thon, The Springhaven Club77
Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club77
Matthew Finger, Woodcrest Country Club77
Scott McLaughlin, Commonwealth National Golf Club77
Louis Giovi, Mercer Oaks Golf Course77
Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club77
Rodney James, Golden Oaks Golf Club77
Michael Moffat, Commonwealth National Golf Club77
Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club78
Michael Walker, Loch Nairn Golf Club78
Richard Umani, Honeybrook Golf Club78
Lance Oberparleiter, Little Mill Country Club78
Matt Maurer, Bent Creek Country Club78
James Donnelly, Merion Golf Club78
Michael Domenick, Phoenixville Country Club78
Frank Corrado, Jr., Jericho National Golf Club78
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club79
Mark Peterson, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club79
Thomas Brennan, Five Ponds Golf Club79
Richard Atcavage, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club79
William Naylor, Applebrook Golf Club79
Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club79
Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club79
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club79
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club79
Neil Gordon, Five Ponds Golf Club79
Robert Cunningham, Overbrook Golf Club79
Michael Beran, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve80
Dave Fardon, Philadelphia Publinks GA80
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club80
Chris Hunger, Wedgwood Country Club80
George Griffaton, Brookside Country Club80
Bryan Ott, Silver Creek Country Club80
David Brookreson, Huntingdon Valley Country Club80
Santo Lafoca, Huntsville Golf Club80
Michael Rose, Talamore Country Club80
Adam Mastone, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia80
Francis McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club80
Joseph Roeder, Links Golf Club80
Failed to qualify
Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club81
Elias Chua, Fieldstone Golf Club81
Simon Hagger, Fieldstone Golf Club81
Chris Hynoski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course81
Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club81
Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve81
Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club81
Ryan Jordan, Tavistock Country Club81
Jeffrey Huntzinger, Philadelphia Publinks GA81
Tom Grady, West Chester Golf & Country Club81
Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club82
Sean Ryan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club82
David West, Whitford Country Club82
Ray Pyontek, Yardley Country Club82
Kenneth Matt, Mercer Oaks GC83
Grant Skyllas, Moselem Springs Golf Club83
John Simone, Philmont Country Club83
Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club83
Scott Orr, Brookside Country Club83
Paul Bickford, Little Mill Country Club83
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club83
Bill Albertus, Penn Oaks Golf Club83
Michael Santerian, Wedgwood Country Club83
Robert Good, Merion Golf Club83
Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club83
Patrick McCauley, Applebrook Golf Club83
Stephen Seiden, Llanerch Country Club84
Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club84
Brian Fisher, Philadelphia Publinks GA84
Arthur Herling, III, Cedarbrook Country Club84
Christopher Lucci, Brookside Country Club84
Jason Barkley, Moselem Springs Golf Club84
Tim Anderson, Philadelphia Publinks GA85
Andrew Dietz, Laurel Creek Country Club85
Patrick Phillips, Spring Ford Country Club85
Tom Piersanti, Saucon Valley Country Club85
Carlo Fitti, Llanerch Country Club85
Ivan McBride, Five Ponds Golf Club85
Mark Kosko, Sea Oaks Golf Club85
John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club85
Andrew Carnevale, North Hills Country Club85
Gregg Angelillo, Moselem Springs Golf Club86
Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club86
Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course86
Steven Budenz, Makefield Highlands Golf Club86
Gordon Jamieson, Merion Golf Club86
Blake Cleary, Wilmington Country Club86
Michael Fagan, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club86
Peter Landreth, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club87
Jim Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club87
Michael Casella, Northampton Country Club88
Jonathan Shevlin, North Hills Country Club89
Timothy Whartenby, Northampton Valley Country Club89
Patrick McCusker, Jr., Plymouth Country Club89
Mark Hodgson, Burlington Country Club91
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country ClubWD
Ryan McCarty, Little Mill Country ClubWD
John Aloisio, Running Deer Golf ClubWD
Alexander Maguire, Jr., Brookside Country ClubWD
Christopher Terebesi, Honeybrook Golf ClubWD

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