May 12, 2008

Davis, Gray top U.S. Open qualifier

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U.S Open Qualifier

  MALVERN, Pa. – Amory Davis, an amateur from Chadds Ford, Pa., and Christopher Gray, a professional from Newark, Del., overcame ever-challenging weather conditions to card matching 2-over-par 73s at White Manor CC (par 72, 6,963 yards) Monday to share medallist honors at a local qualifier for the U.S. Open Championship.

  Davis, a sophomore-to-be at the University of Virginia, and Gray, a head professional out of Ed Oliver GC in Wilmington, Del., battled their way through a rare mid-May Nor’Easter to head the second local qualifier conducted by the Golf Association of Philadelphia.

  And when it came to describing the conditions of their qualifying efforts, the two didn’t mince words.

  “It was brutal out there,” said Davis, 19. “These were the hardest tournament conditions I’ve ever played in, without a doubt.”

  “Possibly the worst ever,” said Gray, 30, of the weather. “It was a little brutal out there with the wind and the rain. It was probably the worst [conditions] I’ve ever played in.”

  Davis, who teed off in the morning, faced howling gale-force winds all morning and had a feeling that score at or just above par would move him on to the sectional qualifier.

  “When I teed off this morning I knew the scores were going to be high,” he said. “I just came out here wanting 18 pars. That’s all I wanted. I didn’t care about birdies.”

  Gray teed off later on in the morning where the winds were replaced by a constant cold rain.

  “Rain is definitely the worst,” said Gray in reference to which of the two is the most difficult to overcome. “With the rain you’re trying to hold on to the club more than anything. With the wind it’s more about controlling your ball flight, which is what we all do when we practice anyway, so it’s definitely the rain.”

  But this morning’s winds reeked havoc on more than ball flight for Davis, who said his putting was affected to most by the blustery conditions.

  “The wind was a huge factor with my putting,” said Davis, who advanced into last years’ sectional qualifier. “At times you were playing the wind more than you were playing the break in the green. Even if you had a left-to-right breaking putt, if the wind was coming from the opposite direction, you knew it was going to be a straight putt.”

  Added Davis on his putting strategy, “If I was outside of 10 feet, I just wanted to get it close and not have a three-footers left in that wind. I just lagged everything today.”

  Despite the conditions, Gray managed to register birdies on hole Nos.3 (par 3, 244 yards), 7 (par 4, 335 yards), 11 (par 5, 529 yards) and 17 (par 5, 553 yards).

  Gray, who said he went through nine or 10 rain gloves and four or five towels throughout the day, drained his final birdie on No. 17 to tie Davis for the lead in the clubhouse.

  The proud first-time father of a baby girl took a driver off the tee and a lay up 6-iron required by caddie, and boss off the course, Chris Bos, the general manager at Ed Oliver GC. From that point he knocked his 58-degree wedge onto the back of the green and made the birdie put from there.

  “[Bos] is always on the bag for my big events, so we’ve developed our own little personality out there on the golf course,” said Gray, who took his first head pro position this past March at Ed Oliver GC. “It’s nice to be the boss at least for a couple of hours.”

  Both Davis and Gray now head to The Members Club at Four Streams in Beallsville, MD., for the sectional qualifier.

  Joining Davis and Gray in the sectionals will be amateur Thomas Gramigna of Haddonfield, N.J., Tarheel Tour professional Chris Gallagher of West Chester, Pa., professional Fred Brown, Jr. of The Woodlands, Texas, and professional Joey Bonargo of Warrington, Pa.

Name City Front 9 Back 9 Total
(a) Amory Davis Chadds Ford, PA 38 35 73
Christopher Gray Newark, DE 35 38 73
(a) Thomas Gramigna Haddonfield, NJ 39 35 74
Chris Gallagher West Chester, PA 38 37 75
Fred Brown, Jr. The Woodlands, TX 38 37 75
*Joey Bonargo Warrington, PA 36 40 76
Alternates (in order)
*Billy Stewart West Palm Beach, FL 37 39 76
*Mike Dynda Blue Bell, PA 40 36 76
Failed to qualify
*Gregory Wolfe Newark, DE 39 37 76
*Mark Szewczyk Ambler, PA 38 38 76
(a) *James Kania, Jr. Haverford, PA 38 38 76
*Tug Maude Wayne, PA 37 39 76
(a) Henry Smart Epsom Surrey 38 39 77
Jakob Gerney Wrightstown, PA 38 39 77
(a) Keita Aoki Lewisburg, PA 39 38 77
(a) Keith Snyder Bear, DE 36 41 77
Billy Dickinson Haines City, FL 41 37 78
(a) Brian Gillespie Wayne, PA 38 40 78
(a) Daniel Charen Langhorne, PA 41 37 78
(a) Eric Plisko Sugar Notch, PA 39 39 78
John Allen Media, PA 40 38 78
Michael Sullivan Norristown, PA 37 41 78
Michael Tobiason, Jr. Wilmington, DE 39 39 78
(a) Stephen Seiden Chadds Ford, PA 36 42 78
(a) Alan Borowsky Bala Cynwyd, PA 40 39 79
Brian Gardner Chester Springs, PA 40 39 79
Christian Bartolacci Langhorne, PA 38 41 79
Clint Deibert Doylestown, PA 39 40 79
(a) Cory Siegfried Villanova, PA 38 41 79
Dustin McCormick East Stroudsburg, PA 40 39 79
Adam Corson State College, PA 39 41 80
Paul Gagliardi Lower Gwynedd, PA 40 40 80
(a) Robert Robertson Philadelphia, PA 38 42 80
Anthony Napoletano Springfield, PA 40 41 81
Dave McNabb Newark, DE 39 42 81
Lowell Miller Lake Mary, FL 40 41 81
Matthew Ujfalusi Media, PA 39 42 81
(a) Rahul Desai Avon, CT 42 39 81
(a) Dean Merrill Kansas City, MO 42 40 82
(a) Phil Auerbach New York, NY 39 43 82
(a) Sean Semenetz Philadelphia, PA 39 43 82
Stephen Arnold Port Saint Lucie, FL 42 40 82
Steve Cutler Cary, NC 42 40 82
(a) William McGuinness Woodbury, NJ 39 43 82
Colin Corrigan Omaha, NE 43 40 83
(a) James Kieserman Dresher, PA 43 40 83
(a) Jason Cohan Savannah, GA 40 43 83
(a) Patrick Dougherty North Wales, PA 39 44 83
(a) Scott Klee Telford, PA 38 45 83
William Mullen Jeffersonville, PA 42 41 83
(a) Andrew Guaraldo Berwyn, PA 43 41 84
Garry Marker Mays Landing, NJ 42 42 84
Joseph Kogelman Sicklerville, NJ 43 41 84
(a) Kevin Genuardi Gwynedd Valley, PA 41 43 84
(a) Michael Heidler Gilbertsville, PA 39 45 84
(a) Andrew Mason Huntingdon Valley, PA 42 43 85
(a) Andy Achenbach Royersford, PA 40 45 85
(a) David West Downingtown, PA 41 44 85
Josh Richards Charlotte, NC 40 45 85
(a) Justin Hilgert Delaware Water Gap, PA 43 42 85
(a) Michael Soowal Seneca, SC 41 44 85
(a) Paul Amess Broomall, PA 43 42 85
Pete Malonoski West Chester, PA 44 41 85
(a) Pete Moran Chester Springs, PA 40 45 85
Marc Levine West Chester, PA 44 42 86
Andrew Michael Malvern, PA 43 44 87
Dennis Poiesz Clifton Heights, PA 44 43 87
Drew Hood Norristown, PA 45 42 87
(a) Greg Verde Wayne, PA 46 42 88
Anthony Malizia King of Prussia, PA 44 46 90
(a) Samuel Hockfield Galdwyne, PA 47 43 90
(a) Ben Carr Aston, PA 48 43 91
(a) Brett Falkoff Lafayette Hill, PA 43 48 91
David Pagett Lafayette Hill, PA 43 50 93
(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr. Huntingdon Valley, PA 41 52 93
(a) Michael Brown Cheltenham, PA 42 52 94
Jeffrey Breiner Harrisburg, PA 53 45 98
(a) Colin Smith West Chester, PA NS NS NS
(a) Lance Oberparleiter Blenheim, NJ NS NS NS
Bob Kave Manasquan, NJ WD WD WD
(a) Bryan Winsko Schwenksville, PA WD WD WD
(a) George Marucci, Jr. Villanova, PA WD WD WD
(a) Jeffrey Griest Glen Mills, PA WD WD WD
(a) Jim Pauciello Devon, PA WD WD WD
(a) Jordan Wycoff Fort Washington, PA WD WD WD
Scott Hunter Collegeville, PA WD WD WD
*-determined a playoff
NS-No Show;WD-Withdrawal

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