POTTSTOWN, Pa.–USGA Championships have been a source of indigestion for Tom DiCinti. “I’ve been close to everything, but haven’t made anything,” said the Voorhees, N.J., resident. “I’ve been an alternate before and I’ve lost in playoffs but I just haven’t been able to qualify for any USGA events.”
That all changed for DiCinti on Monday at Brookside CC (par 72, 6,507 yards).
The 56-year old drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the final hole to post a 1-under-par 71 amidst a steady breeze and earn medallist honors in a qualifier for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
The 51st U.S Senior Amateur Championship is set for Sept. 17-22 at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. A field of 71 players with a handicap index of 7.4 or better attempted to qualify for the U.S. Senior Amateur. Players must reach their 55th birthday by Sept. 17 to be eligible to compete.
The remaining three qualifying positions went to Ed Chylinski of Gulph Mills, Pa. (72), Edward Gregorczyk of Moosic, Pa. and Frank McFadden of Newtown Square, Pa. Gregorczyk and McFadden survived a five man for two qualifying positions playoff. All five players finished at 1-over-par 73.
This U.S. Senior Amateur Championship Qualifier is one of 53 national qualifying sites to determine the remainder of the 156-player field minus exempt players. Competitors will compete over 36 holes of stroke play to determine the 64 qualifiers for match play.
DiCinti, a left-hander, rallied from an opening-hole bogey (No. 1, par 4, 366 yards) with a trio of birdies. He canned a 20-foot uphill birdie chance on No. 2 (par 4, 395 yards), knocked a 6-iron to eight feet on No. 7 (par 3, 145 yards) for another under-par number and put a 9-iron to eight feet on No. 9 (par 4, 348 yards) to move deeper into red figures.
DiCinti moved to 3-under par on his round with a birdie on No. 10 (par 4, 312 yards) but a poor bunker shot and three putt on No. 13 (par 4, 398 yards) resulted in a double bogey and a 6-iron to the right of the green on No. 17 (par 3, 188 yards) resulted in a bogey. DiCinti then hit a “poor” wedge to 35 feet before draining the putt.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to it,” said DiCinti, who is an insurance brokerage wholesaler. “To be able to compete is going to be a neat experience. This is the first time I’ve felt strongly about my golf game and being able to compete on this level.”
DiCinti, who said his game has been as consistent this year as in any years past, credits his change to a long-putter as the difference. “From two-three-four feet I had the yips,” said DiCinti. “The long-putter has resurrected my game. I was a zero-to-plus handicap from tee to green and a 15-handicap putting and chipping.”
DiCiniti is a longtime member of Little Mill CC. He was the Senior Club Champion this past year.
Chylinski, 55, will also be traveling to his first U.S. Senior Amateur Championship.
The Chester Valley CC member opened his first nine holes in even-par 36 with one birdie and one bogey. He then made two birdies and two bogeys on the backside to finish with a 72.
McFadden, 55, of Overbrook GC, birdied the second playoff hole to advance to his first U.S. Senior Amateur. This will be McFadden’s second USGA Championship appearance. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont CC in 2003.
McFadden knocked an A-wedge from 118 yards to 25 feet before holing the putt to punch his ticket.
Gregorczyk, 58, of Glenmaura National GC, rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the third playoff hole, No. 3 (par 4, 362 yards), to advance. This will be Gregorczyk’s first Senior Amateur Championship and first USGA appearance.
He birdied the final hole to get into the playoff.
“For my whole life I wanted to make a USGA event just once,” said Gregorczyk. “[The putt] hit the pin dead center. It’s something you dream about.”
|Thomas DiCinti||Voorhees, N.J.||71|
|Ed Chylinski||Gulph Mills, Pa.||72|
|*Edward Gregorczyk||Moosic, Pa.||73|
|*Francis McFadden||Newtown Square, Pa.||73|
|Alternates (in order)|
|*William Lawler||West Wyoming, Pa.||73|
|*Thomas Bohardt||Concord, Ohio||73|
|Failed to qualify|
|Jim Haynie||North Wales, Pa.||73|
|Andy Thompson||Newtown Square, Pa.||74|
|Charles McClaskey||Elkton, Md.||74|
|David Brookreson||Huntingdon Valley, Pa.||74|
|Joseph Scott, Jr.||Kennett Square, Pa.||74|
|Neil McDermott||Newtown Square, Pa.||74|
|O. Gordon Brewer, Jr.||Pine Valley, N.J.||75|
|Rich Kovacs||Bethlehem, Pa.||75|
|Richard Couch||Oneonta, N.Y.||75|
|Robert Billings||Media, Pa.||75|
|David Robillard||King of Prussia, Pa.||76|
|Michael Rose||Huntingdon Valley , Pa.||76|
|Michael Rowland||Allentown, Pa.||76|
|Clark Hargrove||Haverford, Pa.||77|
|George Dimoff||Camp Hill, Pa.||77|
|Thomas Mallouk||Doylestown, Pa.||77|
|Warren Deakins||Gladwyne, Pa.||77|
|Byron Miller||Scotch Plains, N.J.||78|
|Carl Everett||Havertown, Pa.||78|
|Jay Howson||Malvern, Pa.||78|
|Keith Li||Harrisburg, Pa.||78|
|Ken Trail||Fallston, Md.||78|
|Mark Shuman||West Chester, Pa.||78|
|Michael Kanoff||Harrisburg, Pa.||78|
|Michael Tallent||Haverford, Pa.||78|
|Herbert Gordon||Doylestown, Pa.||79|
|James Goldstein||Bala Cynwyd, Pa.||79|
|Joe Decavage||Beltsville, Md.||79|
|John Foore||Trappe, Pa.||79|
|Kent Weymouth||Wayne, Pa.||79|
|Matthew Bellis||Ambler, Pa.||79|
|Raymond Fuller||Pitman, N.J.||79|
|Robert Ockenfuss||Perkasie, Pa.||79|
|Thomas Elliott||Newtown Square, Pa.||79|
|Charles Wilkins||Medford, N.J.||80|
|Donald Beck||Maple Glen, Pa.||80|
|Donald Landis||Lancaster, Pa.||80|
|Hugh Kenworthy, III||Newtown Square, Pa.||80|
|Jerome Janeski||Lititz, Pa.||80|
|Richard Smith||Newton Square, Pa.||80|
|Wally Swiger||Maple Glen, Pa.||80|
|Andrew Tompos||Lititz, Pa.||81|
|Craig Scott||Marshalls Creek, Pa.||81|
|Daniel Burton||Lititz, Pa.||81|
|Dennis Campbell||Orwigsburg, Pa.||81|
|Frank Shuman||Doylestown, Pa.||81|
|Joel McFadden||Exton, Pa.||81|
|Larry Novinger||Millersburg, Pa.||81|
|Michael Clemens||Hanover, Pa.||81|
|Art Brosius||Wilmington, Del.||82|
|Charles McDowell||Wilmington, Del.||82|
|Donald Ashley||Gladwyne, Pa.||82|
|George Washburn, III||Frederick, Md.||83|
|Jarrett Kling||Radnor, Pa.||83|
|Bill Stasiulatis||Mechanicsburg, Pa.||84|
|Greg Gaul||Wayne, Pa.||84|
|James Dever, Jr.||Ocean City, N.J.||84|
|Robert Murphy||Flourtown, Pa.||84|
|Christopher Frazier||Plymouth Meeting, Pa.||85|
|Frank Treml||Willow Grove, Pa||86|
|Gregory Smee||Camp Hill, Pa.||86|
|Ralph Lombardi||Neshanic Station, N.J.||87|
|Ernest Eichenberg, III||Berwyn, Pa.||88|
|James Sherratt||Montgomeryville, Pa.||88|
|David Livingston||Warrington, Pa.||91|
|Lee Cook||Moorstown, N.J.||WD|
|*-advanced in playoff|