Jul 26, 2011

Fazio, Wren advance to 63rd Junior-Junior Championship final

  MOORESTOWN, N.J.–Jake Fazio of Huntingdon Valley CC and R.J. Wren of Honeybrook GC advanced to the 63rd Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship final with victories on Tuesday. Fazio survived a challenging road, upending friend and HVCC rival Hugh Farris, 4&3, in one semifinal and a staunch Regan Erhardt of Trenton CC, 1-up, in the first round. Wren stopped the sweet swinging Nate Menon of LedgeRock GC, 1-up, in his semifinal. He won his first-round match via default.

  This is the first Junior-Junior final for both players. The 18-hole Championship match is set for 8 a.m. Wednesday.

JAKE FAZIO

  “To make the final is big,” said Fazio, 13, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “Coming in, I just wanted to qualify for the Championship Flight. To make the final is an accomplishment.”

  Added Wren, 13, of Morgantown, Pa. “[Making the final] means a lot. Chris Terebesi at my club has been giving me advice and talking to me. To be the second person from my club to win the Junior-Junior would be great.”

  Fazio and Wren are familiar foes. The two tied for the low score in the 2008 Pre-Junior Tournament. Tomorrow the largest prize for the 13-and-under age group is on the line.

  Fazio, the No. 5 seed, defeated Farris, who qualified No. 8, for the second time this week. On Sunday, Fazio edged Farris for the Huntingdon Valley CC Junior-Junior title.

  In Tuesday’s 9-hole semifinal match, Fazio started out as hot as the weather. He won each of the first four holes to go 4-up with five holes to play.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 315 yards), Fazio knocked a lob wedge from 90 yards onto the green and two-putted for par. On No. 2 (par 4, 309 yards), he again lofted his 60-degree wedge from 90 yards to eight feet and recorded a par. He won No. 3 (par 4, 365 yards) with a bogey after finding the bunker with his second shot and on No. 4 (par 3, 137 yards) hit his 9-iron into the front bunker but wedged out to four feet and two putted.

R.J. WREN

  “It was the perfect start,” said Fazio, an eighth grader at Murray Avenue Middle School. “I could put it in cruise control from there.”

  He would close the match out on No. 6 (par 4, 402 yards) after the two players each carded 6s.

  “I was just trying to go hole-by-hole and keep my matches close,” said Fazio.

  In his morning match Fazio was ultra-clutch. Trailing Erhardt by a hole on No. 8 (par 4, 330 yards), Fazio drained a 15 footer for birdie after Erhardt made a miraculous 25-foot par putt save minutes earlier. All Square, on the next hole, No. 9 (par 3, 116 yards), Fazio knocked his drive left of the bunker as Erhardt found the front left sand. Fazio crafted a delicate and spectacular chip up-and-over the bunker to a foot for par. Erhardt failed to get up-and-down.

  “”I was really nervous over that chip shot,” said Fazio. “I’m not too good with that shot but I hit it perfect.”

  In the Menon-Wren match, there was never more than a one hole difference. The two exchanged victories on Nos. 3-4 before Wren moved in front, for what turned out to be for good, on No. 5 (par 5, 456 yards). After Menon knocked his drive out of bounds, Wren found the putting surface in regulation and two putted for par for the win.

  The match’s turning point came a couple holes later on No. 7 (par 5, 530 yards). Wren, who missed a short putt to win the sixth, pulled his drive into the left treeline. Menon reached the green in three strokes and had a look from 25 feet for birdie to move All Square. However, Wren responded in style with a chip shot from 20 yards to inches. He needed one more roll to hole out. Menon’s birdie effort rolled around the lip and out and the two halved the hole with pars.

  “After missing a short par putt on No. 6 and hitting that drive on No. 7, to come out with par, I felt good,” said Wren, an eighth grader at Twin Valley Middle School.

  The pair carded pars on the final two holes.

Championship Flight
Semifinals
5. Jake Fazio, Huntingdon Valley CC, d. 8. Hugh Farris, Huntingdon Valley CC, 4&3.
3. R.J. Wren, Honeybrook GC, d. 2. Nate Menon, LedgeRock GC, 1-up
First round
8. Farris d. 1. Christian Ritondo, Yardley CC, 2&1.
5. Fazio d. 4. Regan Erhardt, Trenton CC, 1-up.
2. Menon d. 7. Thomas Gravina, Jr., Aronimink GC, 3&2.
3. Wren d. 6. Nick Miller, Overbrook GC, withdraw.

First Flight
Semifinals
1. Ben Litt, Riverton CC, d. 4. Chris Ferguson, North Hills CC, 2&1.
7. Andrew Todaro, Rolling Green GC, d. 3. Matthew Civitella, Waynesborough CC, 1up.
First round
1. Litt d. 8. Max Siegfried, Philadelphia CC, 1-up.
4. Ferguson d. 5. Brett Seifried, Laurel Creek CC, 3&1.
7. Todaro d. 2. Griffin Colvin, Concord CC, 1-up.
6. Hagy d. 3. Matthew Civitella, Whitemarsh Valley CC, withdraw.

Second Flight
Semifinals
8. Cullen Pina, Overbrook GC, d. 4. Peter Civitella, Overbrook GC, 3&2.
6. Nicholas Wert, Merion GC, d. 2. Mike Miller, Overbrook GC, 1-up.
First round
8. Pina d. 1. Forrest Swisher, Jericho National GC, 3&2.
4. Civitella d. 5. Connor Seifried, Laurel Creek CC, 4&2.
2. Miller d. 7. Ryan Brennan, Rolling Green GC, 4&2.
6. Wert d. 3. Cory Hunter, Commonwealth National GC, 11 holes.

Third Flight
Semifinals
1. Andrew Wallace, Green Valley CC, d. 5. Paul Barker, Jr., Rolling Green GC, 4&2.
3. Patrick Clearkin, Old York Road CC, d. 2. Colin Motherway, Cherry Valley CC, 12 holes.
First round
1. Wallace, bye.
5. Barker, Jr., d. 4. Rees Kirk, Tavistock CC, 1-up.
2. Motherway, bye.
3. Clearkin d. 6. Joseph Conroy, Llanerchy CC, 4&2.

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