Four even-par 71s, four #BMWPhillyAm Qual. medalists at French Creek - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 22, 2017

Four even-par 71s, four #BMWPhillyAm Qual. medalists at French Creek

ELVERSON, Pa. —   Early, challenging rainfall transitioned to subdued conditions in the afternoon at French Creek Golf Club (par 71, 6,476 yards), but the initial morning lead, shared by Merion Golf Club’s Peter Bradbeer and LedgeRock Golf Club’s Grant Skyllas, still would not be overcome. It would, however, be matched.

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 Bradbeer, a Bucknell University golfer, and Skyllas, the 2014 Joseph H. Patterson Cup runner-up, were the first to post even-par 71s in the final of three BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship Qualifiers. Glenmaura National Golf Club’s John Barone, a Temple University sophomore, and Yardley Country Club’s John Buliga, a Bucks County Community College freshman, equaled that score in the afternoon, resulting in a four-way tie for medalist honors.

 Equipped with a field of 123 #BMWPhillyAm hopefuls, the day’s cut line stopped at 77 on the day. The 117th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will take place June 13-15 & 17 at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon).

 Playing partners Bradbeer and Skyllas found the top of the leaderboard early, setting the bar despite a muddy French Creek track.

 Bison freshman Bradbeer rode a two-birdie, two-bogey equation on each nine to his even number. No. 1 (par 4, 350 yards), his first of the day, started with a great tee shot that left him with only 60 yards in. Bradbeer pulled sand wedge, placed it to 12 feet and sunk his first putt for the red start.

 After also jotting birdies on the card on Nos. 9 (par 4, 383 yards) and 14 (par 4, 378 yards), it was his birdie bomb on No. 16 (par 5, 516 yards) that sealed the deal. A crushed tee shot and hybrid approach left him just off the front of the putting surface. Bradbeer thinned a wedge over the flag, but made the sidewinding, 35-foot comebacker.

 “I felt really solid after making that one. I wanted to birdie again to get my score into the 60s. At the end of the day, I’m just really looking forward to getting to Philly Cricket,” said Bradbeer, of Lewisburg, Pa.

 The 19-year-old is looking to piggy back off his successful, inaugural collegiate year. He’ll have the chance to do so this summer in his home region.

 “We had a good year overall as a team [at Bucknell]. My game is in a good spot,” said Bradbeer, who will appear in his third Philadelphia Amateur. “The ultimate goal is to make it all the way, but I’ve never made it to match play. I’m going to try to make that happen.”

 Skyllas, a captain for LedgeRock’s BMW GAP Team Matches squad, didn’t venture far from the leading position he ended in. The stretch of Nos. 4 (par 5, 496 yards), 5 (par 3, 115 yards) and 6 (par 5, 566 yards) were where he truly made his mark, even though it coincided with the hardest precipitation.

 No. 4 hosted a phenomenal Skyllas driver off the tee, followed by a 4-iron that just missed the front of the green. A two putt there was good enough for birdie. He went with wedge on the short 5th hole, putting it to six feet, giving his swing even more confidence, but ultimately missed the short look. That didn’t seem to faze the power hitter, as he went on to sink an eight-foot birdie on the 6th after driver-wood-wedge.

 “That was the defining stretch for me. The rain definitely made it tough, but that’s when I played some of my best golf today,” said Skyllas, 30, of Reading Pa. “It’s unfortunate my putter didn’t get hot on the back nine, but it was a safe number for me.”

 Earning a share of medalist honors was a step towards the potential of Skyllas’ game, who won back-to-back Berks County Amateur Championships in 2014-15.

 “I’ve been struggling with my game for the past two years. Trying to balance work and family life really,” said Skyllas, a McDonalds franchisee. “I play in a bunch of tournaments but I don’t get a ton of time anymore to practice. My game right now, though, feels pretty confident. I’ve been solid lately.”

 Temple’s Barone reawakened the scoring in the afternoon portion of the day. In addition to his two birdies on Nos. 5 and 16, the 21-year-old dropped an impressive eagle on the scoreable 4th hole.

 “I hit a pretty good drive there, but then hit a 5-iron which I thought I pulled. It winded up just about 10 feet from the cup and I holed it. I obviously was feeling pretty good about where I stood after that one,” said Barone, who went 4 under on French Creek’s par 5s.

 Barone is quickly becoming a GAP Major qualifying powerhouse. His performances last summer in a Joseph H. Patterson Cup Qualifier at Lu Lu Country Club and a BMW Philadelphia Amateur Qualifier at Fox Hill Country Club also earned him medalist honors. Now he wants to take the next step.

 “It’s great, but I need to start translating that into the rounds that ultimately matter. But as long as I qualify that’s all that matters,” said Barone, of Dunmore, Pa. “I’m confident and I’ve played in so many of these. Now the goal is to go all the way.”

 Buliga, playing the latest of the four medalists, utilized a strong performance on the front nine – his last of the pair – to finish at 71. It was on French Creek’s shorter holes where Buliga did most of his birdie damage. Leaving himself with many approach shots with wedge in hand, the Bucks County Centurion drained birdies on Nos. 2, 4, 7 (par 4, 357 yards), 11 (par 5, 513 yards) and 15 (par 4, 292 yards).

 “The rain really helped the greens, honestly. It helped me on a few of my birdie looks. None of them got away from me,” said Buliga, 20, of Langhorne, Pa. “I’ve never played Philadelphia Cricket before, but it sounds like a course that fits me. They held the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship there last year and I’ve only heard good things.”

 Now with the #BMWPhillyAm added to his slate, Buliga’s June is shaping up to be a monumental one. He is also headed to Chautauqua Golf Club (Chautauqua, N.Y.) to compete in the 2017 NJCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championship June 6-9.

 “It’s going to be a big month for me. I’m excited for the challenge. I need to work on a couple things headed into these events, but I’m ready,” said Buliga.   The BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship is the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s premier event. Participants must first advance through a one day, 36-hole stroke play qualifier to gain one of 32 available match play positions. Those who qualify for match play must advance through four matches in two days to reach the Amateur Final, which is typically held on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. The winner receives the J. Wood Platt Trophy; its namesake holds a record-seven Amateur Championship titles.

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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 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, club Score
John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club 71
Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club 71
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club 71
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club 71
Billy Civitella, Radnor Valley Country Club 72
Kevin Scherr, GAP Junior eClub 73
Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club 74
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club 74
Tanner Robb, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 74
Robert Firth, Jr., Commonwealth National Golf Club 75
Brian Fisher, Phoenixville Country Club 75
Kevin Haag, Glenmaura National Golf Club 75
Thomas Lindberg, St. Davids Golf Club 75
Robert Olseski, Sandy Run Country Club 75
Drew Petri, Jericho National Golf Club 75
Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club 75
Chuck Briggs, Bala Golf Club 76
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 76
Stephen Dressel, St. Davids Golf Club 76
Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club 76
Brock Kovach, Berkshire Country Club 76
Jason Kowalski, Downingtown Country Club 76
Sean Ebert, Commonwealth National Golf Club 77
Christian Haldeman, Saucon Valley Country Club 77
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club 77
Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club 77
Mariano Medico, Fox Hill Country Club 77
Frank Petrash, IV, Philadelphia Cricket Club 77
Matthew Smith, French Creek Golf Club 77
Sam Soeth, White Manor Country Club 77
Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club 77
Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club 77
Failed to qualify
Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club 78
Joseph Chambers, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club 78
Matthew Cleary, Wilmington Country Club 78
Brad Ebersole, The Ridge at Back Brook 78
William Howard, V, West Chester Golf & Country Club 78
Cole Kemmerer, Waynesborough Country Club 78
Steve Lubin, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 78
Michael Manci, Huntsville Golf Club 78
Steve Marshalek, Whitford Country Club 78
Charles Meadows, Whitford Country Club 78
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club 78
Erik Reisner, The ACE Club 78
Andrew Simpson, Indian Valley Country Club 78
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 78
Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks GA 79
Anthony Barr, Blue Bell Country Club 79
Connor Boham, Spring Ford Country Club 79
Michael Cummings, Glenmaura National Golf Club 79
Cory Haldeman, Saucon Valley Country Club 79
Nick Maff, Northampton Country Club 79
Matt Marino, Waynesborough Country Club 79
Joseph Markmann, Talamore Country Club 79
Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club 79
Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA 79
Bryan Basciani, Hartefeld National 80
Ryan Bree, Fieldstone Golf Club 80
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club 80
Max Harrington, Moselem Springs Golf Club 80
Brian Keane, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 80
Matt Keim, Brookside Country Club 80
Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 80
Wills Montgomery, Applecross Country Club 80
Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club 80
John Burke, III, Hartefeld National 81
Kevin Delaney, Applecross Country Club 81
Dante DiStefano, Commonwealth National Golf Club 81
Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton 81
Scott Forrester, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 81
Jack Glacken, Bala Golf Club 81
Tom Grady, Radley Run Country Club 81
Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club 81
Peter Moran, Whitford Country Club 81
Jeff Nocella, Bala Golf Club 81
Ryan Riviezzo, Applecross Country Club 81
Matt Smith, Wilmington Country Club 81
Brendan Bacskai, Applebrook Golf Club 82
Corey Betham, Philadelphia Publinks GA 82
Dan Brown, Llanerch Country Club 82
Phillip Held, Jr., Blue Bell Country Club 82
Michael Hodges, The Springhaven Club 82
Brendan McNamara, The ACE Club 82
Ryan Orcutt, Philadelphia Publinks GA 82
R.J. Vantash, Bent Creek Country Club 82
Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club 82
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club 82
David West, Whitford Country Club 82
William Bello, Metedeconk National Golf Club 83
John Birk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 83
Nicholas Lukow, Woodstone Country Club 83
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club 83
Jaden Weisman, Applebrook Golf Club 83
Ryan Carroll, Chester Valley Golf Club 84
Quinn Dolan, Rolling Green Golf Club 84
G. Patrick Dougherty, Philadelphia Cricket Club 84
Robert Good, Merion Golf Club 84
Jeff Klagholz, Aronimink Golf Club 84
George Petrellis, Commonwealth National Golf Club 84
Blake Vogdes, Stone Harbor Golf Club 84
Bradley Bernosky, Broad Run Golfer s Club 85
Tim Erb, Commonwealth National Golf Club 85
Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club 85
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club 86
Jonathan Kruse, Rolling Green Golf Club 86
Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club 86
Gregory DaPron, Hartefeld National 87
Robert Dietrich, Loch Nairn Golf Club 87
Frederick Hammer, Merion Golf Club 87
Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club 87
Bill Monahan, The Bucks Club 87
Regan Papariello, St. Davids Golf Club 87
Brett Cybulski, Merchantville Country Club 88
Jeffrey Angelucci, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 90
Reed Huntzinger, Bent Creek Country Club 91
Dave Landau, Berkshire Country Club 91
Larry Martone, Stonewall 92
Ryan Wagner, Penn Oaks Golf Club 94
Jason Wilt, Philadelphia Publinks GA 95
John Mullins, Bellewood Country Club 97
Mike Cavanaugh, Jericho National Golf Club 98
Joel Hark, Woodcrest Country Club WD
Wayne LeSage, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club WD
William Naylor, Applebrook Golf Club WD
Justin Pineno, Radley Run Country Club WD
Andrew Ploszay, Chester Valley Golf Club WD
Parker Wine, Radley Run Country Club WD

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