Aug 31, 2009

Four top USGA Mid.-Am. Qualifier at Links GC

  MARLTON, N.J. – Four players registered a 1-over-par 72 to top Monday’s USGA Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier at Links GC (par 71, 6,721 yards).

  Christopher Binder of Little Mill CC, Michael Brown of Philadelphia Publinks GA, Brian Corbett of Huntsville GC and Chris Sylvia, who’s currently unaffiliated, rose above the 79-player field. They will now head to Kiawah Island Club in Charleston, S.C. to play in the tournament Oct. 3-8.

  Binder, of Collingswood, N.J., didn’t let frustration unravel his performance.

  “I had a couple of errant 6-irons down the stretch,” he said.

  Binder, 26, blasted his 6-iron on No. 14 (par 3, 175 yards) over the green, and couldn’t get up-and-down for par from the downhill bunker lie that followed. He again pulled a 6-iron over the green on No. 17 (par 3, 174 yards) and carded a bogey. Binder left a 14-footer for birdie short on No. 18 (par 4, 400 yards) after his 8-iron found the green from 154 yards out.

  Binder formally returned to local competitive golf a few weeks ago at the USGA Amateur Championship Qualifier at Concord CC and the Golf Course at Glen Mills. He hadn’t competed in a Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament since 2002.

  “I was going to different schools, moving around a little bit, so I wasn’t playing as much,” Binder said. “I just went on vacation in South Carolina, so if I went again, that would be a bonus.”

  Brown, of Cheltenham, Pa., felt that his birdie on No. 9 (par 4, 400 yards) resuscitated his round. His pitching wedge traveled 126 yards, and Brown drained the ensuing 12-footer.

  “It gave me a chance on the back nine,” he said.

  Brown, 36, nearly carded an eagle on No. 12 (par 5, 512 yards) to two feet. He drained 10-footer for birdie on No. 17 after sticking his 7-iron to 10-feet. He looks forward to competing in the USGA Middle Amateur Championship.

  “Any opportunity to play for a Masters tournament, I will not pass up,” Brown said.

  “I hit it in play all day, and I putted pretty good,” he said.

  Corbett, 50, found red figures on Nos. 7, 12(par 5, 512 yards) and 18. He played in the 2002 USGA Middle-Amateur Championship.

  “It was an experience of a lifetime,” Corbett said.

  Sylvia, of Atco, N.J., generated momentum early by firing a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 365 yards). He punched out from underneath a tree with an 8-iron and drained a 12-footer. He then converted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 (par 3, 198 yards) and 5 (par 4, 375 yards). He knocked a 5-iron to eight feet on No. 4 and drained a tough 35-footer on No. 5.

  “I got under early, and kind of hung on,” he said. “I hit the ball real well, but kind of struggled coming in. I’m pretty happy with the round.”

  A fourth birdie came on No. 12 (par 5, 512 yards), but at a price. He broke his 3-iron from 225 yards out, but survived and sunk a 12-footer.

  “It whacked me in the back of the head,” Sylvia, 25, added.

  Prior to qualifying Monday, Sylvia hadn’t played golf in a month.

  “It was my day off, and I said, ‘You know what, let’s give it a try,” he said.

  Slonis, of Sewell, N.J., birdied his final two holes (Nos. 8 and 9). He stuck a 6-iron to 10 feet on No. 8 (par 3, 186 yards) and smoked a GAP wedge 115 yards to 10 feet on No. 9 (par 4, 400 yards). Slonis also made a birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 334 yards). Standing in the right rough behind a tree, he punched out with a 7-iron and drained a 20-footer from the front fringe.

  “I stole one there. It was sort of lucky,” he said.

  Slonis seemed to level his play after making the turn at 4 over.

  “I knew I needed to shoot under par (on his back nine),” he said. “I knew I needed to make some birdies.”

  Slonis, 40, qualified for USGA Middle-Amateur Championship in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Monday’s achievement marks a highlight in his 2009 season.

  “I haven’t played well all year,” he said. “This will make my year.”

Name City Scores
Brian Corbett Clarks Summit, PA 72
Chris Sylvia Atco, NJ 72
Christopher Binder Collingswood, NJ 72
Michael Brown Cheltenham, PA 72
#Jamie Slonis Sewell, NJ 73
Alternates (in order)
#Peter Barron Mays Landing, NJ 73
#Arthur Kania Haverford, PA 74
Failed to Qualify
Daniel J Pinciotti Jr. Huntingdon Valley, PA 74
Glenn Smeraglio Newtown, PA 74
Paul Rogowicz Yardley, PA 74
Ryan Gelrod Blue Bell, PA 74
Thomas Borsello Wilmington, DE 74
Tom Dicinti Voorhees, NJ 74
Ashley Brasfield Merion Station, PA 75
Frank Corrado Jr. Washington Crossing, PA 75
Jack Wallace Beverly, NJ 75
Rob Habeeb Wayne, NJ 75
Robert Savarese Lafayette Hill, PA 75
Sean Leonard Haddonfield, NJ 75
Bill Jeremiah West Grove, PA 76
Eric Williams Honesdale, PA 76
John Castleman Devon, PA 76
Michael McDermott Bryn Mawr, PA 76
Nicholas Anderson Philadelphia, PA 76
Robert Arthur Marlton, NJ 76
Robert Loftus Rosemont, PA 76
Robin McCool Bethlehem, PA 76
Geoffrey Cooper Philadelphia, PA 77
Jason Sacks Cary, NC 77
David Shields Erdenheim, PA 78
Greg Wolfe Newark, DE 78
Johnny Murphy Cape May Court House, NJ 78
Mark Wachter Wilmington, DE 78
Robert Bechtold Avondale, PA 78
Andy Dietz Marlton, NJ 79
Anthony Ventura Galloway, NJ 79
Brad Sokol Wayne, PA 79
Brian Gillespie Wayne, PA 79
Brian Sexton Little Egg Harbor, NJ 79
Clinton Bunting Rehoboth Beach, DE 79
D Drew Siok Haddonfield, NJ 79
Jerry Horton Hightstown, NJ 79
Lance Oberparleiter Blenheim, NJ 79
Marc Mandel Conshohocken, PA 79
Thomas Gramigna Haddonfield, NJ 79
Chris Lange Bryn Mawr, PA 80
Matt Gaffney Sewell, NJ 80
Santo Lafoca Pittston, PA 80
Sean Quinn Philadelphia, PA 80
Steve Brown Glassboro, NJ 80
Dino Stathis Monroe Twp, NJ 81
Joe Hopkins Newark, DE 81
Oscar Mestre Berwyn, PA 81
Tom Carter Sicklerville, NJ 81
Bill Turner Delran, NJ 82
Charles Scalzott North Wales, PA 82
Lee Richardson Wayne, NJ 82
Todd Vonderheid Kingston, PA 82
Anthony List Havertown, PA 83
Gary Stewart York, PA 83
Glen Schreiner Elkton, MD 83
James Kusant Stockton, NJ 83
William Green Princeton, NJ 83
Rusty Seyle Bethlehem, PA 86
Evan Markowitz Philadelphia, PA 87
Kevin Bondi Dresher, PA 88
Scott Mitchell Wilmington, DE 102
Richard Blumberg Philadelphia, PA DQ
Anthony Denicco Pottstown, PA NS
Charlie Ball Radnor, PA WD
Chris Brooks Florham Park, NJ NC
David Livermore Atlantic City, NJ WD
Eduardo Nunez Saddle Brook, NJ WD
Hank Schinman West Orange, NJ NS
Michael Saunders New York, NY WD
Nicholas Verrecchio Havertown, PA WD
Ryan Jordan Medford, NJ DQ
Stephen Seiden Chadds Ford, PA WD
Tim Keightley Newtown, PA WD
# – determined in playoff; NC – no card
NS – no show; DQ – disqualification; WD – withdrawal

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