Greate Bay’s Benevento books Jock MacKenzie win with playoff birdie - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 13, 2015

Greate Bay’s Benevento books Jock MacKenzie win with playoff birdie

ORELAND, Pa. — In a two-hole span, the 31st Jock MacKenzie Memorial transformed into a tussle between playing partners Mark Benevento, Jr. and Max Siegfried. Both birdied the par 4, 373-yard 17th hole following picture-perfect wedges into kick-in range. Siegfried, of Aronimink Golf Club, bogeyed the 18th hole (par 4, 325 yards) while Benevento, who calls Greate Bay Country Club home, dropped a five-footer for a 3, forcing a sudden-death playoff between the compatriots. | Scorecards | Photo gallery | History | Junior POY standings | Harry Hammond Award standings |

  Another Benevento birdie on No. 9 (par 4, 324 yards), the second playoff hole, declared the incoming University of Delaware freshman the victor Monday. He and Siegfried carded 3-under-par 69s in regulation at Sandy Run Country Club (par 72, 6,370 yards).

  “It’s awesome. I’m just happy that I hung in there all day,” Benevento, 18, of Somers Point, N.J., said. “I got to three shots down [to Max] and finished 3 under in the last four holes, which is an awesome feeling. Neither of us made many mistakes. It really came down to who made the least mistakes and who played the smartest after they made them.”

  “I’m kind of frustrated to be honest. My goal was to win and I didn’t. It kind of stings,” Siegfried, 17, of Villanova, Pa. “I’m glad Mark won. He’s one of my buddies. I think we spent every day together the last four days.”

  Benevento’s chances of winning appeared dim the moment his tee shot on No. 1 (par 4, 351 yards), the first playoff hole, settled underneath a pine tree. He attempted to mimic a regulation 5-iron that drew onto the fairway’s left edge, but it never responded. Siegfried, a rising senior at The Haverford School, sat comfortably in the fairway, 120 yards from the hole location. With playing honors, he knocked a 50-degree wedge to 30 feet. Benevento, peering through a dangerous window of green space, lined a 7-iron into the front bunker. He splashed out to five feet, completed the sand save and essentially halved Siegfried with a 4.

  “I never counted him out of it. You can’t really assume anything,” Siegfried, a Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine Player to Watch in 2015, said. “I was thinking I needed to make something happen. He made an awesome par.”

  An awesome par followed by an equally awesome birdie.

  Benevento decimated a drive to 40 yards on No. 9. With bunkers buffering his path to a back hole location, he landed a 54-degree wedge on the green’s front edge and watched it chase. Meanwhile, Siegfried pulled a 54-degree wedge from 75 yards left. His golf ball muzzled atop a mound of fringe. He rolled the ensuing birdie attempt into the good-good zone. Benevento, seeing an identical line of putt to one in regulation, made good on his effort from eight feet.

  “I played it just outside the right edge and it went in,” he said.

  In regulation, Benevento matched birdies with Siegfried on the par 5, 475-yard 15th hole to remain two back. He pulverized a 7-iron 200 yards and then bumped a wedge to two feet. Siegfried stopped a wedge at a foot. A “monkey see, monkey do” mantra highlighted No. 17: Benevento hit a 58-degree wedge 75 yards to two feet, Siegfried a 58-degree 70 yards to three feet.

  The aforementioned 18th prompted the tournament’s playoff existence. Both players approached the narrow par 4 conservatively. Siegfried’s hybrid sailed underneath an obstructing tree on the right side, prompting an innocent chip-out. Benevento, keenly aware of the circumstances, laid a knockdown 5-iron into the fairway and then aimed a 50-degree wedge from 130 yards right of the flagstick. It drew as he hoped and stopped at six feet. Siegfried failed to convert a 30-footer for par, leaving a deadlock door open.

  Benevento barged through it. He’s now won a pair of GAP tournaments in a week. Benevento joined Matthew Davis, also of Aronimink, to take the Francis X. Hussey Memorial at Rolling Green Golf Club. Siegfried, ironically, caddied for the team.

  “It’s an honor to have my name on two Junior tournaments. There’s a lot of history here,” Benevento, who will major in finance at Delaware, said.

Harry Hammond Award
  The day wasn’t a total loss for Siegfried. He tied J.T. Barker of Saucon Valley Country Club for the Harry Hammond Award at 282. The two will compete in an 18-hole stroke-play playoff at a date and venue to be determined.

  The Harry Hammond Award is given to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the Junior Boys’ Championship Qualifier, the Christman Cup and the Jock MacKenzie Memorial. Siegfried, who won the Christman Cup presented by Global Golf Post last week, trailed Barker by a stroke entering the Jock MacKenzie. The latter carded a 2-under-par 70 Monday to finish third.

Jacob Zeng

  A par on the 18th hole (par 4, 300 yards) unearthed a Jacob Zeng smile. The score, commonplace on this day, also assured a Junior-Junior (Ages 10-13) victory for the Applecross Country Club youngster. Zeng carded a 1-over-par 37, which included eight pars and a bogey.

  “I was really happy when I made the final putt and realized that I won. It’s really exciting for me,” Zeng, 13, of Downingtown, Pa., said.

  Zeng’s lone blemish occurred on the par 4, 318-yard 17th hole, where he lipped a four-footer after reaching the green in regulation. He only stressed another on No. 10 (3, 112 yards) after catching the left greenside bunker with a pitching wedge. An extraction to two feet cooled that sweat.

  Zeng won the First Flight in last year’s GAP Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship. He is a soon-to-be eighth grader at Episcopal Academy.

  Jock MacKenzie served as Sandy Run Country Club’s head professional for more than three decades. The Memorial tournament, which originated in 1985, is named in his honor. It is open to Junior golfers — both male and female — from GAP Member Clubs. Sandy Run hosts the event each year.

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 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. 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.

Junior (Ages 14-18)
Name, club Score
*Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club 69
Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club 69
J.T. Barker, Saucon Valley Country Club 70
Brian Walker, Cherry Valley Country Club 72
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 72
Jack Hirsh, Philadelphia Cricket Club 73
Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 74
Daniel Altieri, Hopewell Valley Golf Club 74
Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 74
Thomas Lewis, Commonwealth National Golf Club 74
Chris Binet, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 75
Jack Quirk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 75
Quinn Dolan, Rolling Green Golf Club 75
Daniel Galbreath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 76
Hugh Farris, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 76
Trey Croney, Overbrook Golf Club 76
Bobby Beck, Lehigh Country Club 77
Jake Sitzler, Burlington Country Club 77
Joe Rochelle, Indian Valley Country Club 77
Michael Reed-Price, Sunnybrook Golf Club 77
Nick Calabrese, Edgmont Country Club 77
Trevor Paolone, Overbrook Golf Club 77
Cole Kemmerer, Waynesborough Country Club 78
John Hansel, Sandy Run Country Club 78
Michael Zeng, Applecross Country Club 78
Nicholas Wert, Merion Golf Club 78
Davis Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club 79
Jack Henderson, Gulph Mills Golf Club 79
Luke Nichols, Philadelphia Country Club 79
Matt Marino, Waynesborough Country Club 79
Michael Burns, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club 79
Nick Hand, Golden Oaks Golf Club 79
Ryan McHugh, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 79
Troy Thierolf, Commonwealth National Golf Club 80
Brian Kilroy, Llanerch Country Club 81
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club 81
Andrew Wallace, Meadowlands Country Club 82
Brandon Jensen, Sandy Run Country Club 82
Daniel Bullock, Overbrook Golf Club 82
Frankie Gregor, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 82
Gavin Sims, Overbrook Golf Club 82
Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club 82
Jack Mitchell, St. Davids Golf Club 82
Benjamin Kotler, Squires Golf Club 83
Drew Petri, Jericho National Golf Club 83
Matthew Quirk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 83
Seamus Gibbons, Talamore Country Club 83
Ben Litt, Riverton Country Club 84
Cory Hunter, Commonwealth National Golf Club 84
Ethan Krohn, Overbrook Golf Club 84

Kyle Green, Bellewood Country Club 84
Mac Costin, Merion Golf Club 84
Max Harrington, Brookside CC of Allentown 84
Michael O’Neill, III, Overbrook Golf Club 84
Nat Gallen, Berkshire Country Club 84
Phillip Held, Jr., Blue Bell Country Club 84
Cole White, Blue Bell Country Club 86
Matt Aprile, Sandy Run Country Club 86
Matthew McGettigan, Sandy Run Country Club 86
Ryan Brennan, Rolling Green Golf Club 86
Archie Filshill, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club 87
Kyle Kellenbenz, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 87
Andrew Curran, Overbrook Golf Club 88
Joey Centeno, Philadelphia Cricket Club 88
Jack Farrington, Sandy Run Country Club 89
Nate Pillion, Bala Golf Club 89
Justin Hershey, Applebrook Golf Club 90
Teddy Davis, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 90
Garrett Kearney, Aronimink Golf Club 95
Jack Burton, Overbrook Golf Club 96
Garrett Hallinan, Wildwood Golf & Country Club 100
Jack Bolger, Whitford Country Club 109
Max Hansen, Blue Bell Country Club 115
Vince Burke, LedgeRock Golf Club NS
Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club WD
David Kim, Commonwealth National Golf Club WD
Ryan Conner, Jericho National Golf Club WD
Junior-Junior (Ages 10-13)
Name, club Score
Jacob Zeng, Applecross Country Club 37
Case Hummer, Aronimink Golf Club 41
Colman Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club 41
Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 41
Brett McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 43
Nicholas Hano, III, Aronimink Golf Club 43
Kevin Civitella, Radnor Valley Country Club 44
Matthew Hladczuk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 44
Matthew Lafond, Blue Bell Country Club 44
Darren Nolan, Talamore Country Club 45
Brennan Fluehr, North Hills Country Club 47
Dolan Cox, White Manor Country Club 47
Jake Mccabe, Flourtown Country Club 48
Scott Pfeiffer, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 56
Nathan Guertler, Laurel Creek Country Club 57
Charlie Hurchalla, The Springhaven Club 59
Cole Farrington, Sandy Run Country Club 59
Matthew Hurchalla, The Springhaven Club 84
Junior (Ages 14-18)
Name, club Score
Georgia Naples, White Manor Country Club 82
Claire Brown, Philadelphia Cricket Club 94
Mary McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club NS
Julia Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club WD
Junior-Junior (Ages 10-13)
Name, club Score
Lauren Jones, Merion Golf Club 44
Kathleen Mark, Rolling Green Golf Club 56

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