Huntingdon Valley’s Acker, Galbreath take 31st Francis X. Hussey - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 11, 2016

Huntingdon Valley’s Acker, Galbreath take 31st Francis X. Hussey

SPRINGFIELD, Pa. — Matthew Acker and Daniel Galbreath are widely viewed as longshots in Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s upcoming better-ball championship. That’s because the Huntingdon Valley, Pa. residents will face Andrew Mason, a former professional and two-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Champion, and Sean Ryan in the first round. History | Junior Boys Division scorecards | Junior-Junior Boys Division scorecards |
| Junior Girls Division scorecards | Junior-Junior Girls Division scorecards | Photo gallery |

  Acker, 16, and Galbreath, 17, sent oddsmakers scrambling Monday. The two carded a 4-under-par 67 to capture the 31st Francis X. Hussey Memorial at a pleasant Rolling Green Golf Club (par 71, 6,371 yards).

  “No one’s giving us a shot against [Andrew and Sean],” Acker, 16, a rising junior at La Salle College High School, said. “We came out here and played like this. Hopefully they’ll show us some respect.”

  “We went out there trying to make birdies,” Galbreath, 17, a rising senior at Lower Moreland High School, added. “We didn’t make as many as we wanted to on the back nine, but we wanted to try and stay bogey-free.”

  Coincidentally, the team made its most important (and only) bogey and birdie on Rolling Green’s home stretch. A pair of loose drives off the tee nearly caused a crumble. Acker recovered and made a key 20-footer for 5.

  “That probably saved our round right there,” Galbreath said.

  Saved and set the stage for a dramatic finish.

  The Acker and Galbreath team entered the 18th hole (par 5, 517 yards) at 3 under — tied with clubhouse leaders Matthew Davis and Max Siegfried of Aronimink Golf Club, and the team of Jacob Zeng of Applecross Country Club and Case Hummer, also of Aronimink. Acker parted the fairway with a drive; his teammate, however, found the right bunker. Galbreath’s extrication out of an “awful lie” led to more trouble in the left trees. Given the result, he urged Acker to exchange a 3-wood for a safer selection. Acker didn’t heed the request, and instead pured his original choice to the front of the green — some 60 feet from the hole location. Galbreath, with a narrow window at hand, hit a low cut 8-iron, “more of a feel shot,” to 30 feet above the flagstick. With the honors, Acker elected to putt through a portion of fairway and left his eagle attempt 15 feet short.

  “I was just lagging it really well all day,” he said. “I knew one of us was going to make it for birdie. We knew we had to birdie it to win.”

  Galbreath then drained a delicate downhiller for said win. An enthusiastic fist pump, and an energized hi-five from his partner, followed.

  “I feel like I can make right-to-left putts a lot easier than left-to-right putts. I just gave it my best shot,” Galbreath said.

  The Acker and Galbreath team carded four birdies prior to afford a final shot at victory. On the downhill, par 3 No. 3 (164 yards), Acker knocked an 8-iron to 35 feet and converted a right-to-left slider. Galbreath returned the birdie favor on the next hole (par 4, 371 yards), dropping a gap wedge to five feet. He also inked red on No. 8 (par 4, 405 yards) following a 145-yard 8-iron shot to six feet. Galbreath continued to impress on the par 4, 428-yard 11th hole. Despite catching the left fairway bunker off the tee, he launched a 7-iron 155 yards into tap-in territory.

  Acker and Galbreath became friends a year by virtue of time spent and rounds played together at Huntingdon Valley. The two felt confident coming into Monday’s Junior better-ball event.

  “We know our strengths. Not that many people believed in us today,” Acker said.

  “I said the day before that I think we had a good chance to win this,” Galbreath added. “We play together a lot and we know that we’re a pretty good better-ball team.”

  Galbreath’s older brother Robert, a four-time GAP Junior Boys’ Champion, teamed with Eric Chipin to win the Hussey’s Junior Division title in 2006. The two are the second set of brothers to accomplish that feat independently. Davis (2014) and his brother Michael (2011) share the distinction. Chris and Drew Yard of Whitford Country Club won back-to-back titles in 1987-88.

  Huntingdon Valley made it a clean sweep Monday. Members Patrick Isztwan and Brett McGrath posted a 1-under-par 35 to take the event’s Junior-Junior (ages 10-13) title at Rolling Green (par 36, 3,290 yards).

 The Huntingdon Valley, Pa. residents grabbed runner-up honors a year ago. Competitors in the Junior-Junior Division play nine holes.

  “We were just solid,” Isztwan, 13, an incoming eighth grader at Penn Charter, said. “We hit greens and two-putted. We really didn’t make any mistakes.”

  Eight pars and a birdie means very few, if any, mistakes. McGrath logged the team’s lone red figure on No. 3 (par 3, 138 yards), stopping a pitching wedge at three feet.

  “Today was really fun,” McGrath, 13, an incoming eight grader at The Academy of the New Church, said. “It was nice to go out on a beautiful course. I loved it.”

  Huntingdon Valley is the second club to sweep both divisions of the Francis X. Hussey Memorial. Wilmington Country Club did so in 1992.

  Francis X. Hussey, the tournament’s namesake, was a Junior member at Rolling Green. He suffered from congenital heart disease and died in December 1983 while undergoing major heart surgery. He was 13 years old when he died. Francis was a student in the Haverford Township School system, an avid sports fan and an active Junior member at Rolling Green. His courage in the face of his illness was a great inspiration to all who knew him.

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 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 Boys
Name, club Score
Daniel Galbreath/Matthew Acker, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 67
Case Hummer/Jacob Zeng, Aronimink Golf Club/Applecross Country Club 68
Max Siegfried/Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 68
David Robbins/Greg DeLuca, Jericho National Golf Club/Makefield Highlands Golf Club 68
Kevin Caverly/Max Harrington, Brookside CC of Allentown/Moselem Springs Golf Club 69
Hugh Farris/Eric Carlidge, Huntingdon Valley Country Club/North Hills Country Club 71
Joseph Morganti/Nicholas Hano, III, Llanerch Country Club/Aronimink Golf Club 72
Doug Ergood/Finn McGarry, Tavistock Country Club 72
Trevor Paolone/Justin Hershey, Overbrook Golf Club/Applebrook Golf Club 73
Tyler Roland/Griffin Kennedy, Overbrook Golf Club 73
Frederick Hammer/Francis Rosato, Merion Golf Club/Aronimink Golf Club 74
Matthew Civitella/Alex Cook, Waynesborough Country Club 74
Frankie McVeigh/Michael Castaldi, Llanerch Country Club 75
Kevin Smith/Joseph Taggart, The Springhaven Club/Paxon Hollow Country Club 75
Christopher Cahill/Kyle Kellenbenz, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 76
Nicholas Wert/Kyle Koziol, Merion Golf Club/Unaffiliated 77
Grace Simenson/Carly Dorminy, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve/Bellewood Country Club 78
Billy Civitella/Kevin Civitella, Radnor Valley Country Club 78
Brandon Jensen/Joseph Kim, Sandy Run Country Club/Commonwealth National Golf Club 78
Matthew Brennan/Brendan Farrell, Rolling Green Golf Club/Llanerch Country Club 78
Andrew Damico/Emmett Fox, McCall Golf & Country Club/Merion Golf Club 82
Rose Litt/Catherine Dare, Riverton Country Club 92
Ryan Kennedy/Liam Wichser, Applecross Country Club/Chester Valley Golf Club 96
Jack Cimino/Edward Trumpbour, Philadelphia Country Club 103
Junior-Junior Boys
Name, club Score
Brett McGrath/Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 35
Nathan Guertler/Matthew Macbride, Laurel Creek Country Club/Unaffiliated 44
Nicholas Ciocca/Jack Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 45
Chase Stephano/McClain Bradley, Aronimink Golf Club 45
Liam Buckley/Ryan Garvey, Rolling Green Golf Club 45
Jack Dare/Matthew Normand, Riverton Country Club 46
Jack Farkas/Michael Schafer, Llanerch Country Club 46
Charlie Bastian/Matthew Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club 51
Jonathan Logan/Jack Ploszay, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club/Chester Valley Golf Club 52
Junior Girls
Name, club Score
Grace Simenson/Carly Dorminy, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve/Bellewood Country Club 78
Rose Litt/Catherine Dare, Riverton Country Club 92
Junior-Junior Girls
Name, club Score
Kathleen Mark/Lauren Jones, Rolling Green Golf Club/Merion Golf Club 38

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