July 9, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Pa. — A late partnership, a late arrival and a late surge all led to the latest piece of hardware for Matthew Hanzel and Dan Murphy.
The two carded a 5-under-par 66 to win the 33rd Francis X. Hussey Memorial at a comfortable Rolling Green Golf Club (par 71, 6,251 yards) Monday. It is a Junior better-ball-of-partners event.
Hanzel, in need of a new teammate after a last-minute bailout, recruited Murphy at Valleybrook Country Club last night. Murphy, who works at the facility, took the day off to help a friend.
“I saw him and I was like, ‘Do you want to come play with me in a tournament tomorrow at Rolling Green?’ He was like, ‘Sure. Why not?’” Hanzel, 16, of Washington Township, N.J., said. “[Previous playing partner Colton Murray] had another tournament today that his mom signed him up for and he didn’t know about it. And he just told me two days ago, so I asked Dan.”
“It worked out,” Murphy, 18, of Sicklerville, N.J., added.
It did — and it almost didn’t. Hanzel and Murphy arrived at Rolling Green a scant 12 minutes prior to their tee time. They rolled a few practice putts and rushed to the first tee. A flared drive, a topped shot and a bogey started the day.
But Hanzel and Murphy quickly settled with a birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 410 yards), where the latter spun a 50-degree wedge from 120 yards to three feet. A nearly identical yardage on No. 8 (par 4, 372 yards) yielded a 12-footer for birdie courtesy of Hanzel.
The team made the turn a shot back of clubhouse leaders Chris Benvenuto of the Philadelphia Junior Tour and Greg DeLuca of Makefield Highlands Golf Club. Next came the aforementioned late surge.
Hanzel, a Running Deer Golf Club member, left a 4-iron slightly off the demanding No. 10 (par 3, 211 yards) green. Murphy stopped a 5-iron at four feet — a far more favorable birdie distance. Hanzel, however, proceeded to bury his uphill 35-footer. Murphy picked up his ball marker and smiled.
“The goal after No. 10 was to get to 5 under,” Hanzel said.
Sensational wedge play made it happen. Murphy, a recent Timber Creek Regional High School graduate, knocked a wedge 120 yards to two feet for birdie on No. 13 (par 4, 405 yards). Hanzel skied a 50-degree wedge to four feet on No. 16 (par 3, 129 yards). After coming up short of the No. 17 (par 5, 470 yards) green with a 3-iron, Murphy bumped a wedge into tap-in territory. Hanzel capped the birdie crusade by hitting a 50-degree wedge 124 yards to 20 feet below the hole location on No. 18 (par 5, 516 yards). The ensuing uphill birdie putt sat on the lip for a second before beginning its descent into the jar.
“On the back nine, we were putting a lot of wedges close, making putts and hitting a lot of fairways,” Murphy, who will attend Cabrini University in the fall, said.
“Anytime we were inside 120 yards, it was then to three feet, five feet for birdie,” Hanzel, an incoming junior at Washington Township High School, added.
Hanzel and Murphy met through Hanzel’s brother Zach, who worked on the grounds crew at Pine Valley Golf Club alongside Murphy. The two played in the No. 1 spots on their respective high school teams this past season. Hanzel frequently practices at Valleybrook, where Murphy cleans golf carts and picks the driving range.
Good thing he asked about a Hussey partnership. Better late than never.
Applecross Country Club’s Nicholas Gross and Bidermann Golf Club’s Henry Stone claimed the event’s Junior-Junior (par 36, 2,939 yards) title in a sudden-death playoff. The two defeated Aronimink Golf Club’s Nicholas Ciocca and Grant Snyder as well as the team of Nathan Guertler of Tavistock Country Club and Matthew Normand of Riverton Country Club.
On No. 1 (par 4, 350 yards), the first playoff hole, Gross, 11, of Downingtown, Pa., drilled a 5-iron 163 yards to 15 feet and logged two putts for the win. He is an incoming seventh grader at Downingtown Middle School. Stone, 13, of Kennett Square, Pa., is an incoming eight grader at Tower Hill School.
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 or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of 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.
|Junior Boys’ Division|
|Dan Murphy/Matthew Hanzel, Valleybrook Country Club/Running Deer Golf Club||66|
|Greg DeLuca/Chris Benvenuto, Makefield Highlands Golf Club/Philadelphia Junior Tour||69|
|Jack Habeeb/Daniel Hinton, Country Club of Scranton/Elmhurst Country Club||71|
|Dan Curran/Jack Fialko, Merion Golf Club/Aronimink Golf Club||72|
|Henry Fish/Jack Davis, Chester Valley Golf Club/Aronimink Golf Club||72|
|Christopher Buysse/James Gradisek, Waynesborough Country Club/Philadelphia Country Club||73|
|August Blatney/Mario Ventresca, Philadelphia Cricket Club/Cedarbrook Country Club||74|
|Jack Murray/Will Blatchford, Stonewall/St. Davids Golf Club||75|
|John Straub/Andrew Fuhrman, Spring Ford Country Club||75|
|Keller Mulhern/Dylan Kochis, Whitford Country Club||75|
|David Mester/Matthew Quirk, The Springhaven Club/Huntingdon Valley Country Club||76|
|Andrew Damico/Jack Farkas, McCall Golf & Country Club/Llanerch Country Club||77|
|Drew Stern/Andrew Gallagher, Yardley Country Club/Laurel Creek Country Club||77|
|Noah Greenspun/Simon Miller, Woodcrest Country Club||78|
|Peter Ryan/Josh Felter, Philadelphia Cricket Club||80|
|Ryan Garvey/Liam Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club||81|
|Luke Marvin/Jack Marvin, Commonwealth National Golf Club||83|
|Tommy Carroll/Timothy Eglington, The Springhaven Club/Rolling Green Golf Club||86|
|Jack Schmidt/Scott Pfeiffer, Old York Road Country Club/Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||86|
|Kidder Urban/Robert Mcnelly, Bellewood Country Club/Unaffiliated||88|
|Jackson Fryer/Eric Fryer, Talamore Country Club/Commonwealth National Golf Club||93|
|Junior Girls’ Division|
|Riley Quartermain/Kathleen Mark, Llanerch Country Club/Rolling Green Golf Club||77|
|Junior-Junior Boys’ Division|
|*Nicholas Gross/Henry Stone, Applecross Country Club/Bidermann Golf Club||37|
|Matthew Normand/Nathan Guertler, Riverton Country Club/Tavistock Country Club||37|
|Grant Snyder/Nicholas Ciocca, Aronimink Golf Club||37|
|Libby Flaisher/JP Hoban, McCall Golf & Country Club||45|
|Jason DiRita/Christopher DiRita, The Springhaven Club/Paxon Hollow Country Club||48|
|Sean Rogers/Jack Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club||50|
|Eric Holt, Jr./Angelo Seravalli, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale||50|
|* — won in playoff|
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