37th Jock MacKenzie Memorial - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jul 19, 2021

37th Jock MacKenzie Memorial

Matt Homer takes Jock MacKenzie;

brother Jeff wins Hammond

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ORELAND, Pa.–The Homer family added two volumes to its 2021 Junior trilogy.

Twins Matt and Jeff Homer pulled off a rare feat, each registering a GAP victory on Monday at Sandy Run Country Club (par 72, 6,492 yards). Matt led start-to-finish to take the Jock MacKenzie Memorial, the annual 18-hole Junior stroke play tournament held at the Oreland, Pa course. Matt carded a bogey free 5-under 67 for a two-shot victory, his first GAP championship.

Jeff, winner of the Christman Cup in early July, added the year-long Harry Hammond Award with a 3-over total of 285. Jeff posted a final-round 75 good enough for a six-shot win. The Harry Hammond is a calculation of the aggregate scores from Junior Boys’ Championship Qualifier, 36 holes of the Christman Cup and Jock MacKenzie Memorial. Jeff’s four rounds were 71-72-67-75.

The 16 year olds live in Wilmington, Del., and are rising Juniors at The Tatnall School.

“We learn a lot from each other and feed off of each other. We play golf every day with each other and are so competitive that when we play we want to beat each other,” said Matt. “At the same time, we want the best for each other. I was very happy when he won the Christman Cup. I went out and watched him finish. He made a lot of clutch putts. I said ‘If he can do it why can’t I.’”

“It’s really cool to see [Matt] win. It’s cool to see each of us as [GAP] champions this year,” said Jeff. “It absolutely helps playing every day against [Matt], because I want to beat him.”

Matt bested his brother, and everyone else, with a scintillating performance. His 5-under 67 was the second lowest winning score in Jock MacKenzie history. The tournament dates back to 1985. Last year, Morgan Lofland, of Phoenixville Country Club, won with a 66.

Homer said it’s his first round, of any type, without a bogey.

“I wasn’t really thinking about. I was just going along on my way until 18,” said Homer, who was a semifinalist in the Junior Boys’ Championship in mid-June. “I said if make this [short par putt] it’s the first time I’ve ever played bogey free. It was one of the few rounds where everything came together.”

Homer’s unblemished scorecard included five birdies, including two on the opening pair of holes courtesy of some long-range putting. On No. 1 (par 4, 350 yards), he drained a 30 footer for three after finding the green with a sand wedge from 118 yards. He followed that up on No. 2 (par 3, 188 yards) with a 50-foot birdie once his 6-iron stopped on the green. Homer added a third front-side red figure on No. 8 (par 5, 535 yards). He lofted a lob wedge from 60 yards to five feet and made the putt.

His most crucial stroke of the day came on No. 12 (par 3, 171 yards). Both he and Jake Maddaloni of Aronimink Golf Club found the green. Maddaloni, trailing Homer by a stroke at this point, went first and converted a 12-foot birdie putt to briefly tie for the lead. Homer responded in style by sinking his 10-foot birdie on the next stroke to regain the advantage.

Maddaloni did finish second with a score of 70. He and Homer were the only two players under par.

“I was struggling for the bigger part of July. I had a lesson with my coach John Dunigan and he made a grip switch,” said Homer of his game’s status entering the Jock. “I played a little bit over the past few days and I started hitting it better. It all came together today.”

As previously stated, Jeff adds the Harry Hammond Award to a stellar summer season in which he took the Christman Cup title.

Though he finished 3 over at Sandy Run, it was the totality of the four rounds and how he played them, that has Jeff looking forward.

“I didn’t make many mistakes through those four rounds. I’ve been 100 times better than I’ve ever been with my course management and staying in it and never giving up,” said Jeff. “I couldn’t let myself get frustrated like I’ve done before. I was able to adjust on the fly and manage whatever game I brought to the course.

“To be around GAP as long as I have. I have always wanted to be a GAP champion. I was well aware of the award and to win it is great.”

Junior Girls’ Division

Molly Gregor took the Junior Girls’ Division crown.

Molly Gregor, 17, of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and North Wales, Pa., improved both her score and her final position from the 2020 Jock MacKenzie Memorial to take the title. Gregor carded a 10-over 82 at Sandy Run Country Club (par 72, 5,619 yards), four strokes better than a year ago, to capture the Junior Girls’ Division. Last year, she finished second by a shot.

“It feels good. It’s nice to see the progression with my scores,” said Gregor, a rising senior at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy High School.

Junior-Junior Division

Thomas Ploszay of Chester Valley Golf Club carded a 2-over 38 at Sandy Run Country Club (par 36, 2,784 yards) to take the nine-hole Junior-Junior Boys’ Division.

Thomas Ploszay of Chester Valley Golf Club sinks this birdie putt on his
ninth hole (No. 18, par 4, 276 yards) to secure the Junior-Junior Boys’ Division title.

Ploszay sank a 12-foot birdied on his final hole to secure the victory.

Nicky Nemo of Merion Golf Club finished second at 4 over.

It was Ploszay first GAP Junior experience of the summer. His lacrosse club team, Tigers XXVI, based in Newtown Square, Pa., recently advanced to the National Lacrosse Federation National Championships before falling in the semifinals to Sweetlax-NY. He is the Tigers starting goalie.

“I was a little rusty early on, especially with my woods,” said Ploszay, 13, of Berwyn, Pa., and a rising eighth grader at Malvern Prep. “I try to make sure I have a really good warm-up at the range and stretch.”

Harry Hammond

Jeff Homer of Wilmington Country Club eyes his approach on No. 14 (par 4, 426 yards). He captured his first Harry Hammond Award.

Harry Hammond, an ardent supporter of Junior golf both locally and nationally, served as the Philadelphia PGA Section’s Junior Golf Chairman for 29 years. He is the Director of Golf at Penn Oaks Golf Club and head men’s golf coach of West Chester University. A 55-year member of the PGA of America, Hammond received the organization’s Bill Strausbaugh Award for leadership and service to the game of golf in 2012.

Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Junior Boys’
Name, clubScore
Matthew Homer, Wilmington Country Club67
Jake Maddaloni, Aronimink Golf Club70
Elijah Ruppert, Golden Oaks Golf Club72
Stephen Butler, Indian Valley Country Club73
Anthony Ciconte, Wilmington Country Club73
James Gradisek, Philadelphia Country Club73
Ajeet Bagga, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club74
Nick Ciocca, Aronimink Golf Club74
Adam Fluehr, North Hills Country Club75
Jeffrey Homer, Wilmington Country Club75
Jack Homer, Wilmington Country Club76
Thomas Larkin, GAP Youth on Course76
Jackson Debusschere, The Springhaven Club77
Connor Toussaint, North Hills Country Club77
Mario Ventresca, Cedarbrook Country Club77
Luke Watson, RiverCrest GC & Preserve77
Finn Coll, Sandy Run Country Club78
Will Huntley, Blue Bell Country Club78
Julian Ciurlino, Walnut Lane Golf Club79
Kevin Lydon, Commonwealth National Golf Club79
Darren Nolan, Cedarbrook Country Club79
Kevin Lafond, Blue Bell Country Club80
Travis Robertson, Sunnybrook Golf Club80
John Romeo, Cedarbrook Country Club80
Reese Dalzell, Huntingdon Valley Country Club81
Jack Dare, Riverton Country Club81
Derek Johnson, Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club81
Joe Ciconte, Wilmington Country Club83
Liam Coll, Sandy Run Country Club83
Luke Corcoran, Cedarbrook Country Club83
Eric Fryer, Commonwealth National Golf Club83
Nathan Jones, The 1912 Club83
Liam Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club84
Joe Kriz, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club84
Matt Rieger, Sunnybrook Golf Club84
Fletcher Jones, Wilmington Country Club88
Marshall Kain, Overbrook Golf Club88
Nicklaus Meisinger, Penn Oaks Golf Club88
Alex Nemo, Merion Golf Club88
Reid Walker, Riverton Country Club89
Matthew Buckley, Rolling Green Golf Club92
Zach Moua, St. Davids Golf Club92
Devin Carpenter, Walnut Lane Golf Club95
Harrison Brown, GAP Youth on Course96
Nick Villari, Riverton Country Club96
Adam Milne, GAP Youth on Course97
Tyler Leyden, North Hills Country ClubWD
Reilly Shaffer, Llanerch Country ClubWD
Patrick Meko, North Hills Country ClubNC
Junior Girls’
Name, clubScore
Molly Gregor, Huntingdon Valley Country Club82
Nora Blatney, Philadelphia Cricket Club87
Junior-Junior Boys’
Name, clubScore
Thomas Ploszay, Chester Valley Golf Club38
Nicky Nemo, Merion Golf Club40
Ian Larsen, Honeybrook Golf Club41
Liam McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club43
Sean Curran, Merion Golf Club44
Nick Shanahan, Applebrook Golf Club44
Paul Reilly, Hidden Creek Golf Club45
Cole Berry, Overbrook Golf Club47
Gregory Kriz, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club56
Benjamin Moorhouse, Talamore Country Club59
Henry Sokol, Green Valley Country ClubWD
Jack Sokol, Green Valley Country ClubWD
NC-no card; WD-withdrawal

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