Jun 29, 2016

Junior Boys’ semifinals complete with coaching connections

HADDONFIELD, N.J. — The 102nd Junior Boys’ Championship semifinals will make golf coach Brian Quinn smile. Three of his students — Indian Valley Country Club’s Dawson Anders, Overbrook Golf Club’s David Colleran, Jr. and RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve’s Marty McGuckin — all advanced to that stage Thursday at Tavistock Country Club. Ryan Conners, a Whitford Country Club member who took his first lesson a few weeks ago, rounds out the semifinalists. | History | Photo gallery | Championship Flight match play bracket |
| First Flight match play bracket | Day One recap |

  Anders and McGuckin will square off tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. The Colleran/Conners contest will follow at 7:37 a.m.

  Colleran’s worked with Quinn for four years. The lessons are clearly translating.

  “He has helped me so much. He’s the single reason why I’ve gotten to this point,” Colleran, 15, of Radnor, Pa., said.

  In the Round of 16, Colleran, a rising sophomore at Radnor High School, converted a 20-footer for par on the 18th hole (par 4, 435 yards) to oust No. 2 seed Andrew Wallace of Green Valley Country Club, 1-up. Circumstances didn’t become that tumultuous in the quarterfinals. Colleran carded an eagle and three birdies en route to a 6&5 win over David Hurly of White Manor Country Club.

  “I was making a lot more putts and hitting the ball better,” Colleran said. “It’ll be a tough day tomorrow, but I’ll see what I can do.”

  Anders, a Quinn student of four years, battled with home-club hopeful Doug Ergood in the quarterfinals. He moved to 2-up with a phenomenal chip-in birdie on the par 3, 180-yard 13th hole. Anders attempted to fully flight an 8-iron for the purpose of a soft landing. It didn’t quite work out. Anders instead pushed his golf ball into the right rough — some 20 yards from the hole location.

  “I put myself in probably the worst spot possible,” Anders, 17, of Telford, Pa., said. “I just played it like a bunker shot, tried to pop it up. It landed just left of the pin, caught the right slope and just rolled into the hole. I couldn’t believe it.” Anders prevailed, 3&1.

  A year ago on his home course, Anders reached the quarterfinals, where he lost to eventual runner-up Max Siegfried of Aronimink Golf Club, 7&6. The Souderton Area High School senior feels that he’s improved a lot since, which is “good to see.” He credits Quinn.

  “He really gets the level of my game and where I want to be,” Anders said. “I want to best that I can be. He helps me get there.”

  McGuckin’s only worked with Quinn for slightly more than a year, but is maximizing each session. He will attend Temple University, where Quinn is the men’s golf coach, in the fall.

  “He’s really helped me out with my swing. He’s been really great all-around,” McGuckin, 18, of Valley Forge, Pa., said. “He’s a great mentor to me.”

  McGuckin experienced a tale of two matches Thursday. He won the first three holes against Billy Matthews of North Hills Country Club in the Round of 16 and never looked back. McGuckin lost the first three against Jericho National Golf Club’s Griffin Smith and needed to look ahead in the afternoon.

  He did just that.

  McGuckin, a recent Malvern Prep graduate, birdied Nos. 6 (par 4, 410 yards) and 10 (par 4, 335 yards) to cut the deficit to one. He converted a testy eight-footer for par on the 12th hole (par 4, 416 yards) to square the bout. On No. 18, he pegged a tee on the right side of the box, then plucked it from the ground. McGuckin strolled to the other side, 2-iron in hand.

  “I was thinking about hitting driver there, but I knew it probably wasn’t a good idea. I’ve been missing my driver right all day,” he said. “I knew if I hit it out-of-bounds it was over.”

  Smith, on the other hand, did send a hybrid out-of-bounds. The match ended, 1-up, in McGuckin’s favor.

  “I’m just really happy,” he said. “I haven’t hit the ball great this week, but my short game’s been great. Hopefully I can carry that on to the next round.”

  Conners is the student anomaly of the semifinalists.

  The rising Bishop Shanahan High School junior edged Ron Robinson of Commonwealth National Golf Club in 20 holes to advance. On the deciding par 5, 485-yard No. 2, Conners hit an 8-iron 153 yards to seven feet and drained the victorious birdie. He stood dormie on the 16th tee (par 3, 150 yards), but Robinson shifted the tide by going birdie-eagle.

  “He played a heck of a last couple of holes. I just couldn’t finish it, but the last hole is all that matters,” Conners, 16 of Downingtown, Pa., said. “I’m just going to try to get it done tomorrow. I think I can. I have a lot confidence coming in here for the first time.”

  The Junior Boys’ Championship is the premier Major in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Division. It is open to GAP Member Club golfers aged 14-18 who have not started their college education and who hold a handicap index of 14.4 or lower. Sixteen players qualify for match play; an additional 16 advancing into the event’s First Flight.

  The Junior Boys’ Champion is awarded the Peg Burnett Trophy, named in honor of the Association’s Executive Secretary from 1951-76. Ms. Burnett was an ardent Junior golf supporter who emphasized sportsmanship and respect for the game. “I was very strict about checking the rule book. I didn’t make the rules, but since they are there, you have to abide by them.”

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.

Championship Flight
9. Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest GC & Preserve d. 16. Griffin Smith, Jericho National GC, 1-up
5. Dawson Anders, Indian Valley CC d. 4. Doug Ergood, Tavistock CC, 3&1
15. David Colleran, Jr., Overbrook GC d. 7. David Hurly, White Manor CC, 6&5
11. Ryan Conners, Whitford CC d. 3. Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National GC, 20 holes

Round of 16
16. Griffin Smith, Jericho National GC d. 1. Nicholas Gianelos, Radley Run CC, 5&4
9. Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest GC & Preserve d. 8. Billy Matthews, North Hills CC, 7&6
4. Doug Ergood, Tavistock CC d. 13. Andreas Aivazoglou, Rolling Green GC, 5&4
5. Dawson Anders, Indian Valley CC d. 12. Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley CC, 5&3
15. David Colleran, Jr., Overbrook GC d. 2. Andrew Wallace, Green Valley CC, 1-up
7. David Hurly, White Manor CC d. 10. Cory Haldeman, Saucon Valley CC, 1-up
3. Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National GC d. 14. Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley CC, 2&1
11. Ryan Conners, Whitford CC d. 6. Billy Civitella, Radnor Valley CC, 19 holes

First Flight
9. Hayden Rousselle, Lookaway GC d. 1. Danny Dougherty, DuPont CC, 4&3
4. Zachary Barbin, GAP Junior Players Club d. 5. Ryan Tell, Spring Ford CC, 20 holes
15. Wills Montgomery, Whitford CC d. 7. William Mitchell, Laurel Creek CC, 19 holes
3. Akhil Giri, Laurel Creek CC d. 6. Samuel Walker, St. Davids GC, 5&4

Round of 16
1. Danny Dougherty, DuPont CC d. D.J. Pinciotti, III, Huntingdon Valley CC, 3&2
9. Hayden Rousselle, Lookaway GC d. 8. John Updike, Aronimink GC, 19 holes
4. Zachary Barbin, GAP Junior Players Club 13. Caleb Ryan, GAP Junior Players Club, 1-up
5. Ryan Tell, Spring Ford CC d. 12. Anthony Barr, Blue Bell CC, 6&5
15. Wills Montgomery, Whitford CC d. 2. Matthew Davis, Aronimink GC, 19 holes
7. William Mitchell, Laurel Creek CC d. 10. Andrew Ring, Meadowlands CC, 4&2
3. Akhil Giri, Laurel Creek CC d. 14. Max Harrington, Moselem Springs GC, 4&3
6. Samuel Walker, St. Davids GC d. 11. Ryan Bree, Fieldstone GC, 1-up

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