LedgeRock GC’s Kowalinski tops Open Qualifier - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 25, 2008

LedgeRock GC’s Kowalinski tops Open Qualifier

  MOHNTON, Pa.–Peter Kowalinski, the head professional at LedgeRock GC, carded an even-par 72 on Wednesday at his home course (par 72, 7,153 yards) to earn medallist honors in the third and final Open Championship Qualifier. A total of 45 players competed in search of the remaining nine Open positions. The cut line fell at 76.

  “It means a lot to qualify. When you play at your home course everyone is looking for your name,” said Kowalinski, 34, of Brownstown, Pa. “There is pressure to do well.”

 He opened with six straight pars before a three-putt bogey on the lengthy and difficult seventh hole (par 5, 618 yards). Kowalinski responded quickly, however, and in style to his over-par effort, with birdies on the next two holes.

  He made a nice up-and-down from the right side of No. 8 (par 5, 550 yards) after rifling a 3-iron green high and then knocked a lob wedge from 90 yards to 10 feet on No. 9 (par 4, 395 yards).

  “The bogey on No. 7 is typical,” said Kowalinski. “I try to get through holes 7-8 with 10.”

  And he did.

  On the back nine, Kowalinski registered eight pars and a bogey.

  He scored a five on the par 4, 292-yard 12th when his wedge came up short and he failed to get up-and-down. On the treacherous 17th hole (par 4, 435 yards) that bends up the hill and to the left, Kowalinski made a nice par save after spinning his 5-iron from 175 yards just off the front.

  “I look forward to this tournament every year,” said Kowalinski of the Open. “I’m looking forward to getting back in it.”

  Kowalinski has made two prior Opens: 1998 at Aronimink GC and 2004 at Philadelphia CC.

  He’s been the head professional at LedgeRock GC for five years.

  Amateur Nathan Sutherland, a sophomore to-be at Miami University, posted a 1-over-par 73 en route to his first Open Championship berth. It was actually Sutherland’s first attempt at qualifying for the Association’s Open Championship.

  “The Philadelphia area has a lot of good players and anytime you can compete with them you are going to become a better player,” said Sutherland, 19, a Wyomissing, Pa. resident.

  Sutherland made the turn in 1 under after draining a 20-foot chip on the par 5, eighth hole (550 yards) to go along with his eight pars.

  The back nine proved a bit more adventurous.

  Sutherland double-bogeyed No. 11 (par 4, 412 yards) with a poor approach and three putt but responded on No. 13 (par 5, 555 yards) with a nice up-and-down from 40 yards for birdie. Another red figure on No. 16 (par 4, 365 yards) followed with a wedge from 92 yards that stopped a foot from the hole. However, Sutherland finished bogey-bogey when he missed each of the final two greens.

  A member at Golden Oaks GC, Sutherland made a splash on the Golf Association of Philadelphia scene a year ago when he finished second in the Patterson Cup (Berkleigh CC/Moselem Springs GC) to winner Michael McDermott. He followed that strong late summer finish with two second-place efforts in a pair of college tournaments. He had five Top 20 and nine Top 25 finishes.

  The Open Championship’s field of 72 players is comprised of 24 exempt entrants and 48 qualifiers and carries a purse of $40,000.

  Amateur Mark Miller of Yardley CC finished at even-par 140 to take the 103rd Open Championship at historic Merion GC (East Course) last year. Miller edged out Mark Sheftic (rounds of 70-71), an assistant professional at Sunnybrook GC, and the remainder of the 72-player field, by a stroke to become only the 12th amateur to capture the Open Championship.

  The field for the 104th Open Championship will consist of professionals who are members in good standing of the Philadelphia Section PGA, head professionals of GAP Member Clubs and amateurs who are members of member clubs and have handicap index of 7.0 or less.

  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 136 Member Clubs and 56,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

Name Club Score
Peter Kowalinski LedgeRock Golf Club 72
(a) Nathan Sutherland Golden Oaks Golf Club 73
(a) Douglas Zelner Spring Ford Country Club 74
(a) John Brennan Spring Ford Country Club 75
(a) Michael O’Keefe Little Mill Country Club 75
(a) Chris Esbenshade Five Ponds Golf Club 75
Jim Smith, Jr. Philadelphia Cricket Club 75
(a) Tyler Brewington Huntsville Golf Club 75
(a) Kyle Davis Philadelphia Publinks GA 76
Alternates (in order)
*(a) Jack Wallace Burlington Country Club 77
*(a) Travis Gahman Philadelphia Publinks GA 77
*(a) Brian Corbett Huntsville Golf Club 77
*(a) Roc Irey Cedarbrook Country Club 78
Failed to qualify
*(a) James Kieserman Talamore Country Club 78
*Jamie Komancheck RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 78
*(a) Ken Matt Talamore Country Club 78
Paul Barnsley Meadowlands Country Club 79
Peter Carmain French Creek Golf Club 79
(a) Grant Skyllas LedgeRock Golf Club 79
(a) Matt Raudenbush Pine Valley Golf Club 79
(a) Matt Dolinsky Honeybrook Golf Club 79
(a) Joe Bernard RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 80
Scott Hunter Overbrook Golf Club 80
Christopher Stager Brookside C.C. of Allentown 80
(a) Christopher Kaspar Lu Lu Country Club 80
(a) Kevin Huntington Penn Oaks Golf Club 82
(a) Michael Schunke Hartefeld National 82
(a) William Thornton, Jr. LedgeRock Golf Club 82
(a) Travis Shaffer Talamore Country Club 83
(a) Jonathan Hoffman Philmont Country Club 84
(a) Andrew Carnevale North Hills Country Club 84
(a) Michael DiGiandomenico French Creek Golf Club 85
(a) Luke Smith LedgeRock Golf Club 85
(a) Andrew Dietz Laurel Creek Country Club 86
(a) Marc Mandel White Manor Country Club 86
James Lermitte Manufacturers Golf & Country Club 88
(a) Shawn Lavin Sandy Run Country Club 88
(a) David Barnett White Clay Creek Country Club 88
(a) Kenneth Zimmer Laurel Creek Country Club 89
William Keane, Jr. Philadelphia Country Club 90
(a) Mark Coassolo Brookside C.C. of Allentown 90
(a) Jerrold Clinton Makefield Highlands Golf Club 98
(a) Robert Gill Fox Hill Country Club NS
(a) Andrew Lombard The Springhaven Club NS
(a) Michael Costonis Blue Bell Country Club WD
*-determined in playoff (a)-amateur NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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