Aug 30, 2004

Liotta, McCool top U.S. Mid-Am qualifier

TRENTON, N.J.-David Liotta of Lansdale, Pa., a member of Whitemarsh Valley CC, posted a 5-under-par 66 to head a group of six players to advance to the U.S. Middle-Amateur Championship at a qualifier held on Monday at Trenton CC (par 71, 6,348 yards).

  The U.S. Middle-Amateur Championship is set for Oct. 2-7 at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga. A field of 111 players with a handicap index of 3.4 or better attempted to qualify for the 24th U.S. Mid-Am. Players who will reach their 25th birthday by Oct. 2 were eligible.

  The afternoon wave was delayed 1:40 at 2:30 p.m. by lightning.

  Other qualifiers at Trenton CC were Robin McCool (67) of Bethlehem, Pa., David Brookreson (69) of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Glenn Smeraglio (69) of Newtown, Pa., Rich Pruchnik (70) of West Chester, Pa. and Michael McDermott of Havertown, Pa. (71). Due to darkness, the final two positions will be settled tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. Five players will compete for the last two spots. Alternate positions also have to be determined.

  The story of the day was McCool.

  The 53-year-old member of Saucon Valley CC will be making his seventh U.S. Mid-Am appearance after posting a 4-under-par 67. It’s an appearance that seemed unlikely and unthinkable this April.

  A pinched nerve in his back forced McCool into the hospital for surgery. A staff infection took root a couple days later, however, and McCool suffered through great pain for the next 10 days. He remained on an intravenous line for another month and couldn’t swing a club for about 45 days. It’s been a slow road back, but McCool said he finally felt healthy about three weeks ago.

  “I had no idea I was going to be able to play any good golf in the future considering it hurt everytime I moved,” said McCool, “but thanks to the medical care and an exercise program, I’ve been able to get back in top form.”

  McCool, starting on the backside, fired a smashing 3-under-par 32. He sank a pair of eight-foot birdie chances on No. 13 (par 3, 162 yards) and No. 15 (par 3, 114 yards) to get to 2 under. On No. 18 (par 4, 392 yards), he landed an 8-iron out of a bad lie in the rough that rolled up to a couple of feet.

  Approaching the meat of the golf course, holes No. 1-4, McCool carded his lone two bogeys of the day before rebounding with three birdies in his last six holes. McCool knocked a 4-iron to 15 feet on No. 5 (par 3, 193 yards) and sank

  the putt. On No. 8 (par 4, 366 yards), he dropped a gap wedge to two feet and on No. 9 (par 5, 475 yards) made a simple two putt for another birdie.

  “It’s very rewarding to finally feel like I’m back in the group,” said McCool. “Once you make a USGA event, you never want to miss one again.”

  Liotta, 34, who works in the software development field, heads to his second U.S. Mid-Am after posting a 5-under-par 66 to take medalist honors. He qualified last year when the event was at Wilmington CC. He failed to make the cut.

  Liotta carded a 4-under-par 32 on the front side before posting eight pars and a birdie on the back nine.

  “I just wanted to keep making good swings and make some birdies,” said the soft-spoken Liotta. “I really wasn’t thinking about what I was doing.”

  Liotta started the day eagle, birdie.

  Brookreson, 56, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., who captured the gross division of the Chapman Cup (a Golf Association of Philadelphia senior event) last week, posted a 2-under-par 69. It’ll be his sixth U.S. Mid-Am appearance, but first since 1992.

  In 1992, he made the round of 16 before bowing out. In fact, Brookreson has made the match play cut every year he’s qualified for the U.S Mid-Am except one.

  Smeraglio, 44, Newtown, Pa., will make his second U.S. Middle-Amateur Championship after posting a 2-under-par 69. He traveled to Fresno, Calif., in 2001, and missed making the cut by a couple of strokes.

  Smeraglio didn’t even think he was going to play today. Yesterday, he quit after a couple holes of a practice round, battling a herniated disk problem.

  “I iced it all day and night and put a little heat on it as well,” said Smeraglio. “I took a couple of anti-inflammatory [medicine] and wore a back brace today for the first time. I had no problems.”

  Pruchnik, 38, a member at West Chester G&CC, carded a 1-under-par 70 and will be making his first U.S. Mid-Am appearance. This was only his second try.

  Pruchnik made the turn at even par, before finishing at 1 under.

  McDermott, 29, a member at Llanerch CC, qualified for his fourth U.S. Mid-Am. He’s made the match play draw two of the three years he’s advanced in the championship.

  McDermott rolled in a 12 footer on No. 18 (par 4, 400 yards) for birdie to assure himself of a qualifying spot.

Pos. Name Club Front 9 Back 9 Total
1 David Liotta Whitemarsh Valley CC 32 34 66
2 Robin McCool Saucon Valley CC 35 32 67
T3 David Brookreson Huntingdon Valley CC 35 34 69
T3 Glenn Smeraglio Yardley CC 35 34 69
5 Rich Pruchnik West Chester G&CC 36 34 70
6 Michael McDermott Llanerch CC 35 36 71
*Playoff to determine final two positions set for tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.
T7 Duke Delcher Berkeley Hall 37 35 72
T7 Brian Corbett Huntsville GC 36 36 72
T7 Gui Costin Merion GC 36 36 72
T7 Jamie Slonis Tavistock CC 35 37 72
T7 Michael Minter Trenton CC 40 32 72
T12 Roc Irey Cedarbrook CC 38 35 73
T12 John Robinson Commonwealth National GC 40 33 73
T12 P Chet Walsh Philadelphia CC 40 33 73
T12 Gary Roberts Trenton CC 38 35 73
T12 Steven Owens Wildwood G&CC 39 34 73
T17 Carlos Ochoa Little Mill CC 38 36 74
T17 Kevin Kelly Philadelphia Cricket Club 38 36 74
T17 Thomas Timby Jr Talamore at Oak Terrace CC 35 39 74
T20 Marc Grinberg Battleground CC 36 39 75
T20 Michael Anderson Commonwealth National GC 38 37 75
T20 Ryan Gelrod Forsgate CC 37 38 75
T20 Chris Lange Overbrook GC 40 35 75
T20 Robert Savarese Jr Philadelphia Cricket Club 39 36 75
T20 Burton McHugh Sunnybrook GC 39 36 75
T20 Jim Gavaghan Torresdale-Frankford CC 38 37 75
T20 Andy Strock Trenton CC 37 38 75
T28 Jimmy Kieserman Blue Bell Country CC 40 36 76
T28 Lynn Kilduff Huntsville GC 40 36 76
T28 Wayne Bartolacci Jericho National GC 38 38 76
T28 Thomas Mallouk Lookaway GC 37 39 76
T28 Francis McFadden Overbrook GC 40 36 76
T28 Peter Barron III Stone Harbor GC 38 38 76
T28 D Drew Siok Tavistock CC 41 35 76
T28 Thomas Gramigna Tavistock CC 37 39 76
T28 Kirk Kashevaroff Tuxedo Club 37 39 76
T28 Chris Yard Whitford CC 37 39 76
T38 Michael Ciesla Ash Brook 39 38 77
T38 David O’Brien Cedarbrook CC 40 37 77
T38 Michael Moffat Commonwealth National GC 39 38 77
T38 Thomas Borsello Fieldstone GC 41 36 77
T38 Dan Pinciotti Jr Huntingdon Valley CC 39 38 77
T38 Chase Brockstedt Kings Creek CC 38 39 77
T38 Tom Finn Penn Oaks GC 38 39 77
T38 Brian Gillespie St David’s GC 39 38 77
T38 Michael Deo Stanton Ridge 40 37 77
T38 Edward Erickson Yardley CC 39 38 77
T48 Bill Dwyer Concord CC 44 34 78
T48 Freddy Henriquez Deerfield GC 41 37 78
T48 Ron Jamarowicz Ed Oliver GC 38 40 78
T48 Jeff Goydan Green Knoll 40 38 78
T48 Kevin Hart Hopewell Valley GC 40 38 78
T48 Frank Corrado Jericho National GC 40 38 78
T48 Clark Hargrove Merion GC 41 37 78
T48 Jarrett Kling Merion GC 38 40 78
T48 Drew Panebianco Talamore at Oak Terrace CC 39 39 78
T48 Robert Arthur Tavistock CC 40 38 78
T48 Frank Polizzi Whitemarsh Valley CC 43 35 78
T48 Paul Rogowicz Yardley CC 38 40 78
T60 Michael McBride Back Creek GC 43 36 79
T60 John Lovett Charleston Springs 40 39 79
T60 Thomas Dicinti Little Mill CC 42 37 79
T60 Kyle Ross Old Orchard CC 40 39 79
T60 Bryan Marvin Old York Road CC 41 38 79
T60 Dino Volpi Plymouth CC 41 38 79
T60 Patrick Dougherty Talamore at Oak Terrace CC 39 40 79
T60 David West Whitford CC 40 39 79
T60 Steve Walczak Wilmington CC 40 39 79
T69 Jeff Dellafranco Concord CC 43 37 80
T69 Robert Coyne Edgmont CC 41 39 80
T69 Edward Kelly Lu Lu CC 41 39 80
T69 Patrick Sawyer Yardley CC 40 40 80
T73 Brandon Haase Charleston Springs 40 41 81
T73 Mark Inman Cherry Valley CC 42 39 81
T73 Jeff Rogatz Fieldstone GC 37 44 81
T73 Kevin De Haven Hopewell Valley GC 41 40 81
T73 Robert Lodovici Little Mill CC 40 41 81
T73 Charles Dowds North Hills CC 44 37 81
T73 Keith Janecek Piney Branch GC 42 39 81
T73 Clark Holle Royce Brook GC 45 36 81
T73 Bill Coyle Saucon Valley CC 44 37 81
T73 Rusty Seyle Saucon Valley CC 43 38 81
T83 Gary Barbetta Howell Park GC 43 39 82
T83 Glen Schreiner Mainland GC 44 38 82
T83 Gerald Gallagher Paxon Hollow GC 41 41 82
T83 James Pates Tantallion CC 44 38 82
T83 Bob Husbands West Chester G & CC 41 41 82
T83 John Giordano Yardley CC 42 40 82
T89 Gary Daniels Aronimink GC 38 45 83
T89 Frank Boensch Bethpage 42 41 83
T89 Graham Parker Cranbury GC 41 42 83
T89 Bill Turner Golden Pheasant GC 43 40 83
T89 Ajai Sirohi Mercer Oaks 45 38 83
T89 James Kiewra Royce Brook GC 43 40 83
T89 Ted Harris Sparrows Point CC 46 37 83
T96 Pete Widdoes Deerfield GC 41 43 84
T96 Donald Ashley Philadelphia CC 43 41 84
T96 Paul Zorlas Rockaway River CC 45 39 84
T99 Frank Filippo Delaware Valley GC 43 42 85
T99 Anthony List Jr Glen Mills GC 46 39 85
T99 Christian Bohanon Green Knoll 44 41 85
T99 Stuart Katzoff Hudson National GC 40 45 85
T99 John Boscarelli Yardley CC 40 45 85
104 Timothy Haberbusch Meadows of Middlesex 42 44 86
T105 Mark Czerniakowski Cobbs Creek GC 45 42 87
T105 Richard Smith Philadelphia CC 45 42 87
T105 Mark Dennish The Ridge at Back Brook 48 39 87
T108 John Doster Heron Glen GC 48 40 88
T108 Kevin Heyeck Mercer Oaks 47 41 88
T108 Paul Norris Royce Brook GC 46 42 88
111 Darren Riddle Dauphin Highlands GC 45 44 89
T112 Bill Holsten Aronimink GC WD WD WD
T112 Michael Rose Ashbourne CC WD WD WD
T112 Jeffrey Kiley Baltusrol GC WD WD WD
T112 Henry Blue Caves Valley GC WD WD WD
T112 Bill Knight Fiddler’s Elbow WD WD WD
T112 Larry Silk Greate Bay GC WD WD WD
T112 Thomas Fallon Hollywood GC WD WD WD
T112 David Poletti Llanerch CC WD WD WD
T112 Brian Early Overbrook GC WD WD WD
T112 Chris Dunham Peace Pipe WD WD WD
T112 Chris Kallmeyer Philadelphia Cricket Club WD WD WD
T112 Paul Hamilton Pine Crest CC WD WD WD
T112 George Marucci Jr Pine Valley GC WD WD WD
T112 Kevin Taunton Spring Brook CC WD WD WD
T112 John Gianacaci Springdale GC WD WD WD
T112 Toby Stern Sunningdale CC WD WD WD
T112 Terrence J Sawyer Yardley CC WD WD WD
T112 Bill Murray Sr Merchantville CC DQ DQ DQ
T112 Alexander Maguire Jr Phladelphia Cricket Club NS NS NS
T112 Lawrence Piekarsky Preakness Hills CC NS NS NS
T112 John Crosby Charleston Springs NS NS NS
T112 Thomas Brower Charleston Springs NC NC NC
T112 Mark Battista Cranston CC NC NC NC
WD-withdrawal; DQ-disqualification; NS-no show; NC-no card

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