Jun 10, 2008

Lu Lu’s Danner, Sand Barrens’ Savarese top Amateur Qualifier

LAFAYETTE HILL, Pa.–Mike Danner of Lu Lu Country Club called his medallist-earning total of 5-under-par 138 in the Amateur Championship Qualifier, a progression. Rob Savarese, Jr., of Sand Barrens Golf Club, who finished a shot back, viewed his effort as a means to complete some “unfinished business.”

  Whatever the plot line or self-motivation, those two, and 30 others, begin the quest for the 108th Amateur Championship tomorrow at 8 a.m. at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club with the first and second rounds.

  On Tuesday, the 121-player Amateur field faced blazing heat and humidity as they began the quest for the J. Wood Platt Amateur Championship Trophy with Whitemarsh Valley CC and Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon) playing hosts.

  The low 31 players (defending Champion Phil Bartholomew automatically is seeded No. 1) advanced to match play. Danner is the No. 2 seed and Savarese the three seed.

  A four-man playoff for the final three qualifying spots fell at 151. That playoff will be completed tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. In the playoff so far, James Kania, Jr. of Overbrook Golf Club and Eric Schmehl of Moorestown Field Club parred the first hole to advance. David Liotta of Whitemarsh Valley CC and Kevin Genuardi of Cedarbrook Country Club, the other two participants, will continue the playoff, which was called due to inclement weather.

  Both Danner and Savarese entered Tuesday’s qualifier with tempered expectations.

  Danner was carding only his seventh and eighth rounds of the year.

  He finished the day with a 4-under-par 68 in the morning at Whitemarsh and a 1-under 71 at Cricket.

  “It’s been a progressions since I was a kid,” said Danner, 34, of Chalfont, Pa. “I keep trying to get better but it keeps getting harder. I have a 2 ½-year-old and a 1-year-old. I’ve been working a lot. I just haven’t had the chance to play. This was totally unexpected coming out and playing this well.”

  Danner opened his day with a 5-under 31 on his initial front nine at Whitemarsh. He posted four birdies, an eagle and a bogey. His eagle came on No. 5 (par 5, 494 yards) when he rocketed an 8-iron from 171 yards to a couple feet. He finished his initial 18 holes with a birdie, seven pars and a double bogey on No. 18 (par 4, 462 yards). At Cricket, Danner was up-and-down as the heat intensified, carding six birdies and five bogeys.

  “It was a battle out there,” said Danner of playing in the hot weather on two difficult golf courses. “With each swing I just tried to stay in the moment. And with putts, too. It was so hot on the greens. I would just say to myself strike it solid and hit it on-line.”

  Danner’s top finish in the Amateur came two years ago at Torresdale-Frankford Country Club. That year he fell in the semifinals to Paul Rogowicz of Yardley Country Club.

  Savarese has only played a handful of rounds this year himself. The two-time Amateur finalist (1991, 1997) is 42 years old with three young children, a situation similar to Danner.

  “”The smartest thing I did a few years ago was I started taking lessons with John Spina [at Philadelphia Cricket Club],” said Savarese. “It’s taken a few years to work but it’s starting to click. I don’t really need to practice or play much. The nice part is when I miss a shot I know why and I can make adjustments on the fly.”

  Savarese opened with a 3-under-par 69 at Whitemarsh Valley and finished with a 1-under 70 at Cricket. He’s a former member of both.

  At Whitemarsh he was 1-under after nine holes but used an eagle on No. 11 (par 5, 516 yards) to springboard to 3 under when he launched a 2-iron from 224 yards to three feet. A later birdie and bogey put Savarese at 69. At Cricket, four birdies and three bogeys put the Lafayette Hill, Pa., resident in good shape.

  Cole Willcox of Philadelphia Country Club was the only other player in red figures. He posted a two-round total of 2-under-ar 141 (70 at Whitemarsh, 71 at Cricket).

  Bartholomew, the reigning Amateur Champion, finished at 6-over par.—
  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.

Qualifiers
NameClubRd. 1Rd. 2Total
Mike DannerLu Lu Country Club68WV70PC138
Robert SavareseSand Barrens Golf Club69WV70PC139
Cole WillcoxPhiladelphia Country Club70WV71PC141
James DonnellyMerion Golf Club74PC69WV143
Glenn SmeraglioYardley Country Club71PC72WV143
Michael McDermottMerion Golf Club71PC72WV143
Sean LeonardTavistock Country Club71PC73WV144
Zach SmithDoylestown Country Club75WV69PC144
Oscar Mestre, Jr.Overbrook Golf Club72WV73PC145
#Todd VonderheidHuntsville Golf Club73WV72PC145
Brian CreghanPlymouth Country Club73WV73PC146
Brian RothausPhilmont Country Club72WV74PC146
Douglas ZelnerSpring Ford Country Club74WV73PC147
Christopher LangeOverbrook Golf Club76PC71WV147
Alan BorowskyWhite Manor Country Club73WV74PC147
#John BrennanSpring Ford Country Club72PC76WV148
David WestWhitford Country Club73PC75WV148
Anthony MartireSeaview Marriott Resort & Spa74PC74WV148
Richard MarabellaWhitemarsh Valley Country Club78PC70WV148
Stephen SeidenConcord Country Club73WV75PC148
Michael BrownPhiladelphia Publinks GA71WV77PC148
Travis GahmanPhiladelphia Publinks GA78PC71WV149
Thomas GramignaTavistock Country Club72PC77WV149
Jeffrey GriestWaynesborough Country Club76PC73WV149
Russell HartungDoylestown Country Club77WV72PC149
Philip BartholomewYardley Country Club74WV75PC149
Thomas HylandLittle Mill Country Club76PC74WV150
Robert Galbreath, Jr.Huntingdon Valley Country Club76PC74WV150
Matthew FingerRunning Deer Golf Club77PC73WV150
#Gary DanielsSaucon Valley Country Club74WV76PC150
Christopher KasparLu Lu Country Club77WV73PC150
Christopher ReedmanMakefield Highlands Golf Club74WV76PC150
*James Kania, Jr.Overbrook Golf Club77PC74WV151
*Eric SchmehlMoorestown Field Club71WV80PC151
David LiottaWhitemarsh Valley Country Club72WV79PC151
Kevin GenuardiCedarbrook Country Club75PC76WV151
Failed to qualify
Steve LubinFive Ponds Golf Club77PC75WV152
Andy AchenbachRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve75PC77WV152
David ShieldsPhiladelphia Publinks GA78PC74WV152
James BeaSpring Mill Country Club71PC81WV152
P. Chet WalshPhiladelphia Country Club73WV79PC152
Stephen Hudacek IIIGlenmaura National Golf Club82WV70PC152
Dan Pinciotti Jr.Huntingdon Valley Country Club76WV76PC152
Kevin HuntingtonPenn Oaks Golf Club73WV79PC152
Michael KorcubaRunning Deer Golf Club76WV76PC152
Tyler BrewingtonHuntsville Golf Club75WV77PC152
Paul RogowiczYardley Country Club73PC80WV153
Scott KleeIndian Valley Country Club72WV81PC153
Jamie SlonisTavistock Country Club75WV78PC153
Mark QuigleyLu Lu Country Club74PC80WV154
Doug MarcincinNorthampton Country Club79PC75WV154
Mike OwsikPlymouth Country Club82WV72PC154
Kevin Melnick, Jr.Plymouth Country Club77WV77PC154
Louis GioviMercer Oaks Golf Course76WV78PC154
James KiesermanTalamore Country Club79PC76WV155
Robert DziakSpring Ford Country Club80PC75WV155
Jim SimmonsStonewall73WV82PC155
Mark MillerYardley Country Club77WV78PC155
Eugene FlanaganThe Springhaven Club73WV82PC155
Michael TashTavistock Country Club75PC81WV156
Andrew MasonFive Ponds Golf Club76WV80PC156
Cory SiegfriedPhiladelphia Country Club78WV78PC156
Brian CorbettHuntsville Golf Club79PC78WV157
Steven WalczakWilmington Country Club78PC79WV157
Geoffrey CooperLaurel Creek Country Club78PC79WV157
Michael MoffatCommonwealth National Golf Club79WV78PC157
Miguel BiamonWhitemarsh Valley Country Club79PC79WV158
Matt DolinskyHoneybrook Golf Club78PC80WV158
Michael EvangelistaConcord Country Club77PC81WV158
Justin Van HyningOlde York Country Club78WV80PC158
John MullinsSpring Ford Country Club75WV83PC158
Andrew ZoellerWaynesborough Country Club81WV77PC158
James MacallisterManufacturers Golf & Country Club78WV80PC158
Patrick DevlinFive Ponds Golf Club79WV79PC158
Chris EsbenshadeFive Ponds Golf Club80PC79WV159
Zachary HerrJericho National Golf Club84PC75WV159
Ari FlaisherFive Ponds Golf Club81PC78WV159
John LupicaThe ACE Club77PC82WV159
Douglas CusickTavistock Country Club77PC82WV159
David SmithDoylestown Country Club76WV83PC159
Ryan AdePhiladelphia Cricket Club79WV80PC159
Roc IreyCedarbrook Country Club80PC80WV160
Drew PanebiancoTalamore Country Club77PC83WV160
Greg VerdeSpring Ford Country Club77WV83PC160
Charles BernardRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve80PC81WV161
Stephen McIntyreHoneybrook Golf Club78WV83PC161
Brian GillespieSt. Davids Golf Club82PC80WV162
Robert LoftusOverbrook Golf Club82PC80WV162
R. Blake SlaweckiSpring Ford Country Club78PC84WV162
Robert de RojasRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve87PC75WV162
Brad SokolGreen Valley Country Club84PC79WV163
Peter MoranEdgmont Country Club82WV81PC163
Tom PiersantiApplebrook Golf Club79PC85WV164
Mark KoskoSeaview Marriott Resort & Spa78PC86WV164
David TaraschiMerchantville Country Club79WV85PC164
Duncan ZeidersOld York Road Country Club83WV81PC164
Alexander PenzaLlanerch Country Club84PC81WV165
Frank Corrado, Jr.Jericho National Golf Club84PC81WV165
Michael DomenickPhoenixville Country Club81WV84PC165
Lance OberparleiterWedgwood Country Club85PC81WV166
Greg ForsterRadnor Valley Country Club84PC82WV166
Bill MurrayMerchantville Country Club81WV86PC167
Mark O’NeillSandy Run Country Club86PC82WV168
Raymond ThompsonOverbrook Golf Club81WV87PC168
Alex McPhersonSandy Run Country Club86PC83WV169
Bo MaguireBrookside Country Club86WV83PC169
Andrew DietzLaurel Creek Country Club86PC85WV171
Ted BrennanPhiladelphia Country Club85PC86WV171
Matt DudasIndian Valley Country Club81WV91PC172
John InmanCherry Valley Country Club90WV86PC176
Douglas SchroerAronimink Golf Club73PCDQWVDQ
Brett FalkoffThe ACE Club72PCNSWVNS
Colin SmithRadley Run Country Club78PCWDWVWD
Kevin BairWyncote Golf Club83PCWDWVWD
Luke PetersPhiladelphia Publinks GA80WVWDPCWD
Johnny MurphyWildwood Golf & Country Club79WVWDPCWD
Jake LebowitzPhilmont Country Club80WVWDPCWD
#-no match play
*-advanced in playoff
WV-Whitemarsh Valley Country Club; PC-Philadelphia Cricket Club
DQ-disqualification; NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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