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Manasquan’s Wall stands tall in #BMWPhillyAm Qualifier at Greenbriar

WARETOWN, N.J. — To cure green ailments of late, Jeremy Wall switched his putting grip from conventional to claw earlier this week. The decision is paying off based on Saturday’s performance.

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  Wall carded a 1-over-par 73 to earn medalist honors in a BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship Qualifier at a windy and cool Greenbriar Oceanaire Golf & Country Club (par 72, 6,588 yards). The Manasquan River Golf Club member led a field of 71 players hoping to attain one of 13 available spots and ties for the Championship proper.

  The cut line fell to 81 by day’s end. The 117th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will take place June 13-15 & 17 at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Wissahickon).

  “My brother (Ethan) does the exact same thing and he’s a pretty good putter. It’s been working out for me so far,” Wall said of the aforementioned grip switch. “I putted great today.”

  Firm greens, significant wind speeds and penalizing hazards created difficult scoring conditions Saturday. Wall, adopting a conservative strategy, adapted to those challenges accordingly. He only played two drivers, relying on hybrids and 4-irons to tackle Greenbriar’s tee demands.

  “It’s tough here, especially when you get holes with a crosswind or into the wind. It’s very easy for the ball to start wandering everywhere,” Wall, 21, of Brielle, N.J., said. “Especially on a course like this, where driving it straight is a premium, the wind can play a big factor in making a couple of bad scores. I think that’s why I did well. My ball was in front of me the whole day.”

  Wall carded eight pars and one bogey heading out. The lone blemish occurred on the par 3, 133-yard No. 3. Wall ran a 12-footer for birdie four feet past the cup and lipped out the comebacker. Greens in regulation, combined with favorable chip positions, allowed pars to populate the remainder of his front nine.

  Wall points to a key conversion on the 10th hole (par 4, 366 yards) as a round saver. He, with an unwanted assist from a wind gust, toed a hybrid left into a bed of brush. Facing a friendly lie, Wall deposited a 9-iron from 155 yards into a guarding front bunker. A smooth extrication, followed by a 15-footer for par, invoked a smattering of applause from a gallery of onlookers nearby. The Greenbriar community showed its support throughout the day as residents frequented nearly every hole to catch the competition.

  “I’ve never seen so many people out to watch. It was fun,” Wall, a soon-to-be senior at Loyola University Maryland, where he is a finance major, said. “I got to wave and acknowledge a clap, which was cool.”

  Only a bogey on the par 3, 161-yard 16th hole blocked a cool blue finish for Wall. He missed the green short with an 8-iron. A 360 for his par putt.

  Wall is a Golf Association of Philadelphia rookie yet a tournament golf veteran. For starters, he is a member of the men’s golf team at Loyola, which won the Patriot League in the spring. Wall finished as runner-up in the 2013 Metropolitan Golf Association Junior Championship. He lost to reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion Stewart Hagestad in the Round of 16 of the 2015 MET Amateur. Wall also owns a pair of Top 10 finishes in the New Jersey State Golf Association’s Amateur Championship.

  Manasquan River joined the GAP in 2017, thus rendering Wall eligible for events such as the BMW Philadelphia Amateur. The opportunity to play historic, high-tier venues and to expand his competitive schedule peaked Wall’s interest.

  Coincidentally, his brother Ethan, who also plays on the Loyola golf team, placed second Saturday with a score of 76. The two, along with brothers Augie and Jack, make up a frequent foursome at Manasquan.

  “We generally try not to play for money because then it gets out of control with competitiveness,” Jeremy said. “We have a lot of fun. The team that loses has to clean the dishes that night.”

  Guessing the Wall brothers stopped for a celebratory meal on their way home Saturday.

  The BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship is the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s premier event. Participants must first advance through a one day, 36-hole stroke play qualifier to gain one of 32 available match play positions. Those who qualify for match play must advance through four matches in two days to reach the Amateur Final, which is typically held on the Saturday of Father’s Day weekend. The winner receives the J. Wood Platt Trophy; its namesake holds a record-seven Amateur Championship titles.

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 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 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.

Qualifiers
Name, club Score
Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club 73
Ethan Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club 76
Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club 78
Chris Binder, Valleybrook Country Club 79
Jim Engler, Sea Oaks Golf Club 79
Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club 79
Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club 80
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club 80
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club 80
Jack Irons, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia 80
Jason Loehrs, Cobbs Creek Golf Club 80
Kevin Frost, Philadelphia Cricket Club 81
Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 81
Andrew Kotler, Cherry Valley Country Club 81
Ryan Worthy, Merion Golf Club 81
Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club 81
Failed to qualify
 James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club 82
 Brendan Borst, Philadelphia Cricket Club 82
 T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club 83
 Ben Litt, Riverton Country Club 83
 Jerry Newell, Jr., Fieldstone Golf Club 83
 Beau Guarino, Old York CC at Chesterfield 83
 Mike Hartsough, The Springhaven Club 83
 Brandon Capone, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 84
 Mark Hill, Rolling Green Golf Club 84
 Hunter Mickatavage, Schuylkill Country Club 84
 William Mitchell, Laurel Creek Country Club 84
 Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club 85
 Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club 85
 Scott Harrington, Moselem Springs Golf Club 85
 Drew Guarino, Old York CC at Chesterfield 85
 Forrest Swisher, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 85
 Chris Lawler, Applebrook Golf Club 85
 Timothy Haberbusch, Mercer Oaks Golf Course 86
 Russell Hill, Old York CC at Chesterfield 86
 Johan van Schalkwyk, Tavistock Country Club 86
 Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club 87
 Alex Bauman, The Ridge at Back Brook 88
 Drew Garis, North Hills Country Club 88
 Brad Cornforth, Loch Nairn Golf Club 88
 Noah Schwartz, Woodcrest Country Club 88
 Chris Binet, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 88
 Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club 88
 Chris Wagner, Bluestone Country Club 88
 Nikita Romanov, GAP Junior Players Club 88
 Christopher Clauson, Lu Lu Country Club 89
 Daniel Altieri, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 89
 Charles Canning, Philadelphia Publinks GA 89
 Jonathan Lumley, Spring Ford Country Club 89
 Robert Bangs, Jr., Philadelphia Publinks GA 90
 Devin Guilliams, Loch Nairn Golf Club 90
 Phil Formica, Yardley Country Club 90
 Charles Scalzott, Hidden Creek Golf Club 91
 Steven Altieri, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 92
 Billy Reube, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 92
 Michael Logue, Bluestone Country Club 92
 Sam Walker, St. Davids Golf Club 92
 Dylan Topaz, Philadelphia Cricket Club 93
 Alexander McPherson, Lu Lu Country Club 94
 Ryan McHugh, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 94
 Pat Rooney, Jr., McCall Golf & Country Club 98
 Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 99
 Joe Spitaleri, Inniscrone Golf Club 104
 Ellis Chandler, Honeybrook Golf Club DQ
 Michael Stamberger, Manasquan River Golf Club WD
 Brian Sokolowski, Mercer Oaks Golf Course WD
 David Hirschhorn, Old York CC at Chesterfield WD
 Charles Dennis, Glenmaura National Golf Club WD
 Brendan Worthy, Merion Golf Club WD
DQ – disqualification; WD – withdrawal