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#BMWPhillyAm Qualifier: Glenmaura National

Paone, Medico top #BMWPhillyAm Qualifier at Glenmaura

| Scorecards |

MOOSIC, Pa. — A former GAP champion and a home-club hopeful headlined a BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship Qualifier at an overcast Glenmaura National Golf Club (par 71, 6,343 yards) Thursday.  

Fox Hill Country Club’s Mariano Medico and Glenmaura’s own Nick Paone carded respective 1-over-par 71s to share medalist honors. Stephen Hudacek, III, a fellow Glenmaura member and the 2011 BMW Philadelphia Amateur runner-up, also advanced with a score of 75.

The 119th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will take place June 11-13 & 15 at Stonewall (Old). The club’s North Course will serve as a qualifying site on Day One.

“Home course advantage helped a lot, although there were a lot of tees that we don’t usually play, so that made it a little bit different,” Paone, 32, of Archbald, Pa., said. “But just knowing the greens and the way they’re breaking, I made a couple of good putts out there for birdie on a few holes. That helped the cause.”

Three back-nine birdies moved Paone into qualifying contention. He nearly reached the par 5, 514-yard 10th hole in two strokes with a 3-wood. A chip and kick-in birdie followed. On the next par 5, the 543-yard 14th hole, Paone again powered a 3-wood near the green complex. Cue a kick-in encore.

“I tried to stay aggressive on the par 5s and get it up as close as I could,” he said. “The greens are firm, so I wanted to get myself in a position where I was chipping around the greens.”

Paone dropped a dual-breaking 25-footer on No. 15 (par 3, 211 yards) following a 6-iron off the tee. A bogey on the last hole (par 4, 327 yards) merely meant a share of the spotlight.

Golf narrowly fits on Paone’s schedule these days. Business, and a seven-month old, tie up time.

“There are a lot of short driving range sessions and quick nine-hole rounds, then back to the home life. I get in as much quality work as I can,” Paone, who works in medical sales, said. “Being able to play a couple of rounds [here in the BMW GAP Team Matches] before a qualifier like this helps, too.”

Thursday’s forecast, which initially called for periods of rain and cool temperatures, helped Medico. The drops never fell, but he dripped consistency throughout the day. He hit 12 fairways and 15 greens in regulation.

“Going in, I knew it was going to be tough weather-wise. Before I even teed off, I was trying to get myself mentally prepared to stay really patient,” Medico, 23, of Shavertown, Pa., said. “I took my time today. I just wanted to hit the middle of the green and give myself some looks. I played steady golf.”

Glenmaura’s first four holes set Medico’s qualifying table.

“I didn’t really hit great shots, but I gave myself long birdie putts and crucial two-putts,” he said.

One putt on the par 4, 430-yard No. 5 represented Medico’s first birdie of the day. He curled in a 40-footer after an upwind 6-iron from 185 yards to a back hole location. Despite a pulled drive on the next hole (par 5, 491 yards), Medico pitched out and executed an up-and-in for par from 80 yards. A string of midrange misses started his inward tour. Medico finally capitalized with a birdie on No. 13 (par 4, 355 yards), where he knocked a pitching wedge 120 yards to 30 feet.

Medico’s competitive golf path zigged and zagged since he won the Junior Boys’ Championship in 2012 and 2014. He attended Monmouth University for a year before transferring to Syracuse University, where he played club golf.

“I realized [collegiate golf] wasn’t for me. I’m the kind of person that if I can’t give 110 percent to something, then I kind of get frustrated,” Medico, who graduated from Syracuse a year ago, said.

Medico spent the winter in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., playing and practicing daily. The summer ahead marks his amateur golf swan song.

“I’ve been working really hard, getting ready for this year especially,” Medico said. “My passion for golf is still there. I always wanted to try the professional career. My parents are behind me. I couldn’t be more grateful.”

The BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship is GAP’s premier individual championship. 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 BMW Philadelphia 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 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship titles.

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers (name, club, score)
Nick Paone, Glenmaura National Golf Club72
Mariano Medico, Fox Hill Country Club72
Stephen Hudacek, III, Glenmaura National Golf Club75
Failed to qualify
Jonathan Wilson, Irem Country Club76
Chris Killiany, Elkview Country Club77
Tommy Mattaini, Bent Creek Country Club77
David Powers, CC at Woodloch Springs77
Kevin Rossi, Scranton Municipal Golf Course77
Tyler McGarry, Fox Hill Country Club79
Mason Wills, Iron Valley Golf Course79
Mike Manci, Glen Oak Country Club80
Justin Masters, Country Club of Scranton80
Eamon Evans, Glenmaura National Golf Club81
David Leonardis, Jack Frost National85
Martin Cryan, Fox Hill Country Club98
Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf ClubWD
Sean Shanley, Glenmaura National Golf ClubWD
WD — withdrawal