Palmer Jackson and Nolan Piazza, a pair of players with bright futures ahead of them, shared medalist honors in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Qualifier on Monday at Carlisle Country Club (par 71, 6,400 yards). The pair finished at 2-under par.
| Scorecards |
Jackson, 18, of Murrysville, Pa., is headed to his second consecutive U.S. Junior. He’ll tee it up for the University of Notre Dame this fall. Piazza, 15, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, is a class of 2021 graduate. He is the reigning Ontario Junior Boys’ Golf Champion. Piazza turns 16 in a few weeks.
The U.S. Junior Amateur is July 15-20 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.
“I did really want to make it especially since this is my last chance at a U.S. Junior,” said Jackson, who graduated from Franklin Regional High School. “I made it to match play last year and I know I can compete.”
In the 2018 Junior Amateur at Baltusrol Golf Club, Jackson qualified as the No. 32 (3-over 144) before falling to Jacob Bridgeman of Inman, S.C., 2&1, in a Round of 64 match.
This will be Piazza’s first showing in the United States’ National Championship.
“I know the U.S. Junior is the biggest Junior event that I can qualify for. It means a lot,” said Piazza, of his second attempt at U.S. Junior qualifying. “We had a difficult winter and slow spring with all the rain [in Niagara Falls]. The courses have been almost under water for most it. It feels great that I was able to knock this goal off my list.”
Jackson turned in a workmanlike 2 under. He made three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. Jackson then bogeyed the difficult No. 13 (par 3, 220 yards) to fall to even, but responded with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 (par 4, 406 yards) and 15 (par 5, 489 yards) to punch his ticket. On No. 14, he hit a 9-iron from 150 yards to 20 feet and made the putt. On No. 15, he ripped a 6-iron second shot from 206 yards to 10 feet, just missed the eagle try but tapped in for birdie.
Jackson was the medalist in this exact qualifier a year ago. His score: 2 under.
“I viewed it like I was defending champion,” said Jackson. “I carded the same nine hole scores, 34-35, as I did last year. I tried to have as many good vibes as possible coming here.”
Piazza earned his berth with a flourish. He bogeyed three of his first four holes to fall back. In his next 14 holes, though, he recorded five birdies and nine pars.
“I struggled with the speed of the greens but the last 14 holes is the best I’ve played in a long time,” said Piazza, who attends A.N. Myer Secondary School
He started his turn around on No. 5 (par 4, 340 yards) when he knocked a 60-degree wedge from 55 yards to five feet. He added a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 9 (par 5, 501 yards) before drawing even par on No. 12 (par 4, 399 yards) with a 100-yard, 56-degree wedge that stopped 10 feet from the cup. He made the birdie try. He made two 10-foot par saves on the next two holes before getting up-and-down after knocking a hybrid over the green on the par 5, No. 15 for a red 4. He carded perhaps his best shot of the day on No. 17 (par 3, 170 yards). To a tucked right hole location, Piazza drilled a 7-iron to four feet.
“I still thinking 3 under was going to make,” said Piazza. “So I went right at the flag. I got lucky I had a right club. If it would have been three feet of where it stopped it probably would have been a bogey because I would have had to chip downhill.”
|Name, city, state||Score|
|Palmer Jackson, Murrysville, Pa.||69|
|Nolan Piazza, Canada||69|
|Manuel Lozada, Argentina||70|
|Cullen Campbell, Virginia Beach, Va.||72|
|Failed to qualify|
|Karsen Rush, Chambersburg, Pa.||73|
|Neal Shipley, Pittsburgh, Pa.||73|
|Aksel Moe, Richville, Minn.||74|
|Matthew Monastero, Leesburg, Va.||74|
|Luke Sample, New York, N.Y.||74|
|Nick Fleming, Cabins, W.Va.||75|
|Nikita Gubenko, Great Falls, Va.||75|
|Derek Gutierrez, Cranford, N.J.||75|
|Chuck Tragesser, Murrysville, Pa.||75|
|Aryan Vuradi, Brambleton, Va.||75|
|Beni Long, Canada||76|
|David Luo, Centreville, Va.||76|
|Gonzalo Oliva Pinto, Argentina||76|
|Nicholas Roberson, Chevy Chase, Md.||76|
|Sihan Sandhu, Ashburn, Va.||76|
|James Ulsh, Carlisle, Pa.||76|
|Carson Bacha, York, Pa.||77|
|Brint Harbison, Richmond, Va.||77|
|John Peters, Carlisle, Pa.||77|
|Holden Kittelberger, Katy, Texas||78|
|Alex Long, Canada||78|
|Jacob Zeng, Downingtown, Pa.||78|
|Ford Bennett, Owings Mills, Md.||79|
|Michael Faringer, Leesburg, Va.||80|
|Joshua Husovich, Simi Valley, Calif.||80|
|Colton Murray, Sewell, N.J.||81|
|Owen Cook, Purcellville, Va.||82|
|Nathan Shaw, Hershey, Pa.||82|
|Austin Lauver, Lancaster, Pa.||84|
|Jun Lee, York, Pa.||84|
|John Muller, Chevy Chase, Md.||84|
|Graham Calhoun, Lititz, Pa.||86|
|Jonathan Glick, Lancaster, Pa.||87|
|Luke Thompson, Huntingdon, Pa.||89|
|Griffin Caulfield, Ambler, Pa.||90|
|John Francisco, Martinsburg, W.Va.||DQ|
|Jake Shmonov, Harrisburg, Pa.||WD|
|Ben Smith, Blain, Pa.||WD|
|DQ–disqualification; WD –withdrawal|