CHERRY HILL, N.J.-Drew Guarino of Little Mill CC carded a 1-under-par 35 to earn medalist honors and to secure the No. 1 seed at the 61st Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship Tuesday at Merchantville CC (par 36, 2,781 yards).
He attributed his solid play to consistency in all phases of his game.
“It was mainly my putts and my drives,” Guarino, of Burlington Township, N.J., said. “I made a lot of putts. My wedges were pretty good, too.”
Guarino, 13, also relied on strategy as he traversed the tight, Cherry Hill, N.J. venue.
“If it (the hole) was playing left, I’d aim right,” he said. “Keeping it in play was the idea.”
Guarino, whose entering eighth grade at Burlington Township Middle School, registered birdies on Nos. 2 (par 5, 521 yards) 5 (par 4, 300 yards) and 7 (par 4, 280 yards) en route to his sub-par round. From about 200 yards out on the No. 2 fairway, Guarino rocketed a rescue to about 40 yards from the flagstick. He then punched a 60-degree to about 12 feet and converted the ensuing birdie putt.
A strong drive on No. 5 put Guarino about 90 yards from the flagstick. He drained a 6-footer after his pitching wedge placed him on the green. And although his tee shot found the rough on No. 7, Guarino drilled his lob wedge over the trees and landed on the fringe about 15 feet away from the flagstick.
“I wasn’t sure if I was able to punch it under or over,” he said of the approach.
Guarino feels comfortable entering tomorrow’s match play portion of the tournament.
“It’s good because I know I’m playing the eighth seed, which is the easiest match,” he said. “I’ll have a lot more confidence (being the No. 1 seed).”
Guarino is coming off a first place finish in last week’s Jock MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run CC. He did so sporting ornate attire, with pink shoelaces on one shoe and purple on the other. His footwear remained the same Tuesday.
“It worked for me at the Jock MacKenzie,” Guarino said.
Cole Berman of Philadelphia Cricket Club will compete as the No. 2 seed after carding an even-par 36.
“I kept the solid play all day,” Berman, of Rosemont, Pa., said.
Berman, 13, tapped in a 1-footer for birdie on No. 2 after blasting his 50-degree wedge from the fairway. He experienced an identical wedge-to-tap-in scenario on No. 4 (par 4, 280 yards). Like Guarino, Berman, a soon-to-be eighth grader at Haverford School, feels confident after qualifying in the championship flight.
“I think I have a really good chance of getting to the finals,” he said. “I just want to go out and play good golf in all of my matches.”
Guarino will face No. 8 seed Joseph Rueter, Jr. of Torresdale-Frankford CC tomorrow at 8 a.m.
|Drew Guarino||Little Mill Country Club||35|
|Cole Berman||Philadelphia Cricket Club||36|
|Brock Kovach||Berkshire Country Club||40|
|Eric Stafford||Philadelphia Publinks GA||40|
|Jack Gregor||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||40|
|Connor Goodrich||Woodbury Country Club||41|
|Quinn Dolan||Rolling Green Golf Club||41|
|Joseph Rueter, Jr.||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||42|
|Brian Todaro||Rolling Green Golf Club||43|
|Jack Quirk||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||43|
|Kevin Kramarski||Riverton Country Club||43|
|Matthew Ade||Riverton Country Club||43|
|Daniel Altieri||Hopewell Valley Golf Club||45|
|Cole Swiger||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||46|
|Jack McAleese||Aronimink Golf Club||46|
|Jacob Klaus||Tavistock Country Club||46|
|Nicholas Familetti||Rolling Green Golf Club||46|
|Robert Firth, Jr.||Commonwealth National Golf Club||46|
|Cory Hunter||Commonwealth National Golf Club||48|
|Jake McGlone||Overbrook Golf Club||48|
|Patrick McGrath||Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour||48|
|John Rusbasan||Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour||49|
|Matthew Bastian, Jr.||Rolling Green Golf Club||49|
|Nolan Dirienzi||Rolling Green Golf Club||49|
|Reilly Erhardt||Trenton Country Club||49|
|Christian Ritondo||Yardley Country Club||50|
|Cullen Pina||Overbrook Golf Club||50|
|Max Siegfried||Philadelphia Country Club||50|
|John Buliga||Yardley Country Club||52|
|Jack Farris||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||54|
|Jake Fazio||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||54|
|Reid Worster||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||58|
|Failed to Qualify|
|Daniel Galbreath||Philmont Country Club||59|
|Nick Demarco||Merchantville Country Club||59|
|Andrew Todaro||Rolling Green Golf Club||64|
|Ryan Keefe||Radnor Valley Country Club||65|
|Andrew Willner||White Manor Country Club||DQ|
|Oliver Hanley||LedgeRock Golf Club||NS|
|DQ – disqualification; NS – no show|