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Little Mill CC’s Guarino grabs medalist honors, No. 1 seed at Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship

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.

Qualifiers
Name Club Scores
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