HAVERTOWN, Pa. – James Kania, Jr. erased all the heartaches of his Golf Association of Philadelphia past with an emotional and historic victory in the 107th Joseph H. Patterson Cup on Friday at Llanerch CC (par 71, 6,669 yards). Kania, who finished the 36 holes of the Championship at 2-under par, three shots clear of the field, joined mentor, coach and more poignantly, dad, James, Sr., as the first father-son combination to capture the Association’s stroke play championship, which dates back to 1900. The two also became the first father-son duo to each earn a Silver Cross Award, presented to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup.
“That’s probably the best part of it, just to share it with my dad,” said Kania, 20, of Haverford, Pa. “We’ve been working at this game for a long time. He’s always been there to help me. Since I was a little kid he has taught me everything. I’ve never had a lesson from anyone. He’s always been my everything for me in this game. I wanted to join him on the Amateur trophy in June but that didn’t work out. To come out here and do it in this event is definitely sweet.”
As stated, the Kania family has been down this road before. James, Jr. fell to Conrad Von Borsig of Concord CC in the Amateur Championship final this past June in an attempt to become the first father-son duo on the J. Wood Platt Championship trophy.
Kania, Sr., won his Patterson Cup in 1995. His three Silver Cross wins were 1992 and 1994-95.
“That’s not as important to me as him getting on the trophy, he really deserves it,” said Kania, Sr. of the Patterson win. “He’s played good for a whole bunch of years. I’m really proud of him.”
Brian Gillespie of St. Davids GC carded a sparkling 3-under-par 68 to finish second to Kania in the Patterson Cup. There was a five-way tie for third at 2-over par, including last year’s champion Glenn Smeraglio of Commonwealth National GC, last year’s Patterson runner-up Matt Mattare of Saucon Valley CC and reigning Player of the Year and club favorite Michael McDermott of Llanerch CC. Gillespie finished second in the Silver Cross as well, two strokes behind Kania.
Gillespie, 34, of Wayne, Pa., reemerged on the Golf Association of Philadelphia scene this year after a quiet couple seasons.
“My goal was to get to even par for the golf tournament, post a score and see what happens,” said Gillespie. “We got pretty close to that.”
Despite the three-shot margin of victory, the outcome was still in serious doubt up until Kania’s 16th hole.
Kania, who started the second round at 5-under par and four shots clear of the field, opened slowly and carded five bogeys and one birdie in his first nine holes for a front-nine 40. In short, his putter was ice cold. In the meantime, a number of pursuers moved closer and closer. At various points of the back nine, six players were within a shot or two of the lead.
“After that front nine, my mindset was I already threw [the victory] away,” said Kania. “[I said] you’ve learned how [not] to play with the lead. Now you have to just go and play nine holes. You’ve learned your lesson. In my mind I’d already lost and I was trying to go back and play my sort of golf.”
Kania bogeyed No. 14 (par 4, 455 yards) after finding a greenside bunker to fall back to even par, and with Gillespie already in the clubhouse, led by only one. However, Kania somehow found the resolve and determination to keep fighting. He birdied No. 15 (par 4, 310 yards) after sending a driver 10 yards short of the hole and chipping up to a foot to move back into red figures and then did the same on No. 16 (par 5, 503 yards) after hitting his first two shots 15 yards short of the green.
“The keyword is patience and keep trusting your game that something good is going to happen,” said Kania of his mindset after No. 14. “Luckily on the next two holes something did.”
Gillespie, too, proved resilient. After making the turn in even-par 36 for the day, he birdied four of his last seven holes to make one last surge. The final birdie came on No. 18 (par 4, 300 yards) when Gillespie made a quick 20 footer down the hill.
This is the first year the Patterson Cup has moved to two days, 18 holes each day at one venue. In the past the Patterson Cup was a one-day event at two locations.
|Name||Club||Rd. 1||Rd. 2||Score|
|James Kania, Jr.||Overbrook Golf Club||66||74||140|
|Brian Gillespie||St. Davids Golf Club||75||68||143|
|Michael McDermott||Llanerch Country Club||73||71||144|
|Glenn Smeraglio||Commonwealth National Golf Club||72||72||144|
|Christopher Gold||Little Mill Country Club||75||69||144|
|Mike Meisenzahl||Hidden Creek Golf Club||71||73||144|
|Matthew Mattare||Saucon Valley Country Club||70||74||144|
|Cole Willcox||Philadelphia Country Club||72||74||146|
|Nicholas Reach||Country Club of Scranton||74||72||146|
|Nathan Sutherland||Golden Oaks Golf Club||73||73||146|
|Rich Pruchnik||West Chester Golf & Country Club||71||75||146|
|J.P. Glynn||Llanerch Country Club||75||71||146|
|Jeffrey Griest||Waynesborough Country Club||74||73||147|
|Conrad Von Borsig||Concord Country Club||72||75||147|
|Gregg Angelillo||Moselem Springs Golf Club||75||72||147|
|Vinny Alessi||Penn Oaks Golf Club||73||74||147|
|Travis Gahman||Philadelphia Publinks GA||74||74||148|
|Andy Achenbach||RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve||76||72||148|
|Robert Galbreath, Jr.||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||75||73||148|
|Chris Anderson||Wilmington Country Club||75||73||148|
|Cory Siegfried||Llanerch Country Club||71||77||148|
|Daniel Charen||Yardley Country Club||74||75||149|
|John Brennan||Spring Ford Country Club||75||75||150|
|Robert Robertson||Philadelphia Cricket Club||76||74||150|
|Christopher Ault||Yardley Country Club||77||73||150|
|Mark Miller||Yardley Country Club||76||74||150|
|Michael Moser||Kennett Square Golf & Country Club||77||73||150|
|Geoffrey Cooper||Laurel Creek Country Club||77||74||151|
|Michael Hyland||Little Mill Country Club||76||75||151|
|Patrick Welsh||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||75||76||151|
|Todd Vonderheid||Huntsville Golf Club||76||76||152|
|Christopher Lange||Overbrook Golf Club||76||76||152|
|Ed Chylinski||Chester Valley Golf Club||75||77||152|
|Matthew Teesdale||Commonwealth National Golf Club||77||75||152|
|Brian McDermott||Llanerch Country Club||75||77||152|
|Thomas Gramigna||Tavistock Country Club||75||77||152|
|Matthew Finger||Running Deer Golf Club||77||76||153|
|Steven Budenz||Yardley Country Club||74||80||154|
|James Bea||Spring Mill Country Club||75||79||154|
|Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.||Saucon Valley Country Club||78||76||154|
|Michael Brown||Philadelphia Publinks GA||76||78||154|
|Keith Snyder||Sakima Country Club||78||77||155|
|Oscar Mestre||Overbrook Golf Club||78||77||155|
|David Smith||Doylestown Country Club||77||78||155|
|Ryan McCarty||Little Mill Country Club||76||79||155|
|Sean Coyle||Llanerch Country Club||74||81||155|
|Anthony Martire||Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa||75||81||156|
|Robert Savarese, Jr.||Philadelphia Cricket Club||78||78||156|
|G. Patrick Dougherty||Talamore Country Club||76||80||156|
|Andrew Blumberg||Fieldstone Golf Club||77||80||157|
|Bo Maguire||Brookside Country Club||76||82||158|
|Zac Robertson||Edgmont Country Club||76||82||158|
|Roc Irey||Lookaway Golf Club||76||83||159|
|Ryan Gelrod||Commonwealth National Golf Club||78||82||160|
|Ted Brennan||Philadelphia Country Club||75||85||160|
|Michael Carr||Philadelphia Publinks GA||78||83||161|
|Tom Spano||Llanerch Country Club||78||83||161|
|Bobby Arthur, Jr.||Tavistock Country Club||78||86||164|
|Bradley Roberts||Wedgwood Country Club||77||87||164|
|Anthony DeNicco||Brookside Country Club||78||89||167|