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Overbrook GC’s Kania survives, captures Patterson Cup, Silver Cross

  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.

NameClubRd. 1Rd. 2Score
James Kania, Jr.Overbrook Golf Club6674140
Brian GillespieSt. Davids Golf Club7568143
Michael McDermottLlanerch Country Club7371144
Glenn SmeraglioCommonwealth National Golf Club7272144
Christopher GoldLittle Mill Country Club7569144
Mike MeisenzahlHidden Creek Golf Club7173144
Matthew MattareSaucon Valley Country Club7074144
Cole WillcoxPhiladelphia Country Club7274146
Nicholas ReachCountry Club of Scranton7472146
Nathan SutherlandGolden Oaks Golf Club7373146
Rich PruchnikWest Chester Golf & Country Club7175146
J.P. GlynnLlanerch Country Club7571146
Jeffrey GriestWaynesborough Country Club7473147
Conrad Von BorsigConcord Country Club7275147
Gregg AngelilloMoselem Springs Golf Club7572147
Vinny AlessiPenn Oaks Golf Club7374147
Travis GahmanPhiladelphia Publinks GA7474148
Andy AchenbachRiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve7672148
Robert Galbreath, Jr.Huntingdon Valley Country Club7573148
Chris AndersonWilmington Country Club7573148
Cory SiegfriedLlanerch Country Club7177148
Daniel CharenYardley Country Club7475149
John BrennanSpring Ford Country Club7575150
Robert RobertsonPhiladelphia Cricket Club7674150
Christopher AultYardley Country Club7773150
Mark MillerYardley Country Club7674150
Michael MoserKennett Square Golf & Country Club7773150
Geoffrey CooperLaurel Creek Country Club7774151
Michael HylandLittle Mill Country Club7675151
Patrick WelshHuntingdon Valley Country Club7576151
Todd VonderheidHuntsville Golf Club7676152
Christopher LangeOverbrook Golf Club7676152
Ed ChylinskiChester Valley Golf Club7577152
Matthew TeesdaleCommonwealth National Golf Club7775152
Brian McDermottLlanerch Country Club7577152
Thomas GramignaTavistock Country Club7577152
Matthew FingerRunning Deer Golf Club7776153
Steven BudenzYardley Country Club7480154
James BeaSpring Mill Country Club7579154
Thomas Bartolacci, Jr.Saucon Valley Country Club7876154
Michael BrownPhiladelphia Publinks GA7678154
Keith SnyderSakima Country Club7877155
Oscar MestreOverbrook Golf Club7877155
David SmithDoylestown Country Club7778155
Ryan McCartyLittle Mill Country Club7679155
Sean CoyleLlanerch Country Club7481155
Anthony MartireSeaview Marriott Resort & Spa7581156
Robert Savarese, Jr.Philadelphia Cricket Club7878156
G. Patrick DoughertyTalamore Country Club7680156
Andrew BlumbergFieldstone Golf Club7780157
Bo MaguireBrookside Country Club7682158
Zac RobertsonEdgmont Country Club7682158
Roc IreyLookaway Golf Club7683159
Ryan GelrodCommonwealth National Golf Club7882160
Ted BrennanPhiladelphia Country Club7585160
Michael CarrPhiladelphia Publinks GA7883161
Tom SpanoLlanerch Country Club7883161
Bobby Arthur, Jr.Tavistock Country Club7886164
Bradley RobertsWedgwood Country Club7787164
Anthony DeNiccoBrookside Country Club7889167