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#PattersonCup Qualifier: Riverton

HVCC’s McGrath medals in Patterson Qualifier

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CINNAMINSON, N.J. — During the ride to Riverton Country Club (par 71, 6,494 yards) Thursday, Conor McGrath spared his brother Liam of any trash talk or friendly side wagers. The latter, after all, celebrated his 22nd birthday two days ago, so self-aggrandizing just didn’t seem appropriate.  

Conor may change tact and brag on the drive home. The Huntingdon Valley Country Club member carded a 5-under-par 66 to earn medalist honors and one of 21 qualifying positions and ties available in a Joseph H. Patterson Cup Qualifier presented by Callaway Golf at Riverton. Conor nipped Liam, a fellow Huntingdon Valley and Temple University men’s golf team member, by two strokes for the leaderboard’s top spot.

The cut line stopped at 74 by day’s end. The 117th Joseph H. Patterson Cup, presented by Callaway Golf, will take place Aug. 7-8 at Applebrook Golf Club.

“I was pretty relaxed coming into today,” Conor, 19, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., said. “I’ve been practicing a lot for this since [the Patterson Cup] is one of my last major tournaments before I head back to school. The later tee time helped. I got to sleep in and make the trek down with Liam. We motivate each other and try to make each other better. We’re best friends and each other’s No. 1 fan.”

Conor’s craftsmanship certainly warranted admiration from any onlookers Thursday.

Starting on Riverton’s back nine, he registered two birdies, a bogey and an eagle to turn heads at 3 under. On No. 12 (par 4, 435 yards), McGrath unintentionally spun a knockdown pitching wedge from 135 yards off the false front. He then drained an improbable 30-footer for birdie. Given a tucked hole location on the par 3, 189-yard 14th hole, McGrath attacked the middle of the green with a 6-iron that stopped flag-high left. He sunk a left-to-right breaking 20-footer for 2. A three-putt bogey on No. 16 (par 3, 147 yards) became an instant afterthought once McGrath buried a 40-footer for eagle on No. 17 (par 5, 475 yards). He reached that green in two strokes with a 3-iron from 258 yards.

McGrath peeled away from Liam — and the rest of the 105-player field — with birdies on three of his first four holes coming in. Credit a cutthroat 54-degree wedge. The sequence went as follows: 100 yards to eight feet on No. 1 (par 4, 363 yards), 95 yards to kick-in range on No. 2 (par 4, 385 yards) and 95 yards to 12 feet on No. 4 (par 4, 362 yards).

“My wedge game has improved drastically. Throughout the summer, I’ve really worked on dialing my wedges in,” McGrath, an incoming sophomore at Temple, said.

A poor drive on No. 3 (par 4, 448 yards) and a three-putt on No. 6 (par 3, 205 yards) prevented a clean inward tour. McGrath added more brotherly breathing room with a birdie on No. 9 (par 5, 493 yards), reaching the green in two with a 5-iron from 210 yards and narrowly missing a 12-footer for eagle.  

“I put in the work so I could hopefully get something out of it, and I did,” McGrath said. “The most important thing about a qualifier is qualifying. That’s all that matters to me. It always does feel good to be medalist and to shoot a low number, but qualifying is what I came here to do. I’m happy I was able to do it.”

McGrath, who also medaled in a GAP Team Championship Qualifier at Bellewood Country Club this season, hopes to carry Thursday’s momentum into the Championship proper.

“I just need to trust myself,” he said. “I qualified for the GAP Open Championship at Huntingdon Valley. I got out there, had it going for a while and just made some big numbers. I got make sure I just play smarter golf, like today, to eliminate the big numbers and big mistakes. I just need to trust the work that I’m doing.

“I’d like to think there’s no reason I can’t put myself in contention. Obviously, there will be a ton of a great players in the event. It’s going to be really hard. I think that it’s always good to set high goals and do your best to compete. It will help me prepare for the upcoming semester.”

Perhaps Conor will tee up a few Riverton zingers from the passenger’s seat next.

“Liam drove here. If I have a choice, it’s going to be him driving back,” he said. “But I’m not sure if that’s going to happen. We’ll see.”

The second oldest Championship in GAP, the Joseph H. Patterson Cup memorializes a man who fostered the game of golf in its infancy. Joseph Henry Patterson, a Philadelphia Cricket Club member, competed in the first out-of-town match played by a team of Philadelphians. Friends of Patterson donated the Cup, designed by J.E. Caldwell & Co., to GAP in 1900.

Callaway Golf
Callaway Golf was founded in 1982 by the late Ely Callaway, a visionary entrepreneur who operated under a simple but profound business promise: Deliver Demonstrably Superior, Pleasingly Different products and services. That philosophy turned what was originally a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products. The Callaway mission and vision has remained the same; we passionately pursue advanced, innovative technologies that help golfers of all abilities find more enjoyment from the game. Under the Callaway and Odyssey brands, Callaway manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells golf apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

GAP
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers
Name, club, score
Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club66
Liam McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club68
Casey Lyons, Little Mill Country Club69
Aaron Tobin, Blue Bell Country Club70
Jack Wallace, Burlington Country Club70
Todd Baron, Philadelphia Publinks GA71
Ryan Cass, Hidden Creek Golf Club71
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club71
Vincent Budny, Metedeconk National Golf Club72
Timothy Casale, Moorestown Field Club72
Chris Lawler, Riverton Country Club72
William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club72
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club72
Matthew Ade, Riverton Country Club73
Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown73
Akhil Giri, Laurel Creek Country Club73
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club73
Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club73
Patrick Serfass, St. Davids Golf Club73
Richard Stolz, Little Mill Country Club73
Stephen Barry, Running Deer Golf Club74
Chris Benvenuto, Five Ponds Golf Club74
Chris Binet, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club74
Ben Keyser, Woodcrest Country Club74
Hayden Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club74
Robert Moratti, Woodcrest Country Club74
D.J. Pinciotti, III, Huntingdon Valley Country Club74
Joseph Rueter, Jr., Sandy Run Country Club74
Matt Toto, Lookaway Golf Club74
Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club74
Failed to qualify
Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club75
Matt Brainard, Loch Nairn Golf Club75
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club75
Jack Davis, Aronimink Golf Club75
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club75
Hayden Greer, Laurel Creek Country Club75
Gerald Haftmann, Rolling Green Golf Club75
Jacob Hanzel, Running Deer Golf Club75
Matt Krass, Radley Run Country Club75
Jeff Long, Riverton Country Club75
Matthew Osorio, Merchantville Country Club75
Michael Schwert, Llanerch Country Club75
Jeff St. Amour, Llanerch Country Club75
Adam Warner, Tavistock Country Club75
Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club75
Thomas Weir, Honeybrook Golf Club75
Adam Bracy, Tavistock Country Club76
T.J. Brennan, Brookside CC of Allentown76
Brandon Capone, Mercer Oaks Golf Course76
Michael Decker, Mercer Oaks Golf Course76
David Guertler, Tavistock Country Club76
Simon Miller, Woodcrest Country Club76
John Moore, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club76
Jack Reid, Little Mill Country Club76
Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club76
Justin Spaeth, Cedarbrook Country Club76
Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club76
Bradley Wilhelm, Deerwood Country Club76
Dan Ayars, Running Deer Golf Club77
C.J. Bell, McCall Golf Club77
Quentin Griffith, IV, Pennsauken Country Club77
Drew Guarino, Sea Oaks Country Club77
Christopher Marky, Fieldstone Golf Club77
Christopher Pitts, Westwood Golf Club77
Caleb Rossi, Sea Oaks Country Club77
Chris Schukay, Valleybrook Country Club77
Matthew Shevlin, Philadelphia Publinks GA77
Edward Kelly, Jr., Old York Road Country Club78
Andy Kerestesy, Running Deer Golf Club78
Jack LaRosa, Philmont Country Club78
Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia78
Matt Marino, Waynesborough Country Club78
James O’Connor, Penn Oaks Golf Club78
Bradley Roberts, Little Mill Country Club78
Jordan Rosenblatt, Woodcrest Country Club78
Jeffrey Angelucci, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale79
Tim Latimer, Riverton Country Club79
Lance Oberparleiter, Trump National Golf Club – Philadelphia79
Gregory Carey, Brookside CC of Allentown80
Dominic Foti, Yardley Country Club80
Salvatore Galati, Woodcrest Country Club80
Robert Good, II, Merion Golf Club80
Gregory Voorhees, Medford Village Country Club80
Greg Berdini, Little Mill Country Club81
Owen Brown, Coatesville Country Club81
Brian Piotrowski, Wedgwood Country Club81
Jake Suplicki, Philadelphia Publinks GA81
Fran Begley, Wedgwood Country Club82
Joel Hark, Woodcrest Country Club82
Bryan McClaskey, Merchantville Country Club82
Reid Carnes, Sea Oaks Country Club83
Serge Hogg, Philadelphia Publinks GA83
Michael Zeng, Applecross Country Club83
Matthew Normand, Riverton Country Club84
Hugh Arbuthnot, Jr., Medford Village Country Club85
Michael Hall, Atlantic City Country Club85
Gregory Hiriak, Brookside Country Club85
Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club85
Elias Sulpizio, Riverton Country Club85
Michael O’Neill, III, Overbrook Golf Club88
Matt Milligan, Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg State Park92
Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf ClubDQ
Joshua Krumholz, LedgeRock Golf ClubNC
Lukas Clark, Galloway National Golf ClubWD
Andrew Kotler, Cherry Valley Country ClubWD
Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country ClubWD
DQ — disqualification; NC — no card; WD — withdrawal