GLADWYNE, Pa.–Kevin Ignatuk of Penn Oaks GC, the 16th seed, rolled in a 35-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to defeat two-time reigning titleholder Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley CC, the top seed, in the first round of the 92nd Junior Boys’ Championship on Thursday at Philadelphia CC.
On the 19th hole (No. 1, par 4, 315 yards), Ignatuk, whose ball took a fortuitous bounce through the left trees and finished about greenside high, chipped it up to 35 feet, just into the first cut of rough, before draining the birdie chance.
Galbreath who had a 25-foot downhill opportunity to continue the match watched his putt slide just past the right-hand side of the hole.
“It was a little right to left and straight downhill,” said Ignatuk, 17, of Thornton, Pa. “I just got it there. It was good speed. It looked good the whole time.”
Ignatuk, a senior at West Chester East High School, had built a 3-up lead after 12 holes, before Galbreath won Nos. 13 (par 4, 372 yards) and 14 (par 4, 418 yards) with pars and No. 17 (par 4, 466 yards) with a bogey.
Galbreath actually had an opportunity for the victory on the 18th hole (par 4, 384 yards) but his seven-foot downhiller slipped by the left edge.
“Winning [the title] back-to-back was pretty great,” said Galbreath, 15, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. “[Ignatuk] played well today and sometimes that’s just how golf is.”
Galbreath was trying to become only the second junior to capture three straight titles. Meredith M. Jack of Merion Cricket Club did so from 1914-16, the first three years of the Junior.
Co-medallist Bob Arthur of Tavistock CC, the No. 2 seed, also advanced into the quarterfinals with a 1-up victory over 15th seeded Christopher Allan, Jr. of Penn Oaks GC. Arthur, too, built a 3-up advantage through eight holes and was 2-up after 14 before Allan won Nos. 15 (par 3, 198 yards) and 17 to draw All Square.
On the final hole, Allan, 17, of West Chester, Pa., had the honor on the tee and found the trees down the left side. Arthur, 17, of Marlton, N.J., drove it in the fairway and Allan had difficulty advancing his ball into a good position. Allan finally reached the green, but missed his bogey attempt and Arthur, who left his approach just short but chipped up to eight feet, was conceded the par and the hole.
Scott Morris of Doylestown CC, the fellow co-medallist and third seed, wasn’t as fortunate Arthur. He fell to Travis Gahman of Philadelphia Publinks GA, 3&2. Gahman was 2-under par when he closed out the match.
The Junior Boys’ Championship was postponed on Monday and play was suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today, stroke play qualifying was completed along with the first round of match play, which concluded around 8:30 p.m.
16. Kevin Ignatuk, Penn Oaks GC, d. 1. Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley CC, 19 holes
8. Matt Raudenbush, Pine Valley GC, d. 9. Kevin Huntington, Penn Oaks GC, 4&2
4. Thomas Lindberg, St. Davids GC, d. 13. Stephen Frey, Whitford CC, 4&2
12. James Tallent, Merion GC, d. 5. Jordan Cowan, Downingtown GC, 21 holes
2. Bobby Arthur, Tavistock CC, d. 15. Christopher Allan, Jr., Penn Oaks GC, 1-up
7. James Bea, Spring Mill CC, d. 10. Andrew Hardin, Northampton CC, 21 holes
14. Travis Gahman, Philadelphia Publinks GC, d. 3. Scott Morris, Doylestown CC, 3&2
6. Michael Kania, Overbrook GC, d. 11. John Ladow, Bellewood GC, 4&3