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Philadelphia Cricket’s Cole Berman hoists Patterson Cup trophy

  HADDONFIELD, N.J. – Gusty winds, firm greens and Major title pressures put Thursday’s top Patterson Cup contenders on tilt. All, that is, except Philadelphia Cricket Club youngster Cole Berman. 

  Berman, 18, of Rosemont, Pa., turned in a steady, methodical round of even-par 72 to finish at a tournament best 4 under for the 36 holes and atop the 112th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at Tavistock Country Club (par 72, 6,772 yards). 

  He is the first Cricket member to capture the Association’s stroke play championship since H.R. Worthington in 1910 and only third overall. Howard Perrin is the only other Cricket winner, in 1902.

  “It was a crazy round,” said Berman. “This tournament always seems to be one of the lowest scoring events of the year so I was thinking coming in I had to shoot 68 again. Today played way harder than yesterday. The wind was up the entire day. I tried to stay steady and see what happened. I was just grinding and making pars. Pars were good today.”

  Grant Skyllas of LedgeRock Golf Club finished a shot back after sending the tournament into a tizzy hours before Berman finished. Skyllas equaled the competitive course record of 6-under 66 to skyrocket from a tie for 38th at the beginning of the day into solo second at 3 under overall. He waited two-plus hours for the final outcome.

  “I honestly didn’t think anything of [my round]. I figured someone would come in strong. It wasn’t until [Cole] was on the 18th tee box that I thought I had a chance,” said Skyllas, 28, of Reading Pa. “I’m happy for Cole, he is a good player. He obviously has a bright future ahead of him. Matt [Teesdale] is a great player as well.”

  First-round leader Teesdale of Commonwealth National Golf Club overcame a catastrophic front-nine score of 7-over 43 to tie former Temple University teammate Matt Crescenzo in third place at 2 under. Teesdale, who established the course record with a 66 yesterday, did, however, clinch his first Silver Cross Award. His four-round total of 280 was two shots clear of Aaron Fricke of Honeybrook Golf Club and Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club.

  “I thought I played pretty consistently this summer other than the front nine today. It feels good to win the Silver Cross. I played well enough in the Philadelphia Amateur stroke play and turned it around on the back nine today which felt good,” said Teesdale, 23, of Maple Glen, Pa., a rising Temple senior. “[Cole] is a very steady player. At 18 years old that’s impressive. My hat’s off to him.”

  Berman put himself in the fray by opening his round with 13 straight pars as groupmates Teesdale and Braden Shattuck of the Golf Course at Glen Mills stumbled. At the turn, Berman said he noticed Skyllas’ score.

  Berman extended his lead on No. 14 (par 4, 439 yards) to two shots, when he lifted a 9-iron from 135 yards to four feet and made birdie. 

  “I knew I was two [shots] over Grant at the point,” said Berman. “[Then on 15] the wind right about then had been swirling. I should have been into the wind but it switched downwind and I hit it right through everything into the trees.”

  He eventually bogeyed No. 15 (par 5, 545 yards), after finding the greenside bunker as well, and did the same on No. 16 (par 3, 193 yards) when his tee ball landed short on the green.

  Berman, though, remained steely and delivered a pair of emphatic, decisive statements on the next two holes.

  He hit a three-quarter sand wedge on No. 17 (par 5, 490 yards) to 15 feet before draining the birdie try with a mini fist pump in tow. 

  “I needed that because I very well could have gone to the next hole and bogeyed it and ended up in a playoff,” said Berman. “I knew I had to make it.”

  The final hole still produced a bit of drama when Berman’s tee ball landed behind the trees on the left side. He responded with a punch 4-hybrid from 200 yards that bounced onto the green and 20 feet from the cup. Needing a two putt to secure his first Major GAP victory, Berman rolled his first putt to a foot before holing out to a smattering of applause.

  “I don’t really know how to explain [the approach shot]. I probably closed my eyes because if it doesn’t go right, it’s hitting the tree and I’m back 200 yards again, “said Berman.

  Skyllas announced his intentions immediately to the field with birdies on Nos. 1-2-8-9 to turn in 4 under and 1-under overall. At that point, though playing strong, he still trailed the leaders by five shots. 

  Skyllas dropped a shot with a bogey hiccup on No. 14 when his tee shot found the left rough, but re-rallied in grand style with three straight birdies on Nos. 15 thru 17. He knocked a lob wedge from 79 yards to two feet on No. 15; rifled a 5-iron to nine feet on No. 16 and then reached the green in two on No. 17 resulting in an eventual short birdie.

  Berman is a recent graduate of The Haverford School. He is headed to Georgetown University later this month.

  He also secured a third straight Junior Player of the Year with the victory.

  “That was in the back of my mind the whole day,” said Berman. “That was the goal for the year.”

NOTES–Brad McFadden of Overbrook Golf Club is the youngest winner of the Patterson Cup at 17 years and three months. He won in 1992. Berman is 18 years and seven months.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, clubR1-R2-Total
Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club68-72–140
Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club75-66–141
Matthew Teesdale, Commonwealth National Golf Club66-76–142
Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club71-71–142
Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71-72–143
Braden Shattuck, Golf Course at Glen Mills67-76–143
Jalen Griffin, Talamore Country Club72-71–143
Sean Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club71-72–143
Scott McNeil, Philadelphia Publinks GA73-70–143
Sean Semenetz, Philadelphia Cricket Club71-73–144
Aaron Fricke, Honeybrook Golf Club71-73–144
Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club73-72–145
James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club71-74–145
Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club72-73–145
Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club74-72–146
Benjamin Cooley, Huntingdon Valley Country Club71-75–146
Andy Latowski, Philadelphia Cricket Club72-74–146
Patrick Ross, Huntsville Golf Club73-74–147
Roland Massimino, Jericho National Golf Club75-72–147
Michael Kania, Overbrook Golf Club74-74–148
Alex Blickle, LedgeRock Golf Club71-77–148
Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club70-78–148
Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club72-76–148
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club76-73–149
Michael Hyland, Little Mill Country Club76-73–149
Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club69-80–149
Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club73-76–149
Louis Kelly, Jr., Philmont Country Club73-76–149
Zachary Herr, Jericho National Golf Club74-76–150
Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club72-78–150
Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club75-75–150
Jack Wallace, Philadelphia Cricket Club73-77–150
Bill Jeremiah, Bidermann Golf Club72-78–150
Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club74-77–151
Michael Brown, Mercer Oaks Golf Course76-75–151
James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club72-79–151
Thomas E. Timby, Jr., The Bucks Club75-76–151
Kevin Conners, Jr., Whitford Country Club74-77–151
Ryan Siegler, Makefield Highlands Golf Club76-75–151
Steve Cerbara, Makefield Highlands Golf Club76-75–151
John Brennan, Philadelphia Cricket Club76-76–152
Roc Irey, Lookaway Golf Club75-77–152
William McGuinness, Tavistock Country Club74-78–152
Daniel Furman, Commonwealth National Golf Club75-77–152
James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club76-76–152
Russell Hill, Old York CC at Chesterfield76-76–152
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club72-81–153
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club74-79–153
Raymond Thompson, Overbrook Golf Club75-78–153
Kyle Martin, Commonwealth National Golf Club75-78–153
Anthony Sebastianelli, Glen Oak Country Club74-80–154
Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club76-79–155
Evan Thornton, Berkshire Country Club76-79–155
Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club76-79–155
Glenn Smeraglio, Mercer Oaks Golf Course76-80–156
Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club74-82–156
Matthew Gaffney, Little Mill Country Club76-80–156
Peter Barron, III, Stone Harbor Golf Club72-85–157
Mark Hill, Jr., Rolling Green Golf Club76-83–159
Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club76-85–161
Gary Daniels, Applebrook Golf Club75-WD–WD
WD-Withdrawal