CHERRY HILL, N.J.–Cole Berman of Philadelphia Cricket Club qualified for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship next week but decided a final opportunity to compete in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship was more important. This is Berman’s last year of eligibility.
On Thursday at Merchantville CC, Berman affirmed that decision to stay local, defeating Brock Kovach of Berkshire CC, 6&5, for the 61st Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship Flight title.
“It means a lot. This is the last year for the junior-junior age group and the last [Golf Association of Philadelphia] tournament of the year for me,” said Berman, 13, of Bryn Mawr, Pa. “I’ve wanted to [win this tournament] for awhile.”
Due to conflicts with the U.S Kids Golf World tournament, Berman’s only competed in the Junior-Junior Boys’ one other time, when he was 10. That year he fell in the first round.
The two were All Square three holes into the final before Berman reeled off wins on Nos. 4-6.
Berman went par, par, bogey in that stretch while Kovach struggled with his approach shots and carded two bogeys and a double bogey.
On No. 5 (par 4, 314 yards), Berman blasted a 25-yard bunker shot to eight feet and made the par save. He would go 3-up a hole later when he rocketed a 4-hybrid onto the fringe of No. 6 (par 3, 150 yards) and two putted.
The two halved No. 7 (par 4, 287 yards) and exchanged victories on Nos. 8 and 9 before Berman sealed the victory with a fantastic par on No. 11 (par 5, 524 yards), the second hole. He curved his third shot around the left fairway tree and it landed just long. However, the Haverford School eighth grader chipped up to five feet and made the par save. Kovach registered a bogey six. Berman moved 4-up. He would close the match out two holes later.
“This was a lot of fun,” said Kovach, 13, of Wyomissing, Pa. “This was my first Golf Association of Philadelphia event.”
Kovach is an eighth grader at Wyomissing Junior/Senior High School.
2. Cole Berman of Philadelphia Cricket Club, d. 5. Brock Kovach of Berkshire CC, 6&5
1. Kevin Kramarski, Riverton CC, d. 6. Robert Firth, Jr., Commonwealth National GC, 1-up
8. Reilly Erhardt, Trenton CC, d. 7. Matthew Bastian, Jr., Rolling Green GC, 6&5
5. John Buliga, Yardley CC, d. 6. Jack Farris, Huntingdon Valley CC, 4&2