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U.S. Junior Am. Qualifier: Berkshire

Barbin’s brilliance continues in #USJuniorAm Qual.

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READING, Pa. — Is this week for Austin Barbin the best? Boy I guess.

Two days removed from capturing the 105th GAP Junior Boys’ Championship, part of the Junior Series presented by Citadel, Barbin blitzed his way onto a national stage.

The Loch Nairn Golf Club member carded a 3-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors in a U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier administered by GAP at a saturated Berkshire Country Club (par 70, 6,391 yards). Kennett Square Golf & Country Club’s Richie Kline and Jolo Timothy Magcalayo of the Philippines also advanced with respective even-par 70s. 

The U.S. Junior Amateur will take place July 15-20 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

“It feels good honestly,” Barbin, 18, of Elkton, Md., said. “I have a really good swing thought going that I’ve just been feeding off for the last month or so. I’ve also been working hard on my lag putting. Today it was fantastic. The putter felt really good in my hands.”

And on Berkshire’s greens.

Starting on the back nine, Barbin used a 15-footer for par on No. 13 (par 4, 459 yards) as ignition. Although birdies didn’t fall heading out, pars populated the card and provided putter reassurance. Barbin’s first capitalization came in the form of a two-putt from 20 feet on No. 4 (par 5, 506 yards). A pitching wedge from 154 yards set up the red circumstance. Barbin lasered a 5-iron to 20 feet for birdie on the strenuous par 3, 210-yard No. 6. He booked a back-to-back birdie attack by hitting a 58-degree wedge 80 yards to six feet.

After missing out by a stroke the last two years, Barbin left no qualifying doubt Friday. His unbelievable stretch of golf started with a competitive-best 65 (5 under) at Stonewall’s North Course during the BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship. It continued with a breathtaking performance in the GAP Junior Boys’ Final Wednesday — a 5-under back nine that sealed a 5&4 victory over Talamore Country Club’s Patrick Sheehan.

That win, however, almost never happened. Barbin, a recent Red Lion Christian Academy graduate, dislocated his left shoulder hours before his tee time. His father Andy popped it back into place. The joint healed enough.

“I was really sore [after winning the GAP Junior Boys’]. I went straight to ATI [Physical Therapy] and got stim on my shoulder,” Barbin, who will attend the University of Maryland in the fall, said. “I got a massage and put heat on it all night. That definitely helped the next morning.”

A day of rest also did wonders. More than four inches of rain at Berskhire pushed the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifier back a day.

“I took a day off. I hit a couple of balls in the basement just to stay loose,” Barbin said. “It was definitely good to have an off day. My body felt well-rested.”

Barbin also qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2016. He didn’t gain a match play berth that year. Recent trends suggest that may change.

“I think I can get really far in the U.S. Junior this year with the way I’m playing,” Barbin said. “I’ll just try to stay sharp. I’m looking forward to making things happen in Ohio.”

Kline, 17, of Kennett Square, Pa., made qualifying Friday happen by starting his day with three straight birdies. The recent Unionville High School graduate dropped a three-footer on No. 10 (par 4, 420 yards) following a pitching wedge from 150 yards. He drilled a 5-iron to six feet on No. 11 (par 3, 196 yards). Kline’s hook 4-iron around trees on No. 13 (par 4, 459 yards) landed in the greenside bunker. A splash to three feet meant another birdie.

“I’m just really happy,” Kline, who will attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the fall, said. “I’ve been struggling with consistency. Today it felt a lot better.”

Magcalayo, 16, is in the midst of a stateside golf tour. He finished as runner-up in the AJGA Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior presented by BrickStreet Insurance at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky. last week.

“To make it through today is pretty sweet,” Magcalayo, who advanced to the Round of 32 in the U.S. Junior Amateur a year ago, said.

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, city, score)
Austin Barbin, Elkton, Md.67
Richard Kline, Kennett Square, Pa.70
Jolo Timothy Magcalayo, Philippines70
Alternates (in order)
Shaun Fedor, Lancaster, Pa.71
*Darren Nolan, Glenside, Pa.72
Failed to qualify
*Connor Bennink, Kennett Square, Pa.72
*Jack Irons, Naples, Fla.72
*William Pabst Jr., Roaring Brook Township, Pa.72
*Patrick Sheehan, Doylestown, Pa.72
*Kevin Smith, Wallingford, Pa.72
*John Updike, Wayne, Pa.72
Andreas Aivazoglou, Glen Mills, Pa.73
Darren Choi, Canada73
Alexander Gu, Darien, Conn.73
Tyler Kipp, Reading, Pa.73
Jake Maddaloni, Newtown Square, Pa.74
Jack Mangene, Boalsburg, Pa.74
Win Thomas, Coatesville, Pa.74
Andrew Curran, Media, Pa.75
Karl Frisk, Spring Grove, Pa.75
Hayden Greer, Moorestown, N.J.75
Arjun Gupta, India75
Ryan Kennedy, Wayne, Pa.75
Kelvin Lim, Lake Mary, Fla.75
William Mirams, Stroudsburg, Pa.75
Evan Barbin, Elkton, Md.76
David Fitzgerald, Bryn Mawr, Pa.76
Troy Kelleher, Clarks Summit, Pa.76
Matthew Lafond, Blue Bell, Pa.76
Morgan Lofland, Paoli, Pa.76
Jacob Sokalsky, Garnet Valley, Pa.76
Charlie Baker, Wayne, Pa.77
Jack Cooley, Chadds Ford, Pa.77
Gerry Mei, Canada77
Joseph Morganti, Havertown, Pa.77
Keller Mulhern, Exton, Pa.77
Chris Dorey, Allentown, N.J.78
Davis Flannery, Wayne, Pa.78
Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.78
Stephen Lorenzo, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.78
Alex Seelig, Reading, Pa.78
Martin Cryan, Forty Fort, Pa.79
Liam Hart, Holland, Pa.79
Brett Ostroski, Shavertown, Pa.79
Andrew Wallace, Narberth, Pa.79
Nicholas Fioravante, Mohnton, Pa.80
Max Rubin, Marlton, N.J.80
Jacob Torres, Northvale, N.J.80
Nicholas Hano, Warrington, Pa.81
Connor Kelleher, Clarks Summit, Pa.81
Henry Pilliod, Sinking Spring, Pa.81
Oscar Wen, Irvine, Calif.81
William Bennink, Kennett Square, Pa.82
Stephen Butler, Telford, Pa.82
Dylan Kochis, Exton, Pa.82
Thomas Butler, Telford, Pa.83
Matthew Hanzel, Sewell, N.J.83
Chad Kemmerer, Malvern, Pa.83
Weize Liu, China83
Tyler Zimmer, Haverford, Pa.83
Roy Anderson, Chadds Ford, Pa.84
Elijah Ruppert, Fleetwood, Pa.84
Teddy Seitz, Washington, D.C.84
Alec Stern, Bryn Mawr, Pa.84
Chris Waldmann, Malvern, Pa.84
Jackson Debusschere, Wallingford, Pa.85
James Omalley, Harleysville, Pa.85
Noah Sim, Ambler, Pa.85
Andrew Ranaudo Jr., Malvern, Pa.87
Case Hummer, Glen Mills, Pa.89
Ronald Webb, Easton, Pa.90
Alex Pillar, Hawley, Pa.NS
Fengkai Zhang, ChinaNS
John Bradbeer, Rosemont, Pa.WD
Ryan Fenton, East Williston, NYWD
William Fenton, East Williston, NYWD
D.J. Francey, Weston, Fla.WD
Jack Hamilton, Wayne, Pa.WD
Michael Lynch, Dunmore, Pa.WD
Thomas Lynch, Dunmore, Pa.WD
Nikita Romanov, Wilmington, Del.WD
Jacob Tarkany, Scottsdale, Ariz.WD
Jimmy Taylor, Alexandria, Va.WD
Derek Weaver, Hackettstown, N.J.WD
* — determined in playoff
NS — no show; WD — withdrawal