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#USFourBall Qualifying: Applebrook

Cricketeers punch tickets to 2021 #USFourBall

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MALVERN, Pa. – Two pairs have earned their way to Chambers Bay.

Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Marty McGuckin (Valley Forge, Pa.) and Scott Storck (Blue Bell, Pa.) battled their way to medalist honors and a national championship berth, firing a 6-under 65 in a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifying event administered by GAP Tuesday at Applebrook Golf Club (par 71, 6,703 yards).

Securing the day’s second available position was the team of Cole Berman (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) and Michael Davis, who advanced in a sudden-death playoff over Kevin Dillard (McLean, Va.) and David Stanford (Vienna, Va.).

Taking the day’s alternate positions, in order, were Dillard and Stanford, followed by Llanerch Country Club’s Eddie Johnson (Havertown, Pa.) and Stephen Seiden (Newtown Square, Pa). The 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball will be played at Chambers Bay (University Place, Wash.) on May 22-26, 2021. This will mark the third for the West Coast championship course (2010 U.S. Amateur, 2015 U.S. Open).

Despite bogeying Applebrook’s first test, the par-5, 520-yard opener, the Cricketeers found themselves 2 under at the turn. Their first birdie came on No. 3 (par 4, 310 yards) after McGuckin nearly found the green off the tee with a 3-wood, chipped up and knocked in a five-footer. Another fell on No. 8 (par 5, 575 yards) when both players hit it close and carded birdies. McGuckin placed a 9-iron within six inches on No. 13 (par 4, 450 yards).

On No. 16 (538 yards), a birdie chance was squandered on the par-5, and doubt crept in.

“We thought it was over at that point,” said McGuckin, 22. “But then the shot of the day came next.”

In fact, it did. Storck pulled his tee shot left on No. 17 (par 3, 178 yards), but stepped up and drained a slider from 35 feet. Back in it.

“After that, I kind of figured we were in good position, so I wanted to just get out with a par on No. 18,” said McGuckin.

After finding the right rough with his approach, Storck chipped up and converted from three feet to secure the medal. Just a few weeks back, the eventual medalists didn’t even know they’d be teeing it up in a USGA Qualifier this season, let alone earning the top honors.

“I actually didn’t even realize there would be U.S. Four-Ball Qualifying this year, so I was surprised when I received an email for it,” said Storck, 50. “Right when I got it, I texted Marty and asked him if he was playing in it. We decided, right then and there, we were going to go for it.”

Both medalists know Applebrook, and share fond golfing memories of it. McGuckin played Applebrook in high school at Malvern Prep, while Storck qualified for the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur here.

“It’s funny, because that day when I qualified, I was also playing in the last group. I was joking with Marty when I saw the tee times came out about that,” said Storck.

“Yeah, we both know this place pretty well. Well, I played the front nine in high school about 50 times, but the back probably about two,” said McGuckin.

“Maybe we should have played a little better on the front then,” joked Storck.

The other advancing team, Berman and Davis, utilized two clutch Davis birdies on Applebrook’s finisher.

Davis buried a testy 10-foot, right-to-left breaker for birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 440 yards), the second playoff hole, to secure his team’s ticket.

“I actually had 159 yards in [in regulation], and I hit 8-iron in to basically the same spot. I knew it was going to be fast,” he said. “I just played it 8-10 inches outside the cup and dripped it down the hill.”

“After how many birdies he made today, I’m definitely buying him dinner,” Berman, 24, added. “There were different moments out there that kept us going. When you’re 1 under through seven holes, you don’t necessarily think you’ll end up here. But we just kept trucking along. Mike made a lot of big putts today.”

The former Philadelphia roommates have been testing their games together this season, mostly at Merion Golf Club, where Berman is a member, and Aronimink Golf Club, where Davis is a member. It’s been a lot of playing, “but not a lot of practicing.” But it’s equaled to success.

Davis competed in the U.S. Amateur in 2016 and a pair of U.S. Junior Amateur championships (2011, 2013). Berman, too, qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2013.

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 288 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
NameCity, StateScore
Marty McGuckin/Scott StorckPhoenixville, Pa./Blue Bell, Pa.65
Cole Berman/Michael DavisBryn Mawr, Pa./Philadelphia, Pa.66
Alternates (in order)
Kevin Dillard/David StanfordMcLean, Va./Vienna, Va.66
Eddie Johnson/Stephen SeidenHavertown, Pa./Newtown Square, Pa.67
Failed to qualify
Stephen Dressel/Brian GillespieWayne, Pa./Newtown Square, Pa.67
Michael Cook/William HowardBerwyn, Pa./West Chester, Pa.67
Zach Juhasz/Nick VecellioBethlehem, Pa./Fogelsville, Pa.67
Peter Barron, III/Michael R. Brown, Jr.Mays Landing, N.J./Maple Shade, N.J.67
John Lalley/Mike O’NeilPhiladelphia, Pa./Baltimore, Md.67
Brendan Papariello/Regan PaparielloVillanova, Pa./Philadelphia, Pa.68
Matthew Loeslein/Robert RobertsonPhiladelphia, Pa./Flourtown, Pa.68
Jesse Hazam/David HerbstMechanicsburg, Pa.69
Josh Notes/Andrew RiceColumbia, Md./Baltimore, Md.70
Adam Hofmann/Cory SiegfriedPittsburgh, Pa./Wayne, Pa.70
Joe Bianco/Scott NiggliWilmington, Del.70
Michael Rogers/Tom SpanoWayne, Pa./Bryn Mawr, Pa.70
Kyle Martin/Marc OliveriLansdale, Pa./Lititz, Pa.70
Matthew Crescenzo/John SimoneConshohocken, N.J./Ambler, Pa.70
Stephen Barry/Andy KerestesyMullica Hill, N.J./Vineland, N.J.71
Jeffrey Shanahan/Patrick ShanahanDevon, Pa.71
Alex Pompey/David PompeyHoboken, N.J./Clarks Summit, Pa.71
Brendan Bacskai/Adam MistrettaPhiladelphia, Pa.71
Austin Green/Jonathan WilsonWaynesboro, Pa./Dallas, Pa.71
Zack Amole/Sam VaranoDowningtown, Pa./Schwenksville, Pa.72
Gary McCabe/Erik ReisnerCollegeville, Pa./Philadelphia, Pa.72
James Bresnahan/Christopher SchankPhiladelphia, Pa./Radnor, Pa.72
Robert McGowan/John SimmonsExton, Pa./Claymont, Del.72
David Kim/Tyler SokolisDresher, Pa./Doylestown, Pa.72
Bam Lesniak/Devon LesniakFinksburg, Md.73
Jay Hogan/Jeff HoganWaterbury, Conn./Nashville, Tenn.73
Dwight Diorio/Nicholas VerrecchioMedia, Pa./Philadelphia, Pa.73
Jim Allen/Larry BenedettoMedia, Pa./West Chester, Pa.74
Ryan Orcutt/Kevin RossiBethlehem, Pa./Scranton, Pa.74
Gabriel Gant/Kevin MaguireVoorhees, N.J./Moorestown, N.J.74
Alexander Maguire/Robert MaguirePhiladelphia, Pa./Pottstown, Pa.74
Prescott Butler/Max SiegfriedOld Westbury, N.Y./Villanova, Pa.75
Matt Perry/Matthew VassilDunmore, Pa./Malvern, Pa.76
James Berenato/Jeffrey St. AmourBryn Mawr, Pa./Wayne, Pa.77
David Correale/Christopher LawlerMalvern, Pa./Philadelphia, Pa.77
Sean Semenetz/Jack WallaceConshohocken, Pa./Cinnaminson, N.J.78
Zachary Falone/Matthew ManciniMickleton, N.J./Douglassville, Pa.85