NOTEBOOK: Cricket's Berman breaks out of match-play slump - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 17, 2015

NOTEBOOK: Cricket’s Berman breaks out of match-play slump

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  HAVERTOWN, Pa. – Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Cole Berman is a three-time Golf Association of Philadelphia Junior Player of the Year and a phenomenal stroke-play golfer. His success, however, has not translated to the match play format in the past.| Match Play Bracket | McDermott defeats Osberg in thriller

  That all changed on Wednesday at the 115th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship at Llanerch Country Club when the rising sophomore and Georgetown University golfer advanced to the quarterfinals on the strength of a pair of victories.

  “My history in match play is really bad. In the GAP Junior Boys’ Championship, I lost three years in a row,” said Berman, a Rosemont, Pa. resident. “I was the No. 1 seed once and the No. 2 seed twice and I’ve never made it past the first round.”

  As the No. 20 seed for match play in the 2013 BMW Philadelphia Amateur, Berman fell to No. 12 seed Ben Smith of Huntingdon Valley Country Club, 6&4, in the first round. Berman also came up short during his appearance at the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur, falling on the final hole of his first-round match at Martis Camp inn Truckee, Calif.

  On Wednesday, it was a completely different tale.

  In the Round of 32, the No. 2 seeded Berman defeated Evan Galbreath of Philmont Country Club, the 31st seed, 4&3, to make it thru to the afternoon’s Round of 16. His next opponent, Kyle Martin of Commonwealth National Golf Club, proved to be Berman’s toughest test of the day. 

  Hole No. 13 (par 4, 366 yards) possessed Berman’s first bold statement of the match against Martin after he fell 2-down early. After Martin holed a long 40-footer for birdie, Berman sank a 20-footer of his own to halve the hole, giving him a much-needed momentum swing. 

  Martin flew one over the green on No. 16 (par 5, 504 yards) and then left his proceeding chip shot short putting surface, but made bogey after finding the bottom of the cup thanks to an impressive greenside chip. Berman’s loudest answer came directly after Martin’s hole out, when he sank a crucial 15-footer for birdie to go 1-up, his first lead of the match. He would hold off Martin for the remaining three holes to advance to the Elite 8, where he will face No. 23 seed Justin Hare of Five Ponds Golf Club.

  “This is the biggest tournament of the summer, and this is when it really starts getting going,” said the 19 year old.” If I keep playing well, I’ll just have to keep grinding and do what I have to do to advance.”

Collegiate rivalry heats up Round of 16 match

  One of the more intriguing Round of 16 matches came between Chris Crawford of Spring Mill Country Club and P.J. Acierno of Sandy Run Country Club due to a friendly, Philadelphia collegiate rivalry.

  Crawford, a rising senior on the Drexel University golf team, defeated Acierno, who will be a redshirt-junior for the La Salle University Explorers, 3&2. 

  “It was fun playing against P.J. because I like him a lot. I think I saw some tweets coming out from LaSalle about our match,” said Crawford. “We had a good time. It was just fun out there today.”

  During the 2014-15 collegiate season, Crawford finished in the Top 10 of every event he competed in, in addition to being named the Colonial Athletic Association Golfer of the Year. He became the first Drexel Dragon to earn that award. 

  Crawford, who earned the No. 4 seed, has found additional success on the national stage, having qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship three out of the last four years. He geared up for this year’s Philadelphia Amateur by playing in last week’s Monroe Invitational, where he tied for 19th place after finishing 5 over for the four-day tournament. 

  “Usually, it’s such a long break between our season and the Amateur, so it felt good to get out there last week. I hadn’t played anything competitive recently,” the Bensalem, Pa. resident said.

  In 2013, Crawford fell in the Round of 16 to Christopher Fuga of Overbrook Golf Club, followed up by a first-round match play exit in last year’s Championship. He will square off with No. 5 seed Smith in tomorrow morning’s Elite 8 round.

BMW hole-in-one contest continues at Llanerch

  Thanks to our partners BMW of North America and the Delaware Valley BMW Centers, there is a little more incentive than usual waiting for players near the 8th tee box at Llanerch Country Club. The first player to record a hole-in-one on No. 8 during the week of the 115th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship will receive a two-year lease on a brand new 2015 BMW 428i xDrive Coupe.

  Players have been hitting into the green with a black version of the atheistically-pleasing luxury vehicle parked to the right of the tee box.

  The par-3 8th hole has ranked as the most difficult hole relating to par throughout play at Llanerch Country Club. During yesterday’s round one, the hole’s scoring average was 3.72 with just one birdie made, followed by round two’s scoring average of 3.69 and four birdies. 

  Throughout today’s Round of 32 and Round of 16 matches, the par 3 was playing 215 yards. 

  NOTES – There were six upsets on Wednesday: four in the Round of 32 and two in the Round of 16 … No. 3 seed Christopher Fuga and No. 6 seed Chris Lange, Jr., both members of Overbrook Golf Club, will meet tomorrow in the quarterfinals … two matches went to extra holes: Michael McDermott defeated David West in 20 holes in the Round of 32 and Justin Hare defeated Aaron Fricke in 19 holes in the Round of 16 … No players who qualified for match play via Day 1’s 13-for-9 playoff won a match on Day 2.

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