NORTH HILLS, Pa.-Bobby Svigals of Radnor Valley CC experienced a career-best performance on a day when he needed it most.
The Villanova, Pa. resident registered a 36-hole total 143 to capture the Christman Cup Friday at Lu Lu CC (par 71, 6,327 yards). A humbled and soft-spoken Svigals expressed sentiments of pride and joy regarding a victory that featured a litany of firsts.
“It’s the first 36-hole tournament I”ve ever won,” he said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever broken 150. Seventy is the best score I’ve ever shot. It”s a really nice win. I’ve been playing good, but I really didn’t have too many expectations coming in.”
Svigals, 17, started his title quest with three consecutive bogeys. On No. 1 (par 5, 478 yards), his tee shot nearly breached the out-bound stakes. He reached the putting surface with his fourth stroke, but missed a 10-footer to save par. He launched his 6-iron 175 yards on No. 2 (par 4, 357 yards) into the bushes and couldn’t get up-and-down. A figurative dagger on No. 3 (par 4, 427 yards) again slashed Svigals’ scorecard. His 4-iron from 190 yards out hooked to the right of the recover, and Svigals neglected to save par.
Three bogeys on his first three holes could’ve severely damaged Svigals mentally, but the soon-to-be Episcopal Academy senior remained even-keeled.
“I was hitting it all over. I’m not exactly sure what turned it around,” he said. “I just started making a lot of putts after that. I played really consistent.”
Svigals, who reached the semifinals in this year’s Junior Boys’ Championship, soon found magic with his flatstick. He carded his first birdie of the tournament on the par 4, 440-yard 13th hole. His 6-iron sailed 170 yards and settled 30-feet from the flagstick. Svigals rolled in a downhill, left-to-right breaker. He converted a six-footer for birdie on No. 14 (par 4, 358 yards) after a smooth 9-iron approach. Svigals’ tee shot on the shortish par 4, 297-yard 16th hole fell short of the green, but he chipped up and fired a 15-footer to post his third red figure.
Svigals carded a 2-over-par 73 in the morning round, one stroke shy of 18-hole leader Mike Davis of Merion GC. He had one goal in mind for the afternoon session.
“Try to go as low as I could go,” Svigals said. “I felt that I was putting really well.”
And he did just that, thanks to a fabulous flatstick. Following a string of six straight pars, Svigals, who started his second round on the back nine, fired a birdie on No. 16. His drive missed the green left, so Svigals chipped up and executed a 10-footer for birdie. He blasted his sand wedge 110 yards on No. 18 (par 4, 399 yards) and drained a 15-footer for birdie. Svigals continued his red figure surge by drilling his 7-iron 165 yards on No. 3 (par 4, 399 yards). His delicate, downhill 20-footer dropped into the jar.
At that point, Davis and other challengers, such as Benjamin Cooley of Lu Lu CC and Ted Brennan of Philadelphia, had faded slightly. Standing at 1-under-par with six holes to play, Svigals implemented a conservative strategy to retain his place atop the leaderboard.
“I figured a bunch of pars would get the job done,” he said.
Easier said than done. Svigals registered back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 5 (par 4, 443 yards) and 6 (par 3, 178 yards). His approach on the first drifted into the right-side trees. Svigals returned to the green with a lob wedge, but couldn”t convert a 20-footer for par.
On the latter, Svigals’ 5-iron landed short of the green. His eight-footer for par lipped out. But Svigals stayed mellow and finished with three safe and sufficient pars.
Cooley, runner-up in the Junior Boys’ Championship, finished second with a 3-over-par 145 total.
|Name||Club||Rd 1||Rd 2||Total|
|Bobby Svigals||Radnor Valley Country Club||73||70||143|
|Benjamin Cooley||Lu Lu Country Club||75||70||145|
|Ted Brennan||Philadelphia Country Club||73||74||147|
|Michael Davis||Merion Golf Club||72||75||147|
|Paul Carbone, Jr.||Old York Road Country Club||73||77||150|
|Zach Arsenault||Little Mill Country Club||74||76||150|
|S. Louis Kelly, Jr.||Philmont Country Club||79||71||150|
|Kyle Sterbinsky||Yardley Country Club||76||75||151|
|Mike Amole||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||76||75||151|
|Cole Berman||Philadelphia Cricket Club||75||78||153|
|Kyle Williams||Glen Oak Country Club||76||78||154|
|Bryce Caton||Hopewell Valley Golf Club||76||78||154|
|Regan Papariello||White Manor Country Club||78||77||155|
|L.J. Georgetti||Wildwood Golf & Country Club||78||77||155|
|John Leighton||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||76||79||155|
|Zachary Melnick||Plymouth Country Club||81||75||156|
|Austin Mann||Philadelphia PGA Junior Tour||76||80||156|
|Vincent Sirianni||Whitemarsh Valley Country Club||74||82||156|
|Justin Smith||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||78||79||157|
|Jack Walsh, Jr.||Old York Road Country Club||82||75||157|
|Kyle Martin||Commonwealth National Golf Club||79||78||157|
|Christopher Crawford||Lu Lu Country Club||81||76||157|
|Alex Dupre||Rolling Green Golf Club||77||81||158|
|Colin Goan||Little Mill Country Club||80||78||158|
|W. Evan Thornton||Berkshire Country Club||78||80||158|
|Mac Selverian||Aronimink Golf Club||80||78||158|
|Rich Thorpe||Lu Lu Country Club||79||80||159|
|Evan Galbreath||Philmont Country Club||82||77||159|
|Vince Boyle||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||79||80||159|
|Chris Szal, Jr.||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||81||79||160|
|Eric Montella||Glen Oak Country Club||81||80||161|
|Brendan Papariello||White Manor Country Club||78||84||162|
|Brock Kovach||Berkshire Country Club||81||81||162|
|T.J. Summers||Commonwealth National Golf Club||82||81||163|
|Julian Dorey||Tavistock Country Club||77||86||163|
|R. Morgan Dougherty||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||81||83||164|
|Ryan Fogel||Penn Oaks Golf Club||79||85||164|
|Jonathan Rennard||Phoenixville Country Club||84||80||164|
|Matthew Fedder||Bala Golf Club||86||79||165|
|Jalen Griffin||Talamore Country Club||82||83||165|
|Daniel Hayes, III||Yardley Country Club||82||84||166|
|Conor Pocino||Old York CC at Chesterfield||79||87||166|
|Steven Altieri||Hopewell Valley Golf Club||84||82||166|
|Francis Worthington||Manufacturers Golf & Country Club||81||85||166|
|Matt Yanek||Woodstone Country Club||83||84||167|
|Robert Hoeppner||Commonwealth National Golf Club||86||82||168|
|Eric Slawter||St. Davids Golf Club||84||84||168|
|Luke Liddell||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||82||87||169|
|Christopher Rotelli||Huntingdon Valley Country Club||82||88||170|
|Geordie Lukas||Whitford Country Club||84||88||172|
|Joseph Rueter, Jr.||Torresdale-Frankford Country Club||89||83||172|
|Reilly Erhardt||Trenton Country Club||86||92||178|
|Matthew Bastian, Jr.||Rolling Green Golf Club||95||90||185|
|Ryan Meisenzahl||Hidden Creek Golf Club||89||96||185|