Jul 02, 2012

Schweppe, Wolfe top Open Qualifier at Bellewood

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Open Qualifier

  POTTSTOWN, Pa. — Anthony Schweppe, a certified golf coach at GolfTEC in Willow Grove, and Jimmy Wolfe, an amateur who calls Bellewood Golf Club home, carded respective 3-under-par 68s to share medalist honors in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship Qualifier at Bellewood (par 71, 6,453 yards) Monday. The two led a field of 135 players striving to grab one of nine qualifying spots available for the Championship proper, set for July 23 at the revered Pine Valley Golf Club.

  At the end of the day, the cut line stopped at 72.

  “It’s the first opportunity I’ve had to participate in the (Golf Association of) Philadelphia Open since I’ve moved to the (United) States,” Schweppe, who originally hails from Ireland, said. “Growing up as a kid, I always wanted the opportunity to play Pine Valley. Hopefully we won’t embarrass ourselves when we get out there.”

  Schweppe, of Harrisburg, Pa., endured a love-hate relationship with Bellewood’s par 5s. Starting on the back nine, he smashed a 4-iron to 20 feet on No. 18 (par 5, 548 yards) and executed the eagle effort. After a sizeable drive on No. 7 (par 5, 548 yards), the long-hitting Schweppe stuck a 6-iron 216 yards to a foot and tapped in for a 3. He carded a bogey on No. 10 (par 5, 582 yards) after dumping his 3-wood into the right greenside bunker. Schweppe also bogeyed the par 5, 505-yard No. 2 following a 3-iron approach that drifted into the hazard.

  Schweppe, 37, fired back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 (par 4, 373 yards) and 14 (par 3, 187 yards). On the first, he flew the green with a 9-iron from 138 yards, but converted a delicate chip shot for a red figure. Schweppe nearly aced the 14th hole with an 8-iron tee shot that settled a mere foot from the jar.

  Wolfe didn’t wear sheep’s clothing Monday, though his performance may suggest otherwise. It was a pleasant score for Wolfe, but a dangerous one for the rest of the field. The five-year Bellewood member used knowledge and comfort to his advantage.

   “There are a lot of holes out here where if you don’t know where to hit it or where to miss it, it will eat you up,” Wolfe, 20, of Pottstown, Pa., said. “I think it takes good iron-play [to score well here]. You can spray it off the tee more than you think. Obviously, if you get it in the fescue, it’s a problem, but if you hit good irons to the right part of the green, you can make some birdies. The greens have hills and slopes in them, but if you’re in the right spots, they’re pretty flat.”

  Wolfe heeded his own advice early and often. He reeled off six routine pars with “little stress” to start. On the par 5, 548-yard No. 7, he drilled a downwind 8-iron 216 yards to 30 feet below the flagstick and two-putted for birdie.

   “Course knowledge definitely helped there,” Wolfe, an incoming junior at Georgetown University, said. “You can’t go long on that green, and short is fine.”

  Wolfe added a second birdie on the par 4, 426 yard 11th hole, knocking a wedge 130 yards to 10 feet. A silver bullet grazed Wolfe on No. 12 (par 3, 171 yards). He left a 7-iron 30 feet below the hole location, but only advanced his birdie putt 15 feet and couldn’t cover the remaining distance for par. A comfortable and composed Wolfe healed that wound with a birdie on No. 13 (par 4, 373 yards), a hole that had “given me fits lately.” He hit a wedge 105 yards to two feet. Wolfe conquered the difficult par 4, 385-yard 15th hole with a fantastic red figure. Standing 90 yards from the flagstick, Wolfe whacked a wedge 50 yards into the right rough. His golf ball cruised down the slope and settled two feet left of the jar.

   “I was really worried about it because I knew that to the right of the green, you have a huge slope,” Wolfe said of the approach. “I knew I had to land that in the rough and pretty high just to get it to trickle on. It was mostly luck that it just ended up that close. It was more of just land it where I thought it would work out.”

  Wolfe stayed in rhythm on the next hole (par 4, 401 yards), executing his “two best swings of the day” in a driver that found the fairway and a 9-iron that soared 130 yards upwind. The approach landed on the green but spun down the slope, some 50 feet away from the cup. Wolfe then three-putted for bogey.

  A solid birdie on the par 5, 548-yard 18th hole allowed Wolfe to roar up the leaderboard. He drilled a wedge 70 yards to 15 feet for a left-to-right breaking, fist-pumping 4.

   “I really wanted that birdie, but I wanted no stress coming back,” Wolfe said. “There are a lot of good players out here. I’d rather post a number and see what happens. It was a little bonus that it went in.”

  Wolfe’s finish Monday is a sharp contrast to the Amateur Championship Qualifier, where he missed a spot in match play thanks to a double bogey on his final hole.

   “I exercised some demons today,” Wolfe said. “I really wanted to finish well. This is probably the best I’ve putted, and I still had two three-putts today.”

  Wolfe is looking forward to traversing Pine Valley and hopes Monday’s effort is a sign of good things to come.

   “This is really the first year I’ve been playing where I feel like I can contend,” he said. “Last year I was playing well, but I wasn’t quite ready to win. Now, I think I realize if I shoot a good score, then I can have a good chance to contend. This is my best round [in a GAP event], so it feels good.”

  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 145 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, club Score
(a) Jimmy Wolfe, Bellewood Golf Club 68
Anthony Schweppe, GolfTEC Willow Grove 68
(a) Michael Walker, Loch Nairn Golf Club 70
(a) Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville Country Club 71
(a) Michael Johnson, Talamore Country Club 71
Colin Corrigan, Saucon Valley Country Club 71
*(a) Matthew Kreuter, Philadelphia Cricket Club 72
*David Fields, Brookside C.C. of Allentown 72
*(a) P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 72
Alternates (in order)
*(a) Gregg Angelillo, Moselem Springs Golf Club 72
*(a) Sam Pancoast, Radley Run Country Club 73
Failed to qualify
*(a) Thomas E. Timby, Jr., The Bucks Club 73
*(a) Blayze DiPasquale, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 73
*(a) Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club 73
*Scott Reilly, Philadelphia Country Club 73
*(a) Art Brosius, Golf Course at Glen Mills 73
(a) Chris Lawler, Raven’s Claw Golf Club 74
(a) Ryan Worthy, Merion Golf Club 74
(a) Bobby Kershner, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 74
(a) Christopher Crawford, Spring Mill Country Club 74
Mike Molino, Huntsville Golf Club 74
(a) Louis Giovi, Yardley Country Club 74
(a) Rodney James, Golden Oaks Golf Club 74
(a) Robert Loftus, Overbrook Golf Club 74
(a) Todd Vonderheid, Huntsville Golf Club 75
Mike Dynda, Blue Bell Country Club 75
(a) Anthony List, Jr., Llanerch Country Club 75
(a) Ryan Carroll, Chester Valley Golf Club 76
(a) Mark Fuessinger, Llanerch Country Club 76
(a) Sean Lyons, Lehigh Country Club 76
(a) Joshua Krumholz, Moselem Springs Golf Club 76
Kevin Nicholson, Golf Galaxy 76
(a) Robert Cunningham, Overbrook Golf Club 76
(a) Kevin Mcsorley, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 77
(a) Tim Anderson, Philadelphia Publinks GA 77
(a) Joseph Gunerman, Jericho National Golf Club 77
Patrick Butkus, St. Davids Golf Club 77
Sean Smyth, Lebanon Country Club 77
(a) Daniel Pinciotti, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club 77
(a) Jon Graulich, Meadowlands Country Club 77
Nick Gorman, Trenton Country Club 77
(a) Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club 77
(a) Grant Skyllas, Moselem Springs Golf Club 78
(a) Bob Posocco, Lehigh Country Club 78
(a) Charles McClaskey, Back Creek Golf Club 78
(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside C.C. of Allentown 78
(a) Bobby Svigals, Radnor Valley Country Club 78
Brian Bergstol, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort (On the Delaware) 78
Dustin McCormick, Water Gap Country Club 78
(a) Robin McCool, Saucon Valley Country Club 79
(a) T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club 79
(a) Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club 79
(a) Robert Good, Merion Golf Club 79
(a) T.J. Coady, Aronimink Golf Club 79
(a) Simon Hagger, Fieldstone Golf Club 80
(a) Dave Campbell, Commonwealth National Golf Club 80
Ryan Gray, Honeybrook Golf Club 80
(a) Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club 80
(a) Drew Panebianco, Five Ponds Golf Club 80
(a) Ryan Felpel, Honeybrook Golf Club 80
(a) John Gosselin, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club 80
(a) Bill Devlin, Five Ponds Golf Club 80
(a) Doug Fedoryshyn, Concord Country Club 80
(a) Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club 81
(a) Greg Verde, Bellewood Golf Club 81
(a) Paul Yun, Applecross Country Club 81
Dean Halterman, Galloway National Golf Club 81
Patrick Sams, Trenton Country Club 81
(a) Michael Casella, Northampton Country Club 81
(a) Erik Thorn, Little Mill Country Club 81
(a) David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 81
(a) Jeff Bailey, Hopewell Valley Golf Club 81
(a) Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club 81
(a) Joseph Costanzo, Five Ponds Golf Club 81
(a) Kevin Bair, Loch Nairn Golf Club 82
(a) Dave Fardon, Philadelphia Publinks GA 82
(a) Paul Kupcha, Fieldstone Golf Club 82
(a) Justin Cifra, Sunnybrook Golf Club 82
(a) Michael Costonis, Philadelphia Cricket Club 82
(a) Brian Davis, DuPont Country Club 82
(a) Byron Whitman, Berkshire Country Club 82
(a) Robert Beck, Lehigh Country Club 82
(a) Mark McKeever, Schuylkill Country Club 82
(a) David Pontari, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 82
(a) Kevin Genuardi, Cedarbrook Country Club 82
(a) Richard Marabella, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 82
Steve Ashworth, Hersheys Mill Golf Club 82
(a) Tom Spano, Llanerch Country Club 83
(a) John Foley, Spring Ford Country Club 83
(a) Tom Grady, West Chester Golf & Country Club 83
(a) Raleigh Chapin, Jericho National Golf Club 83
(a) Ed Donegan, Philadelphia Publinks GA 83
(a) Michael Fagan, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 83
Anthony Shields, The ACE Club 84
(a) Joshua Caggiula, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 84
(a) Brian Winters, Plymouth Country Club 84
(a) Patrick Hennigan, Tavistock Country Club 84
(a) Bradley Bernosky, French Creek Golf Club 84
(a) Tommy Horgan, Plymouth Country Club 85
(a) Jon Thomas, Back Creek Golf Club 85
(a) John Cooper, Brookside Country Club 85
(a) Frank Polizzi, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 85
(a) Brad Flickinger, Country Club of Scranton 85
(a) Patrick Conroy, Llanerch Country Club 85
(a) Griffin Drury, Bellewood Golf Club 86
(a) Joseph Dulka, Jr., Bellewood Golf Club 86
(a) Evan Galbreath, Philmont Country Club 86
(a) Chuck Lynch, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 87
Ryan Carfara, Dick’s Sporting Goods 87
(a) Andrew Davenport, Commonwealth National Golf Club 87
(a) Matt Brady, Penn Oaks Golf Club 88
(a) Michael Dafnis, Plymouth Country Club 88
(a) John Leighton, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 88
(a) Matt Forgie, Penn Oaks Golf Club 89
(a) Alec Kissell, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 89
C. Joseph Missimer, West Chester Golf & Country Club 91
(a) Joseph Greenwald, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 92
(a) Zach Paris, Penn Oaks Golf Club 92
(a) Craig Lozak, Jr., Makefield Highlands Golf Club 92
(a) John Salamone, The ACE Club WD
(a) Ken Sim, Commonwealth National Golf Club WD
(a) Nelson Hargrove, Merion Golf Club WD
(a) Andy Achenbach, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve WD
(a) John Manfredi, Sand Barrens Golf Club WD
(a) Arthur Kania, Jr., Merion Golf Club WD
(a) Colin Smith, Radley Run Country Club NS
(a) Gavin Grimes, Chester Valley Golf Club WD
(a) Jeff Klagholz, Applebrook Golf Club WD
(a) Francis Nattle, Blue Bell Country Club WD
(a) Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club WD
Jason Westphal, Olde Masters Golf Club NC
(a) Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club WD

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