May 12, 2010

Three share medalist crown in Amateur Qualifier at Wedgwood CC

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Amateur Qualifier

  WASHINGTON TWP., N.J. – Greg Matthias of Hartefeld National, James Rocks, III of Wedgwood CC and Benjamin Smith of Woodcrest CC each carded a 2-over-par 74 to share medalist honors in Wednesday’s Amateur Championship Qualifier at a cool and damp Wedgwood CC (par 72, 6,760 yards).

  The trio led a field of 74 players attempting to earn one of the 21 qualifying spots and ties available for the 110th edition of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship set for June 21-23 & 26 at Saucon Valley CC.

  Matthias, of Wilmington, Del., made par on 10 on his first 11 holes.

  “I was hitting fairways and greens and making routine shots,” he said.

  Matthias, who began on the back nine, carded a birdie on No. 2 (par 5, 520 yards). His 3-iron sailed 235 yards and settled 10 yards in front of the green. He chipped up and converted a two-footer. Matthias, a sophomore at the University of Delaware, didn’t make any critical saves throughout the day and felt comfortable around the greens.

  “My short game was working,” he said.

  Matthias, 19, missed the match play portion of last year’s Amateur Championship at Stonewall. He hopes that changes this year.

  “We had an event there for school, but I missed out on it,” Matthias said. “I’m excited to play Saucon (Valley). I hear it’s awesome.”

  Rocks, of Winslow Township, N.J., didn’t find course knowledge to be truly advantageous.

  “I haven’t played much this year, to be honest,” he said. “My short game clicked today. I made a lot of putts. I hit it straight all day. I didn’t miss much.”

  Rocks’ sole birdie occurred on No. 14 (par 4, 375 yards). He launched his sand wedge 132 yards and rolled in a downhill 50-footer. Rocks, 30, also made a key par save on No. 17 (par 5, 492 yards). An errant 3-wood settled in the right-side trees. Standing 133 yards from the flagstick, he knocked his 8-iron into the right bunker, but escaped and executed a short par putt.

  This marks the first time Rocks has attempted to qualify for the Amateur Championship. The venue, mixed with a touch of family motivation, prompted him to play Wednesday.

  “My dad’s been in the hospital for a month, so he’d be angry if I didn’t play today,” he said. “It was an inspired round, I guess you could say.”

  Like Matthias, Smith, of Voorhees, N.J., relied on a steady short game.

  “I made a lot of putts,” Smith said. “I was a little wayward off the tee, but I was able to get it in spots where I could chip it out,”

  Smith, who began his round on the back nine, earned his first red figure on No. 14 (par 4, 375 yards). After his 3-wood found the fairway, Smith blasted a sand wedge 100 yards to four feet and cleaned up the birdie putt. His 5-iron on the par 3, 117-yard 16th hole hit the flagstick, and Smith, 23, then drained a downhill 30-footer for birdie.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 427 yards), Smith drilled his approach 9-iron 140 yards and converted a six-footer for birdie. He hit a tight wedge 83 yards to six-feet on No. 5 (par 5, 537 yards ) and sunk the straight away birdie try. Smith’s only significant hiccup came on the challenging No. 13 (par 4, 430 yards). With a tree blocking a firm angle to the green, he attempted to lay up to the left of the water with an 8-iron, but ended up knocking his ball into the water. Smith went on to card a double bogey.

  Smith, who qualified for last year’s Amateur Championship at Stonewall, hopes to gain a match play berth this year. He missed a spot by two strokes in 2009.

  “I’m looking to redeem that this year,” Smith said.

  At the end of the day, the cut line fell to 78.

  Wednesday’s qualifier was the second of two Amateur Championship qualifiers used to determine who will play in the Championship. Matthew Finger of Wedgwood CC and Christopher Reedman of Makefield Highlands GC each carded a 1-over-par 73 to share medalist honors in the first qualifier, which took place at Indian Valley CC.

Name Club Scores
Benjamin Smith Woodcrest Country Club 74
Greg Matthias Hartefeld National 74
James Rocks, III Wedgwood Country Club 74
Eric Spiller Woodcrest Country Club 75
John Aloisio Greate Bay Country Club 75
Ryan Pfeifer Bensalem Township Country Club 75
Chris Lange, Jr. Overbrook Golf Club 75
Quin Trigg Hartefeld National 76
Mark Kosko Mercer Oaks Golf Course 76
Michael Santerian Wedgwood Country Club 76
Michael Korcuba Running Deer Golf Club 76
Marty Crounse Mercer Oaks Golf Course 76
Stephen Seiden Concord Country Club 77
Anthony List, Jr. Llanerch Country Club 77
Frank Corrado, Jr. Jericho National Golf Club 77
Nick Verrecchio Rolling Green Golf Club 77
Ryan Gelrod Commonwealth National Golf Club 78
Ben Feld Blue Bell Country Club 78
Tom DiCinti Links Golf Club 78
Robert Cummings Riverton Country Club 78
David Liotta Whitemarsh Valley Country Club 78
John Giori Mercer Oaks Golf Course 78
Mike Miklinevich Greate Bay Country Club 78
Bobby Arthur, Jr. Tavistock Country Club 78
Failed to qualify
Jeff Klagholz Rolling Green Golf Club 79
Matt Foust Bensalem Township Country Club 79
Joseph Roeder Links Golf Club 79
Fran Begley Wedgwood Country Club 79
Lance Oberparleiter Little Mill Country Club 79
William Bello Metedeconk National Golf Club 80
Bill Murray Merchantville Country Club 80
Ken Sim Commonwealth National Golf Club 80
Gregory Buliga Yardley Country Club 80
Brad McFadden Overbrook Golf Club 80
Christopher Parmer Metedeconk National Golf Club 80
Beau Guarino Little Mill Country Club 80
Gene Flanagan The Springhaven Club 80
Frank Nattle The ACE Club 81
Raymond Andrusiewicz Mercer Oaks Golf Course 81
Andrew Dietz Laurel Creek Country Club 81
Steven Passalacqua Wedgwood Country Club 81
Chris Hunger Wedgwood Country Club 81
Bill Turner Philadelphia Publinks GA 81
Robert Loftus Overbrook Golf Club 81
Mark Wachter DuPont Country Club 82
Brian Degnan Philadelphia Publinks GA 82
Jason Staso Makefield Highlands Golf Club 83
Andrew Mason Five Ponds Golf Club 83
Brian Devlin Five Ponds Golf Club 83
Nicholas Anderson Concord Country Club 83
L.J. Georgetti Wildwood Golf & Country Club 84
John Donnelly Concord Country Club 85
Mike Ahern Wedgwood Country Club 86
William Moule Links Golf Club 86
Russell Hill Olde York Country Club 87
Sam Pancoast Radley Run Country Club 87
Mark Dennish The Ridge at Back Brook 88
Brian Dobisch Talamore Country Club 88
Ryan Boyland Penn Oaks Golf Club 88
John Fasy Wilmington Country Club 89
Bob Enders Little Mill Country Club 89
Ryan Meisenzahl Hidden Creek Golf Club 89
Anthony Gentlesk Merchantville Country Club 90
Matthew Long Great Bear Golf & Country Club 91
Bradley Roberts Wedgwood Country Club WD
Sean Davy Medford Village Country Club WD
Scott Vasbinder Mercer Oaks Golf Course WD
Jame Gillespie Wedgwood Country Club WD
Ed Kahn Little Mill Country Club WD
John Lupica The ACE Club WD
Andrew Blumberg Fieldstone Golf Club WD
James Ridgway Wildwood Golf & Country Club WD
WD – withdrawal

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