Three take medal in U.S. Open Qualifier (Local) at Glenmaura National - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

May 18, 2018

Three take medal in U.S. Open Qualifier (Local) at Glenmaura National

MOOSIC, Pa. —The #RoadtoShinnecock winding through the Golf Association of Philadelphia region has been played and paved.

| Scorecards | U.S. Open Website |

In the final of four U.S. Open Local Qualifiers conducted by the GAP, a trio of Pennsylvania residents took home medalist honors at Glenmaura National Golf Club (par 71, 6,854 yards). Richard Riva (Lancaster, Pa.), professional Patrick Ross (Dunmore, Pa.) and Eric Williams (Honesdale, Pa.) each fired rounds of 1-under 70 to earn shares of the top spot Thursday.

Claiming the fourth and final spot available was professional Austin Smith (Dallas, Pa.) who bettered pro Kyle Wambold (Macungie, Pa.) on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

The day’s cut line stopped at even-par 71 for the field of 63 hopefuls. The 118th U.S. Open Championship will be played June 11-17 at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (Southampton, N.Y.).

An overnight and early morning storm translated into moist greens with soft conditions. Some took advantage, while others suffered from the lack of roll. Huntsville Golf Club’s Ross, who turned pro two seasons ago after a successful GAP amateur career, took advantage following an unforgiving front nine.

“I didn’t play poorly on the front, but made the turn at 2 over,” said Ross, the 2016 BMW Philadelphia Amateur stroke-play medalist. “I told myself to try and stay patient. I thought if I could get it back to 1 under, then I’d be good.”

Starting Glenmaura’s second nine, Ross blasted both a driver and hybrid approach on No. 10 (par 5, 537 yards) that left him with a short chip and tap-in birdie. On the par 3, 149-yard 11th, the 26-year-old went with 9-iron off the tee. A six-foot birdie conversation there got him back to even for the day. The red numbers kept coming on No. 12 (par 4, 411 yards) thanks to another drive left with him a 9-iron approach that he slightly misjudged. A 30-foot birdie bomb followed to make it three in a row.

“My mindset changed completely after [that stretch]. It was great to close out strong,” said Ross.

Since turning pro, Ross, a Temple University golf team alum, has been grinding on the professional circuit. He recently returned from Mackenzie Tour Qualifying in Canada.

“I played okay up there and earned conditional status, so I’ll be playing in some events up there. I’ve been all over the place. It feels good to play golf every day,” he said.

Riva, a rising junior at Saint Joseph’s University, utilized partial course knowledge to his advantage today. He was on-site Tuesday for a practice round, but only got through 11 holes.

“I was essentially playing the last seven holes blind,” said Riva, a Bent Creek Country Club member. “I got lucky a few times during the [final stretch], but sometimes in golf you need luck to card a good round.”

Glenmaura’s finisher (par 4, 358 yards) hosted a clutch 10-foot birdie conversation from Riva, which essentially locked things up for the 20-year-old.

“It felt great to see that one go down. I knew that I was in good position after that one,” he said.

The cleanest golf of the day was played by Williams, an accomplished amateur who plays out of Honesdale Golf Club. Williams failed to miss a green in regulation all day.

“I’ve played Glenmaura around 15 times already this season. This is the purest I’ve seen it so far,” said Williams, 45, who shared medalist honors in a GAP Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier at Elmhurst Country Club on May 2. “It’s a course that can intimidate some if you haven’t played here before. I’m fortunate enough to have local knowledge and I’m thankful that helped me out today.”

In the 2-for-1 playoff, Smith, a professional who also plays out of Huntsville, walked away with the final invitation. Smith’s two-foot birdie on No. 10 ultimately bettered Wambold’s bogey after the latter found himself in greenside bunker trouble. A huge fist pump later and Smith was on his way to Sectional Qualifying.

“I was in the zone today. It’s really hard to describe, but I was just completely focused in,” said Smith, 24, a professional who stepped away from the game competitively for the past two seasons before picking the sticks back up recently. “Just being out here and playing in a tournament is something I didn’t think I’d be doing before a few months ago. It feels great to be back and playing well.”

Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) 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 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. 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, city, state Score
(a) Richard Riva, Lancaster, Pa. 70
Patrick Ross, Dunmore, Pa. 70
(a) Eric Williams, Honesdale, Pa. 70
*Austin Smith, Dallas, Pa. 71
Alternates (in order)
*Kyle Wambold, Macungie, Pa. 71
Brian Bergstol, Bangor, Pa. 72
Failed to qualify
Gregory Pieczynski, Kingston, Pa. 73
Rico Riciputi, Portsmouth, N.H. 73
(a) Kyle Sterbinsky, Yardley, Pa. 73
Dakota Brown, Tunkhannock, Pa. 74
David Denlinger, Lancaster, Pa. 74
Jordan Eck, Williamsport, Pa. 74
(a) William Mirams, Stroudsburg, Pa. 74
Nicholas Biondi, Moosic, Pa. 75
(a) William Knauth, Williamsport, Pa. 75
(a) David Mecca, Clarks Summit, Pa. 75
Chris Miller, Scranton, Pa. 75
(a) Kevin Rossi, Scranton, Pa. 75
Paul Boshoff, South Africa 76
(a) Cody Cox, Milford, Pa. 76
(a) Carlos Fullerton, Emmaus, Pa. 76
(a) Sean Madden, Dunmore, Pa. 76
(a) Logan Sabins, Spring Lake Heights, N.J. 76
(a) John Barone, Dunmore, Pa. 77
(a) Mark Bryant, Hardwick, N.J. 77
(a) John Hartzell, Bangor, Pa. 77
Ryan Kline, Kutztown, Pa. 77
(a) Jonathan Wilson, Dallas, Pa. 77
Travis Deibert, Pipersville, Pa. 78
Corey McAlarney, Philadelphia, Pa. 78
Michael Molino, Dallas, Pa. 78
John Pillar, Hawley, Pa. 78
(a) Daniel Rieger, Collegeville, Pa. 78
(a) Justin Tresslar, Saylorsburg, Pa. 78
(a) Hogan Bendert, Endicott, N.Y. 79
(a) Chris Cerminaro, Carbondale, Pa. 79
(a) Benjamin Pochet, Royersford, Pa. 79
(a) Ryan Skae, Old Tappan, N.J. 79
Luke Lanzetta, Chadds Ford, Pa. 80
(a) Marco Nieto, Eynon, Pa. 80
(a) Nick Paone, Jessup, Pa. 80
(a) Michael Thomas, Scott Township, Pa. 80
(a) Ryan Brown, Scranton, Pa. 81
Jay Fourie, South Africa 81
(a) Bryan Ott, Allentown, Pa. 81
Ryan Dimmick, Concord, N.C. 82
(a) Andrew Kotler, Skillman, N.J. 82
Sean Szerencsits, Coplay, Pa. 82
(a) Riley Hogan, Saylorsburg, Pa. 83
(a) Dylan O’Dell, Forest City, Pa. 83
(a) Logan Paczewski, Dallas, Pa. 83
Justin Roberto, Williamsburg, Va. 83
(a) Lukas Clark, Holland, Pa. 85
John Roche, Moosic, Pa. 86
(a) Carey Bina, Villanova, Pa. 87
Casey O’Reilly, High Bridge, N.J. 87
Bryan Romagnoli, Waldwick, N.J. 88
(a) Sebastian Cimoch, Vandling, PA 89
(a) Kyle Nedlik, Binghamton, N.Y. 89
(a) Phil Formica, Washington Crossing, Pa. 90
(a) Jonathan Brain, France WD
(a) Gus Steiger, Milford, Pa. WD
John Kodjo, Ghana NS
 *-determined in playoff
(a)-denotes amateur
NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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