May 12, 2009

Touring pro Brown tops U.S. Open Local Qualifer; Barron lone amateur to advance to Sectionals

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Tournaments, USGA

U.S Open Qualifier

MT. LAUREL, N.J.–Derek Brown of Rural Hall, N.C., a professional on the Tar Heel Tour, carded a 3-under-par 68 at Laurel Creek CC (par 71, 6,892 yards) Tuesday to earn medalist honors in a local qualifier for the U.S. Open Championship.

  “I didn’t want to miss the first day up here,” he said. “I thought these guys might have been a little rusty from not getting to play as much.”

  Brown, 27, topped the list of seven players advancing from Laurel Creek to Sectional qualifying set for May 25-June 8 at multiple nationwide sites. He felt that practice made perfect at Laurel Creek.

  “I’ve been working on swing training. I hadn’t been hitting my driver real well, but I hit it well today,” Brown, 27, said. “Other than making putts, I just drove the ball really well.”

  Brown carded birdies on Nos. 2 (par 4, 375 yards), 5 (par 5, 510 yards), 7 (par 3, 210 yards), 9 (par 5, 550 yards) and 17 (par 3, 221 yards). On No. 7, he used a 4-iron off the tee and hit it to about 12 feet. On a slender No. 17 that features immediate tree lines on both sides, he hit 3-iron off the tee that landed about 15-feet from the hole.

  “I was just trying to get it on the front of the green,” Brown said.

  Brown has advanced to Sectionals three times. He will head to Atlanta, Ga. for the next stage of qualifying. Brown made the 2005 U.S. Open field, where he fell short of the cut by one stroke.

  “I’m going to keep plugging along,” Brown said.

  In addition to Brown, also moving onto Sectionals were: Vince Covello, a professional on the Gateway Tour in Florida; Peter Barron, III, an amateur out of Stone Harbor GC; John Allen of Media, Pa., the head professional at Sunnybrook GC; Christian Bartolacci, an assistant professional at Jericho National GC; and professionals Joey Bonargo of Mechanicsville, Pa. and Eric Dovre of Mays Landing, N.J.

  Covello, of Ponte Vedra, Fla., returned to his roots, so to speak, to compete in Tuesday’s qualifier. He grew up in the Philadelphia area and played out of Llanerch CC.

  “It’s nice to get back home and see some of the old familiar faces,” he said. “I played Llanerch a few times since I’ve been back. It’s really nice over there.”

  Covello, 26, fired birdies on Nos. 4 (par 4, 407 yards), 5, 14 (par 3, 169 yards), 16 (par 4, 439 yards) and 18 (par 4, 445 yards).

  “I hit a few good shoots onto the green. It was nice to have some easy birdie putts,” he said. “I played fairly well. I had a few bad swings that cost me a few doubles, but other than that, I was solid,” he said. “I kept it nice and steady for the most part.”

  Covello carded double bogeys on Nos. 1 (par 4, 412 yards) and 17. He also made a crucial par-save on No. 6 (par 4, 452 yards).

  “I drove it on the lip of a bunker and dropped it back onto the fairway and got up and down,” he said. “It was a good save.”

  This is the third Sectionals appearance for Covello. He will head back to Florida for the next stage of qualifying. Covello has never played in the U.S. Open.

  “I’d love to this year, though,” he said.

  Barron, 33, the only amateur to advance from this qualifier, will be making his first appearance in Sectionals when he heads to Purchase, N.Y. Prior to Tuesday, it had been eight years since Barron participated in a U.S. Open Qualifier.

  “I know the competition is always really good,” he said. “If I’m hitting the ball well early in the season, then I’ll try to compete.”

  And Barron, of Mays Landing, N.J., feels that he’s been hitting well so far this year. Last week, he finished second in the New Jersey State Golf Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship. His hot steak continued at Laurel Creek CC Tuesday as he finished 1-over par.

  “I’ve been playing pretty well,” Barron said. “It feels great to qualify. I had high expectations.”

  Barron’s one “bad hole” was a double bogey on No. 17, where he hit 4-iron off the tee over 200 yards and landed in hazard on the right side.

  “I didn’t put a good swing on it. I wasn’t committed to it,” he said. “I just kind of accelerated on it.”

  A second USGA U.S. Open Qualifier will be held May 18 at Cavaliers CC.

  This year’s U.S. Open Championship is set for June 15-21 at Bethpage State Park (Black Course) in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Name City, state Score
Derek Brown Rural Hall,  NC 68
Vince Covello Ponte Vedra,  FL 70
*Christian Bartolacci Langhorne,  PA 72
*Eric Dovre Mays Landing,  NJ 72
*Joey Bonargo Mechanicsville,  PA 72
*John Allen Media,  PA 72
*(a) Peter Barron, III Mays Landing,  NJ 72
Alternates (in order)
*(a) Matt Raudenbush Pine Valley,  NJ 72
*Jonathan Rusk Washington Crossing,  PA 72
Failed to qualify
(a) Christopher Gold Haddonfield,  NJ 73
Logan Terry Plymouth Meeting,  PA 73
Travis Deibert Doylestown,  PA 73
Chris Gallagher West Chester,  PA 74
David Quinn Marlton,  NJ 74
(a) Jim Rattigan Orwigsburg,  PA 74
(a) Justin Martinson Avondale,  PA 74
(a) Michael Brown Cheltenham,  PA 74
Seth Hirschhorn Edison,  NJ 74
(a) Thomas Gramigna Haddonfield,  NJ 74
(a) Alexander Maguire Philadelphia,  PA 75
Brian Hollins Riverside,  NJ 75
Christopher Gray Newark,  DE 75
(a) Michael Kania Haverford,  PA 75
(a) Robert Galbreath, Jr. Huntingdon Valley,  PA 75
Robert Hornibrook Swedesboro,  NJ 75
Zack Mullock Cape May,  NJ 75
Chris McDermott West Orange,  NJ 76
(a) David Sanders Mt. Laurel,  NJ 76
(a) David West Downingtown,  PA 76
(a) Juan Pablo Candela Princeton,  NJ 76
Michael Ladden Coatesville,  PA 76
Michael Lanzetta East Windsor,  NJ 76
Stephen Arnold Langhorne,  PA 76
(a) Warren Taylor Newtown,  PA 76
(a) Ajai Sirohi Princeton,  NJ 77
(a) Brett Falkoff Lafayette Hill,  PA 77
(a) David Shields Erdenheim, PA 77
Mark Parson Mays Landing,  NJ 77
(a) Matthew Teesdale Maple Glen,  PA 77
(a) Michael Paduano Shrewsbury,  NJ 77
Rick Hughart Haddonfield,  NJ 77
(a) Connor McNicholas Ambler,  PA 78
(a) Geoffrey Cooper Philadelphia,  PA 78
John Dimarco Cherry Hill,  NJ 78
(a) Liam Friedman Lackawanna,  NY 78
Terry Hertzog Lititz,  PA 78
(a) Adz Kozlowski Philadelphia,  PA 79
(a) Christopher Ault Yardley,  PA 79
(a) Cory Siegfried Villanova,  PA 79
Marc Ross Philadelphia,  PA 79
Michael Bennett Jordan,  NY 79
(a) Michael Guli Stirling, NJ 79
Paul Gagliardi Palm Beach Gardens,  FL 79
Chad Moore Egg Harbor City,  NJ 80
George Frake, II Medford,  NJ 80
Kevin Melrath Horsham,  PA 80
Mark Anderson Media,  PA 80
(a) Mark Walker Marlton,  NJ 80
Michael Little North Wales,  PA 80
(a) Tom Shin Moorestown,  NJ 80
(a) Bradley Roberts Mount Laurel,  NJ 81
Cavan Birmingham Maple Shade,  NJ 81
(a) Eugene Milner Wilmington,  DE 81
(a) Lance Oberparleiter Blenheim,  NJ 81
Paul Clemente Freehold,  NJ 81
(a) Stephen McIntyre Glenmoore,  PA 81
(a) Stephen Seiden Chadds Ford,  PA 81
Dan Hoban Cherry Hill,  NJ 82
Glen Gardner Sicklerville,  NJ 82
James Garton Doylestown,  PA 82
(a) Tom Dicinti Voorhees,  NJ 82
Anthony Napoletano Springfield,  PA 83
Eric Figueroa Kennett Square,  PA 83
(a) Eric Schmehl Shamong, NJ 83
(a) James Kusant Stockton,  NJ 83
Sean Driscoll Sewell,  NJ 83
Billy Mullen Jeffersonville,  PA 84
(a) Blayze DiPasquale Richboro,  PA 84
(a) Erik Thorn Cherry Hill,  NJ 84
(a) Greg Verde Wayne,  PA 84
Jimmy Baer Ardsley,  PA 84
(a) Joshua Feldschneider Delran,  NJ 84
(a) Alexander Hicks Cape May Court House,  NJ 85
David Elliott Doylestown,  PA 85
P.J. Solley Philadelphia,  PA 85
Eric Galm Bensalem,  PA 86
(r) Jason Bataille South Plainfield,  NJ 86
John Kondash Roebling,  NJ 86
(a) Kenneth Matt Springhouse,  PA 86
(a) Matthew Crescenzo Cheltenham,  PA 86
Ralph Viola Cherry Hill,  NJ 86
Michael Sullivan Norristown,  PA 87
Hugh Reilly Willow Grove,  PA 89
(a) Lynn Kilduff Kingston,  PA 90
(a) Harry Gianetti Far Hills,  NJ 91
(a) Joseph Brady Ridgefield Park,  NJ 98
Christopher Cahill Beachwood,  NJ DQ
(a) Drew Maliniak Collierville,  TN DQ
Frank Hesson Marlton,  NJ DQ
(a) Jose Luis Centurion Philadelphia,  PA DQ
(a) Matthew Shevlin Drexel Hill,  PA DQ
(a) Michael Brosh Vineland,  NJ DQ
(a) Cody Sumpter Neshanic Station,  NJ NS
(a) Matthew Serata Bridgeton,  NJ NS
(a) Kevin Genuardi Lower Gwynedd,  PA WD
Thomas Parham Lakewood,  NJ WD
(a)-amatuer; (r)-reinstated amateur
DQ-disqualification; NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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