Jul 25, 2018

Trio prevails in #PatCup Qualifier at Yardley

July 25, 2018

YARDLEY, Pa. — Three players in red numbers walked away from an on-and-off rainy day at Yardley Country Club (par 72, 6,399 yards) with something besides wet golf bags and grips.

Scorecards | History |

  Home-club hopeful John Buliga, Greate Bay Country Club’s Eric DeKarski and Spring Ford Country Club’s J.T. Spina prevailed with matching 2-under 70s to earn medalist honors in a Joseph H. Patterson Cup Qualifier Wednesday.

  Despite an hour delay to begin the day due to wet course conditions, followed by torrential rain at the end of play, the trio topped a field of 94 players. The day’s cut line fell at 4-over 76.

  The 116th #PatCup will be played Aug. 8-9 at Gulph Mills Golf Club.

  Buliga, who says he’s played Yardley upwards of 200 times, jarred three birdies on his home track to grab a share of the top spot.

  One of those red highlights in particular stood out. On No. 8 (par 4, 349 yards), his second-to-last hole of the day and played in the torrential downpour, Buliga chipped in from the back of a greenside bunker.

  “I could barely grip the club,” said Buliga, 21, of Langhorne, Pa. “I was just able to get it over the fringe, and it rolled out, which gave me a share of the medal. Once it started raining all I wanted to do was get my round in. It’s just the qualifying round, so I just worried about finishing.”

  Buliga just finished up a successful two-year career at Bucks County Community College, where he was a standout player for the Centurions. He’s got his eyes set on a transfer in the near future.

   “I’m going to take a semester off then see where golf takes me,” said Buliga. “I’ve been talking to schools so we’ll see.”

  Fresh off a tied-for-25th finish in the GAP Open Championship at St. Davids Golf Club, Buliga will head to Gulph Mills in the right frame of mind – birdie-seeking with confidence.

  “My game has been coming around at the right time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to [Gulph Mills]. I haven’t played it, but I’ve caddied there three times, so it’ll be fun.”

  DeKarski, a rising junior at Florida Atlantic University, jarred five birdies during his medal-earning round.

  The 2-under 70 was a result that meant more than just the low honor. It meant the commitment to an intense rehab program has been working.

  “I’m so happy, honestly, to have played well today. It’s been a tough stretch for me,” said DeKarski, 20, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “I tore my shoulder last August and it was really difficult for me.”

  After a successful high school career at Egg Harbor Township High School, where he won the Atlantic City Press’ High School Golfer of the Year as a senior, DeKarski committed to Florida Atlantic. He caught a bad break his first season when he was cut from the team after the injury. He took a break from golf for over six months, and is now finally getting back into the groove of the game.

  “I’m trying to show my golf coach, with results like these, that I’ve recovered and that my game is in good shape. That makes today even more important, honestly,” says DeKarski, who will have three years of eligibility remaining.

  If today’s subpar round was any indication, DeKarski’s injury is behind him. A Patterson Cup appearance awaits ahead of him.

  “It feels great knowing I’ll be there. It’s the next step of the process of posting scores and getting back into it,” said DeKarski.

  Joining the others in the medalist seat was Spina, an incoming Saint Joseph’s University freshman.

  It was four birdies matched with just two bogeys that got the job done for the 18-year-old.

  “I’ve got to be happy with the way I played today,” said Spina, of Schwenksville, Pa. “I had two three putts, but other than that, it was good golf.”

  Spina, a frequent competitor on the GAP Junior circuit, has appeared in one Major thus far in his young career – the 2016 #PatCup at Huntingdon Valley. He used that week as a test of his game.

  Now, he says he’s ready to compete for the Patterson title.

  “This time around, I’ve got my eyes on the trophy,” he said.

  The second oldest Championship in the Golf Association of Philadelphia, the Joseph H. Patterson Cup memorializes a man who fostered the game in its infancy. Joseph Henry Patterson, a Philadelphia Cricket Club member, competed in the first out-of-town match played by a team of Philadelphians. Friends of Patterson donated the Cup, designed by J.E. Caldwell & Co., to the Association in 1900.

NOTES: Blaine Lafferty of Little Mill Country Club spun a 9-iron back on No. 15 (par 3, 154 yards) for his first career ace… Tee times were pushed back one hour due to wet course conditions.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
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 260 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, 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.

Qualifiers  
Name, club Score
John Buliga, Yardley Country Club 70
Eric DeKarski, Greate Bay Country Club 70
J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club 70
Adam Armagost, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club 71
Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown 71
Andrew Strock, Trenton Country Club 72
Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club 73
Matthew O’Brien, Philadelphia Publinks GA 73
Connor Sharp, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale 73
Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club 73
Brendan Bacskai, Applebrook Golf Club 74
Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club 74
Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club 74
Matt Chalupa, Inniscrone Golf Club 74
Greg DeLuca, Makefield Highlands Golf Club 74
Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club 74
Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club 74
Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club 74
Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club 74
Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield 75
Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club 75
Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club 75
Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club 75
Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club 75
Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club 76
Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club 76
Andew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve 76
David Kim, Commonwealth National Golf Club 76
Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club 76
Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club 76
Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club 76
Failed to qualify  
Dan Clark, Old York Road Country Club 77
Frankie Gregor, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 77
Joshua Krumholz, LedgeRock Golf Club 77
Joshua Madarang, Chester Valley Golf Club 77
Erik Reisner, The ACE Club 77
Corey Betham, Philadelphia Publinks GA 78
Eric Carlidge, North Hills Country Club 78
Brad Cornforth, Loch Nairn Golf Club 78
Andrew Kotler, Cherry Valley Country Club 78
Noah Schwartz, Woodcrest Country Club 78
Michael Winter, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club 78
Andrew Dietz, Laurel Creek Country Club 79
Phillip Held, Jr., Blue Bell Country Club 79
Matt Krass, Radley Run Country Club 79
Shawn Lavin, Rolling Green Golf Club 79
John Murphy, II, The Shore Club 79
Kevin O’Brien, Cedarbrook Country Club 79
Jonathan Radick, Spring Mill Country Club 79
P. Chet Walsh, Philadelphia Country Club 79
Adam Bracy, Rancocas Golf Club 80
Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club 80
John Donnelly, Concord Country Club 80
Phil Formica, Yardley Country Club 80
Matt Graeff, Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club 80
Joseph Hughes, Little Mill Country Club 80
Brian Trymbiski, Doylestown Country Club 80
Anthony Barr, Blue Bell Country Club 81
Dan Brown, Llanerch Country Club 81
Jack LaRosa, Philmont Country Club 81
Matthew O’Donnell, Merchantville Country Club 81
Jim Rosenbaum, Old York Road Country Club 81
Brian Bygott, Tavistock Country Club 82
Philip Damico, McCall Golf & Country Club 82
Brian Kenny, Greate Bay Country Club 82
Wayne LeSage, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club 82
Joseph Markmann, Talamore Country Club 82
Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club 82
Drew Stern, Yardley Country Club 83
Kevin Wall, Old York Road Country Club 83
Kyle Ginty, Talamore Country Club 84
Max Harrington, Brookside CC of Allentown 84
Scott Lumbatis, Hershey Country Club 84
Thomas Meehan, Old York Road Country Club 84
Brett Murphy, Stone Harbor Golf Club 84
Matt Toto, Moorestown Field Club 84
Brandon Cassidy, Commonwealth National Golf Club 85
Mark Grilli, Yardley Country Club 85
Dave Landau, Berkshire Country Club 85
Fran Migliocco, DuPont Country Club 85
George Connell, Jr., Gulph Mills Golf Club 86
Michael Flatley, Merion Golf Club 86
Pat Pasquariello, Philadelphia Country Club 86
D.J. Pinciotti, III, Huntingdon Valley Country Club 86
Nick Verrecchio, Rolling Green Golf Club 86
Erik Settelen, Bensalem Township Country Club 87
Dave DiValentino, Five Ponds Golf Club 88
Matthew Manfred, Commonwealth National Golf Club 88
R. John Burnes, Philadelphia Cricket Club 90
Matt Milligan, Skippack Golf Club at Evansburg State Park 90
John VanDame, Jr., Talamore Country Club 91
Kevin Hilton, Northampton Valley Country Club 92
Kenny Engel, Jr., Bensalem Township Country Club 93
Alec Stern, Philadelphia Country Club 94
William Bello, Moselem Springs Golf Club WD
Cole Berger, White Manor Country Club WD
Michael Grimes, Chester Valley Golf Club WD
Jordan Claffey, Philadelphia Cricket Club WD
Connor Goodrich, Merchantville Country Club NS
Patrick Serfass, St. Davids Golf Club NS
Joseph Chambers, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club NS
NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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