Three at 9-under medal in #USAmateur Qualifying at Chambersburg
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Ben Smith stood patiently at Chambersburg Country Club’s (par 73, 6,801 yards) 18th green, watching on with excited eyes. He was rooting on his former Penn State University roommate Patrick Sheehan, but also found himself playing the infamous qualifying waiting game while holding the early clubhouse lead.
Smith, a Penn Stater player for the previous three years who will transfer to Mount St. Mary’s in the fall, took a deep sigh of relief. The Carlisle Country Clubber earned medalist honors in U.S. Amateur Qualifying administered by GAP at Chambersburg Thursday with a 9-under 137 total. Joining him in that medal honor was his good friend Sheehan, a repeat #USAmateur Qualifying medalist, and Michael Crowley, a Loyola University junior and Briarwood Golf Club member.
The 122nd U.S. Amateur Championship, scheduled for Aug. 15-21, will be played at The Ridgewood Country Club, in Paramus, N.J.
Play in the 36-hole event began at 7:30 a.m. while temperatures were still under control. That wouldn’t last long as Pennsylvania’s continued heat wave arrived both on the thermometer and scoreboard. The first 18 hosted a leaderboard of Crowley and Chris Dejohn (Ridgewood, N.J.) up top after each posted sizzling 6-under 67s. Smith sat just one back at 5-under 68, followed by three more at 4-under par. Sheehan was five back after posting a 1-under 72 in the morning.
For Smith, he earned his first USGA national championship invitation today. He carded 11 birdies total over the 36 holes at Chambersburg. But in the end, it was a bunker-splashed eagle on No. 3 (par 5, 514 yards) during the second round that led him to the promised land.
“I had only hit one or two bunker shots prior to that one, but they were really good. I was confident stepping up to it,” said Smith, 21, of Blain, Pa. “I told myself just to get it close and make birdie. But after I hit it, it had the line and I thought it was going to go in… and it did. I celebrated with my dad who caddied for me today, and it got me going there a little bit to start the second round.”
Playing in the first group out, Smith didn’t do much leaderboard looking throughout the long summer day. Instead, he got in the house at 9-under total and played the beforementioned waiting game.
“Honestly, it was kind of nice that I didn’t have to worry about where the scores were. I knew they were going to be all over, so I just played my game and then waited it out,” said Smith.
Included in that waiting game was a second-round surge by Sheehan, his former Penn State roommate of three years, who carded a remarkable round of 8-under 65 to finish. Six birdies fell overall compared to zero bogey blemishes. An eagle on the par-4, 370-yard 8th hole was the invitation clincher for Sheehan.
“I was sitting there early in the second round and kind of just felt like I was out of it. I had 57 yards in on No. 8 and just flipped a wedge in and holed it. Even then, I didn’t really feel like I was in the mix yet,” said Sheehan, a rising senior at Penn State.
Four birdies in a row on Chambersburg’s second side, Nos. 11-14, changed that mentality quickly.
“It wasn’t until those four birdies that got me thinking like, ‘I could do this’, and then I started watching at the end. After I didn’t birdie the [short par-4 17th], I started to get a little bit nervous after I saw [Crowley] finish at 9 under,” said Sheehan.
After a par on 18, Sheehan finished at 9 under alongside his co-medalists. This one makes it two Amateur appearances in a row for the former GAP Junior standout, as he medaled in the 2021 U.S. Amateur Qualifier at Sunnybrook Golf Club.
“Last year, I was a little bit inexperienced. But then I put myself in some good positions to win this year in college, and played in some big events, that I feel I’m ready [for Ridgewood],” said Sheehan, 21, of Doylestown, Pa.
Based on his recent performances, Crowley is also ready for Ridgewood. Fresh off a second-place finish in the Delaware Amateur Championship at Bayside Resort Golf Club, he was able to convert today’s first-round lead into an invite to his first USGA championship.
“I was struggling a bit in the beginning of the summer. I’ve been working hard on some stuff with my putting and chipping and now I’ve been playing well the past few weeks,” said Crowley, 20, of Hunt Valley, Md. “I was really proud how I played in the Delaware Amateur but it was tough to swallow when I couldn’t close it out. But today made up for that. I birdied the last two holes to get in. That made up for it.”
With the U.S. Amateur just few weeks away, and within driving distance, the GAP region will be well represented and ready to rumble at Ridgewood.
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 330 Member Clubs and 90,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Name, city, state||R1-R2-Total|
|Michael Crowley, Hunt Valley, Md.||67-70–137|
|Patrick Sheehan, Doylestown, Pa.||72-65–137|
|Benjamin Smith, Blain, Pa.||68-69–137|
|Alternates (in order)|
|Chris Dejohn, Ridgewood, N.J.||67-71–138|
|William Wann, Birmingham, Ala.||69-70–139|
|Failed to qualify|
|George Duangmanee, Fairfax, Va.||69-70–139|
|Troy Vannucci, Marlton, N.J.||69-70–139|
|Anthony Cordaro, Allentown, Pa.||69-71–140|
|Josh Pethel, Hudson, OH||73-67–140|
|Ben Cooley, Phoenixville, Pa.||73-69–142|
|Morgan Lofland, Pa.oli, Pa.||73-69–142|
|John Peters, Carlisle, Pa.||71-71–142|
|Kevin Johnson, Bethesda, MD||69-74–143|
|Chris Tanabe, Sewickley, Pa.||72-71–143|
|Jack Wall, Brielle, N.J.||74-69–143|
|Lukas Clark, Holland, Pa.||72-72–144|
|Joshua Ryan, Norristown, Pa.||69-75–144|
|Scott Shingler, Haymarket, Va.||71-73–144|
|Xirong Cheng, Peoples Republic of China||70-76–146|
|Arjun Gupta, United Arab Emirates||72-74–146|
|Robbie Herzig, New York, N.Y.||74-72–146|
|Ryan Terry, Nashville, Tenn.||73-73–146|
|Joe Johnson, Leesburg, Va.||73-74–147|
|Isaiah Marseille, Linden, N.J.||74-73–147|
|Miguel Sancholuz, Argentina||77-70–147|
|Christian Deussing, Solebury, Pa.||74-74–148|
|Caleb Ryan, Norristown, Pa.||75-73–148|
|Alex Seelig, Reading, Pa.||74-74–148|
|Rij Patel, Hunt Valley, Md.||79-70–149|
|Logan Wagner, Quarryville, Pa.||77-72–149|
|Argyle Downes, Charlestown, W.V.||77-73–150|
|Christopher Burns, District of Columbia||74-77–151|
|Isaiah Ellis, Canada||73-78–151|
|Karl Frisk, Spring Grove, Pa.||73-78–151|
|Matthew Vital, Bethlehem, Pa.||78-73–151|
|Matthew Kinsey, Berlin, Md.||73-79–152|
|Stephen Lorenzo, Lower Gwynedd, Pa.||77-75–152|
|Ian Masenheimer, Orefield, Pa.||78-74–152|
|Alex Pillar, Hawley, Pa.||77-75–152|
|Nihal Shah, England||74-78–152|
|Charles Young, Woodstock, Md.||76-76–152|
|Juan Ignacio Noba, Argentina||80-73–153|
|Juan Tomas Arozena, Argentina||79-75–154|
|James Gradisek, Wayne, Pa.||77-77–154|
|Kyle Kegerreis, Chambersburg, Pa.||79-76–155|
|Erik Ragusa, Philadelphia, Pa.||77-78–155|
|Matthew Zerfass, Macungie, Pa.||78-77–155|
|Jarred Berish, Pottstown, Pa.||77-79–156|
|Xiong Da, Peoples Republic of China||75-81–156|
|Jordan Shaffer, Fayetteville, Pa.||80-76–156|
|William Smith, Newville, Pa.||78-78–156|
|Chris Dorey, Allentown, Pa.||78-80–158|
|Robert Stoops, Pittsburgh, Pa.||80-78–158|
|Garrett Kuhla, Richmond, Va.||76-83–159|
|Ian Patterson, Chambersburg, Pa.||82-77–159|
|Jack Shearer, Latrobe, Pa.||79-80–159|
|Dan Snyder, Richmond, Va.||84-75–159|
|Derek Mcglaughlin, Elizabethtown, Pa.||84-76–160|
|Jaxon Eck, Harrisburg, Pa.||79-82–161|
|Samuel Walker, Burke, Va.||78-83–161|
|Daniel Hurley, Leesburg, Va.||82-81–163|
|Fletcher Bolda, Alpena, MI||84-80–164|
|Ryan Borrmann, Warminster, Pa.||79-85–164|
|Chris Knox, Downingtown, Pa.||82-83–165|
|Nicholas Scott, Philadelphia, Pa.||82-83–165|
|Carlin Christian, Chambersburg, Pa.||88-79–167|
|Tom Wahl, Chatham, N.J.||83-84–167|
|Joshua Zelinsky, Port Carbon, Pa.||84-83–167|
|Logan Klatt, Toledo, Ohio||93-80–173|
|James Connor, Greencastle, Pa.||WD-WD–WD|
|Shaun Fedor, Lancaster, Pa.||77-WD–WD|
|Sean Ledonne, District of Columbia||87-WD–WD|
|Todd Shagin, Ridgewood, N.J.||82-WD–WD|
|Jacob Smith, Chambersburg, Pa.||84-WD–WD|
|Erik Stevens, Annandale, N.J.||80-WD–WD|
|Hank Strickler, Richmond, Va.||80-WD–WD|
|David Zhang, Blacksburg, Va.||77-WD–WD|
|WD – withdrawal|
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