U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying: Huntsville - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Jun 20, 2024

U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying: Huntsville

Werner pops at home, earns medal

SHAVERTOWN, Pa. — Just another day the office for Nick Werner. Office as in Huntsville Golf Club. Another day as in another subpar score.

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Thursday’s shift, however, came with a prestigious paycheck. Werner carded a 5-under-par 67 to earn medalist honors in U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying administered by GAP at Huntsville (par 72, 6,926 yards).

Patrick Scenna, an incoming freshman at Monmouth University, and Dustin Stocksdale, a rising sophomore at Loyola University Maryland, also advanced in regulation. Michael Lugiano, a Huntsville member, emerged from a 5-for-1 playoff to seize the final qualifying position.

The 76th U.S. Junior Amateur will take place July 22-27 at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

“Walking up [No. 9] my last hole, I was saying it felt like another round of golf here at Huntsville. I never really get too nervous playing golf anywhere, especially not here,” Werner, 17, of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., said. “It was like another day.”

Nick Werner

Werner, an incoming senior at Wyoming Seminary College Prep School, joined Huntsville three years ago. The robust Rees Jones design offers the necessary length exams for an evolving ball-striker.

“Huntsville’s been a great fit for me,” Werner said. “The pro here, Matt Occhiato, is also my high school golf coach. He’s really great to the juniors up here. We’re able to play whenever we want. He gives a lot of freedom in terms of practicing and tee times.”

Werner’s attendance record affirms his medalist performance.

Starting on the back nine, Werner deposited five birdies in an eight-hole stretch to accelerate. On No. 16 (par 4, 391 yards), he knocked a 60-degree wedge from 100 yards to the green’s back tier and buried a 10-footer. A punch 9-iron on the downhill par 3, 179-yard 17th hole resulted in a one-stop check to five feet. Werner preserved that momentum by executing a key par save on No. 18 (par 4, 456 yards). He snapped a drive into the woods right. With a window, Werner pulled 4-iron. And promptly topped it. Facing a sidehill lie in the rough, Werner powered a 4-iron 210 yards to 10 feet and canned the par putt.

The flatstick stayed sassy.

On No. 1 (par 5, 518 yards), Werner reached the green in two thanks to a downwind punch 8-iron from 173 yards to 30 feet. He cozied the eagle attempt into tap-in territory. Werner lifted a wedge 102 yards to 15 feet for birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 391 yards). Home-course knowledge proved advantageous on the next hole. Refusing to attack a front-right hole location, Werner drew an 8-iron to 10 feet for another birdie. He drained a wild 35-footer on No. 5 (par 3, 200 yards) to move to 6 under — five shots clear of the field.

“The putter was just feeling good over that putt,” Werner, co-medalist in the 2022 GAP Junior Boys’ Championship, said. “I played really well. My putter was hot. Overall, I’m happy with how I played. I was hitting the shots tight, and even when I wasn’t my putter was saving me.”

Werner’s lone welp coming in occurred on No. 8 (par 4, 433 yards). His drive drifted into the right fescue. Werner played his third shot to the front of the green and escaped with a two-putt bogey.

His 67 is three strokes shy of a personal best. Two weeks ago, Werner shot 64 at Huntsville before disembarking overseas for a vacation to Greece. He returned stateside five days ago.

Rather than catch up on sleep, Werner played golf. A practice round for the Pennsylvania Golf Association Amateur Championship Qualifying. He advanced the following day at Out Door Country Club. More Huntsville trips in between then and Thursday.

Michael Lugiano

“If I’m not at a tournament, I’m here. Matt Occhiato can attest to that,” Werner, who will compete in his first U.S. Junior Amateur, said. “I guess there was a little bit of added pressure, considering it’s my home course and I should perform here. I really didn’t let that deter me. It’s just another round of golf more than anything. It means a lot [to qualify]. I’ve worked really hard to get here. I’m happy that I put together a good round.”

Werner is also thrilled that clubmate and close friend Lugiano will be making the trip to Michigan. The feeling is mutual.

“We’re going to have a great time. I play golf with Nick all of the time. I’m happy for him,” Lugiano, 18, of Jackson Township, Pa., said. “Being at Huntsville obviously helped with course knowledge. But obviously you still have to play golf. I was happy I was able to birdie [No. 9] my last hole to get into a playoff, and play well in the playoff.”

In regulation, Lugiano, who will attend Liberty University in the fall, launched a pitching wedge 160 yards to the green’s throat and rolled two putts for birdie. He birdied No. 10 (par 4, 418 yards) and made par on No. 15 (par 3, 218 yards), the second playoff hole, to advance.

“I’m sure Nick and I will go there early, play a couple of practice rounds together and have dinners together. It’s really nice that I’ll have a good friend with me,” Lugiano said.

Both Scenna, 18, of Wall Township, N.J., and Stocksdale, 18, Ellicott City, Md., inked red on their respective final holes. On No. 18, Scenna stuck a 9-iron from 146 yards to two feet for birdie. The Deal Golf & Country Club member is now 3-for-3 on the qualifying trail: MET Junior, New Jersey State Golf Association Amateur Championship and U.S. Junior Amateur.

On No. 9 (par 5, 571 yards), Stocksdale massacred a 4-iron 235 yards to 15 feet right of the flagstick. He sunk the sliding eagle attempt. Stocksdale missed the U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying cut by a stroke in two prior attempts.

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 345 Member Clubs and 110,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Name, city, stateScore
Nick Werner, Wilkes Barre, Pa.67
Dustin Stocksdale, Ellicott City, Md.70
Patrick Scenna, Wall Township, N.J.71
*Michael Lugiano, Jackson Township, Pa.72
Alternates (in order
*Austin Perkins, West Hartford, Conn.72
*Jeremiah Walker, Canada72
Failed to qualify
*Charlie Barrickman, Dallas, Pa.72
*Ravi Desai, Pittsburgh, Pa.72
Jack Hartman, Bethesda, Md.73
Marshall Bath, Canada73
Tanmay Chandra, Gainesville, Fla.73
Davis Conaway, West Chester, Pa.73
Ethan Martin, North Wales, Pa.74
Sihan Sandhu, Pinehurst, N.C.74
Harry Cohen, Ridgewood, N.J.74
Aiden Patel, Ashburn, Va.74
Henry Graham, Greenwich, Conn.75
Dylan Ramsey, Lebanon, Pa.75
Dawson Lew, Canada75
Stephan Moon, Canada75
Matthew Lim, Skillman, N.J.75
Owen Newberry, Crofton, Md.76
Sean Curran, Newtown Square, Pa.76
Ian Natale, Blue Bell, Pa.76
Jason Park, Fulton, Md.76
Nicolas Gaughan, West Chester, Pa.76
Luke Libbey, Lynchburg, Va.76
Braddock Damore, Warren, Pa.76
Andrew Hwang, McLean, Va.76
John Stevenson, Ambler, Pa.76
Chase Yenser, Douglassville, Pa.77
James Spallone, Chevy Chase, Md.77
Oliver Clark, Baltimore, Md.77
Ian Larsen, Glenmoore, Pa.77
Cael Ropietski, Harveys Lake, Pa.77
Jack Crowley, Wayne, Pa.78
Ryan Hoffner, Parkton, Md.78
Colby Komancheck, Royersford, Pa.78
Liam Crowley, Wayne, Pa.78
Chris Vahey, Elkins Park, Pa.79
Shaun Mazzalupi, Wayne, Pa.79
Sam Telljohann, Baldwin, Md.79
Nicky Nemo, Bryn Mawr, Pa.79
Sheng Hao Wu, Hong Kong, China79
Mehdi Ben Youssef, Tunisia80
Jack Homer, Wilmington, Del.80
Harrison Brown, Villanova, Pa.80
Brad McDermott, Wayne, Pa.80
Poramit Sangmanee, Thailand81
Jonah Schollaert, Sewickley, Pa.82
Caden Blanchette, Manchester, Pa.82
John Diamond, Philadelphia, Pa.82
Ethan Dai, Pittsburgh, Pa.83
Andrew Ma, Highstown, N.J.83
Michael G. Henry, Wayne, Pa.83
Travis Robertson, Tequesta, Fla.83
Shayne O’Doherty, Glenmoore, Pa.84
Braden Bhalla, Ridgewood, N.J.84
Tyler Fortney, Waynesboro, Pa.84
Andrew Ekstrom, York, Pa.84
Holden Vintiadis, Greenwich, Conn.84
Luke O’Grady-Rodgers, Carmel, N.Y.85
Minting Li, People’s Republic of China85
Declan McLane, Wyncote, Pa.85
Seiji Sako, Wynnewood, Pa.85
Jasper Timmer, Garrison, N.Y.86
Ryan Wang, Farmington, Conn.86
Thomas Biscotti, Mountain Top, Pa.88
Edward Paik, Jericho, N.Y.89
Ryan Altschul, Delray Beach, Fla.90
Lannon Boyd, Radnor, Pa.90
Benjamin Boyanoski, Dunmore, Pa.91
Owen Sun, Canada92
Oliver Cheuk, Hong Kong, China101
Michael Stanford, Vienna, Va.101
Justin Choi, Clarksville, Md.104
Michael Dignazio, Wilmington, Del.WD
Matthew Guy, Cockeysville, Md.WD
Grayden Laird, Galax, Va.WD
Benjamin Siriboury, Clarksville, Md.WD
Andrew Bilson, Lititz, Pa.DNF
Alec Hamilton, Stonington, Conn.DNF
James Travers, Chevy Chase, Md.DNF
DNF – did not finish
WD – withdrawal
* – determined in a playoff

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