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DOYLESTOWN, Pa.–Perseverance proved positive, and necessary, for the trio that landed atop the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship Qualifying Wednesday at a hot and steamy Doylestown Country Club (par 72, 6,591 yards).
Evan Barbin of Elkton Md., Logan Paczewski of Dallas, Pa., and Calen Sanderson of Newtown, Pa. all overcame some form of adversity to qualify for their first USGA National Championship. The three finished at level par. Logan Wagner of Quarryville, Pa. survived a 2-for-1 playoff with a par on No. 10 (par 4, 365 yards) to advance. It’s his first U.S. Junior Amateur appearance as well.
All four are GAP members.
The 73rd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship is scheduled for July 19-24 at the Country Club of North Carolina (Dogwood and Cardinal) in Pinehurst, N.C. The tournament is open to any male amateur golfer who has not reached his 19th birthday by July 24 and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 4.4.
“[My brother Austin] said it’s one of the best tournaments you’ll ever play in,” said Barbin, 17, a rising senior at Red Lion Christian Academy. “Any USGA event is top of the line. I’m looking forward to it. Making this was my main goal all summer.”
Paczewski, who plays out of Huntsville Golf Club, and Sanderson, who is a Jericho National Golf Club member, have known each other since they were 7 years old competing in U.S. Kids Golf tournaments. Ironically, they were paired together in the first group off No. 1 tee today.
“We’ve known each other forever, he’s one of my best friends,” said Sanderson, 17, a rising senior at Holy Ghost Preparatory High. “It was cool to make it the same time he did.”
Paczewski, 18, of Dallas, Pa., a rising senior at Dallas High School, echoed Sanderson’s thoughts.
Both players have or had some physical issues and both started their U.S. Junior Amateur Qualifying rounds on shaky ground. Paczewski, a little more than a year removed from right elbow surgery, was 4 over after five holes and Sanderson, playing with a broken left index finger, stood 4 over after seven holes.
However, the pair kept hope alive. Paczewski, a Rutgers University commit, finished his final 13 holes with three birdies, an eagle and a bogey. Sanderson, a University of Notre Dame commit, in his last 11 holes, made four birdies and seven pars.
Paczewski’s push was highlighted with an eagle-birdie stretch on Nos. 14 (par 5, 499 yards) and 15 (par 4, 430 yards). He ripped a 7-iron 185 yards on the 14th to eight feet below the hole and made the putt. On the next, he lifted a sand wedge from 125 yards to 15 feet and canned the right to left breaker for a 3. Three pars to finish punched his ticket.
Sanderson called his beginnings out of sync. But his chances didn’t go Bye Bye Bye.
Instead, he went tweet, tweet, tweet with birdies on Nos. 8 (par 4, 298 yards), 12 (par 4, 367 yards), 14 and 18 (par 5, 519 yards).
“My finger was in a little bit of pain. It took me awhile to get used it and the opening holes are hard here,” said Sanderson. “I made birdie on 8 and kind of grinded it out on the back nine. And made birdie on 18 when I needed it. I figured even [par] would be a playoff or maybe make it.”
Barbin’s adversity wasn’t a about slow start but rather about a disappointing finish and the uneasy feeling that comes in qualifying events. Barbin, who calls Loch Nairn Golf Club home, bogeyed his final hole, No. 9 (par 5, 531 yards), after a poor second and a difficult third shot. However, that mental anguish proved unfounded thanks to his birdie on No. 8 (par 4, 298 yards). Taking the conservative route, he hit 7-iron off the tee and then knocked a 60-degree wedge from 90 yards to three feet, Barbin gave himself just enough leeway.
With brother, and 2020 BMW Philadelphia Amateur Champion Zach on the bag, Evan joined his brother Austin as Barbins to qualify for the U.S. Junior. Austin qualified in 2016 and 2019.
Joining those three is Wagner, 16, a rising junior at Solanco High School and a member at Meadia Heights Golf Club. Wagner had his backup driver in the bag after his primary one broke in the Pennsylvania Golf Association Junior Boys’ Championship yesterday.
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 274 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
|Name, city, state||Score|
|Evan Barbin, Elkton, Md.||72|
|Logan Paczewski, Dallas, Pa.||72|
|Calen Sanderson, Newtown, Pa.||72|
|*Logan Wagner, Quarryville, Pa.||73|
|Alternates (in order)|
|*Adam Lauer, Pittsburgh, Pa.||73|
|*Peyton Mussina, Montoursville, Pa.||74|
|Failed to qualify|
|*Teddy Seitz, Washington, D.C.||74|
|*Darren Nolan, Glenside, Pa.||74|
|Ajeet Bagga, Blue Bell, Pa.||75|
|Jackson Debusschere, Wallingford, Pa.||75|
|Jakub Dalibor Sutor, Czech Republic||75|
|Karl Frisk, Spring Grove, Pa.||76|
|Jack Ross, Medford Lakes, N.J.||76|
|Nick Ciocca, Berwyn, Pa.||77|
|Jake Haberstumpf, Bethlehem, Pa.||77|
|Milo Jezzeny, Furlong, Pa.||77|
|Kevin Lafond, Blue Bell, Pa.||77|
|Jake Maddaloni, Newtown Square, Pa.||77|
|Zachary Ong, Singapore||77|
|Corey Haydu, Doylestown, Pa.||78|
|Pa.trick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.||78|
|Benjamin Saggers, West Chester, Pa.||78|
|Connor Strine, Lancaster, Pa.||78|
|T.J. Bohl, Nazareth, Pa.||79|
|John Bradbeer, Rosemont, Pa.||79|
|Kevin Lydon, Doylestown, Pa.||79|
|Jack Rosen, Boca Raton, Fla.||79|
|Elijah Ruppert, Fleetwood, Pa.||79|
|Darren Choi, Hong Kong, China||80|
|Tyler Debusschere, Wallingford, Pa.||80|
|Eric Fryer, Ambler, Pa.||80|
|Blake Stewart, Perkasie, Pa.||80|
|Drew Clark, Kennett Square, Pa.||81|
|Scott Hughes, Ambler, Pa.||81|
|Luke Kelly, Wayne, Pa.||81|
|Luke Watson, Doylestown, Pa.||81|
|Andrew Davenport, Haverford, Pa.||82|
|Tyler Leyden, Glenside, Pa.||82|
|Christian Matt, Ambler, Pa.||82|
|Tyler Smith, Maple Shade, N.J.||82|
|Chase Stephano, Wayne, Pa.||82|
|Chris Dorey, Allentown, N.J.||83|
|James Gradisek, Wayne, Pa.||83|
|Henry Stone, Kennett Square, Pa.||83|
|Brett McGrath, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.||84|
|Lucas Steinmetz, Gilbertsville, Pa.||84|
|Tyler Hager, Lehighton, Pa.||85|
|Chad Kemmerer, Malvern, Pa.||85|
|Jack Yearley, Wayne, Pa.||85|
|Jason Koch, Stroudsburg, Pa.||89|
|Quinn Bookbinder, Wayne, Pa.||92|
|Charlie Cummings, Wyckoff, N.J.||NS|
|Gavin Girard, East Setauket, N.Y.||NS|
|Alex Mulrooney, Wilmington, Del.||WD|
|Cooper Russell, Knoxville, Tenn.||WD|
|Zach Sandler, Gladwyne, Pa.||WD|
|Jack Davis, Newtown Square, Pa.||WD|
|*-determined in playoff|
|NS-no show; WD-withdrawal|
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