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Galbreath downs Davis to take Junior ChampionshipPHILADELPHIA, Pa.â€“On Wednesday, for the second year in a row, Robert Galbreath, Jr., of Huntingdon Valley CC came from behind on the back nine to win the Golf Association of Philadelphiaâ€™s Junior Boysâ€™ Championship.
He became only the eighth back-to-back winner of the championship and the first since Billy Stewart of Llanerch CC in 2000 and 2001.
Last year, he beat James Kania, Jr., of Overbrook GC, 1-up, at Philmont CC (South course), after being 3-down with five holes to play.
"It feels great," he said after Wednesdayâ€™s match. "But I was fortunate to get a few breaks because Amory played fabulous."
Galbreath made the turn 1-up and drained a seven-foot birdie putt on the 471-yard, par-5 10th hole to go up by two.
Then on No. 11, a downhill 199-yard, par 3 guarded in front and on the right by a large, walled creek, the fickle gods of golf changed direction twice. Galbreathâ€™s tee shot faded way right, heading toward the creek. But it clanked off a big oak and bounced sideways over the creek, onto the green, 30 feet from the flagstick.
Davisâ€™ tee ball hit short of the green and almost spun back into the creek. Advantage Galbreath, but not for long. Davis bounced a lob wedge onto the green and into the cup for deuce to win the hole.
Galbreath caught another break on No. 15, a 292-yard par 4, when he blocked his tee shot right into trees only to have it bounce back into the fairway. The hole was halved with pars.
Then on No. 16, a 550-yard par 5, after two booming drives down the middle, Galbreath hit his second shot right, again into the trees, and Davis hooked a long iron into the left trees. While Davis had to chip out, Galbreath wound up with not only a clear path to the green, but an excellent angle to the back left hole location.
He hit a wedge to 12 feet and sank the putt for a birdie to square the match.
Davis saved the match with a four-foot par putt on No. 17 (par 3, 168 yards) that made almost a full lap around the hole before spiraling in to keep the match All Square.
But he pulled a high, errant drive well to the left on No 18, a 364-yard par 4, landing on the 10th tee and behind more trees. Again, he had to pitch out and hit a wedge to 16 feet.
Galbreath killed a long drive down the middle, but his 120-yard wedge spun off the green and down a steep bank, from where he chipped to six feet. Davis missed his par putt by a couple of inches, and Galbreath drained his par putt for the title.
A dejected Davis said, " I hacked it around. I couldnâ€™t hit the fairways, I couldnâ€™t hit my wedge and couldnâ€™t putt." The gallery, however, couldnâ€™t have disagreed more, as it watched Davis shoot a 73 (37-36) in a grueling, pressure-filled match.
Galbreath earned a berth in the final match by grinding out a, 2&1, win over Sam Ryder of Aronimink GC. Davis dispatched Philip Anzaldo of Tavistock CC, 3&2, who earlier this month had qualified for the USGA Junior Amateur.
Galbreath won despite being uncharacteristically wild, 6-over par for 17 holes. He closed out the match with a two-putt par 3 on the 182-yard No. 17, as Ryder sprayed his tee shot wide left and bogeyed the hole.
In a match for the First Flight Championship, Phillip Batholomew of Yardley CC defeated Richard Marabella of Whitemarsh Valley CC, 1-up.