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July 14, 2014

Cole Berman is all smiles after winning the 30th Jock MacKenzie Memorial.

*Photo gallery
*Scorecards
*Junior Player of the Year Award standings
*Harry Hammond Award standings
*History

Philly Cricket’s Berman bests Conners in playoff for Jock MacKenzie

  ORELAND, Pa. — Love-hate best describes the relationship between Cole Berman and the Jock MacKenzie Memorial the last two years. Berman loves the scores that he’s posted in one of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Majors. Both ultimately helped the Philadelphia Cricket Club youngster secure consecutive Harry Hammond Awards. Berman hates that those scores haven’t been good enough to capture the trophy.

  The relationship turned into a full-on love affair Monday. Berman, playing in his final Junior event, bested Whitford Country Club’s Kevin Conners, Jr. in a sudden-death playoff to win the tournament’s 30th edition at Sandy Run Country Club (par 72, 6,370 yards). Both players carded respective 3-under-par 69s in regulation.

  “This event has been really frustrating for me in my career,” Berman, 18, of Rosemont, Pa., said. “I lost in a playoff [for the Junior-Junior Division] when I was 13. I’ve lost by one the past two years. It was win or nothing today.”

  What a dramatic curtain call it was.

Kevin Conners, Jr.

  Berman, playing in the day’s fifth group, seized the clubhouse lead early, yet the ghosts of chasers past kept his nerves on edge. Conners, who teed off three hours after Berman, birdied three of his final four holes to jolt up the leaderboard. A two-hour weather delay kept both players waiting in the scoring area, hardware hopes intact.

  “I’ve been playing well the last couple of weeks, so I was excited to come here and give it a shot,” Conners, 17, of Downingtown, Pa., said. “I knew Cole would probably be my biggest competition. We both played well. Congrats to him on the birdie in the playoff.”

  On No. 1 (par 4, 351 yards), the first playoff hole, Berman lifted a gap wedge 120 yards to 10 feet. Conners found the fairway with a 4-iron and knocked his approach to 15 feet. He missed the ensuing birdie try. Berman wasted little time in addressing his putt and deposited a triumphant right-to-left breaker. He looked to the sky, pointed and smiled.

  “I don’t think my eyes were open on that last putt,” Berman said. “It was awesome.”

  In regulation, Berman started his title quest in titlist fashion, hitting a pitching wedge 125 yards to 15 feet for birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 351 yards). Berman went back-to-back on Nos. 7 (par 4, 319 yards) and 8 (par 5, 546 yards) — the first being a bit more conventional. He sent a 58-degree wedge 92 yards to three feet on No. 7. On the next hole, a wayward 3-wood put Berman beside a tree on the left-hand side. With a tedious lie, he smacked a sand wedge 60 yards to two feet. Berman’s birdie ways continued on the par 5, 556-yard 11th hole, where he executed a brilliant up-and-down after powering a 260-yard 3-wood shot greenside left.

  Three holes heading in — Nos. 13 (par 4, 358 yards), 15 (par 5, 475 yards) and 17 (par 4, 373 yards) — represented untapped scoring opportunities. Berman missed makeable six-footers for birdies on each. A wedge from 102 yards on No. 16 (par 4, 370) painted the flagstick but landed on the back fringe. Overly cautious with the ensuing chip, Berman advanced his golf ball three feet and then failed to convert a 15-footer for par.

  “Today has been my whole summer: playing well but just not scoring,” Berman said. “I won Player of the Year two years in a row, but I actually haven’t won a tournament. I haven’t won any tournament [IJGT Bridgestone Series event] since March 2012. I wanted to win, especially since it was my last GAP Junior event.”

  Berman will head Georgetown University in the fall, where he plans to major in finance.

  Conners, a Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine Player to Watch in 2014, is four days removed from capturing the Christman Cup. Conservative play Monday thrust the incoming senior at Bishop Shanahan High School into contention.

  “I played smart throughout the whole round,” Conners said. “I kind of laid up to specific yardages that I like around 100 yards. I put it inside 10 feet a lot; I just wasn’t converting. I just knew birdies where out on the back. I just had to stay patient.”

  Knowledge was power for Conners. He drilled a 4-iron 210 yards to 15 feet and left his eagle attempt inches shy on the par 5, 475-yard 15th hole. Conners whacked a 56-degree wedge 105 yards to five feet for birdie on No. 16 (par 4, 370 yards), a 60-degree wedge 80 yards to four feet on No. 17 (par 4, 373 yards). His outward tour was less exhilarating. Conners fired a birdie on No. 5 (par 4, 384 yards) after cranking a gap wedge 110 yards to eight feet. His lone blemish occurred on No. 4 (par 4, 318 yards) courtesy of a push 3-iron that traveled into the trees.

Harry Hammond Award
  Three days ago, Blaine Lafferty thought that only the qualifying round in the Junior Boys’ Championship and both rounds in the Christman Cup comprised the Harry Hammond Award. He realized that the Jock MacKenzie Memorial also counted toward the honor late Friday and scrambled to become a part of the field.

  After all, the Burlington Country Club member held a five shot lead over Merchantville Country Club’s Connor Goodrich heading in.

  “I e-mailed Chris [Roselle, GAP Tournament Director] and luckily I was able to slide in here,” Lafferty, 18, of Marlton, N.J., said. “As far as the award goes, I knew I had a pretty nice cushion. I wasn’t hitting it as well as I wanted, but I knew if I went out there and tried to grind out pars, I could hold on.”

Daniel Bastian

  That he did. Lafferty, who will attend the University of Delaware in the fall, carded a 75 to Goodrich’s 74 Monday to secure his first and final Harry Hammond Award. Coaching counsel continues to boost Lafferty’s game this summer. He finished as a semifinalist in the Junior Boys’ Championship and runner-up in last week’s Christman Cup.

  “I feel like my ball-striking has really been my biggest asset, but then I met up with Mike Dynda and he helped me with my putting. That took me to a whole new level,” Lafferty, a recent Cherokee High School graduate, said. “I finally got those things combined to click together during the summer. I feel pretty confident right now with where I’m at. I’m sure I’ll be playing a lot of these kids in college, and it’s good to know that I can compete.”

Junior-Junior
  Daniel Bastian earned bragging rights in his household with a victory in the tournament’s Junior-Junior Division. The Rolling Green Golf Club member, whose older brother Matthew is a regular on the Association’s Junior circuit, carded a 4 over 40 to prevail by a stroke.

  “It feels pretty good. I won a tournament before my brother, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Daniel, 13, of Media, Pa., said.

  Daniel trailed playing partner Billy Civitella of Aronimink Golf Club by two strokes entering the par 4, 300-yard 18th hole. He pulled ahead with a textbook par, slapping a sand wedge 90 yards to 20 feet and two putting. Civitella carded a double bogey to fall back.

NOTES — Play was delayed two hours due to lightning in the area … Jock MacKenzie served as Sandy Run Country Club’s head professional for more than three decades. The Memorial tournament, which originated in 1985, is named in his honor. It is open to Junior golfers — both male and female — from GAP Member Clubs. Sandy Run hosts the event each year.

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 150 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. 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.

Results

Junior Boys' Division

Name, club

Scores

*Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

69

Kevin Conners, Jr., Whitford Country Club

69

Steve Cerbara, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

72

Cody Fitzpatrick, Commonwealth National Golf Club

73

Griffin Colvin, Concord Country Club

73

Liam Murphy, Hartefeld National

73

Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club

73

Thomas Fisher, North Hills Country Club

73

Connor Goodrich, Merchantville Country Club

74

Daniel Altieri, Hopewell Valley Golf Club

74

Drew Guarino, Old York CC at Chesterfield

74

Jack Gregor, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74

Liam McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74

Paul Mauer, Stonewall

74

Ryan Bowman, Aronimink Golf Club

74

Benjamin Kotler, Squires Golf Club

75

Blaine Lafferty, Burlington Country Club

75

Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75

Jack Henderson, Gulph Mills Golf Club

75

John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club

75

Michael Burns, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

75

Nicholas Cappetti, Burlington Country Club

75

Quinn Dolan, Rolling Green Golf Club

75

Trey Croney, Overbrook Golf Club

75

Brock Kovach, Berkshire Country Club

76

Davis Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club

76

Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

76

Hugh Farris, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

76

Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club

76

Matthew Cleary, Wilmington Country Club

76

Patrick Corcoran, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

76

Seamus Gibbons, Talamore Country Club

76

Brandon Raihl, Heidelberg Country Club

77

Jack Quirk, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

77

Michael Reed-Price, Sunnybrook Golf Club

77

Ryan Bree, Fieldstone Golf Club

77

Andrew Kotler, Cherry Valley Country Club

78

Cole Swiger, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

78

David Gall, Riverton Country Club

78

Jacob Molnar, Talamore Country Club

78

Matthew Bastian, Jr., Rolling Green Golf Club

78

Nicolas McCook, Applecross Country Club

78

Phillip Held, Jr., Blue Bell Country Club

78

Brad Ebersole, The Ridge at Back Brook

79

Frankie Brigidi, Philadelphia Cricket Club

79

Mark Lunney, Jr., Sandy Run Country Club

79

Matthew Ade, Riverton Country Club

79

Max Siegfried, Aronimink Golf Club

79

Nick Fizzano, Rolling Green Golf Club

79

Reid Worster, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

79

Ryan Cleary, Wilmington Country Club

79

Chris Binet, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

80

Jake Fazio, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

80

Nolan Dirienzi, Rolling Green Golf Club

80

Jack St. Amour, Llanerch Country Club

81

R.J. Wren, Applecross Country Club

81

Chris Ferguson, North Hills Country Club

82

David Pontari, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

82

Max Harrington, Brookside C.C. of Allentown

82

Conor McGrath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

83

Francis McVeigh, III, Llanerch Country Club

83

Nat Gallen, Berkshire Country Club

83

Robert Olseski, Sandy Run Country Club

83

Sawyer Wolfers, GAP Junior eClub

83

Wills Montgomery, Whitford Country Club

83

John Hansel, Sandy Run Country Club

85

Michael Barychewsky, Spring Mill Country Club

86

Otis Baker, Gulph Mills Golf Club

86

Archie Filshill, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club

87

Kyle Kost, Lookaway Golf Club

88

Ryan McHugh, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

88

Ryan Ledwith, Blue Bell Country Club

89

James Gavaghan, Sandy Run Country Club

90

Michael O'Neill, Overbrook Golf Club

90

Jeff St. Amour, Llanerch Country Club

91

Justin Hershey, Applebrook Golf Club

91

Michael Zeng, Applecross Country Club

91

Matthew McGettigan, Sandy Run Country Club

94

Christopher Dirienzi, Rolling Green Golf Club

96

Michael Bonacci, Jr., Sandy Run Country Club

96

Gavin Schmitt, Sandy Run Country Club

132

Jalen Griffin, Talamore Country Club

WD

Tom Hamilton, Merion Golf Club

WD

Junior Girls' Division

Name, club

Scores

Annika Vandayar, Penn Oaks Golf Club

80

Meghan Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club

83

Emily Gilbert, Brookside Country Club

85

Maggie Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

88

Cassidy Gavaghan, Sandy Run Country Club

90

Georgia Naples, White Manor Country Club

90

Danielle Carr, Sandy Run Country Club

108

Cameron Fisher, Talamore Country Club

119

Junior-Junior Boys' Division

Name, club

Scores

Daniel Bastian, Rolling Green Golf Club

40

Billy Civitella, Aronimink Golf Club

41

Colman Mitchell, Wilmington Country Club

41

Stephen Lorenzo, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

41

Kevin Civitella, Aronimink Golf Club

45

Frankie Gregor, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

46

Patrick Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

46

Jack Burton, Overbrook Golf Club

53

David Kratz, Flourtown Country Club

54

Matthew Lafond, Blue Bell Country Club

54

Andrew Curran, Overbrook Golf Club

NS

Junior-Junior Girls' Division

Name, club

Scores

Kathleen Mark, Rolling Green Golf Club

59

WD – withdrawal; NS – no show; * - won in playoff

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