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Aug. 8, 2018

Scott McNeil of Bala Golf Club holds a one-shot lead in the
116th #PatCup at Gulph Mills Golf Club after the opening round.

Bala’s McNeil finds comfort en route to 116th #PatCup lead

  KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa.-Life has interrupted Scott McNeil’s golf game. As typical for anyone around McNeil’s age, 32, family and work have pushed golf down the priority list.

| Scorecards | Round 2 tee times | Day 1 Notebook | History | Day 1 Video |

  However, with those obligations under control, a quick swing lesson in tow and longtime friend Doug Havens on the bag after a health scare, a clear-minded McNeil returned to his former stomping grounds Wednesday – the top of a leaderboard.

  McNeil, winner of the 2015 Middle-Amateur Championship, carded a toasty 4-under-par 67 in the opening round of the 116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup at a sweltering Gulph Mills Golf Club (par 71, 6,501 yards).

  The long-hitting righty posted three birdies, an eagle and a bogey to land atop the scoreboard. A total of 12 players finished under par.

  The cut line fell at 75 with 68 players advancing to Day 2. The final group of McNeil, Joe Tigani and Campbell Wolf start at 11:30 a.m. Tigani of Fieldstone Golf Club, Wolf of Carlisle Country Club as well as Chris Ault of Yardley Country Club stand at 3 under. Defending champion Peter Bradbeer of Merion Golf Club missed the cut.

  “Today was very enjoyable,” McNeil, a member at Bala Golf Club and resident of Philadelphia, Pa., said. “To have Doug back on the bag and enjoy ourselves was all that mattered to me. He’s worried about me and I am worried about him when it is this hot. It helps that I am not worried about myself.” Havens is 73 years old.

  McNeil’s not worried, but his competition should be. His ability to get out of the house early for a quick lesson with Bala pro Chris Barletta resulted in better, sharper contact throughout his round.

  McNeil said Barletta noticed he wasn’t staying down through impact. That adjustment resulted in plenty of birdie opportunities today.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 422 yards), he converted a 30-foot birdie putt straight up the hill. Five straight pars followed before, on No. 7 (par 5, 498 yards), he blasted a 7-iron from 166 yards to three feet. He drained the downhill breaker. On No. 11 (par 4, 317 yards), McNeil’s drive landed next to the green. He chipped up to two-and-a-half feet for a 3. A bogey on No. 17 (par 3, 205 yards) came as the result of a poor tee shot before McNeil reached No. 18 (par 5, 430 yards) in two shots and two-putted from 30 feet.

  “I feel like it could get better tomorrow,” McNeil said of his swing. “My ball-striking has been average. Nothing terrible, nothing great. I had some good consistency and fewer mistakes today.

  “I had a lot of good looks that I wasn’t able to convert. The pins and greens are difficult. It is difficult to make everything you look at because the greens break so much. I got more looks than I have had recently and I don’t feel like there is a ton of trouble off the tee for me [here].”

  Ault, Tigani and Wolf are all a shot back.

  Wolf threatened McNeil’s top spot but double bogeyed No. 18 after sending his second shot long of the green. The 19-year-old from Mechanicsburg, Pa., who is heading to DePaul University in the days ahead, had six birdies, a bogey and that double. The Patterson also serves as the final two rounds of the Silver Cross (the Silver Cross is awarded to the player with the lowest aggregate score in the qualifying rounds of the Amateur Championship and the Patterson Cup.) Wolf stands one behind leader Ryan Rucinski of Hartefeld National.

  “I just wanted to make as many birdies as I could,” said Wolf, who like McNeil, has never played Gulph Mills before. “I’m trying to win the Silver Cross.”

  Tigani, 22, of Hockessin, Del., who was playing in his second ever Patterson Cup, had four birdies, an eagle and three bogeys. Ault, who made four birdies and a bogey, has good vibes at Gulph Mills. His last appearance in a Golf Association of Philadelphia Major at the club, the 2014 Middle-Amateur, resulted in a second-place finish.

  "I love this place," Ault, 32, of Yardley, Pa., said. "It sets up well for me off the tee. It fits my eye really well because I like to fade the golf ball. It is fair but challenging. There is nothing I don't like about it. Whenever I step on the course here I feel comfortable."

Name, club

Score

Scott McNeil, Bala Golf Club

67

Christopher Ault, Yardley Country Club

68

Joe Tigani, Fieldstone Golf Club

68

Campbell Wolf, Carlisle Country Club

68

Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club

69

Conrad Von Borsig, Philadelphia Cricket Club

69

Peter Barron, III, Greate Bay Country Club

70

Nicky Marrollo, Whitford Country Club

70

Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club

70

Marty McGuckin, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

70

Gregor Orlando, Philadelphia Cricket Club

70

Sam Soeth, The ACE Club

70

Adam Armagost, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club

71

Alexander Butler, Bluestone Country Club

71

Danny Harcourt, Mercer Oaks Golf Course

71

David Hicks, The Shore Club

71

Troy Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton

71

Ryan Rucinski, Hartefeld National

71

Grant Skyllas, LedgeRock Golf Club

71

Thomas Timby, Jr., Mercer Oaks Golf Course

71

Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

72

Michael R. Brown, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club

72

Matthew Finger, DuPont Country Club

72

Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown

72

James Kania, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

72

Patrick Knott, Merion Golf Club

72

Matt Kocent, Philadelphia Cricket Club

72

Andrew Mason, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

72

Matthew Mattare, Saucon Valley Country Club

72

Paul Mauer, Stonewall

72

Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club

72

Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club

72

Ryan Tall, Spring Ford Country Club

72

Ethan Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club

72

Reed Winkler, Hartefeld National

72

Dawson Anders, Indian Valley Country Club

73

Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn Golf Club

73

Michael Carr, Philadelphia Cricket Club

73

Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club

73

Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club

73

John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club

73

Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club

73

Jeremy Wall, Manasquan River Golf Club

73

John Buliga, Yardley Country Club

74

Mark Farley, Lu Lu Country Club

74

Blake Hinckley, Wilmington Country Club

74

Brian Isztwan, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

74

Marco Nieto, Glenmaura National Golf Club

74

Dan Rudershausen, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

74

Jay Whitby, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

74

John Barone, Glenmaura National Golf Club

75

Robert Bechtold, Fieldstone Golf Club

75

Mark Benevento, Jr., Greate Bay Country Club

75

Carey Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club

75

Brandon Capone, Old York CC at Chesterfield

75

Christopher Cerminaro, Glenmaura National Golf Club

75

Andrew Cornish, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

75

Greg DeLuca, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

75

Thomas Dzwonczyk, Country Club of Scranton

75

David Herbst, West Shore Country Club

75

Andrew Lombardo, Indian Valley Country Club

75

Gary McCabe, Jr., RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

75

Michael Moffat, Lu Lu Country Club

75

Jeff Osberg, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

75

Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club

75

Steve Skurla, White Manor Country Club

75

James Sullivan, Jr., Lu Lu Country Club

75

Chris Warner, Yardley Country Club

75

Failed to qualify

Matthew Balcer, Bensalem Township Country Club

76

Zachary Falone, Sakima Country Club

76

Ben Feld, Green Valley Country Club

76

Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club

76

Eddie Johnson, Llanerch Country Club

76

Chris Lange, Jr., Overbrook Golf Club

76

Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club

76

Jack Melville, Lu Lu Country Club

76

Patrick Mitchell, Glenmaura National Golf Club

76

Alex Pillar, CC at Woodloch Springs

76

Ron Robinson, Commonwealth National Golf Club

76

Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club

76

Kevin Cahill, Merion Golf Club

77

Robert Firth, Jr., North Hills Country Club

77

Brian Fischer, Commonwealth National Golf Club

77

Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club

77

Joe Kerrigan, Jr., Llanerch Country Club

77

Matt Kristick, Blue Bell Country Club

77

Daniel Rieger, Sunnybrook Golf Club

77

Andrew Strock, Trenton Country Club

77

R.J. Wren, LedgeRock Golf Club

77

Steve Cerbara, Jericho National Golf Club

78

Bo Maguire, Brookside Country Club

78

Sean Seese, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

78

T.J. Summers, Commonwealth National Golf Club

78

Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club

78

Rodney Anders, Indian Valley Country Club

79

Michael Beran, Spring Ford Country Club

79

Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club

79

Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

79

David Kim, Commonwealth National Golf Club

79

Casey Lyons, Medford Village Country Club

79

Joseph Morganti, Llanerch Country Club

79

Owen Mulhern, Whitford Country Club

79

Greg O'Connor, Bellewood Country Club

79

Benjamin Pochet, Spring Ford Country Club

79

J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club

79

Christopher Thude, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

79

Matthew Walsh, Overbrook Golf Club

79

Eric Williams, Honesdale Golf Club

79

Arthur Worthington, Gulph Mills Golf Club

79

Greg Bender, Honeybrook Golf Club

80

Cal Buonocore, Llanerch Country Club

80

Danny Dougherty, DuPont Country Club

80

Brad McFadden, Overbrook Golf Club

80

Matthew O'Brien, Philadelphia Publinks GA

80

Connor Sharp, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

80

Brendan Bacskai, Applebrook Golf Club

81

Matt Chalupa, Inniscrone Golf Club

81

Matthew Davis, Aronimink Golf Club

81

Alex Golland, Spring Ford Country Club

81

David Hurly, White Manor Country Club

81

Jamie Slonis, Tavistock Country Club

81

Brad Sokol, Green Valley Country Club

81

Lodie Van Tonder, Sakima Country Club

81

Greg Welsh, Talamore Country Club

81

Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club

82

Kevin Kramarski, Riverton Country Club

82

Ryan Cass, Merchantville Country Club

83

Robert Good, II, Merion Golf Club

83

Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club

83

Phillip Villari, Jr., Riverton Country Club

83

Brett Wallace, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

83

Jordan Cook, Downingtown Country Club

84

Marc Groenhuysen, Radley Run Country Club

84

Connor Kelleher, Country Club of Scranton

85

James Gillespie, Little Mill Country Club

86

Brent Schoeller, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

87

P.J. Acierno, Lu Lu Country Club

90

Nic Portonova, Coatesville Country Club

102

Ed Brown, Wild Quail Golf & Country Club

WD

Michael Davis, Aronimink Golf Club

WD

Steve Oh, Philadelphia Cricket Club

WD

Benjamin Smith, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

WD

Eric DeKarski, Greate Bay Country Club

NS

WD-withdrawal; NS-no show

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