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*Plymouth CC's Melnick Jr. tops Junior Boys’ Qualifier
*HVCC's Galbreath Jr. still alive in quest for third Junior Boys’ title
*Championship bracket
*First Flight bracket
*FULL VIDEO COVERAGE

HVCC’s Galbreath Jr. does it again;
wins third Junior Boys' Championship

  NEWARK, Del.– Robert Galbreath, Jr. of Huntingdon Valley CC narrowly knocked off Robert Robertson of Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1-up, Thursday at Cavaliers CC (par 71, 6,558 yards) to win his third Junior Boys’ title, taking his place in the GAP record books as only the second player to accomplish such a feat in the 93-year history of the storied Junior Program.

Robert Galbreath, Jr. on No. 17.
  Galbreath steamrolled over the competition which included a 7&5 victory over Vinny Alessi of Penn Oaks GC; a, 6&4, win to top Bobby Arthur of Tavistock CC and a, 7&6, Final Four triumph over Jimmy Johnston of Merion GC before defeating Robertson in Thursday’s final.

  Meredith M. Jack of Merion Cricket Club was the only other player to win three Junior titles, only he did it in consecutive fashion from 1914 to 1916.

  "It’s really nice that I’ve won three [Junior Championships]," said Galbreath, who had no idea he was only the second junior player to do so. "It’s a really special feeling. This is just great, I really can’t explain it."

  In each of Galbreath’s match-play victories, the 16-year-old from Huntingdon Valley, Pa. jumped out to quick leads. Galbreath never trailed any of his opponents through the entire match-play portion of the Championship.

  "When you’re playing match play you try to get off to the quickest start you can just to build a lead," he said. "You have such great players in GAP and great junior golfers, so you need some cushion against a lot of these guys because of how good they are.

  "That’s just what my mindset was throughout the tournament."

  "He just got off to a hot start,” Robertson said. “I knew that I had to make a lot of birdies to get to him. That was really the only way I was going to win a hole."

Robert Robertson (left)
with Michael Sharp, Jr. Coordinator.
  But for the first time in the contest, Galbreath’s cushion was threatened as Robertson pared No. 7 (par 4, 454 yards) to Galbreath’s bogey that brought his lead down to 1-up as the match headed to No. 8 (par 4, 319 yards).

  "I wanted to give myself a little bit more of cushion against a player like Rob Robertson," said Galbreath of the only opponent that forced him to play a full 18 holes in the match play portion of the event. "He’s a really good player and you had to watch out for him on the back nine."

  "I usually take a little bit to warm up,” said Robertson of his playing style. “The back nine is where I usually make my move."

  However, Galbreath put a quick stop to Robertson’s surge as he halved No. 8 and then birdied No. 9 (par 4, 348 yards) as Robertson’s drive found the right trees and then the right greenside bunker. Galbreath’s drive of 300-plus yards left him only a 45-yard approach shot to which he stuck to within a couple feet for a conceded birdie.

  "I really needed to make sure I took advantage of the opportunity," Galbreath said. "I hit a good drive and I was lucky enough to hit a wedge shot close enough to make birdie. I just wanted to have a 2-up lead rather than a 1-up lead going to the back nine."

Galbreath’s drive
on No. 18 goes left.
  Galbreath’s lead grew to three holes on No. 12 (par 4, 382 yards) with a par. But his advantage quickly diminished on No. 16 (par 5, 518 yards) after he knocked his bunker shot over the green and was forced to concede the hole to Robertson who was on the green for birdie.

  Galbreath was now 1-up with two holes to play.

  "Knowing that I had been in situations like that before really helped," Galbreath said. "I just wanted to make sure I put the ball in play on No. 17."

  Added Galbreath, "It kind of sounds crazy but I think it was an advantage for me to watch what he did off the tee. That gave me a little extra time to calm down and talk to myself a little bit about what I was doing wrong and doing right in the match and focus on those things."

  Galbreath indeed put his tee shot in play and halved the hole with Robertson after brief weather delay.

  But from the onset of No. 18 (par 4, 383 yards), things looked grim for Galbreath who was now dormie. After Robertson laced a drive down the right side of the fairway, Galbreath’s tee shot went dead left into the trees but miraculously found the fairway after a fortuitous bounce left him 160 yards to the flagstick.

Robertson reacts
as his birdie putt misses.
  "I’ve been very lucky the last few years in a lot of tournaments and that was a really fortunate break that I got," admitted Galbreath of his drive on No. 18.

  From that point Galbreath hit a hard 8-iron to the front collar of the green while Robertson was on the green for birdie just 15-feet beyond the hole. Unfortunately, for Robertson, his birdie putt missed and Galbreath two putted for par to halve the hole and take the match.

  "That’s what happens when you’re playing well,” said Robertson of Galbreath’s rather auspicious drive. “I thought that if I hung within two [holes] of him I’d be all right towards the end."

  "I just tried to make sure that if he was going to beat me it was going to be with birdie," said Galbreath. "That’s what you have to do in match play. You can’t give holes away."

Eiler’s birdie on No. 9.
  In the First Flight Final, Peter Eiler of Commonwealth National GC defeated Andrew Lawson of Hershey's Mill GC, 2-up.

  Lawson jumped out to a two-hole lead on Eiler before Eiler came back with a birdie on No. 9 to bring the match back to All Square.

  Eiler took the lead for good on the next hole (No. 10, par 4, 383 yards) with a par and closed out the victory on No. 18 with a long birdie putt.

  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 135 Member Clubs and 60,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The purpose of the Association is simple: To promote, protect and preserve the game of golf in the region.

Final
8. Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley CC, d., 3. Robert Robertson, Philadelphia Cricket Club, 1-up

Results
Final Four

8. Robert Galbreath, Jr., Huntingdon Valley CC, d., 13. Jimmy Johnston, Merion GC, 7&6
3. Robert Robertson, Philadelphia Cricket Club, d. 15. Joe Bernard, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve, 19 holes

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