Overbrook GC's Michael Kania takes
• Championship Flight bracket
• First Flight bracket
• Second Flight bracket
• Third Flight bracket
• Day One results
• Day Two results
CHERRY HILL, N.J.-Michael Kania of Overbrook GC defeated medallist Patrick Welsh of Huntingdon Valley CC, 4&3, Wednesday to win the 56th Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship of the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Merchantville CC (par 72, 5,628 yards).
The competition is for players aged 11 to 13.
Kania, 13, who barely qualified Monday for the Championship Flight with a nine-hole score of 44 and was extended to three extra holes Tuesday in his quarterfinal match, put it into cruise control on Wednesday.
He jumped quickly to a 2-up lead over Welsh with pars on Nos. 1 and 2, both par fives. Welsh cut the lead to one when he took the par 4 5th hole, but Kania promptly took Nos. 6, 7 and 9 with pars to make the turn 4-up. His medal score was 2-over-par 38 for the nine.
Welsh, 13, who qualified Monday with a 1-over-par 37, cut the margin to three holes with a par on the 11th (par 5), as Kania’s third shot missed the green to the left. But Welsh gave it right back on the 130-yard, par 3 12th, hitting his tee shot under a big pine tree to the right of the green.
He made another comeback with a three-foot birdie putt on the par 4 13th to get back to 3-down. After they halved 14 in par 4, the match ended on the 155-yard, par 3, 15th. Welsh missed the green left, chipped to within five feet, only to have his par-saving putt lip out, losing the hole to Kania’s par. The winner was even par for six holes on the back nine.
"Good," Kania grinned when asked how he felt after the victory. He said the advice of his caddie – his brother, James – helped in the win, as did his increasing level of play during the three-day tournament. After qualifying, he said, "I broke 40 on all the other nines I played."
In the First Flight final on Wednesday, Edward McCrossen of Whitemarsh Valley CC defeated Devon Sweeney of Greate Bay CC, 2&1. McCrossen, a diminutive 12-year-old, built a 5-up lead over Sweeney early in the match.
But Sweeney came back steadily, cutting the deficit to 1-down playing the par 4 17th. But after just missing the green, he took three shots to get out of a right bunker, with McCrossen having only a tap-in for par.
In the Second Flight final, a close, up-and-down match that went 22 holes, Mike Meehan of Moorestown FC defeated Jim Johnston of Merion GC. Meehan was 2-down with four to play, but evened the match with a bogey on the par 4 No.17 when Johnston bladed a bunker shot over the green and out of bounds.
After Johnston drained a clutch 10-footer for par on the par 5 19th hole to keep the match alive, Meehan took the 22nd hole with a par 4, after Johnston hit his tee shot right, pitched short of the green and couldn’t get up and down.
On Tuesday, Julian Dorey of Tavistock CC defeated A.J. Kania of Overbrook CG for the Third Flight title.