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Four top USGA Mid.-Am. Qualifier at Links GC

  MARLTON, N.J. - Four players registered a 1-over-par 72 to top Monday’s USGA Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier at Links GC (par 71, 6,721 yards).

  Christopher Binder of Little Mill CC, Michael Brown of Philadelphia Publinks GA, Brian Corbett of Huntsville GC and Chris Sylvia, who’s currently unaffiliated, rose above the 79-player field. They will now head to Kiawah Island Club in Charleston, S.C. to play in the tournament Oct. 3-8.

Chris Sylvia of Atco, N.J.
putts for birdie on No. 10.
  Binder, of Collingswood, N.J., didn’t let frustration unravel his performance.

  “I had a couple of errant 6-irons down the stretch,” he said.

  Binder, 26, blasted his 6-iron on No. 14 (par 3, 175 yards) over the green, and couldn’t get up-and-down for par from the downhill bunker lie that followed. He again pulled a 6-iron over the green on No. 17 (par 3, 174 yards) and carded a bogey. Binder left a 14-footer for birdie short on No. 18 (par 4, 400 yards) after his 8-iron found the green from 154 yards out.

  Binder formally returned to local competitive golf a few weeks ago at the USGA Amateur Championship Qualifier at Concord CC and the Golf Course at Glen Mills. He hadn’t competed in a Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament since 2002.

  “I was going to different schools, moving around a little bit, so I wasn’t playing as much,” Binder said. “I just went on vacation in South Carolina, so if I went again, that would be a bonus.”

  Brown, of Cheltenham, Pa., felt that his birdie on No. 9 (par 4, 400 yards) resuscitated his round. His pitching wedge traveled 126 yards, and Brown drained the ensuing 12-footer.

  “It gave me a chance on the back nine,” he said.

  Brown, 36, nearly carded an eagle on No. 12 (par 5, 512 yards) to two feet. He drained 10-footer for birdie on No. 17 after sticking his 7-iron to 10-feet. He looks forward to competing in the USGA Middle Amateur Championship.

  “Any opportunity to play for a Masters tournament, I will not pass up,” Brown said.

Michael Brown, the Association's reigning
Middle-Amateur Champion, also qualified Monday.
  Mistakes seemed few and far between for Corbett, of Clarks Summit, Pa.

  “I hit it in play all day, and I putted pretty good,” he said.

  Corbett, 50, found red figures on Nos. 7, 12(par 5, 512 yards) and 18. He played in the 2002 USGA Middle-Amateur Championship.

  “It was an experience of a lifetime,” Corbett said.

  Sylvia, of Atco, N.J., generated momentum early by firing a birdie on No. 1 (par 4, 365 yards). He punched out from underneath a tree with an 8-iron and drained a 12-footer. He then converted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 (par 3, 198 yards) and 5 (par 4, 375 yards). He knocked a 5-iron to eight feet on No. 4 and drained a tough 35-footer on No. 5.

  “I got under early, and kind of hung on,” he said. “I hit the ball real well, but kind of struggled coming in. I’m pretty happy with the round.”

  A fourth birdie came on No. 12 (par 5, 512 yards), but at a price. He broke his 3-iron from 225 yards out, but survived and sunk a 12-footer.

  “It whacked me in the back of the head,” Sylvia, 25, added.

  Prior to qualifying Monday, Sylvia hadn’t played golf in a month.

  “It was my day off, and I said, ‘You know what, let’s give it a try,” he said.

Brian Corbett of Huntsville GC (left)
and Jamie Slonis of Tavistock CC (right)
will compete in the USGA
Middle-Amateur Championship next month.
  Jamie Slonis of Tavistock CC edged Peter Barron of Stone Harbor GC in a sudden-death playoff to qualify. Both players logged 2-over-par 73s, respectively, in regulation.

  Slonis, of Sewell, N.J., birdied his final two holes (Nos. 8 and 9). He stuck a 6-iron to 10 feet on No. 8 (par 3, 186 yards) and smoked a GAP wedge 115 yards to 10 feet on No. 9 (par 4, 400 yards). Slonis also made a birdie on No. 2 (par 4, 334 yards). Standing in the right rough behind a tree, he punched out with a 7-iron and drained a 20-footer from the front fringe.

  “I stole one there. It was sort of lucky,” he said.

  Slonis seemed to level his play after making the turn at 4 over.

  “I knew I needed to shoot under par (on his back nine),” he said. “I knew I needed to make some birdies.”

  Slonis, 40, qualified for USGA Middle-Amateur Championship in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Monday’s achievement marks a highlight in his 2009 season.

  “I haven’t played well all year,” he said. “This will make my year.”

Qualifiers

Name

City

Scores

Brian Corbett

Clarks Summit, PA

72

Chris Sylvia

Atco, NJ

72

Christopher Binder

Collingswood, NJ

72

Michael Brown

Cheltenham, PA

72

#Jamie Slonis

Sewell, NJ

73

Alternates (in order)

#Peter Barron

Mays Landing, NJ

73

#Arthur Kania

Haverford, PA

74

Failed to Qualify

Daniel J Pinciotti Jr.

Huntingdon Valley, PA

74

Glenn Smeraglio

Newtown, PA

74

Paul Rogowicz

Yardley, PA

74

Ryan Gelrod

Blue Bell, PA

74

Thomas Borsello

Wilmington, DE

74

Tom Dicinti

Voorhees, NJ

74

Ashley Brasfield

Merion Station, PA

75

Frank Corrado Jr.

Washington Crossing, PA

75

Jack Wallace

Beverly, NJ

75

Rob Habeeb

Wayne, NJ

75

Robert Savarese

Lafayette Hill, PA

75

Sean Leonard

Haddonfield, NJ

75

Bill Jeremiah

West Grove, PA

76

Eric Williams

Honesdale, PA

76

John Castleman

Devon, PA

76

Michael McDermott

Bryn Mawr, PA

76

Nicholas Anderson

Philadelphia, PA

76

Robert Arthur

Marlton, NJ

76

Robert Loftus

Rosemont, PA

76

Robin McCool

Bethlehem, PA

76

Geoffrey Cooper

Philadelphia, PA

77

Jason Sacks

Cary, NC

77

David Shields

Erdenheim, PA

78

Greg Wolfe

Newark, DE

78

Johnny Murphy

Cape May Court House, NJ

78

Mark Wachter

Wilmington, DE

78

Robert Bechtold

Avondale, PA

78

Andy Dietz

Marlton, NJ

79

Anthony Ventura

Galloway, NJ

79

Brad Sokol

Wayne, PA

79

Brian Gillespie

Wayne, PA

79

Brian Sexton

Little Egg Harbor, NJ

79

Clinton Bunting

Rehoboth Beach, DE

79

D Drew Siok

Haddonfield, NJ

79

Jerry Horton

Hightstown, NJ

79

Lance Oberparleiter

Blenheim, NJ

79

Marc Mandel

Conshohocken, PA

79

Thomas Gramigna

Haddonfield, NJ

79

Chris Lange

Bryn Mawr, PA

80

Matt Gaffney

Sewell, NJ

80

Santo Lafoca

Pittston, PA

80

Sean Quinn

Philadelphia, PA

80

Steve Brown

Glassboro, NJ

80

Dino Stathis

Monroe Twp, NJ

81

Joe Hopkins

Newark, DE

81

Oscar Mestre

Berwyn, PA

81

Tom Carter

Sicklerville, NJ

81

Bill Turner

Delran, NJ

82

Charles Scalzott

North Wales, PA

82

Lee Richardson

Wayne, NJ

82

Todd Vonderheid

Kingston, PA

82

Anthony List

Havertown, PA

83

Gary Stewart

York, PA

83

Glen Schreiner

Elkton, MD

83

James Kusant

Stockton, NJ

83

William Green

Princeton, NJ

83

Rusty Seyle

Bethlehem, PA

86

Evan Markowitz

Philadelphia, PA

87

Kevin Bondi

Dresher, PA

88

Scott Mitchell

Wilmington, DE

102

Richard Blumberg

Philadelphia, PA

DQ

Anthony Denicco

Pottstown, PA

NS

Charlie Ball

Radnor, PA

WD

Chris Brooks

Florham Park, NJ

NC

David Livermore

Atlantic City, NJ

WD

Eduardo Nunez

Saddle Brook, NJ

WD

Hank Schinman

West Orange, NJ

NS

Michael Saunders

New York, NY

WD

Nicholas Verrecchio

Havertown, PA

WD

Ryan Jordan

Medford, NJ

DQ

Stephen Seiden

Chadds Ford, PA

WD

Tim Keightley

Newtown, PA

WD

# - determined in playoff; NC – no card

NS - no show; DQ - disqualification; WD - withdrawal

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