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Three share medalist crown in Amateur Qualifier at Wedgwood CC

  WASHINGTON TWP., N.J. – Greg Matthias of Hartefeld National, James Rocks, III of Wedgwood CC and Benjamin Smith of Woodcrest CC each carded a 2-over-par 74 to share medalist honors in Wednesday’s Amateur Championship Qualifier at a cool and damp Wedgwood CC (par 72, 6,760 yards).

James Rocks, III of Wedgwood CC
  The trio led a field of 74 players attempting to earn one of the 21 qualifying spots and ties available for the 110th edition of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Amateur Championship set for June 21-23 & 26 at Saucon Valley CC.

  Matthias, of Wilmington, Del., made par on 10 on his first 11 holes.

  “I was hitting fairways and greens and making routine shots,” he said.

  Matthias, who began on the back nine, carded a birdie on No. 2 (par 5, 520 yards). His 3-iron sailed 235 yards and settled 10 yards in front of the green. He chipped up and converted a two-footer. Matthias, a sophomore at the University of Delaware, didn’t make any critical saves throughout the day and felt comfortable around the greens.

  “My short game was working,” he said.

  Matthias, 19, missed the match play portion of last year’s Amateur Championship at Stonewall. He hopes that changes this year.

  “We had an event there for school, but I missed out on it,” Matthias said. “I’m excited to play Saucon (Valley). I hear it’s awesome.”

  Rocks, of Winslow Township, N.J., didn’t find course knowledge to be truly advantageous.

  “I haven’t played much this year, to be honest,” he said. “My short game clicked today. I made a lot of putts. I hit it straight all day. I didn’t miss much.”

  Rocks’ sole birdie occurred on No. 14 (par 4, 375 yards). He launched his sand wedge 132 yards and rolled in a downhill 50-footer. Rocks, 30, also made a key par save on No. 17 (par 5, 492 yards). An errant 3-wood settled in the right-side trees. Standing 133 yards from the flagstick, he knocked his 8-iron into the right bunker, but escaped and executed a short par putt.

  This marks the first time Rocks has attempted to qualify for the Amateur Championship. The venue, mixed with a touch of family motivation, prompted him to play Wednesday.

  “My dad’s been in the hospital for a month, so he’d be angry if I didn’t play today,” he said. “It was an inspired round, I guess you could say.”

  Like Matthias, Smith, of Voorhees, N.J., relied on a steady short game.

  “I made a lot of putts,” Smith said. "I was a little wayward off the tee, but I was able to get it in spots where I could chip it out,”

Greg Matthias of Hartefeld National
  Smith, who began his round on the back nine, earned his first red figure on No. 14 (par 4, 375 yards). After his 3-wood found the fairway, Smith blasted a sand wedge 100 yards to four feet and cleaned up the birdie putt. His 5-iron on the par 3, 117-yard 16th hole hit the flagstick, and Smith, 23, then drained a downhill 30-footer for birdie.

  On No. 1 (par 4, 427 yards), Smith drilled his approach 9-iron 140 yards and converted a six-footer for birdie. He hit a tight wedge 83 yards to six-feet on No. 5 (par 5, 537 yards ) and sunk the straight away birdie try. Smith’s only significant hiccup came on the challenging No. 13 (par 4, 430 yards). With a tree blocking a firm angle to the green, he attempted to lay up to the left of the water with an 8-iron, but ended up knocking his ball into the water. Smith went on to card a double bogey.

  Smith, who qualified for last year’s Amateur Championship at Stonewall, hopes to gain a match play berth this year. He missed a spot by two strokes in 2009.

  “I’m looking to redeem that this year,” Smith said.

  At the end of the day, the cut line fell to 78.

  Wednesday’s qualifier was the second of two Amateur Championship qualifiers used to determine who will play in the Championship. Matthew Finger of Wedgwood CC and Christopher Reedman of Makefield Highlands GC each carded a 1-over-par 73 to share medalist honors in the first qualifier, which took place at Indian Valley CC.

Qualifiers

Name

Club

Scores

Benjamin Smith

Woodcrest Country Club

74

Greg Matthias

Hartefeld National

74

James Rocks, III

Wedgwood Country Club

74

Eric Spiller

Woodcrest Country Club

75

John Aloisio

Greate Bay Country Club

75

Ryan Pfeifer

Bensalem Township Country Club

75

Chris Lange, Jr.

Overbrook Golf Club

75

Quin Trigg

Hartefeld National

76

Mark Kosko

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

76

Michael Santerian

Wedgwood Country Club

76

Michael Korcuba

Running Deer Golf Club

76

Marty Crounse

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

76

Stephen Seiden

Concord Country Club

77

Anthony List, Jr.

Llanerch Country Club

77

Frank Corrado, Jr.

Jericho National Golf Club

77

Nick Verrecchio

Rolling Green Golf Club

77

Ryan Gelrod

Commonwealth National Golf Club

78

Ben Feld

Blue Bell Country Club

78

Tom DiCinti

Links Golf Club

78

Robert Cummings

Riverton Country Club

78

David Liotta

Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

78

John Giori

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

78

Mike Miklinevich

Greate Bay Country Club

78

Bobby Arthur, Jr.

Tavistock Country Club

78

Failed to qualify

Jeff Klagholz

Rolling Green Golf Club

79

Matt Foust

Bensalem Township Country Club

79

Joseph Roeder

Links Golf Club

79

Fran Begley

Wedgwood Country Club

79

Lance Oberparleiter

Little Mill Country Club

79

William Bello

Metedeconk National Golf Club

80

Bill Murray

Merchantville Country Club

80

Ken Sim

Commonwealth National Golf Club

80

Gregory Buliga

Yardley Country Club

80

Brad McFadden

Overbrook Golf Club

80

Christopher Parmer

Metedeconk National Golf Club

80

Beau Guarino

Little Mill Country Club

80

Gene Flanagan

The Springhaven Club

80

Frank Nattle

The ACE Club

81

Raymond Andrusiewicz

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

81

Andrew Dietz

Laurel Creek Country Club

81

Steven Passalacqua

Wedgwood Country Club

81

Chris Hunger

Wedgwood Country Club

81

Bill Turner

Philadelphia Publinks GA

81

Robert Loftus

Overbrook Golf Club

81

Mark Wachter

DuPont Country Club

82

Brian Degnan

Philadelphia Publinks GA

82

Jason Staso

Makefield Highlands Golf Club

83

Andrew Mason

Five Ponds Golf Club

83

Brian Devlin

Five Ponds Golf Club

83

Nicholas Anderson

Concord Country Club

83

L.J. Georgetti

Wildwood Golf & Country Club

84

John Donnelly

Concord Country Club

85

Mike Ahern

Wedgwood Country Club

86

William Moule

Links Golf Club

86

Russell Hill

Olde York Country Club

87

Sam Pancoast

Radley Run Country Club

87

Mark Dennish

The Ridge at Back Brook

88

Brian Dobisch

Talamore Country Club

88

Ryan Boyland

Penn Oaks Golf Club

88

John Fasy

Wilmington Country Club

89

Bob Enders

Little Mill Country Club

89

Ryan Meisenzahl

Hidden Creek Golf Club

89

Anthony Gentlesk

Merchantville Country Club

90

Matthew Long

Great Bear Golf & Country Club

91

Bradley Roberts

Wedgwood Country Club

WD

Sean Davy

Medford Village Country Club

WD

Scott Vasbinder

Mercer Oaks Golf Course

WD

Jame Gillespie

Wedgwood Country Club

WD

Ed Kahn

Little Mill Country Club

WD

John Lupica

The ACE Club

WD

Andrew Blumberg

Fieldstone Golf Club

WD

James Ridgway

Wildwood Golf & Country Club

WD

WD - withdrawal

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