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Philadelphia Cricket Club's Mandel tops Open Qualifier at Radley Run

  WEST CHESTER, Pa. — If Marc Mandel’s first appearance in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Open Championship is anything like his performance Wednesday, watch out.

Marc Mandel sinks this 10-footer for
birdie on No. 12 (par 5, 578 yards).
  The Philadelphia Cricket Club member carded a sensational 7-under-par 65 to earn medalist honors in an Open Championship Qualifier at Radley Run CC (par 72, 6,758 yards) Wednesday. Mandel led a field of 126 amateurs and professionals hoping to gain one of 23 available spots in the Championship proper, set for July 20 at Huntingdon Valley CC.

  “I made a lot of putts,” the Conshohocken, Pa. resident said. “I hit it pretty close and kept it in play. My goal was to just make pars and get a few putts to drop.”

  Signs didn't immediately point toward a subpar score, though. Mandel bogeyed his first hole (No. 1, par 4, 419 yards) thanks to a poor approach shot from 115 yards out. But he quickly recovered by knocking his chip to five feet on No. 2 (par 5, 550 yards) and cleaning up the birdie putt. Mandel, 29, then presented a birdie bonanza on Nos. 6 (par 3, 152 yards), 7 (par 5, 513 yards) and 8 (par 4, 380 yards). He rifled a 9-iron to 15 feet on No. 6. After nearly gaining the No. 7 green in two strokes, Mandel chipped up to 15 feet and sunk a left-to-right breaker. He whacked a wedge 120 yards out of the left rough to 10 feet on No. 8 and watched his downhill left-to-right slider plummet into the cup.

  “It got me going,” Mandel, who won the Deeg Sezna Four-Ball last year alongside White Manor CC’s Cameron Liebert, said.

  The red figures didn’t stop there. Mandel, who advanced to the Round of 16 in the Association’s Amateur Championship last week, steered his 3-wood 260 yards just right of the putting surface. A delicate downhill chip left Mandel 10 feet from the drain. On No. 15 (par 4, 352 yards), Mandel cleared the water hazard with a GAP wedge from 120 yards. He made a six-footer for birdie to move to 5 under. Mandel further explored a red landscape by posting consecutive birdies on Nos. 17 (par 4, 371 yards) and 18 (par 4, 432 yards). He hammered a pitching wedge 140 yards to five feet on the dogleg right 17th hole. Mandel’s 6-iron traveled 183 yards and camped out 15 feet from the jar on No. 18. He rolled in the right-to-left breaker.

  Mandel continues to mark his territory on the amateur map. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur last year and produced a Top 10 finish in the Association’s Middle-Amateur Championship at Laurel Creek CC.

  “I’m getting more consistent,” he said. “I’m practicing a lot. Being at (Philadelphia) Cricket Club helps me. I’m close to work and home. I get to play with a lot of good players all of the time. It definitely helps the game.”

  A fantastic four-hole birdie barrage boosted Sean Fahey of Overbrook GC into the Championship proper. He carded a 4-under-par 68 to place second.

  “I was making a lot of putts,” Fahey, 15, said. “It seemed like [when] everything [was] inside 25-feet, I gave the hole a scare. I wasn’t really driving the ball well. I was just getting it near the green or on the green and getting up-and-down or making a putt. It wasn’t pretty, but it turned out to be good.”

  Fahey, who began his round on the back nine, made the turn at a modest 2 under when his flatstick caught fire. The Villanova, Pa. resident smacked a sand wedge 110 yards to 10 feet flag-high on No. 1 (par 4, 419 yards) and executed the left-to-right breaker. He nearly reached the No. 2 (par 5, 550 yards) green in two strokes with a 3-wood. A soft chip stopped 20 feet below the hole, and Fahey converted a right-to-left curler for birdie.

  “Luke [Desimone, Fahey’s playing partner] putted right before me, and he was on pretty much the same line as me,” Fahey said.

  On the tempting par 4, 324-yard No. 3, Fahey, an incoming junior at Episcopal Academy, watched his 3-wood hook left and land under a tree. Such a circumstance didn’t stymie Fahey as he drilled his sand 100 yards to three feet. In between clubs on the No. 4 (par 3, 221 yards) tee-box, Fahey elected to hit hybrid. The choice paid off. Fahey canned an uphill 25-footer from a swell left of the hole location.

Sean Fahey
  “I had the right read, but I kind of hit it really hard,” he said. “It hit the back of the cup, popped up and just went down in. I was kind of lucky to get that one there.”

  Fahey first revealed the red pen on No. 10 (par 4, 343 yards). Another smooth sand wedge sailed 110 yards and settled 20 feet from the flagstick. Fahey drained the right-to-left slider. On the par 3, 171-yard 13th hole, he stuck a 6-iron to three feet. Fahey could’ve ended his bid with a 6 under on the scorecard, but back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 8 (par 4, 380 yards) and 9 (par 4, 360 yards) spoiled the fun. Fahey failed to get up-and-down on the first after spraying his drive into the left tree-line. On the sharp dogleg left 9th hole, he again experienced tree trouble following a 3-wood tee shot.

  “It turned out to be directly on the base of a tree,” Fahey said. He would punch out, put a pitching wedge on the green and two-putt from 20 feet.

  A grip-tweak gave Fahey more confidence over the putter.

  “I got my hands a little looser on the club, and I kind of just let it release,” Fahey said. “That kind of helped me today.”

  Fahey is making a habit of performing well in qualifying events. He carded an even-par 71 to place second in an Amateur Championship Qualifier at Meadowlands CC last month. Fahey missed out on match play in the Championship proper by two strokes.

  “It kind of feels like I’m just doing well in the qualifiers right now,” Fahey said. “I feel like if I can just get it up and around the green, I’ll be fine.”

  At the end of the day, the cut line fell to 74. Wednesday’s event was the second of two Open Championship qualifiers used to determine who will play in the Championship proper. Twenty-four players qualified at an event held yesterday at Riverton CC.

Qualifiers

Name, club

Scores

(a) Marc Mandel, Philadelphia Cricket Club

65

(a) Sean Fahey, Overbrook Golf Club

68

(a) Michael McDermott, Merion Golf Club

70

George Forster, Radnor Valley Country Club

71

Robby Walizer, Gulph Mills Golf Club

71

(a) Oscar Mestre, Overbrook Golf Club

71

(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

72

(a) Ed Chylinski, Chester Valley Golf Club

72

(a) Mark Coassolo, Brookside C.C. of Allentown

72

Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club

72

(a) Christopher Lange, Overbrook Golf Club

72

Hugh Reilly, Jr., Huntingdon Valley Country Club

72

(a) Alex Blickle, LedgeRock Golf Club

73

(a) Greg Matthias, Hartefeld National

73

(a) Oliver White, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

73

(a) Blayze DiPasquale, Commonwealth National Golf Club

73

Frank Bianco, Frankie B. Golf Schools at Groffs Farm

73

Neil Maurer, Bayside Resort

73

(a) Peter Moran, Edgmont Country Club

73

(a) Douglas Zelner, Coatesville Country Club

73

*(a) Matthew Crescenzo, Philmont Country Club

74

*(a) Chris Orlando, Downingtown Country Club

74

*(a) Christopher Fuga, Phoenixville Country Club

74

 

Alternates (in order)

*(a) Connor McNicholas, Commonwealth National Golf Club

74

*(a) Joseph Kogelman, St. Davids Golf Club

74

*(a) John Brennan, Spring Ford Country Club

74

*(a) Joseph Fabrizio, Jr., Aronimink Golf Club

74

 

Failed to qualify

*(a) Michael Davis, Merion Golf Club

74

*Michael Sullivan, Manufacturers Golf & Country Club

74

(a) Jeffrey Griest, Waynesborough Country Club

75

(a) James Braunsberg, Blue Bell Country Club

75

Steve Cutler, Radley Run Country Club

75

(a) John Fasy, Wilmington Country Club

75

(a) Jacob Pilarski, Concord Country Club

75

(a) Bob Truskey, Jr., Radley Run Country Club

75

Michael Little, Rolling Green Golf Club

75

Brian Keiser, Aronimink Golf Club

75

(a) Steven Walczak, Wilmington Country Club

75

(a) James Gillespie, Wedgwood Country Club

76

(a) Doug Marcincin, Northampton Country Club

76

Michael Sokalski, Philmont Country Club

76

(a) Jeff Klagholz, Rolling Green Golf Club

76

(a) James Bea, Spring Mill Country Club

76

Barry Dear, Links Golf Club

76

(a) Patrick Ross, Glenmaura National Golf Club

76

(a) Scott McNeil, Philadelphia Publinks GA

76

(a) Dan Bernard, Aronimink Golf Club

77

John Cooper, Jr., Green Valley Country Club

77

Tom Gilbert, Gulph Mills Golf Club

77

Hugo Mazzalupi, Philadelphia Cricket Club

77

(a) John Donnelly, Concord Country Club

77

Rick Flesher, Unaffiliated

77

(a) James Kelly, Wildwood Golf & Country Club

77

(a) Gary Schoeman, Stonewall

77

(a) Sam Pancoast, Radley Run Country Club

77

(a) Kevin Melnick, Jr., Plymouth Country Club

77

(a) Jimmy Wolfe, Bellewood Golf Club

78

(a) Russell Hartung, Doylestown Country Club

78

(a) Bobby Svigals, Radnor Valley Country Club

78

(a) Regan Papariello, White Manor Country Club

78

(a) Tim Freeh, Back Creek Golf Club

78

(a) Edward McCrossen, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

78

Ed Gibson, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

78

(a) David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

78

(a) Tucker Koch, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

79

(a) Dewey Burke, Gulph Mills Golf Club

79

(a) Richard Marabella, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

79

(a) Ryan O'Donnell, Rolling Green Golf Club

79

(a) Will Holt, Kennett Square Golf & Country Club

79

(a) Joshua Krumholz, Moselem Springs Golf Club

79

(a) Brandon Hartranft, Bent Creek Country Club

80

(a) Cameron Liebert, White Manor Country Club

80

(a) Robert Acciardo, Whitford Country Club

80

(a) Zachary Melnick, Plymouth Country Club

80

(a) Ted Brennan, Philadelphia Country Club

80

(a) Byron Whitman, Golden Oaks Golf Club

80

Michael Paukovits, Stonewall

80

(a) Gerald Bowes, Jr., Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

80

(a) Michael Meiswich, Penn Oaks Golf Club

80

(a) Michael Boden, Aronimink Golf Club

80

Jeffery Herb, Edgmont Country Club

80

(a) Joshua Isler, Chester Valley Golf Club

81

(a) Alan Lazzarino, Loch Nairn Golf Club

81

Eric Figueroa, McCall Golf & Country Club

81

(a) Mike Hartsough, Edgmont Country Club

81

(a) Tim McNerney, Philadelphia Publinks GA

81

(a) Chris Hunger, Wedgwood Country Club

81

(a) Ari Flaisher, Philadelphia Publinks GA

81

(a) Luke Desimone, Concord Country Club

81

Wesley Hollis, Meadowbrook GC

81

(a) Lynn Kilduff, Huntsville Golf Club

81

(a) Michael O'Keefe, Hidden Creek Golf Club

81

Robert Agresti, Aronimink Golf Club

82

(a) Anthony List Jr., Llanerch Country Club

82

(a) Matt Krass, Radley Run Country Club

82

(a) William Breskman, Rolling Green Golf Club

83

(a) Shawn Lavin, Philadelphia Publinks GA

83

(a) Joseph Budash, Philadelphia Cricket Club

84

(a) Connor Eichman, Llanerch Country Club

84

(a) Danny Myers, French Creek Golf Club

84

(a) David Barnett, White Clay Creek Country Club

84

(a) Evan Galbreath, Philmont Country Club

84

(a) Philip Petroll, Penn Oaks Golf Club

84

(a) Matthew Rubino, Phoenixville Country Club

84

(a) Griffin Drury, Bellewood Golf Club

85

(a) Vincent Sirianni, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

85

(a) Michael Hodges, The Springhaven Club

86

(a) Joseph Dulka, Jr., Hartefeld National

86

(a) Brian Palm, PineCrest Country Club

87

(a) Kenny Engel, Jr., Bensalem Township Country Club

87

(a) Alex Kane, Radley Run Country Club

87

(a) George Connell, Jr., Gulph Mills Golf Club

93

(a) Joseph Greenwald, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

95

Patrick Coyner, Country Club of York

WD

(a) Gary Daniels, Saucon Valley Country Club

NS

(a) Robert Pina, Chester Valley Golf Club

WD

(a) Jordan Claffey, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

WD

(a) Tom Borsello, White Clay Creek Country Club

WD

(a) Brandon Matthews, Fox Hill Country Club

WD

Anthony Malizia, Gulph Mills Golf Club

WD

(a) Santo Lafoca, Huntsville Golf Club

NS

 

(a)-amateur

*-determined in playoff

NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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