Trio shares medalist honors in Patterson Qual. at Hartefeld National
AVONDALE, Pa. â€” Three players finished at 4-under-par 68 to share medalist honors in a Joseph H. Patterson Cup Qualifier at Hartefeld National (par 72, 6,562 yards) Thursday. Concord Country Clubâ€™s Braden Shattuck, a rising 19-year-old, and Golf Association of Philadelphia stalwarts Sean Coyle of Llanerch Country Club and James Gillespie of Wedgewood Country Club led a field of 112 players hoping to earn one of 32 qualifying spots and ties available for the Championship proper.
The cut line dropped to 76 by dayâ€™s end.
The Patterson Cup will take place Aug. 6-7 at Tavistock Country Club.
Shattuck, of Aston, Pa., played in the morning and set the subpar bar.
â€śI knew all I had to do was just keep it in play on the drives, and then second shots would mostly be short irons in,â€ť Shattuck said. â€śI had to get the par 5s. I had to stay patient. I knew that on the back nine, I had to hit good drives. Itâ€™s a little tighter than the front nine. I actually just wanted to get through that back nine in even because there are a lot of birdie holes on the front, and I did the reverse.â€ť
He sure did.
Starting on No. 10 (par 4, 397 yards), Shattuck opened with a 3, slamming a wedge 130 yards to five feet. He played Hartefeld Nationalâ€™s par 5s in 3 under. Hoping to use power to his advantage, Shattuck caught a 4-iron from 220 yards a bit heavy on the 546-yard 13th hole. He then nestled a wedge 60 yards to five feet. On the 517-yard 16th hole, Shattuck sent a drive into the native grass on the right side. He chopped onto the fairway and hit a wedge 115 yards to eight feet. Shattuck also birdied No. 5 (533 yards), hammering a 5-iron 207 yards to 75 above the hole location and lagging a lengthy putt into tap-in territory. Command of green speeds complemented a superb short game Thursday.
â€śI paced my putts well,â€ť Shattuck said. â€śI didnâ€™t make any long ones, but I didnâ€™t leave myself any long ones coming back, so it was good. Right now, anything from a wedge and around the greens and putting has been good.â€ť
Shattuck is a former student at the University of Delaware. As a freshman a year ago, he won the Wildcat Invitational. But flipping through textbooks and spending hours studying prevented time on the golf course. So Shattuck left the classroom for the bag room at Concord to wholly pursue his passion.
â€śReally it was financial reasons,â€ť Shattuck said of his decision to discontinue his college education. â€śFinancial, and I just wanted to play golf. I couldnâ€™t focus enough on golf being in school. So those two combined kind of pushed me out.â€ť
Coyle and Gillespie, playing in the same group, combined for 13 birdies to push into the medalist circle in the afternoon.
â€śIt was actually a pretty easy day,â€ť Coyle, 38, of Wayne, Pa., said. â€śJim and I were on the cart, just chilling pretty much all day. We hit a lot of greens. Jimmy and I will attest that we both left a couple of shots out there. It could have been really good.â€ť
Both players began their qualifying bids with birdies on No. 1 (par 5, 537 yards); Coyle hit a wedge 100 yards to nine feet, Gillespie a wedge to two feet after missing the green left with a 3-wood from 250 yards. The two also birdied No. 8. Coyle bumped a pitching wedge to two feet for birdie. Gillespie steered an 8-iron from 158 yards right of the green but executed a sound up-and-down. And both players inked red on a frontside par 3. Coyle, a managing partner of The Goatâ€™s Beard, a restaurant in Manayunk, Pa., stopped a 7-iron at two feet on No. 6 (174 yards), Gillespie a 4-iron at 40 feet on No. 9 (195 yards).
â€śI always see everyone make those putts. I never do. I was so shocked it went in,â€ť Gillespie, 40, of Washington Township, N.J., said. â€śI usually hit the ball alright. I never make putts, and today I made putts.â€ť
The putts continued to fall coming in. On No. 10, Coyle sent a 7-iron onto the fringe and snaked in a 35-footer. He drilled an 8-iron 150 yards to three feet on No. 15 (par 4, 368 yards). Coyle deemed it a back-to-back affair by slapping a wedge 50 yards to 12 feet on No. 16. Gillespie followed suit. Both also birdied the previous par 5 (No. 13, 546 yards) after nearly arriving at the putting surface in two strokes. Coyle converted a 25-footer while Gillespie tapped in after a delicate chip. The latter rolled in a 20-footer for birdie on No. 18 (par 4, 378 yards) following a 7-iron from 162 yards. Coyle carded three bogeys, Gillespie two on the day.
Improvement breeds optimism for Coyle as Tavistock approaches.
â€śMy gameâ€™s getting consistently better,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™m seeing this instructor, Sean Palmer from Merion, and heâ€™s got me hitting it the right way. Overall, Iâ€™m happy with how Iâ€™m swinging. Iâ€™m going to go out there, play hard and see if I can make a couple of more birdies.â€ť
Gillespie, too, sees â€śmore good than badâ€ť when he swings a golf club these days. His expectations seem more tempered, though, given the regionâ€™s amateur talent pool.
â€śIâ€™m going to play Oakmont [Country Club for the Pennsylvania Golf Association Amateur Championship], so I will be humbled really quickly when I get out there,â€ť Gillespie, who operates a drilling business, said. â€śI will enjoy the nice score today and be put in my place come Monday. Iâ€™ll just show up and see what happens. These guys are so good.â€ť
On Thursday, Coyle, Gillespie and Shattuck showed just how good they can be, too.
NOTES â€” Aronimink Golf Clubâ€™s Max Siegfried aced the par 3, 158-yard 11th hole with a 7-iron. It was his first career hole-in-one. Siegfried, 16, of Villanova, Pa., is a junior at The Haverford School â€¦ The second oldest Championship in the Golf Association of Philadelphia, the Joseph H. Patterson Cup memorializes a man who fostered the game in its infancy. Joseph Henry Patterson, a Philadelphia Cricket Club member, competed in the first out-of-town match played by a team of Philadelphians. Friends of Patterson donated the Cup, designed by J.E. Caldwell & Co., to the GAP in 1900.
Golf Association of Philadelphia