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July 20, 2015

Jacob Hicks tied a competitve course record at Old York Road en route to qualifying.

Charleston’s Smart brilliant in U.S. Amateur Qualifier, shoots 7 under

  BLUE BELL, Pa. — Henry Smart’s first trip to Cedarbrook Country Club paved the way to his first national championship. So the London native naturally decided to make a return visit in pursuit of another appearance. It worked out in his favor once again.

| Scorecards | Photo gallery | William Hyndman, III POY standings |

  Smart carded a 7-under-par 136 to earn medalist honors in a U.S. Amateur Qualifier administered by the Golf Association of Philadelphia at Cedarbrook (par 72, 7,045 yards) and Old York Road Country Club (par 71, 6,547 yards) Monday. In 2010, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Cedarbrook and Sunnybrook Golf Club in a playoff.

  Jacob Hicks, a rising senior at East Carolina University, and Vinay Ramesh, an incoming Princeton University freshman and Spring Mill Country Club member, finished a shot back. Locals Michael R. Brown, Jr. of Links Golf Club and Jack Wallace of Philadelphia Cricket Club also advanced Monday.

  The U.S. Amateur will take place Aug. 17-23 at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill.

  “As soon as I saw this was one of the qualifying sites, that was part of the reason I came up … a little bit of good mojo,” Smart, 26, of Charleston, S.C., said. “I have good memories here. A GAP event is fantastic. Pace of play is quick. The hole locations are fair. You couldn’t ask for a better set-up for a U.S. Amateur Qualifier. [Former University of Virginia teammates] Cory (Siegfried) and Cole (Willcox) all speak so highly of the GAP. That was one of the reasons why I came up and did it.”

  As mentioned, Smart graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011. He participated in European Tour Q School as an amateur but didn’t make the cut. Smart then took a job as an assistant golf coach at the College of Charleston in 2013.

  Like the institution’s cougar mascot, Smart pounced onto the leaderboard Monday.

Henry Smart

  He reeled off four straight one-putts to secure a 3-under-par 68 at Old York Road in the morning. Smart, with favorable confines on the horizon, maintained his red figure rhythm with a birdie on No. 10 (par 5, 538 yards), his first hole at Cedarbrook. An eagle on the par 5, 554-yard 12th hole assured Smart of his qualifying status. He powered a 2-iron 235 yards to 15 feet.

  Although he missed a makeable four-footer on No. 15 (par 4, 431 yards), Smart shook off the head scratcher by knocking a 7-iron to 25 feet on No. 16 (par 3, 172 yards) and converting an aggressive putt that dropped the right edge. Smart stopped a 6-iron from 180 yards at a foot on No. 17 (par 4, 428 yards) for another birdie. He inked a 31 on Cedarbrook’s back nine to move to 8 under — three shots clear of his fellow sweatbox sallies.

  “The back nine was hard because I knew from the leaderboard that I was a little bit ahead of the field. I played really conservative coming in,” Smart said.

  Played to his last name is more like it. Smart registered five straight pars before finding a three-putt bogey on No. 6 (par 5, 569 yards). But he erased the error immediately with a birdie on the next hole (par 4, 377 yards), knocking a pitching wedge 125 yards to two feet.

  Hicks tied a competitive course record at Old York Road, carding a 5-under-par 66 to emerge as the event’s 18-hole leader.

  Starting on the back nine, Hicks rolled in an uphill 20-footer for birdie on No. 11 (par 4, 391 yards). He followed with a bombastic 3-wood on the next hole (par 4, 355 yards), which yielded a straightforward 45-yard chip shot to three feet for another 3. Hicks then assembled an unthinkable stretch on Old York Road’s complicated complexes. He birdied No. 14 (par 3, 160 yards) following a 9-iron to five feet; No. 15 (par 5, 500 yards) following a downwind 6-iron from 195 yards to the green’s front edge and No. 16 (par 3, 205 yards) after a downwind 6-iron to seven feet above the hole location.

  “At that point, I was thinking 29. I wasn’t scared. I knew my game was ready,” Hicks, 21, of Mebane, N.C., said. “I didn’t think I tied the course record. It didn’t seem like it was playing that hard. I just played pretty solid.”

  Hicks’ inward tour proved a bit less frenetic; he carded a birdie against a bogey. The afternoon at Cedarbrook saw more of the same until Hicks arrived at the par 4, 431-yard 15th hole. With an optimal yardage of 103, he landed a 60-degree wedge five feet right of the hole location and watched it spin into the cup.

  Fresh off a Top 20 finish in the Carolinas Amateur Championship over the weekend, Hicks decided to head north for qualifying because he “loves the courses up here.” By advancing to his first U.S. Amateur, he answered a personal challenge. He played in every event this season for the East Carolina University men’s golf team. However, Hicks wasn’t selected to travel with the team to NCAA Regionals.

Vinay Ramesh

  “That stung. I was pretty big contributor and [coach Press McPhaul] sat me,” Hicks said. “This summer I was like, ‘I’m going to show him. I’m going to play well.’”

  Like Hicks, Ramesh, 18, of Newtown, Pa., crossed the No. 1 goal off his summer list Monday by qualifying for his first U.S. Amateur.

  “What fueled my drive here was last week. I missed the cut for the [Pennsylvania Golf Association] Open. It was a brutal wakeup call,” Ramesh said. “I made a triple bogey on the 10th hole [at Radnor Valley Country Club]. I just let that get to me too much. I just used that as fuel for today.”

  Ramesh, a recent Pennsbury High School graduate, implemented a physical tweak from last week’s round as well.

  “What I was struggling with at Radnor Valley was I wasn’t committing to anything. Today I was committing to all my putts,” Ramesh said. “I was very clear with what I wanted to do.”

  Middle-amateurs Brown, 42, of Maple Shade, N.J. and Wallace, 31, of Beverly, N.J. also qualified Monday. Brown will be playing in his second U.S. Amateur, Wallace his first.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers

Name, city, state

R1-R2-Total

Henry Smart, Charleston, S.C.

68R-68C-136

Vinay Ramesh, Newtown, Pa.

69C-68R-137

Jacob Hicks, Greenville, N.C.

66R-71C-137

Jack Wallace, Norristown, Pa.

69C-69R-138

Michael R. Brown, Jr., Maple Shade, N.J.

70R-71C-141

 

Alternates (in order)

*Roland Massimino, Lumberville, Pa.

74R-68C-142

*Kyle Vance, Audubon, Pa.

72C-70R-142

 

Failed to qualify

Zachary Bauchou, Forest, Va.

73C-70R-143

Benjamin Feld, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

72C-71R-143

Brandon Matthews, Dupont, Pa.

73C-70R-143

Michael Johnson, Ambler, Pa.

74C-69R-143

Ugo Coussaud, Angouleme, France

75C-68R-143

Matthew Teesdale, Maple Glen, Pa.

70R-73C-143

Bin Kwon, Marlton, N.J.

73R-70C-143

Jalen Griffin, Ambler, Pa.

71C-73R-144

Christopher Crawford, Bensalem, Pa.

74C-71R-145

Kelly Liang Sun, Landenberg, Pa.

71R-74C-145

Kevin Kramarski, Cinnaminson, N.J.

73R-72C-145

Aaron Fricke, Denver, Pa.

72R-73C-145

Eric Williams, Honesdale, Pa.

75C-71R-146

Jake Reilly, Hershey, Pa.

73C-73R-146

Cole Berman, Rosemont, Pa.

74R-72C-146

Nicholas Johnson, Moosic, Pa.

72R-74C-146

Ben Cooley, Rydal, Pa.

74R-72C-146

Luke Graboyes, Watchung, N.J.

70C-77R-147

Dawson Anders, Telford, Pa.

70C-77R-147

Rodney Anders, Telford, Pa.

74C-73R-147

Blaine Lafferty, Marlton, N.J.

76R-71C-147

Yoseph Dance, Richmond, Va.

72R-75C-147

Chris Tobias, Perkasie, Pa.

74R-73C-147

Cory Siegfried, Wayne, Pa.

75C-73R-148

Luca Jezzeny, Furlong, Pa.

75C-73R-148

Mac Ryan, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

74C-74R-148

Marc Oliveri, Lancaster, Pa.

74R-74C-148

Ryan Dornes, Lancaster, Pa.

75R-73C-148

Steve Skurla, West Chester, Pa.

74R-74C-148

Brian Gillespie, Newtown Square, Pa.

73R-75C-148

Etienne Brault, Mercier, Quebec

68R-80C-148

Evan Notaro, Bath, Pa.

74C-75R-149

William Register, Burlington, N.C.

74C-75R-149

Edward Kelly, Maple Glen, Pa.

77C-72R-149

Neil Dufford, Fairfax, Va.

73R-76C-149

Chris Lange, Jr., Newtown Square, Pa.

76R-73C-149

Gary McCabe, Collegeville, Pa.

81C-69R-150

Kyle Sterbinsky, Yardley, Pa.

79C-71R-150

Bobby Svigals, Villanova, Pa.

77C-73R-150

Logan Fuglestad, Newtown, Pa.

73C-77R-150

Kyle Martin, Lansdale, Pa.

76R-74C-150

Daniel Furman, Blue Bell, Pa.

75C-76R-151

Stephen Cerbara, Langhorne, Pa.

72R-79C-151

Scott McKean, Chester Springs, Pa.

76R-75C-151

Anthony Sebastianelli, Clarks Summit, Pa.

78R-73C-151

Carey Bina, Villanova, Pa.

75C-77R-152

Ambrose Abbracciamento, Washington Crossing, Pa.

80C-72R-152

Trey Croney, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

74R-78C-152

Nicolas McCook, Chester Springs, Pa.

74R-78C-152

Stephen Seiden, Drexel Hill, Pa.

75C-78R-153

Brandon Vance, Audubon, Pa.

75C-78R-153

Ryan Tracy, Pittston, Pa.

80C-73R-153

Jonathan Burns, Hatfield, Pa.

78R-75C-153

Gregory Goodreds, Hatboro, Pa.

76R-77C-153

Grant Skyllas, Wyomissing, Pa.

80C-74R-154

Ron Robinson, Hatfield, Pa.

78C-76R-154

Matthew Pulgini, Middletown, Del.

78R-76C-154

Evan Thornton, Wyomissing, Pa.

78R-76C-154

Tyler Sokolis, Doylestown, Pa.

75R-79C-154

Eric Terminello, White Plains, NY

78R-76C-154

Zachary Falone, Mickleton, N.J.

77R-77C-154

Stephen Lavenets, Rougemont, N.C.

80C-75R-155

Russell Hill, Bordentown, N.J.

78C-77R-155

Brock Kovach, Wyomissing, Pa.

76C-79R-155

Evan Galbreath, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

77R-78C-155

Carlos Fullerton, Emmaus, Pa.

77R-78C-155

Thomas Lewis, Doylestown, Pa.

78R-77C-155

Justin Elwell, Sewell, N.J.

81C-75R-156

Michael Bliss, Newtown, Pa.

76C-80R-156

Steven Altieri, Skillman, N.J.

83C-73R-156

Alex Butler, East Norriton, Pa.

77C-79R-156

Patrick Ross, Dunmore, Pa.

76R-80C-156

Brian Fischer, Lansdale, Pa.

73R-83C-156

James Pokorny, Havertown, Pa.

77C-80R-157

Paul Kovalcheck, Aston, Pa.

82C-75R-157

Brandon Raihl, Wernersville, Pa.

77C-80R-157

Matthew Bastian, Media, Pa.

78C-79R-157

Shawn Lavin, Drexel Hill, Pa.

78R-79C-157

John Samaha, Hatboro, Pa.

73R-84C-157

Joey Russo, Sewell, N.J.

74R-83C-157

J.B. Bradbeer, Rosemont, Pa.

80C-78R-158

Stephen Piela, Wallington, N.J.

79R-79C-158

Dan Arison, Norristown, Pa.

78C-81R-159

Daniel Altieri, Skillman, N.J.

81C-78R-159

Cory Meyer, Bordentown, N.J.

78R-81C-159

Alexander Kim, Blue Bell, Pa.

79R-80C-159

Andrew Lombardo, Lansdale, Pa.

81C-79R-160

Connor Sharp, Philadelphia, Pa.

76C-84R-160

Steve Oh, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

81C-79R-160

Drew Petri, New Hope, Pa.

79R-81C-160

James Wolfe, Pottstown, Pa.

82R-78C-160

Joe Markmann, Doylestown, Pa.

78C-83R-161

Brian Dempster, Robbinsville, N.J.

82C-79R-161

Austin Fuglestad, Newtown, Pa.

77R-85C-162

David Gall, Cinnaminson, N.J.

79R-83C-162

Kevin Levitsky, Avondale, Pa.

80R-82C-162

Nick Calabrese, Newtown Square, Pa.

80R-82C-162

Kevin Sarlo, Burlington, N.J.

82C-82R-164

Jack Gregor, North Wales, Pa.

81C-83R-164

Jimmy Kramarski, Cinnaminson, N.J.

77R-87C-164

Rick James, Doylestown, Pa.

80R-88C-168

Harry Hagen, Princeton, N.J.

83C-86R-169

Blake Vogdes, Cape May Court House, N.J.

83R-87C-170

Zachary Melnick, Blue Bell, Pa.

83R-88C-171

Scott Forrester, Cheltenham, Pa.

87C-85R-172

Howard Krauth, Hoboken, N.J.

86C-88R-174

Matthew Ade, Delran, N.J.

85C-89R-174

Matthew McGovern, Southampton, Pa.

91C-87R-178

Cole White, Harleysville, Pa.

WD

Tim Godshalk, West Chester, Pa.

WD

Rich Marabella, East Norriton, Pa.

WD

Bryce Howell, Blythewood, S.C.

DQ

Cole Clark, Califon, N.J.

WD

Jason Loehrs, Drexel Hill, Pa.

WD

 

Denotes: R-Old York Road CC; C-Cedarbrook Country Club

*determined in playoff

DQ-disqualification; WD-withdrawal

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