June 21, 2017

Good friends Andrew Wallace and Andreas Aivazoglou faced each other
in the First Flight quarterfinals.

#GAPJunior: Day Three Notebook

  ROYERSFORD, Pa. — Brothers know best.

| Anders, Isztwan advance to Junior Boys' Final |

  That couldn’t be more true for Patrick Isztwan of Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Austin Barbin of the GAP Junior Players Club in the 103rd Junior Boys’ Championship presented by PURE Insurance at Spring Ford Country Club (par 72, 6,551 yards).

  After both missed the match play cut, Patrick looped for his older brother, Brian and Austin caddied for his brother, Zach.

  “Brian and I are the only siblings in our family so we are close,” Patrick said. “In basically every tournament that we play, if one of us isn’t playing, the other will caddie.”

  “I am closest with Zach because of our closeness in age,” Austin, 16, said. “We have each other's backs and if I would have made it today I would have caddied for him and vice versa.”

  Patrick and Brian, of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., would defeat Zach and Austin of Elkton, Md., 4&2, in a quarterfinal battle of the brothers.

  “Coming into the tournament, I wasn’t expecting to make the cut,” Patrick, 14, said. “This was my first time my brother made match play and it is the biggest recruitment year for him before his senior year of high school, so I wanted to try and help him out as much as I could.”

  “I have only caddied a couple of times and I caddied for my brother last year when he made the First Flight,” Austin said. “I wanted to caddie for him since he has been playing better. He hasn’t had the best summer but I wanted to come out here and help him succeed.”

  Both Patrick and Austin said it makes it tougher to caddie for one another when they aren’t playing their best but it is a duty they are proud to undertake.

  “The toughest part about caddying for someone close to you is not seeing them play as well as they usually do,” Austin, an upcoming Red Lion Christian Academy junior, said. “I just get worried sometimes about maybe steering him in the wrong direction.”

  “The hardest thing for me would be making sure Brian stays in it mentally,” Patrick, a freshman at Penn Charter High School, said. “We have very different mental styles and I try to help Brian realize that in match play you have the opportunity to turn it around after a bad hole.”

Wallace and Aivazoglou get up close and personal

  On the par-5 15th (485 yards) in the quarterfinals of the 103rd Junior Boys’ Championship presented by PURE Insurance, Green Valley Country Club’s Andrew Wallace and Rolling Green Golf Club’s Andreas Aivazoglou got closer than they have ever been.

  After Wallace, 15, hit his tee shot in the right trees, he set up to punch out with a 3-iron as Aivazoglou was standing to the right of him.

  “I hit a punch shot that had to go pretty low and it had good height but it clipped the side of the tree and went sideways,” Wallace, a rising junior at Harriton High School, said. “It hit Andreas right on the top of his right cheek. It wouldn’t be funny if he was actually hurt but he wasn’t hurt.”

  “I was looking at him and his ball came right toward me,” Aivazoglou said. “I actually helped him out because it was going a lot more right if it didn’t hit my face.”

  Aivazoglou, of Media, Pa., would get revenge on his good friend and win the match, 4&2. Not before wearing some dimples from Wallace’s ball on the right side of his face.

  “It is really rare to find two left-handed golfers who are friends, their fathers are close and they play the same irons,” Wallace, of Villanova, Pa., said. “The clubs in our bags are almost identical and we can mess around and use each other's clubs when we play together.”

  Oh, and Andreas’ father John and Wallace’s father Gregg happen to be good friends.

  The relationship between Andrew and Andreas started approximately two years ago and has blossomed into a healthy friendship, but this match doesn’t happen this early in the tournament unless the seeds work out perfectly.

  “I was hoping Andrew would make the Championship Flight,” Aivazoglou, a rising junior at The Haverford School said. “But when he didn’t make it through the playoff and was seeded third, I knew if we each won our first match we would play in the Round of 8 since I was the sixth seed. We kept up with our matches to see if we would have a chance to play.”

  Playing a close friend can be challenging to find a balance between being too relaxed and keeping your distance, but for Wallace and Aivazoglou, it was just like any other day on the golf course.

  “I know Andreas’ game pretty well,” Wallace said. “You want to keep it serious and give your friend some space in the match. We did that pretty well today and we had a ton of fun.”

  The Junior Boys’ Championship is the premier Major in the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Junior Division. It is open to GAP Member Club golfers aged 14-18 who have not started their college education and who hold a handicap index of 14.4 or lower. Sixteen players qualify for match play; an additional 16 advancing into the event’s First Flight.

  The Junior Boys’ Champion is awarded the Peg Burnett Trophy, named in honor of the Association’s Executive Secretary from 1951-76. Ms. Burnett was an ardent Junior golf supporter who emphasized sportsmanship and respect for the game. “I was very strict about checking the rule book. I didn’t make the rules, but since they are there, you have to abide by them.”

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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.

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