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SPORTS
August 13, 2015 | BY MIKE KERN, Daily News Staff Writer kernm@phillynews.com
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Villanova's Buddy Marucci has played in more than 50 USGA championships in the last four-plus decades. He's seen the amateur game change, not always for the better. But when the U.S. Senior Amateur is played at Hidden Creek Golf Club from Sept. 26-Oct. 1, your 2008 champion thinks it'll seem just like old times. "You won't have coaches and sports psychologists, and all this other stuff," said the guy who took Tiger Woods to the limit in the 1995 U.S. Amateur final and captained the American team to victories in the 2007 and 2009 Walker Cups.
SPORTS
August 3, 2015 | By Jesse Dougherty, Inquirer Staff Writer
About a week before the Montgomery County Junior Championship, Tony Leodora made a frustrating phone call to Sam and Dina DiLisio. He told them there would be no Montgomery County Junior Girls' Championship this year. Their daughter Isabella, a two-time winner of the event, was the only golfer to sign up, so there was no one to compete against. But Leodora slept on it and had a solution in the morning. "I'm not one to push people into things," said Leodora, the executive director of the Montgomery County Amateur Championship.
SPORTS
July 15, 2015 | BY JEFF NEIBURG, Daily News Staff Writer neiburj@phillynews.com
THE 2012-13 school year was a year of firsts for both Wellington Zaza and his track coach at Garnet Valley, Andrew Etter. Etter was in his first year as the head coach of the Jaguars and Zaza was in his first year at the school, having spent his freshman and sophomore years at Upper Darby before going to Strath Haven for his junior year. Zaza's father, Billy Neewray, is an international soccer agent based in Switzerland. Zaza has lived with different family members, and family reasons kept him on the move throughout his high school career, but his movement on the track and field stayed consistent.
SPORTS
July 3, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The final round of the PGA Professional National Championship lacked much drama Wednesday for most of the day, particularly after 24-year-old Ben Polland increased his lead to 5 strokes with six holes to play. However, the tournament ratcheted up the excitement at the tough par-4 18th hole of Philadelphia Cricket Club's Wissahickon course, thanks to a poor decision and poor execution by Polland, and a remarkably clutch approach to the green by Matt Dobyns, a fellow Met Section member in New York.
SPORTS
July 2, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
All Robby Bruns wanted, in his second career PGA Professional National Championship, was to get by the first two rounds at Philadelphia Cricket Club and then see what he could accomplish. Not only did Bruns, an assistant pro at Merion, climb the leader board Tuesday after making the 36-hole cut, he also gave himself a chance to achieve something special - a berth in his first PGA Championship - over the final 18 holes. The 25-year-old pro fired a 2-under-par 68 on the Wissahickon course for a 54-hole score of 3-over 215 and moved into position to make a run at a top-20 finish, which would get him in next month's PGA at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. He was in a tie for 37th place when he finished just after noon - well before a 1-hour, 33-minute delay imposed because of lightning in the area - but he rose to a tie for 21st place by the end of the day. He jumped 56 spots in the standings.
SPORTS
July 1, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
It has been quite a busy season thus far for Rusty Harbold because he happens to work at Lancaster Country Club, the site of next week's U.S. Women's Open. Harbold, an assistant pro at the club, had found it difficult to find some solid practice time because of his duties in helping to get the facility ready. He finally got that chance last week and put in three days of good work at Philadelphia Cricket Club before the PGA Professional National Championship. The practice paid off for Harbold, 33, who shot the lowest round of the event at the Cricket Club's Wissahickon course, a 3-under-par 67 Monday, and jumped 146 spots in the standings, into a tie for 47th place at 3-over-par 145. The 36-hole lead in the national championship for club professionals belonged to 24-year-old Ben Polland, an assistant pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, N.Y. Polland fired a 67 at the Wissahickon course for a 7-under 135 total and a 4-stroke lead over Grant Sturgeon of Cave City, Ky., and Charles Frost of Johns Island, S.C. Harbold, the winner of the 2014 Haverford Trust Classic, called the activity at the club "busy" and "crazy" but also "kind of cool.
SPORTS
June 30, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Josh Rackley earned much recognition within the Philadelphia Section PGA a month ago after winning the Haverford Philadelphia PGA Classic on the second playoff hole and walking off with a check for a cool $100,000. Rackley, 25, an assistant pro at Gulph Mills Golf Club, can work on a national profile this week at the PGA Professional National Championship. He began to do that Sunday with an opening-round 1-over-par 73 at the Militia Hill course of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, the best showing in relation to par of the 13 section members in the field.
SPORTS
June 29, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The two most recent PGA Professional National Championships, the premier tournament for U.S. club professionals, have generated some memorable moments for Dave McNabb. McNabb, 49, the head pro at Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, has capitalized on his success in the PNC to earn back-to-back invitations to the PGA Championship, the first and second majors of his long career. He played four solid rounds in the PNC in 2013 and tied for ninth place to qualify. Last year, he sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to avoid a playoff for the remainder of the 20 available spots in the PGA. "I just felt that I hung in there and something good happened at the end," McNabb said Saturday of last year's clutch putt, as he finished up preparations for Sunday's start of the PNC at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
SPORTS
June 28, 2015 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gene Fieger, one of the top players in the Philadelphia Section PGA for the better part of two decades, left his home area of Delaware County in 1999 to become involved with a new golf club in Naples, Fla. Sixteen years later, while he misses the region's celebrated golf courses, he is happy where he is. "Naples is a great place," Fieger, a former Overbrook Golf Club assistant pro, said Friday. "Don't feel sorry for me. " Fieger, who turns 55 next week, is in town for the 48th annual PGA Professional National Championship, which begins Sunday at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
SPORTS
June 11, 2015 | BY TOM MAHON, Daily News Staff Writer mahont@phillynews.com
SAINT JOSEPH'S University track coach Kevin Quinn announced his retirement yesterday, ending a 49-year career at the school. When asked what he'll miss most, he answered faster than any of the runners he ever coached. "Saint Joseph's is an exceptional school and Saint Joseph's attracts exceptional people," Quinn said last night. "My fondest memories are the kids. I'm the youngest 74-year-old you'll ever see, and the reason is the great kids I've dealt with throughout the years.
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