Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

17 Jul

Kosup upends Lutz in Brewer Cup

Written by Bob Oliver

Chip Lutz' drive to another Brewer Cup championship was derailed by Back Brook's Bert Kosup at Saucon Valley's Weyhill layout, 2 and 1.

Lutz, the defending champion who also claimed the 2011 title, is on his way to play in the senior British Open next week. 

Several with Bucks County ties advanced to the match play component of the event, including Five Ponds' Drew Panebianco who was medalist in stroke play qualifying at 2-under-par 70. Also advancing were Saucon Valley's Tom Bartolacci Jr., Mercer Oaks Glenn Smeraglio and Richboro native Duke Delcher. 

Two-time champion Robin McCool ousted Panebianco in their opening round match, 2 and 1, while Delcher defeated Smeraglio, 2-up. Bartolacci lost his opening round match to Chester Valley's Ed Chylinski, 1-up. 

Lutz defeated Delcher in their quarterfinal match, 2-up. 

08 Jun

Ramesh barely misses Open berth

Written by Bob Oliver

Recent Pennsbury High School graduate Vinay Ramesh came ever so close to securing a berth in the United States Open Golf Championship at Chambers Bay. 

Ever so close.

The incoming Princeton freshman scored rounds of 69 and 72 for a 140 total over 36 holes at Purchase, NY, courses Old Oaks and century to finish one shot out of the four spots earning Open berths in the 72-player competition. The 2014 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association boys state champion battled to the end.

Winning a berth and medaling was two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen who claimed the national championship in 1993 and 1998. 

Elsewhere, Madelein Herr teamed wtih St. David's Brynn Walker to advance to the runnerup-slot in the USGA Women's Four Ball Championship.

31 May

Nordqvist savors ShopRite trophy

Written by Bob Oliver

Anna Nordqvist was still somewhat nervous an hour after her victory in the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer. 

Nervous, as in, well, shaking. 

The five-time LPGA winner was just feeling the pressure of battling the Stockton Seaview Golf Club and Spa's historic Bay Course layout, the winds that flow off Reed's Bay, and, well, playing for the first time in an LPGA event under her mom's eyes in person. On what was Mother's Day in Sweden. Now that's pressure. 

Still, holding a two-shot lead on the final hole, victory would be a breeze, correct? 

Not so fast. 

Yes, runnerup Christel Boeljon missed an 18 inch par putt on the 18th hole to give Nordqvist the two-shot advantage, but nothing is easy.

Nordqvist hit a decent drive, then saw her layup eight iron shot blow up into the wind and well short of its designed landing space. "That left me between a six iron and seven iron to the hole, and the yardage was right in the middle of the two clubs. I didn't have total confidence. I was making a mess of things."

She hit the shot over the green, and needed a chip and two putts for a bogey six - but that was one shot to the good. She finished the tournament with a closing 69 after opening at 67 and 69 for a 205 total and the $225,000 winner's check. Boeljon was second after a 68-70-68--206, a pair of shots ahead of Morgan Pressel. Among those at 209 were former champion Karrie Webb.

"It was very emotional for me, especially with my mother here and it being Mother's Day in Sweden," said the champion. "It's the first time she's seen me play and win in person on LPGA Tour. A very special day, and I don't think I could have given her a better present. I fought hard all day for this."

It was a bittersweet ending for Boeljon, ranked 254th in the world. "I started feeling some nerves around the 15th hole, but I battled on," said Boeljon. "When the camera is following your every step, you know you are in the thick of things."

CHIP SHOTS: The various charities supported by the Classic fared well, with final details to come...Defending champion Stacy Lewis finished at two-over-par 215, the same as Hall of Famer and former champion Juli Inkster.

19 May

Benvenuto strong on Symetra Tour

Written by Bob Oliver

The road to the LPGA has many turns, detours and speed bumps. 

The road can be crowded and more terrifying than traveling Route 95 during rush hour --- without any brakes. 

But this road can be a road of dreams, hopes and anticipation.

Brittany Benvenuto is on the road, and she can see her destination. The question is, can she make it?

Benvenuto, a Neshaminy High School and University of Arizona graduate, has a nice portfolio of accomplishments, including the 2008 Pennsylvania Women's Amateur Championship. She's currently 11th on the Symetra Tour Money List, no small factor, as the top 10 finishers on that list at the end of the 23 event schedule earn 2016 LPGA Tour status. 

Of more importance, she's playing well, making the cut week in and week out and earning two top three finishes this season with nearly $20,000 in earnings. It's anticipated that $50,000 in earnings will earn a tour cards.

At the Mission Health Wellness Classic, Benvenuto earned $6,311 for a second place finish after rounds of 67-69-70 for a 206 total. The Volvik Championship saw her finish third after rounds of 71-68-76--215, earning $6,683. 

Her goal right now is a victory, and posting strong finishes gets her mind into the mode for grueling competition. The road is a hard one, but she's paying her tolls along the way. She has game, and time will tell if she can elevate it to the next level.