93rd Junior Amateur
Qualifying Round Scores - Boy's Division - Girl's Division
Boy's Championship Division - Match Play Results - Match Play Tree
Girl's Championship Division - Match Play Results - Match Play Tree
Boy's First Division - Match Play Results - Match Play Tree
Boy's Second Division - Match Play Results - Match Play Tree
Boy's Third Division - Match Play Results - Match Play Tree
By Paul Kenyon
EAST PROVIDENCE _ Rhode Island Golf Association officials will not have to change the names on the championship trophies they award to their Junior champions. The same two players who won last year, Patrick Welch and Caroline Farber, took the titles again this year.
The 14-year-old Welch completed a dominating week at Metacomet, his home course, with two impressive victories on Friday, capped by a 7-and-5 triumph over Will Hall in the title match. The 16-year-old Farber had to work much harder, holding off medalist Katie Um, 1 up, in that final.
With the age limit being a player’s 18th birthday, it means both champions will be eligible to return to try to make it three in a row in 2015. The two won in different ways in their finals.
Welch was flat out awesome for any age level. Hall, the guy he beat, best described what happened.
``I played pretty well, but when you play someone who makes nine threes in 12 holes, that’s pretty hard to beat,’’ said Hall, who is spending his summer working in John Frizzell’s pro shop at Wanumetonomy. ``I like Patrick. He’s a nice guy. He just played great.’’
Welch wasted no time setting the tempo. He birdied the first hole. And the second. And the third. He looked human when he three-putted the fourth hole to lose that one, the only hole he lost. He then birdied the seventh and the eighth for five birds on the front side.
Hall was actually one off in his count. Welch ``only’’ made eight threes in the 12 holes he played, easily making up for two bogeys as he capped one of the most outstanding performances seen in the event’s 93-year history.
He earned medalist honors with a 3-over 73 on Tuesday, then kept getting better.
``I was 1-under in my first match, 2-under in the second, 3-under in the third and 4-under in this one,’’ he said with a big smile.
` `I played pretty solid,’’ he said in a major understatement. ``I didn’t make many mistakes.’’
As much as it meant to him to win in 2013 and become one of the few 13-year-olds to take the title, this one was special in another way.
``Last year was more nerve wracking because I won in a playoff,’’ he related. ``This year was special because my parents and my grandparents were here to see it.’’
Welch’s maternal grandparents, Al and Ida Rodriguez, live in San Francisco but they came to Rhode Island this week and got to watch their grandson excel. Welch’s father, Marty, regularly sees him play in tournaments while his wife, Grace, stays home to care for the couple’s three younger children. For the finals, Ida stayed home to babysit so Patrick’s mother was able to get a rare chance to see him play.
The girls match was decided more on Farber’s grit than a run of birdies. She and Um have emerged as the best of a growing crop of girls playing the game. They were the top two seeds in the event and met in the semifinals last year, with Farber rallying on the back nine to win on her way to capturing the title.
The latest showdown was an excellent battle. Six holes were halved on the front side with Farber making five pars on the way to a 1-up advantage. Farber also won both 10 and 11 with pars when Um had putting problems.
The pair halved the next three holes, with two pars and a bogey. Um, who will be a junior at Portsmouth High and was a first-team All-Stater along with Farber this year, got back within two holes when she rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on the 15th.
After the 16th was halved, Um stayed alive by winning the par-5 17th with a bird. Um then crushed a drive within 50 yards of the green on the par-4 closing hole. Farber had 110 yards left for her second shot.
``I told myself, just get it on the green and give myself a chance for birdie,’’ Farber said. She did, hitting her approach 20 feet above the hole. Um hit her pitch too hard going over the back edge. But she made an excellent downhill chip to within seven feet. She never got the chance to putt it. Farber’s birdie putt came so close Um conceded the par and the match.
``This one meant a lot,’’ Farber said of title number two. `` I had one of my best friends (Lily Clayton) on my bag to help me. It’s a great feeling.’’
In the morning semifinals, Welch was 3-under as he beat Joe Tucker, 5 and 4. Welch did not make a bogey in the match and never lost a hole.
Hall lost the first hole to Sam Knowlton, but then won four of the next seven to take control.
In the girls’ semis, the top seeded Um was given a big test by Alexis Florio. Florio birdied the par-3 fifth to take the lead. The two were tied through 14 before Um won 15 and 17 to move on. Farber won three of the first four holes as she began with four straight pars and went on to a 4-and-3 decision over Courtney Breen.
Other titles were taken by John Aitken in the first division, Nicholas Corrente in the second and Sam Martel in the third division.
Welch, Hall, Tucker, Knowlton, Jake Bauer, Jesse Boog and Sean Ferreira were selected to represent Rhode Island in the New England Junior Championship to be held next week at Ledgemont.
Round of 16 & Quarterfinal Recap
EAST PROVIDENCE _ The Rhode Island Golf Association Junior Championship is giving every indication that it will come down to Patrick Welch against the field for this year’s title.
Welch not only is the defending champion in the event, he is coming off a strong performance in the State Open last week, already has won national events and is getting to play this event at Metacomet, his home course
Welch looked every bit the part of the favorite as match play began on Thursday. He swept to two impressive 8-and-7 victories to reach the semifinals. He was 1-under for the 11 holes he needed to oust Justin Paik in the morning, then came back in the afternoon quarterfinals and went 3-under in beating Theo Montalbano.
Welch will face Joe Tucker, a sophomore-to-be at Hendricken, in Friday morning’s semis. The other match will pit Wanumetonomy’s Will Hall against Misquamicut’s Sam Knowlton.
In the girls’ competition, which is being held at the same time on the same course, top seeded Katie Um of Portsmouth, defending champion Caroline Farber, and two 14-year-olds, Alexis Florio and Courtney Breen, reached the semis after a long day in which two rounds were contested to make up for Wednesday’s rainout, the first all season in RIGA Tournament competition.
Although he is only 14 and will not begin high school for another two weeks _ he will attend La Salle _ Welch is easily the most heralded player in the even.t Using his crosshanded playing style, Welch earned medalist honors with a 73 on Tuesday and stepped up his game even more on Thursday.
``I’m playing steadier. I’m not making as many mistakes,’’ he said. He is focused so much that he could have rested after winning his second round match in 11 holes. But, after only playing 11 in the morning, he opted to play the final seven holes, which is allowed in match play, and finished with a 66 for the round.
``I had a bogey on 17 that didn’t make me happy,’’ he said. ``But I played well.’’
He will play Tucker, a sophomore at Hendricken who staged a big rally to earn his spot in the semis. He was 3-down at the turn to Jesse Boog of Wanumetonomy and won 11, 12 and 13 to pull even. After 14 and 15 were halved with pars, Tucker won 16 with a par and then halved the final two holes for the 1-up decision.
The other semifinal will pit two players with Connecticut influences. Hall began high school at Portsmouth Abbey but transferred last year to Tabor. Hall fell behind Mitch Kubik of Metacomet by four holes through seven in the second round. Hall rallied to pull even through 12, took the lead, fell back into a tie but then took 15 and 17 to advance.
His semifinal opponent is Knowlton, who lives in Connecticut but spends his summers in Watch Hill. Knowlton scored the biggest surprise of the day when he beat Matt Corio, an All-Stater for La Salle and second seed in this event, 3 and 2 in the quarters. Knowlton birdied two of the first three holes and did not lose a hole until the 11th.
In the girls’ competition, the top four seeds all advanced.
Um, who earned the medal with an 81, was sharp again in turning back 11-year-old Allison Paik, 5 and 4.
``I played better than I did in qualifying,’’ said Um, who will be a junior at Portsmouth High. ``I actually made some putts today.’’
She will meet day Alexis Florio of Alpine, who held off Bridget Hagerty of Potowomut, 1 up in perhaps the best match all day. The two were never more than one-hole apart. Hagerty won 15 and 16 to go ahead for the first time, 1-up, but then Florio won each of the last two holes to earn the berth in the semis.
Farber got started in defense of her title by never losing a hole on the way to an 8-and-7 victory over Alexis Annarumo of Crestwood.
``My short game has gotten better,’’ Farber said. ``My long game has, too but my short really has gotten a lot better.’’
Farber will meet Breen who beat Daria Delfino of Alpine, 4 and 2, in the second round. Breen plays out of RICC and will begin ninth grade in two weeks at the Hotchkiss School.
Round 1 Recap
EAST PROVIDENCE _ The new look Rhode Island Golf Association was on full display Tuesday at Metacomet.Food & Beverage - Will be available all days on a cash basis.
The occasion was the association’s annual Junior Championship. It featured a host of familiar happenings, particularly on the scoreboard, but also several new aspects that show off the expanding RIGA programs.
Patrick Welch and Caroline Farber did what they could to keep familiar faces in the forefront. Welch, the defending boys’ champion, recorded a 3-over 73 to earn medalist honors in his division. Farber, who won the girls’ title last year, finished second among the girls with an 84. She was beaten for the top seed by Portsmouth High All-Stater Katie Um, who recorded an 81 despite an eight on the par-4 opening hole.
The presence of the girls is one of the new features of the event. With the merger of the RIGA with the Rhode Island Women’s Golf Association, it was decided to bring the boys and girls together for their championship events.
``It’s awesome. I love it,’’ said Farber, an All-Stater for Moses Brown’s championship team this spring. ``We also have clinics they hold where they have the boys take part as well as the girls. When you see them it pushes you to get better.’’
Last year, the first time girls took part with the boys in the RIGA Championship there were only eight competitors in the girls division. This week at Metacomet there are 15.
``It’s a start and we’re to have even more girls playing,’’ said Bob Ward, the RIGA’s executive director. ``We have some things happening next year that should make it even better.’’
Among them, the New England Women’s Championship will be held at nearby Ledgemont, and the schedule will be arranged to make sure all RIGA women and girls can take part. The hope also is to move the RIGA Women’s Amateur from June, where it was held this year, to later in the summer so the high school-aged players will be able to take part.
Another change in this year’s Junior even is the presence of the Aitken twins, Drew and John, members of the Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam. The RIGA has had a number of players in recent years who are Connecticut residents but take out memberships in Rhode Island clubs so they can take part in RIGA events.
``It can be a lot easier for them to get to our tournaments than it is when the Connecticut Association has events on the other side of Hartford,’’ Ward pointed out.
The RIGA studied the issue over the winter and decided to do the same thing is does with Massachusetts. Ledgemont, Crestwood and Swansea all are in Massachusetts but long have been RIGA members because they are so close to Rhode Island.
``George Fowler (on the RIGA vice presidents) studied it for us. There are five clubs in Connecticut that are within three miles of the Rhode Island line,’’ Ward related. ``So we decided, with a unanimous vote by our board, to extend invitations to them. Two of them, Connecticut National and Quinnatisset (in Thompson, Ct.) decided to join. We’re happy to have them. They’re both great courses.’’
Drew Aitken, who qualified for the US Juniors this year, easily earned a spot in the championship division on Tuesday with a 76. His twin, John, had an 84 and missed the championship division by three.
The schedule calls for one round of match play Wednesday, then the quarter and semifinals on Thursday and the title matches on Friday. With rain the forecast for Wednesday, tournament officials will make every effort to get in the opening round. However, it the day is rained out, two rounds each will be played on Thursday and Friday.
Cart and Caddie policy: Players are permitted to employ a caddie. A parent, teacher or coach are not eligible to caddie. Motorized carts or push carts are not allowed. Spectator carts are not available.
Schedule of Events
Tuesday, August 12th - 18 Holes Stroke Play Qualifier
Sudden Death playoff (if necessary) immediately following the completion of play for 16th and 64th place.
Wednesday, August 13th - 18 Holes Match Play AM - Winners advance
Thursday, August 14th - 18 Holes Match Play– AM and PM matches
Friday, August 15th - 18 Holes Match Play—Final Matches AM
Divisions for Match Play
Championship - 16 Players
First Division - 16 Players
Second Division - 16 Players
Third Division - 16 Players
Championship - 16 Players
Directions to: Metacomet CC