Salvitti and Isztwan share Medalist Honors at 19th R. Jay Sigel
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. - Brian Isztwan didn’t have to travel far for the tournament since Huntingdon Valley Country Club is his home course. In the first 18 holes, he notched five birdies, including three straight to close out the front nine. Isztwan finished with a tournament-best 65 (5-under par). In the latter 18, he recovered from two bogies and one double bogey to finish with a combined score of 138, tied for best of the qualifying round.
Isztwan was one of 16 golfers to qualify for the 19th R. Jay Sigel Pennsylvania Amateur Match Play, which was presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. After playing 36 holes today, the qualified golfers will play tomorrow in the Round of 16 match play format.
But Isztwan wasn’t alone at the top of the leaderboard. Oakmont Country Club’s Rocco Salvitti, who won the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Junior Championship less than a week ago, continued his hot streak today. Salvitti recorded four birdies in his first 18, finishing the round with a 68 (2-under par). But he faced adversity on the back nine of the second round of the day. In the first five holes on the back, Salvitti had three bogies. Salvitti responded, though, with three birdies in the last four holes to tie Isztwan overall.
Buddy Hansen of Blue Bell Country Club finished two strokes behind the leaders. To start his first round, Hansen made three birdies on the front nine. On the back, he recorded five consecutive pars before nailing an eagle on hole No. 15. Despite ending the round with a bogey, he finished with a 66 (4-under par). But in the afternoon’s 18 holes, Hansen finished four-over to have an even score of 140.
Only behind Hansen by one stroke, is the reigning PA Amateur Champion, John Peters of Carlisle Country Club, who finished at 140 (even par) to send him into tomorrow. Following Peters, two golfers tied for fifth place with an overall score of 143 (3-over par). Brett Young, who plays golf at Nemacolin Country Club, shot 73 (3-over par) in the first round, but responded with an even 70 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, LuLu Country Club’s Jim Sullivan had very different scores with a 76 (6-over par) and a 67 (3-under par) in the two rounds.
Logan Paczewski, who won the Pennsylvania Junior Boys’ Championship at Hershey Country Club two weeks ago, qualified as well with a 144 (4-over par). He shot 73 (3-over par) in the first round and 71 (1-over par) in the second. Ben Cooley of Huntingdon Valley Country Club tied Paczewski with identical scores in both rounds.
Among the other golfers who qualified, Neal Shipley of St. Clair Country Club shot a 145 (5-over par) and Caleb Ryan of The 1912 Club and Jack Hamilton of Merion Golf Club shot 146 (6-over par). Three golfers (Lukas Clark, Jake Fazio and Jackson Debusschere) also shot seven over to make the cut.
But the last two spots were up for grabs in a playoff hole. There was a three-way tie between Sewickley Heights Golf Club’s Christopher Tanabe, Connoquenessing Country Club’s Paul Ajak III and Green Valley Country Club’s Benjamin Feld. All three amateurs shot 148 (8-over par). On the deciding hole, Tanabe and Ajak III had a par and Feld had a bogey. This sent Tanabe and Ajak III into tomorrow.
The Pennsylvania Golf Association would like to thank the staff and membership of Huntingdon Valley Country Club for the hospitality shown in hosting the event. Thanks as well to DICK’S Sporting Goods for sponsorship of the event.