Thursday, September 18, 2014
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U.S. Senior Amateurs and PGA Cup coming up

Golf notes for a rainy day include items on the PGA Cup, locals in both the U.S. Senior Amateur and U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, and on one current and one former high school star.

U.S. Senior Amateurs and PGA Cup coming up

Some local golf notes on a rainy day …

PGA Cup. Mark Sheftic, teaching pro at Merion Golf Club, is getting ready to head to California to play for the U.S. team at the PGA Cup for the second time.

The three-day competition, which features club professionals from the United States and from Great Britain and Ireland, begins Sept. 16 at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. There are 10 players on each team.

Sheftic, 37, of Blue Bell, made the team on the strength of a third-place finish in the 2010 PGA Professional National Championship. He also was one of the representatives on the 2009 U.S. PGA Cup team which defeated Great Britain and Ireland, 17 ½-8 ½, at Loch Lomond, Scotland.

The United States holds a 16-5-3 advantage in the PGA Cup, and never has lost the competition on home soil. The matches will features foursomes (alternate-shot), four-ball (better-ball) and singles.

 

U.S. Senior Amateurs. A number of Philadelphia area players will be competing this weekend in both the U.S. Senior Amateur and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.

Villanova’s Buddy Marucci, a Merion member and the 2008 U.S. Senior Amateur champion, heads the locals in the field for the competition at Kinloch Golf Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.

Other area players competing in the Senior Amateur are Chip Lutz of Reading, this year’s British Senior Amateur champion; Mike Owsik of Bryn Mawr and Ray Thompson of Drexel Hill.

Also in the field are Joe Viechnicki of Bethlehem, who qualified earlier this summer for the U.S. Senior Open; Greg Osborne of Lititz, former area resident Duke Delcher of Bluffton, S.C., and Gary Van Sickle of Wexford, Pa., a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and the father of former Pennsylvania Amateur champ Mike Van Sickle.

The local contingent for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, to be held at The Honors Course outside of Chattanooga, Tenn., is led by Gulph Mills member Alexandra Frazier of Haverford, the runnerup last year.

She is joined by Liz Haines of Gladwyne and Ann Laughlin Fulginiti of Plantation, Fla., an 11-time winner of the Philadelphia Women’s Championship.

Others in the field include Pennsylvania legend Carol Semple Thompson of Sewickley, former Curtis Cup captain Noreen Mohler of Bethlehem and Connie Shorb of York.

Both championships will hold two rounds of match play Saturday and Sunday, with the top 64 in each competition advancing to Monday’s start of match play.

 

Herr's commitment. Zachary Herr, who has just begun his junior year at Council Rock North High School, has made an oral commitment to play his college golf at Vanderbilt.

Herr, of New Hope, advanced to the round of 16 at this year’s U.S. Junior Amateur and played a steady schedule in the American Junior Golf Association. He has 11 career top-10 finishes in AJGA events including two wins.

Golfweek said Herr is the nation’s seventh-ranked player in the Class of 2013. The publication said Herr had received offers from LSU, Florida, Wake Forest and North Carolina.

Herr told Golfweek he was “looking for a program with a strong academic reputation and a team and coach that is committed to winning,” and chose Vanderbilt.

 

Kan one to watch. Chichester High School graduate Aurora Kan, now a freshman at Purdue, has been named to the Big Ten “Women’s Golfers to Watch” list.

Kan, the 2010 PIAA girls high school state champion, had an accomplished summer in her sport, including qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links for the second straight year.

The 36-player watch group includes seven golfers who closed last season having earned All-Big Ten honors.

--Joe Juliano

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Golf Inq. is a golf blog written by the Philadelphia Inquirer's sports department.

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