June 27, 2017

Cole Berman narrowly misses his birdie putt on No. 18 (par 4, 432 yards).

Cricket’s Berman books medal in #GAPOpen Qual. at Radnor Valley

  VILLANOVA, Pa. — When he isn’t reading greens on the golf course, Cole Berman is likely perusing a paperback. Fitting that “Red Notice” by Bill Browder is his current craze.

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  Berman put the field on notice with his red number Tuesday. The Philadelphia Cricket Club member carded a 3-under-par 67 to top a Golf Association of Philadelphia Open Championship Qualifier at Radnor Valley Country Club (par 70, 6,536 yards). He led an assembly of 154 amateurs and professionals alike hoping to earn one of 38 positions and ties available for the Championship proper.

  The cut line fell to 75 by day’s end. The 113th Open Championship will take place July 17-18 at Philadelphia Country Club.

   “It’s a great book,” Berman said of his leisurely read. “It’s about a guy from Chicago who, post-Cold War, started a hedge fund based on Russian companies that were very undervalued. As he attracted more attention to it, the value skyrocketed and then Russia eventually kicked him out and took over his assets. [I’d give it a] 10-out-of-10.”

  Same rating for Berman’s performance Tuesday.

  Berman, who started on the back nine, drained an improbable 50-footer for birdie on No. 11 (par 3, 186 yards) to establish a seemingly impenetrable zone. After leaving a 6-iron short, he threw a cross-your-fingers putt at the hole and watched it pour in the middle.

  “That goes from just trying to make par there and then all of a sudden you’re 1 under and just cruising. I ran into two other birdies on that nine,” Berman, 21, of Rosemont, Pa., said. “I just had a lot of opportunities today. My putting was really solid. The greens were slow but I just kind of saw my lines. It was hard to get the ball past the hole, so you just kind of had to trust it. Putts were going in from distance, which was nice to see.”

  Berman, a soon-to-be senior who is majoring in government at Georgetown University, converted long-range putts for birdies on Nos. 14 (par 4, 424 yards) and 17 (par 4, 408 yards): a 25-footer following an 8-iron from 151 yards on the first, an 18-footer following a pitching wedge from 127 yards on the latter. On the par 3, 173-yard No. 2, he towered a 6-iron to 12 feet for another birdie to move to 4 under.

  A focused Berman, who approached every shot like a machine on autopilot, experienced a topsy-turvy four-hole closing stretch. On No. 6 (par 4, 379 yards), he steered a 3-wood into trees right and ended up on the adjacent 5th hole. Forced to maneuver through the timber, Berman faced a yardage of 88 for his third shot, which he left short of the green. A chip and two putts translated into a 6 on the scorecard.

  Berman, a two-time GAP Major Champion, rebounded with a birdie on the next hole (par 5, 536 yards), splashing out of the right greenside bunker into kick-in range. A missed green on the strenuous No. 8 (par 3, 209 yards) meant a bogey. An 8-iron from 151 yards to 15 feet on the next (par 4, 426 yards) meant a birdie and medalist honors.

  “My game’s been pretty solid this summer. I didn’t try and think about qualifying; I wanted to go out and put up a low number,” he said.

  Berman, a three-time Junior Player of the Year, won the Joseph H. Patterson Cup in 2014 and BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship in 2015. He reached the Round of 16 in this year’s Amateur on his home course, where he fell to Michael R. Brown, Jr. of Lu Lu Country Club, 1-up.

  Golf makes up the majority of Berman’s summer. Rounds outnumber range sessions, a key to his success so far.

  “I think it’s helped my game because it’s more about playing golf than making a swing or hitting a shot on the range,” Berman said. “I’ve been playing a lot of golf. I’m not very busy other than that.”

  He’ll be busy July 17-18.

  The Association expanded the Open Championship field to 132 players in 2017. The format remains 36 holes of stroke play. However, it will be contested over two days instead of one day. A cut to the low 60 and ties takes place after Day One.

Golf Association of Philadelphia
  Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 151 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

Qualifiers

Name, club

Score

(a) Cole Berman, Philadelphia Cricket Club

67

Brett Melton, Radley Run Country Club

69

Tom Michaels, Berkshire Country Club

70

John Bierkan, Aronimink Golf Club

71

(a) Connor McNicholas, Lu Lu Country Club

72

Anthony Napoletano, GOLFTEC-Malvern

72

(a) Dominic Digiacomo, Greate Bay Country Club

72

Rick Lebeau, Gulph Mills Golf Club

72

(a) Michael Rogers, Overbrook Golf Club

73

Trevor Bensel, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

73

(a) Blaine Lafferty, Little Mill Country Club

73

(a) Michael Cook, Applebrook Golf Club

73

(a) Brett Brenner, Green Valley Country Club

73

(a) Robert Firth, Jr., Commonwealth National Golf Club

73

Eric Schultz, Sunnybrook Golf Club

73

(a) Geoffrey Cooper, North Hills Country Club

73

(a) Richard Riva, Bent Creek Country Club

73

(a) Tom DiCinti, Old York CC at Chesterfield

73

(a) Joel Hark, Woodcrest Country Club

73

Zac Oakley, The Rookery

73

Terry Hatch, Hickory Valley Golf Club

73

Matthew Episcopo, Pine Valley Golf Club

74

(a) Scott Kalan, Squires Golf Club

74

(a) Matt Bierer, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

74

(a) Mike Sydnes, Talamore Country Club

74

(a) David West, Whitford Country Club

74

(a) John Buliga, Yardley Country Club

74

(a) Joseph Hughes, Little Mill Country Club

74

(a) Wills Montgomery, Applecross Country Club

74

Jason Calhoun, Philadelphia Country Club

75

John Spina, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

Robert Hennefer, Indian Spring Country Club

75

Joseph Kogelman, GOLFTEC-Moorestown

75

(a) Peter Bradbeer, Merion Golf Club

75

(a) Ron Robinson, Talamore Country Club

75

(a) Ryan Gelrod, Philadelphia Cricket Club

75

(a) Ben Litt, Riverton Country Club

75

(a) Michael Quinn, Philadelphia Publinks GA

75

Terry Hertzog, Country Club of York

75

(a) Troy Vannucci, Little Mill Country Club

75

Chris Krueger, Kings Creek Country Club

75

(a) Nicholas Biondi, Glenmaura National Golf Club

75

 

Failed to qualify

Michael Paukovits, St. Davids Golf Club

76

(a) Alexander Butler, Bluestone Country Club

76

(a) Brian Gillespie, St. Davids Golf Club

76

(a) Peter Moran, Whitford Country Club

76

Stephen Sieracki, Indian Spring Country Club

76

(a) J.T. Spina, Spring Ford Country Club

76

(a) Scott McKean, Chester Valley Golf Club

76

Mike Furey, Mahoning Valley Country Club

76

Christopher Dymek, Manasquan River Golf Club

76

(a) Kody Long, Philadelphia Publinks GA

76

(a) Mike May, Spring Mill Country Club

76

Dean Kandle, St. Davids Golf Club

77

(a) John Lalley, Llanerch Country Club

77

(a) Mark Czerniakowski, Lu Lu Country Club

77

(a) Thomas Gramigna, Tavistock Country Club

77

(a) Alec Brown, Gulph Mills Golf Club

77

(a) Chris Button, Golden Oaks Golf Club

77

(a) Paul Mauer, Stonewall

77

(a) Mariano Medico, Fox Hill Country Club

77

Michael Ladden, Whitford Country Club

78

(a) Matt Cocco, Commonwealth National Golf Club

78

(a) Duane Pinnock, RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

78

Michael Ferguson, Philadelphia Cricket Club

78

(a) David Gall, Riverton Country Club

78

(a) Connor Boham, Spring Ford Country Club

78

(a) Jackson Fiel, Sea Oaks Golf Club

78

Paul Oglesby, Philadelphia Country Club

78

(a) Jared Tendler, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

78

(a) Brian Fischer, Commonwealth National Golf Club

79

(a) Joseph Chambers, Jr., Chester Valley Golf Club

79

(a) David Liotta, Whitemarsh Valley Country Club

79

(a) Griffin Smith, Jericho National Golf Club

79

(a) John Samaha, Old York Road Country Club

79

(a) Drew Petri, Jericho National Golf Club

79

John Allen, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

80

(a) R.J. Wren, Applecross Country Club

80

Justin Riegel, French Creek Golf Club

80

Patrick Butkus, Overbrook Golf Club

80

(a) Owen Brown, Coatesville Country Club

80

(a) Garrett Basalyga, Cedarbrook Country Club

80

(a) Jeffrey Angelucci, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

80

Brian Hollins, Trenton Country Club

80

(a) Jacob Hanzel, Running Deer Golf Club

80

(a) Nicholas Gaudio, Valleybrook Country Club

80

(a) Jack Murray, Stonewall

80

(a) Blake Cleary, Wilmington Country Club

81

(a) Joey Russo, Laurel Creek Country Club

81

(a) Gary Schoeman, Gulph Mills Golf Club

81

(a) Carlos Fullerton, Brookside CC of Allentown

81

(a) Logan Fuglestad, Jericho National Golf Club

81

(a) Brad Ebersole, The Ridge at Back Brook

81

(a) John Burke, III, Hartefeld National

81

(a) Andrew Jaskel, Union League Golf Club at Torresdale

81

(a) Steve Marshalek, Whitford Country Club

81

(a) Ryan Bree, Fieldstone Golf Club

81

(a) Zachary Falone, Philadelphia Publinks GA

81

(a) C.J. Bell, Cobbs Creek Golf Club

82

(a) Dan Arison, Applebrook Golf Club

82

(a) Justin Schorr, Talamore Country Club

82

(a) John Murphy, II, Stone Harbor Golf Club

82

(a) Steven Altieri, Makefield Highlands Golf Club

82

(a) Hunter Mickatavage, Schuylkill Country Club

82

(a) Zach Dilcher, Hartefeld National

82

(a) Dan Ayars, Running Deer Golf Club

82

(a) Joe Rochelle, Indian Valley Country Club

82

(a) Martin Rosica, Riverton Country Club

82

(a) Quinn Dolan, Rolling Green Golf Club

83

(a) Ryan O'Donnell, Rolling Green Golf Club

83

(a) Larry Gauger, Radnor Valley Country Club

83

(a) Parker Wine, Radley Run Country Club

83

(a) William Mitchell, Laurel Creek Country Club

83

(a) Blake Vogdes, Stone Harbor Golf Club

83

(a) Mark Wachter, DuPont Country Club

83

(a) Max Harrington, Moselem Springs Golf Club

83

(a) Alex Golland, Spring Ford Country Club

84

(a) Alexander McPherson, Lu Lu Country Club

84

(a) Philip Potter, Radley Run Country Club

84

(a) Sam Soeth, White Manor Country Club

84

(a) Chris Meares, Running Deer Golf Club

84

(a) Shawn Gensbauer, Five Ponds Golf Club

84

(a) Joe Rossi, Squires Golf Club

84

(a) Kevin Maguire, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

84

(a) Andrew Sterge, Applebrook Golf Club

84

(a) Eamon Marone, Northampton Country Club

84

(a) Brendan McNamara, The ACE Club

85

(a) Dante DiStefano, Commonwealth National Golf Club

85

(a) Daniel Katona, Trump National Golf Club - Philadelphia

85

(a) Sean Mclaughlin, Spring Mill Country Club

85

(a) Robert Olseski, III, Sandy Run Country Club

86

(a) Kyle Donovan, Honeybrook Golf Club

86

(a) Jason Wilt, Philadelphia Publinks GA

86

(a) George Connell, Jr., Gulph Mills Golf Club

86

(a) Ryan Jones, The ACE Club

86

(a) Pat Kain, Overbrook Golf Club

87

(a) David Sim, Penn Oaks Golf Club

88

(a) Frankie McVeigh, Llanerch Country Club

89

(a) Andrew Ring, Bluestone Country Club

89

(a) Devin Guilliams, Loch Nairn Golf Club

89

(a) Dante Devuono, Running Deer Golf Club

89

(a) Jimmy Cunningham, Aronimink Golf Club

92

(a) Brandon Cassidy, Commonwealth National Golf Club

92

(a) Shahab Bina, Radnor Valley Country Club

96

(a) Luke Shevlin, Concord Country Club

NS

(a) John Mikiewicz, Fox Hill Country Club

WD

(a) Sean Coyle, Llanerch Country Club

WD

(a) Daniel Galbreath, Huntingdon Valley Country Club

WD

(a) Todd Anderson, Wilmington Country Club

WD

(a) Joseph Dulka, Bellewood Country Club

WD

(a) Michael Shevlin, Sr., Philadelphia Publinks GA

WD

(a)-denotes amateur

NS-no show; WD-withdrawal

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